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Fighting Seabee Up For The Challenge In Fasig-Tipton Lure
Fighting Seabee (Credit: NYRA)

Fighting Seabee Up For The Challenge In Fasig-Tipton Lure

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Trainer Kenny McPeek will saddle Walking L Thoroughbreds’ graded stakes winner Fighting Seabee in Saturday’s $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure at Saratoga Race Course.

The ninth running of the $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure, which is named in honor of the Hall of Famer and back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Mile winner in 1992-93, will be contested at 1 1/16-miles over the Mellon turf course and is part of a blockbuster 12-race card highlighted by the $1 million Whitney (G1).

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Restricted to horses who have not won a graded stakes race this year, the Lure drew a field of 11 evenly-matched older horses along with Juddmonte Farm homebred Tacitus, who was entered for the Main Track Only.

Fighting Seabee won the 2019 With Anticipation (G3) on this course in his second start as a juvenile and McPeek said he is hoping the colt’s first appearance back at Saratoga in 11 outings since will land him back in the winner’s circle.

“Fighting Seabee is a really nice horse. He won a stake up here as a 2-year-old, then he was a bit off form as a 3-year-old. We had a lot of trouble with him with a little vet issue, so his 3-year-old season didn’t go very smooth,” said McPeek, who will run defending champion 3-Year-Old Filly Swiss Skydiver against the boys in the Whitney in race 10.

Winless in 4 tries in 2020, the son of Summer Front came back this year and took an allowance test at Keeneland his first time out of the blocks. He came up short in his next 3 races, including a 13th-place finish in the Louisville (G3) at 1 1/2 miles on May 15 at Churchill Downs.

“As a 4-year-old, he’s trained exceptionally well up here at Saratoga,” said McPeek. “So I’m optimistic, though he’s going to have to find a little different level. But the restriction on the race being for horses that haven’t won a stake (in 2021) is ideal for him.”

Junior Alvarado will pilot Fighting Seabee from post 4.

South Bend, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, is another seeking to recapture his winning ways.

After running fourth in the Runhappy Travers (G1) at 1 11/4 miles here on the main track last August, he next competed in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in September, finishing 15th. He then finished seventh in the Belmont Derby (G1) at the same 10-furlong distance, but that race was on the grass.

South Bend comes into the Lure following his fourth-place finish back on the dirt in the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26, and he will be cutting back from 1 1/8 miles on Saturday.

“He’s one of those horses who seems to handle the dirt or the turf, and the condition of the race led us to want to run him in there,” Mott said of the son of Algorithms, who won a third-level allowance/optional claiming race at Keeneland 3 starts back.

Joel Rosario has the call from post 9.

Mott conditioned Ballagh Rocks to a win in the 2020 edition of the Lure, but the horse was claimed for $62,500 in his next start and the now 8-year-old will be saddled by Jeffrey Englehart after changing barns several times during the past year.

Ballagh Rocks is now owned by Darryl Abramowitz and will have the services of Dylan Davis when they depart from post 10.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will fire a triple shot when he sends out Delaware (post 2, Jose Ortiz), Flavius (post 5, Flavien Prat), and Value Proposition (post 3, Irad Ortiz Jr.).

Two of Brown’s three runners in the Lure, Value Proposition and Delaware, are exiting the Forbidden Apple (G3) at 1 mile on the turf course here when they finished second and third, respectively, on July 16.

Klaravich Stables’ Value Proposition seeks to become a first-time stakes winner in 9 career outings. Delaware, who was bred in the purple at owner Juddmonte Farm’s British operation, is a son of Frankel out of an Oasis Dreams mare and won the Danger’s Hour at Aqueduct in April.

Flavius has been idle since a runner-up finish in the Seek Again on May 22 at Belmont. The Kentucky-bred 6-year-old son of War Front made the first 3 of his 11 starts in Ireland before being transferred to Brown, the leading trainer at Saratoga in 2018-19.

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Rounding out the field are Midnight Tea Time (post 6, Luis Saez), Tell Your Daddy (post 7, John Velazquez), Guildsman (post 8, David Cohen), Dreams of Tomorrow (post 11, Jose Lezcano), and Temple (post 12, Tyler Gaffalione).

The Fasig-Tipton Lure is slated as race 6 on Saturday’s 12-race card. First post is 12:35 PM Eastern.

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