ELMONT, N.Y. – Lady Eli breezed four furlongs in 49.50 seconds on the Belmont Park inner turf on Sunday. Trainer Chad Brown said the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champion came out fine as she is looking to make her first start since winning the 2015 Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational and then recovering from laminitis.
“I thought she worked great,” Brown said. “It was her second work back and we put her in company [with Grey Stark].”
Flintshire also worked on the inner turf Sunday, clocking five furlongs in 1:01.40. Brown said Flintshire is being pointed toward the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap on July 30. The 6-year-old won the Grade 1 Manhattan last out on Belmont Stakes Day. The English-bred Flintshire has two wins and a second in his three starts in the U.S., including a win in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer last year and a second-place finish in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Turf.
“I’d like to keep him running out of his own stall all the way up to the Breeders’ Cup and then go out on the road,” Brown said. “That’s where we’re leaning.”
Mrs McDougal also went five furlongs on the inner turf, registering 1:02.28 for the distance. She is likely to start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana on July 23 at Saratoga.
“She worked quite well this morning,” Brown said. “We’re probable for the Diana.”
Brown said all of his Stars & Stripes starters, which included Pricedtoperfection, Last Waltz and Noble Beauty in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks and Beach Patrol, Camelot Kitten and Call Provision in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby, came out of their races in good order.
“So far, so good. I haven’t had any problems so far. They’ll all go their separate ways now. I just don’t know where or when. But everyone emerged OK.”
Catch a Glimpse ‘fantastic’ following G1 Belmont Oaks win
Mark Casse trainee Catch a Glimpse has emerged from her half-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitation in good shape, according to Casse’s Belmont-based assistant Randi Melton Sunday morning.
“She’s fantastic,” said Melton of the City Zip filly. “She ate up everything, her legs are good, she’s happy.”
Owned by Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler and Windways Farm, the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year will be part of Casse’s summer string at Saratoga Race Course, along with the likes of Noble Bird, Airoforce and Champion Turf Mare Tepin.
Melton commended John Oxley’s Airoforce for his effort in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational, where he traveled wide and raced from off the pace to finish 10th in a highly competitive edition of the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival centerpiece.
“He only got beat three lengths; he ran huge,” she said. “We’re very happy with him. This turf course isn’t easy to close on and that’s what he likes to do. He still ran a very good race and he came out of it great.”
Effinex connections still beaming after G2 Suburban victory
Still beaming following yesterday’s win by Effinex in the Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap, practicing veterinarian Dr. Russell Cohen, who bred the 5-year-old son of Mineshaft who, in turn, is owned by his family’s Tri-Bone Stables, was still in awe of the performance put forth by the multiple graded stakes winner.
“I’m honored by the whole thing,” said Dr. Cohen. “Overwhelmed, it’s really cool for a horse to do something that special. I’m a bit of a historian of the game, and to know that Allen [Jerkens] did it with Devil’s Due who I also was veterinarian and knowing there was very little done to him as well just like Jimmy with this horse – it appears Effinex is special as well.”
Effinex came back from the race in good order, according to Ken Sweezey, assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens, but there are no set plans for the back-to-back Suburban winner’s next race.
Sweezey also commented on Effinex stablemate Shaman Ghost, winner of the G2 Brooklyn Handicap, who finished fifth in Saturday’s Suburban.
“He’s fine,” he said. “He’s a hard-knocking horse. I’m not sure if the trip was really right for him but Joel [Rosario] said that it just wasn’t his day but he still has confidence in the horse.”
Carina Mia on target for G1 CCA Oaks; Celestine undecided for G1 Diana
Grade 1 Acorn winner Carina Mia is confirmed to take on the undefeated Songbird in the Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 24 at Saratoga Race Course, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said following the filly’s latest workout this weekend.
“She’s doing well,” he said. “She raced well and came out of her race last time good, so we plan on going to the Coaching Club American Oaks with her.”
The Malibu Moon filly, owned by Three Chimneys Farm, breezed a half-mile over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track Friday morning, covering the distance in 48.99 seconds, the third fastest of 38.
In addition to the Acorn on June 11 at Belmont Park, Carina Mia has won four of her six career starts, including Grade 2 victories in the Golden Rod last fall and the Eight Belles on May 6 at Churchill Downs.
Meanwhile, Grade 1 Longines Just a Game heroine Celestine has done fine since her dominant 3 ¾-length victory on Belmont Stakes Day, Mott said, adding that the 4-year-old Scat Daddy filly is “not 100% certain” to return in the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana on July 23.
“She’s had one work and she’s been doing OK,” he reported. “I’m undecided right now about the Diana. We just might want to give her a little bit more time.”
Lady Lara has trained forwardly since her fourth-place finish in the Just a Game, said Mott, and is an “outside possibility” for the Diana.
Tagg’s Tale of S’avall targets G1 King’s Bishop
Highland Sky came within a neck of his first career Grade 1 victory with a second-place showing in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational on Saturday. The 3-year-old colt moved from 11th at the stretch to just behind winner Deauville in the 1 ¼-mile race on the inner turf.
“That’s the way he likes to run, but it gets him in trouble sometimes,” Tagg said. “But he came out of the race well. So far, so good.”
Highland Sky registered a 93 Beyer Speed Figure, which was the first time in seven career starts he cracked 90. Tagg said Highland Sky will be considered for the Grade 1 Secretariat for 3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles on turf on August 13 at Arlington Park.
Tagg said that Tale of S’avall, who finished third in the Grade 3 Dwyer, is being pointed toward the seven-furlong, Grade 1 King’s Bishop on August 27 at Saratoga. Tale of S’avall previously raced in a Grade 1 with a sixth-place finish in the Wood Memorial on April 9 at Aqueduct. He also finished fifth in his graded stakes debut in the 2015 Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont.
“I want to make him a miler if I can, but they have to cooperate,” Tagg said. “Seven furlongs should suit him.”
Governor Malibu puts in maintenance work
Returning to the main track and posting his first five-furlong workout since his fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 11, Jump Sucker Stables and Oak Bluff Stables Governor Malibu completed the five-eighth breeze in 1:01.17, in what was described as a routine maintenance work by Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement.
“It was a good work,” said Louriel. “Joel Rosario was aboard and he moved well and came back in good order. It was just a regular maintenance work and you could tell looking at the last eighth, that it was the fastest [part] of the work.”
Likely to work again next week Sunday, Lorieul would yet to confirm where Governor Malibu would head next but is most likely to point to the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on August 20 at Saratoga Race Course.