Faypien and jockey Rafael Bejarano, right, outleg Mopotism (Mario Gutierrez), outside, and Spooky Woods (Flavien Prat), inside, to win the Grade II, $ 200,000 Summertime Oaks
The Grade 1, $ 500,000 Longines Test at seven furlongs on the main track will serve as a strong, tightening affair for 10 3-year-old fillies hoping to advance among graded competition. The race hosts a large amount of speed, but has a few closers looking to pick up the pieces late.
Baoma Corporation’s stalker Faypien travels east for the first time after sweeping three of four career starts at Santa Anita. The daughter by Ghostzapper’s best effort came in her last, a narrow victory by a head in the Grade 2 Summer Oaks. That race, run at 1 1/16 miles, was the first route try for Faypien, but now she’ll cut back to seven furlongs and will debut at Saratoga after running all four starts around Santa Anita’s mile-long oval for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
“She is a filly that has run really well her last two out,” Baffert said. “In California, there is really nothing out here for her. I just thought getting a Grade 1 for her would be important. She is a trier. She really tries hard. She has a huge heart. I just hope she gets a clean break.”
Faypien will break from post 8 and Rafael Bejarano will fly across country to keep the mount.
Poindexter Thoroughbred’s Chanel’s Legacy makes her 13th career start, and returns off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows after wiring the field by a neck in the Panthers Stakes. Previously, the speedy filly was a runner-up in the Grade 3 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. Chanel’s Legacy will make her first start for trainer Chad Summers.
“She’s doing super. We’re working on trying to get her to relax a bit,” said Summers. “There’s some speed, but I think seven-eighths is her best distance. The owner, Allen Poindexter, he owns the mare, he owns the sisters, so it’s a big deal to run in a Grade 1 like this at Saratoga.
“It’s an interesting field. Some horses that are highly regarded, and you’ve got some upcoming horses that haven’t taken on much yet, but we think this filly belongs here,” he added. “I’m going to go over there with a lot of confidence, but I think it’s anybody’s race, a great race, a competitive race.”
Chanel’s Legacy draws the rail, and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Minnie Blip will make her fourth career start in the Test, a big jump from the $ 75,000 open claiming contest she faced last time out. The fast daughter by Algorithms broke her maiden at first asking at Fair Grounds then caught two races over the slop, with her last awarding a front-running victory by 3 3/4 lengths. The Al Stall trainee gives up experience, but could fit nicely within this group.
“She’s done well up here,” Stall said. “I think she’s had three works since she arrived, and really hasn’t missed a beat. I’m not sure how she stacks up, but I want to find out. When you’re a 3-year-old and you’ve won two races, your options get limited. We want to keep her sprinting and on the dirt. She’s fast. In her first race, she got into a pocket and stayed off [the lead] by a hair, so she might be tactical, but she’s a sound horse who’s happy, looks good and trains well, so the rest is up to her.”
Minnie Blip runs from post 3, and will be ridden by this year’s Hall of Fame inductee Javier Castellano.
Kaleem Shah’s American Gal stumbled at the break, but drew clear to a 4 ¾-length victory in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park, her 2017 debut after being transferred to Simon Callaghan’s barn in December. By sire Concord Point, she fell a length short to Abel Tasman in the Grade 1 Starlet to close out her sophomore year as the runner-up after a tough, wide trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies where she finished third as the favorite. American Gal offers versatility with her ability to close or take the lead.
American Gal will break from post 7 and gets Jose Ortiz in the irons.
Another filly with speed who came east and had her picture taken at Belmont is Gary Hartunian’s Chalon, with her last a 6 ½-length winner of the Jersey Girl at Belmont. The Dialed In filly boasts three wins from four starts, and will get an extra furlong here for her longest race yet.
Chalon will be led to post 5 and will be ridden by Paco Lopez.
Others entered are Cursor for trainer Mark Henning and rider Junior Alvarado; Divine Miss Grey for trainer Danny Gargan and jockey Manuel Franco; Tequilita for trainer Michael Matz and jockey Luis Saez; Vertical Oak for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Florent Geroux; and Your Love for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2017 Paulick Report.