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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Belladonna Racing’s multiple graded stakes-placed Bayerness leads a talented field in Wednesday’s $120,000 Shine Again at Saratoga Race Course.
The 7-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares who have not won a sweepstakes in 2021 other than state-bred attracted a field of six and will go as race 8 on a card that also features the NYSSS Statue of Liberty, a 1-mile inner turf test for eligible New York-sired sophomore fillies in race 5.
Trained by Cherie DeVaux, Bayerness has focused on sprinting in her 4-year-old campaign after completing her sophomore season with a sixth-place finish in the 9-furlong Kentucky Oaks (G1) in September at Churchill Downs.
The Bayern chestnut has made 3 starts this year, all over off tracks, beginning with an optional-claiming win in April traveling 6 furlongs at Churchill ahead of a close third in the 7-furlong Bed o’ Roses (G3) at Belmont.
Last out, in the 6-furlong Regret at Monmouth Park on July 3, Bayerness tracked Honey I’m Good from second through a swift 1/2-mile in 44.94 seconds, kicking into gear at the furlong marker and missing by a neck under Paco Lopez.
DeVaux said the close-up trip for Bayerness, who often rates further back, was situational.
“It’s just the way the race unfolded, so he put her in the best position he could to win the race,” DeVaux said. “It wasn’t by design but it’s what he had to do. She came up a little bit short, but she still ran a really good race.”
DeVaux said Bayerness, who breezed a 1/2-mile in 48.21 on July 24 over the Saratoga main track, has settled in well to her new surroundings.
“She came out of her race at Monmouth in good shape and worked well over the track. We’ll let her stretch her legs again tomorrow,” DeVaux said.
DeVaux said Bayerness, who graduated at second asking over sloppy going in November 2019 at Churchill, has thrived since cutting back in distance this year.
“She always seemed like she would want more ground, but she’s doing so well going short that’s probably where she’s going to stay,” DeVaux said. “She’s been running well since coming back from time off. It would be nice to get her on a fast track but if not, she’s obviously able to handle the off going.”
Luis Saez, aboard for the optional claiming score in April, has the call from the inside post.
Honey I’m Good Holds Off Bayerness In Regret
Carl Pollard’s Aunt Kat enters on a 3-race win streak for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
The 4-year-old Uncle Mo bay graduated by 9 3/4 lengths in March at Aqueduct ahead of a 5 3/4-length allowance win in April at Belmont, both at 6 1/2 furlongs. Last out, Aunt Kat cruised gate to wire to win an off-the-turf one-turn optional claiming mile on June 4 at Belmont on a muddy and sealed main track.
Aunt Kat, out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Forestry mare Carolyn’s Cat, breezed a bullet 1/2-mile in 46.89 on July 24 over the Oklahoma dirt training track in preparation for her Saratoga debut.
Junior Alvarado retains the mount from post 2.
Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Stretch Run Ventures’ Casual, a 4-year-old daughter of Curlin out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Mutakddim mare Lady Tak, makes her first start since a runner-up effort to undefeated Chub Wagon in the 6-furlong Skipat on May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who is closing in on Dale Baird’s all-time win record of 9,445, Casual enters in search of a first career stakes win following strong efforts at Oaklawn earlier this year, including a second in the Spring Fever in February and a third in the Carousel in April.
Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount from post 4.
Rounding out the field are multiple graded stakes-placed Honor Way (post 5, Jose Lezcano), third 2 starts back in the Distaff Handicap (G3) at the Big A; graded stakes-placed Bronx Beauty (post 3, Irad Ortiz Jr.), a distant third last out in the Regret; and stakes-placed Whispering Pines (post 6, Jose Ortiz), who enters from a 7-furlong allowance win on June 12 at Belmont that garnered a career-best 82 Beyer.
First post on Wednesday’s 10-race card is 1:05 PM Eastern.
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