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Trainer Domenick Schettino will send out a pair of Jan Durrschmidt New York homebreds in multiple stakes-placed Little Linzee and two-time winner Bernt Again for Wednesday’s $150,000 Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for eligible New York-sired sophomore fillies going one mile over the inner turf at Saratoga Race Course.
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Little Linzee, an Honorable Dillion gray, enters from a runner-up finish behind returning rival Mz Big Bucks in the NYSSS Cupecoy’s Joy on June 18 at Belmont Park. The effort marked a return to the green for Little Linzee, who broke her maiden over the Spa’s Mellon turf course last July at first asking before finishing a distant eighth in the Grade 3 Matron at Belmont at the Big A.
She received the riding services of regular pilot Katie Davis for the first time in the final start of her juvenile season when she finished third to multiple stakes-winner Les Bon Temps in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue in December at Aqueduct. She launched her 2023 season when a distant second to the talented Stonewall Star in the January 22 Franklin Square at the Big A, two starts before being disqualified from first to second in the NYSSS Park Avenue on April 23 over the same track.
“Katie gets along with her very well. She’s a bit of a temperamental type of filly, very light mouthed and Katie does an excellent job with her,” Schettino said.
Bernt Again enters the Statue of Liberty from a pair of 1 1/16-mile wins at claiming level. After graduating at ninth asking against state-breds for a $40,000 tag in May over Belmont’s inner turf, the Honorable Dillon bay defeated open $50,000 claiming company on July 2 over the Widener turf at Belmont.
A four-time competitor at state-bred maiden special weight level last summer and fall, Bernt Again tried the main track over the winter at Aqueduct, finishing a close second twice.
“She’s matured and ran well over the wintertime with a couple seconds, but now she’s really matured mentally and physically. She’s going in the right direction, I think,” Schettino said.
Schettino spoke high volumes of Durrschmidt, who owns Indigo Farm in Stanfordville, New York just 83 miles south of Saratoga Springs.
“Jan loves her horses,” Schettino said. “She has a farm upstate and she gives her horses top care. Whatever her horses need it doesn’t matter the amount of money. The horse comes first.”
Davis retains the mount aboard Little Linzee from post 6, while Bernt Again will leave from post 2 in rein to Manny Franco.
Trainer Michelle Nevin will saddle Mz Big Bucks [post 3, Jose Gomez], who stretches out in distance following her NYSSS Cupecoy’s Joy score going seven furlongs.
The War Dancer bay was a second-out maiden winner in an off-the-turf state-bred maiden event on May 4 going six furlongs at Belmont, where she displayed frontrunning tactics for the first time. She carried her speedy ways into stakes company for the Cupecoy’s Joy, winning by two lengths.
“She’s nice and bright and training well,” Nevin said.
Out of the Catienus mare Frivolous Buck, Mz Big Bucks is a full-sister to Nevin-trained graded stakes winner Dancing Buck.
“They don’t look anything alike, but they can run,” Nevin said.
Trainer William Morey will saddle a pair of contenders in Orange Freeze [post 9, Joel Rosario] and Red Moon [post 1, Irad Ortiz, Jr.].
Orange Freeze was haltered for $40,000 by Morey last out from a June 23 maiden claiming victory at Belmont Park. The Freud gray, bred in the Empire State by Thummp’s Racing Stable, was previously conditioned by Christophe Clement.
Patricia J. Hancock’s Red Moon enters from a third in her turf debut in the Cupecoy’s Joy, where she closed from last-of-11 to finish 2 3/4 lengths back of Mz Big Bucks. The Redesdale chestnut was previously conditioned by Jeff Metz and won twice at Turf Paradise in Arizona before joining Morey’s stable. He was bred by Hidden Lake Farm and Questroyal Stable.
Completing the field are the Tom Amoss-trained Camp Akeela [post 4, Trevor McCarthy], Clover Street [post 5, John Velazquez] for trainer Mark Hennig, Bea Bea Kaz [post 7, Lane Luzzi] for conditioner Dimitrios Synnefias, and the Leah Gyarmati-trained Queens Over Threes [post 8, Tamay Alpander].
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