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ELMONT, NY – Michael Dubb and Michael J. Caruso’s Classic Lady will lead a field of seven New York-bred fillies and mares in Friday’s $125,000 John Hettinger, a 8-furlong inner turf test at Belmont Park.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the 6-year-old Jimmy Creed mare will face three returning foes from her third-place effort last out in the $150,000 Yaddo at 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf August 27 as part of New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course.
Classic Lady, bred by Seth Gregory and Robert Barney, enjoyed a productive 2020 campaign, finishing second in the 1-mile Mount Vernon at Belmont ahead of a win in the 1 1/16-mile Dayatthespa on the Saratoga inner turf that registered a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. She completed last year’s brief 3-race campaign with a third-place finish in the Yaddo.
The veteran mare boasts a record of 20-4-5-5 with purse earnings of $291,290 and has made just 2 starts this season, including a close fourth off a 10-month layoff in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming event at Monmouth Park on July 31.
“I’m struggling a little bit to get her back as good as she was last year. I thought she ran a decent race last time,” Clement said of the Yaddo effort that garnered a seasonal-best 77 Beyer. “She’s trained well, but I don’t have her quite at the same level as I had her at last year, according to the numbers.”
Clement said Classic Lady, who boasts a perfect in-the-money record on the Belmont turf of 5-2-2-1, will need all of her stamina to secure the win.
“I think she will see the mile and 1/8, but she may be a little bit better going shorter,” Clement said.
Irad Ortiz Jr. will pilot Classic Lady from the outermost post 9.
Classic Lady Withstands War Canoe to Have a Great Dayatthespa
Lawrence Goichman homebred Myhartblongstodady put together a 4-race win streak from November 2019 to October 2020 that included stakes scores in last year’s Yaddo and the 1 1/16-mile Ticonderoga in October at Belmont.
The ultra-consistent 6-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy is stakes placed twice this season with a third in the 1-mile Plenty of Grace in April at the Big A and a close second last out in the Yaddo.
Trained by Jorge Abreu, Myhartblongstodady will exit post 8 under Jose Lezcano.
Ice Princess, trained and co-owned by Danny Gargan with Flying P Stable and R. A. Hill Stable, is graded stakes-placed on dirt having finished second in the 9-furlong Comely (G3) in November at the Big A. She captured the 1-mile Maddie May on the Aqueduct main track in February 2020.
The Palace Malice gray, bred by Mina Equivest, is out of the Awesome Again mare Happy Clapper, who posted a record of 1-3-1 in 13 turf starts.
Ice Princess made her turf debut in June, finishing fourth in an open 1 1/16-mile allowance event after a troubled start. She enters from a 4-length score in an open 9-furlong allowance event contested on a sloppy and sealed main track on August 19 at Saratoga.
Luis Saez will have the call from post 4.
Rounding out the field are Pecatonica (post 1, Jose Ortiz), a close fourth last out in the Yaddo; Dancingwthdaffodls (post 3, Eric Cancel), who saw a 2-race win streak – both against optional claimers – come to an end last out when seventh in the Yaddo; and recent allowance winner Cara’s Dreamer (post 5, Dylan Davis).
Make Mischief and Dancing Kiki (sixth last out in the Yaddo) are entered for the Main Track Only.
The Hettinger is slated as race 8 on Friday’s 9-race card. First post is 1 PM Eastern.
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