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Ranger Fox Takes Big Step Up In Better Talk Now
Credit: NYRA

Ranger Fox Takes Big Step Up In Better Talk Now

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Eric Fein’s Ranger Fox will see two turns for the first time when he takes on a field of eight for Sunday’s seventh running of the $120,000 Better Talk Now, a 1-mile inner turf event for sophomores who have not won a stakes race at 1 mile or over, at Saratoga Race Course.

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Ranger Fox’s 5 1/2-length maiden special weight romp on July 10 going 7 furlongs at Belmont Park gave trainer John Terranova enough confidence to enter the colt at stakes level. The Nyquist bay tracked 1 length off the pace along the rail before moving a path to the outside, taking command in upper stretch and drawing away to victory.

Prior to his maiden score, Ranger Fox was a close second in each of his first 2 starts on grass at Belmont before graduating at fourth asking.

“He’s doing really well. He’s had plenty of time now, so hopefully he jumps forward,” Terranova said. “He seems to enjoy himself up here at Saratoga and it looks like we’re ready to get back in the gate with him.”

Ranger Fox made his debut on the main track in January at Aqueduct, where he finished a distant fifth to eventual graded stakes-placed Crowded Trade.

“He’s a very talented colt,” Terranova said. “He’s a little bit late maturing and late developing, but hopefully there’s room to go forward with him. He’s got speed. Obviously we’re going around two turns for the first time, so it’ll be a first for him. We’re looking forward to his racing career.”

Ranger Fox, a $310,000 acquisition at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, is out of the Quality Road mare Xtra Spice, who is a daughter of the sensational sprint distaffer and 2001 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Xtra Heat.

Jockey Joel Rosario has guided Ranger Fox in all 3 of his turf starts and will retain the mount from post 1.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle Harrell Ventures’ Dr Jack in his turf debut. The bay son of Pioneerof the Nile was a distant fifth in the Jim Dandy (G2) on July 31 at the Spa last out.

Dr Jack, a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Idol, won his first 2 starts, scoring first out going 6 1/2 furlongs on April 2 at Gulfstream Park before defeating winners around two turns at Pimlico on May 14.

Dr Jack breezed a 1/2-mile in 49.21 seconds over the Oklahoma training turf on August 22.

“I thought he handled it well enough to give it a try,” Pletcher said. “He just didn’t fire that day in the Jim Dandy.”

Dr Jack will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from post 2.

Trainer Chad Brown will vie for his second Better Talk Now victory, saddling Sifting Sands, who arrives off a late-closing victory against winners on July 24. Owned by Peter Brant, the son of Dubawi and half-brother to 3-time Group 1 victress Legatissimo was a 28/1 upset winner of his last effort by a head.

Sifting Sands broke his maiden off a 6-month layoff defeating next-out winner Dance Some Mo in a 1-mile maiden special weight on March 13 at Tampa Bay Downs. He finished seventh in his lone stakes start in the Woodhaven on April 17 at Aqueduct.

Sifting Sands will break from post 8 under jockey Manny Franco.

Michael Imperio’s Danzigwiththestars, bred in New York by Janet Durrschmidt, brings 2 consecutive victories to his stakes debut for trainer Domenick Schettino.

The son of War Dancer will look to go 3 for 3 at the Spa this meet after defeating next-out winners Clever Fellow and Ruse in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight event for New York-breds over a good inner turf on July 15. He arrives off a triumph against his Empire State-bred counterparts at 1 mile over a firm inner turf course on August 8.

Danzigwiththestars will be piloted by meet-leading rider Luis Saez from post 4.

Completing the field are Wolfie’s Dynaghost (post 3, Jose Ortiz), Dreamer’s Disease (post 5, David Cohen), In Effect (post 6, Jose Lezcano), and Straw Into Gold (post 7, Irad Ortiz Jr.).

The Better Talk Now is carded as race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race program at Saratoga Race Course. First post is 1:05 PM.

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