Saratoga Notebook: Weight-y Matter; Medaglia's Plans Undecided; Shah is Haskell Bound; Volponi's Plans
Updated: Monday, July 29, 2002 2:08 PM
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2002 10:15 AM
Unhappy with the weights assigned for the Honorable Miss on Aug. 2, Gold Mover's trainer Mark Hennig said Saturday that his filly and champion Xtra Heat will not face each other in the race.
NYRA racing secretary Mike Lakow made Xtra Heat the 126-pound highweight, 10 pounds more than Gold Mover. Conceding 12 pounds, Xtra Heat beat Gold Mover by a neck in the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park on June 9. With the same 12-pound advantage, Gold Mover edged Xtra Heat by a half-length in the Princess Rooney on July 13 at Calder.
Earlier in the week, Hennig argued that the 12-pound difference was correct because it had produce two closes finishes. However, Lakow added two pounds to Gold Mover.
"All I have to say is, he won't have the satisfaction of having both of them in the race," Hennig said. "If she doesn't show up, I might run. I'm not saying I'm not running, but I'm not running against her at those weights." Medaglia d'Oro's Next Race on Aug. 4
Belmont Stakes runner-up Medaglia d'Oro will run in a graded stake on Aug. 4. Whether it is the $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga or the $1 million Haskell Invitational has yet to be determined.
With the announcement that Came Home will skip the Haskell and run in the seven-furlong King's Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 24, trainer Bobby Frankel said Saturday he has started to consider the Haskell again. Earlier in the week, Frankel said he was more likely to run the colt in the Jim Dandy because he wouldn't have to ship to New Jersey.
"I'm going to enter in both of them," Frankel said. "I'll make up my mind after I see the entries. I don't even want to think about it. I'm not making any decisions." Shah Jehan is Haskell Bound
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is planning to take Shah Jehan to the Haskell. The Mr. Prospector colt, who sold as a yearling for $4.4 million, ran in a seven-furlong allowance race at Saratoga Saturday afternoon.
Lukas said that if Shah Jehan come out of the allowance race OK, he'll run back in eight days in the Haskell.
"We ran in the prep race there, the Long Branch, and should have won it," Lukas said. "But we think we needed another little sharpener. He's a big, lazy horse who doesn't put out much."
In the allowance race, Shah Jehan pressed the early fractions of the allowance race and finished fourth, beaten 8 3/4 lengths in a race run in 1:22.48.Volponi to Sword Dancer
Hall of Fame trainer P.G. Johnson said Saturday that Bernard Baruch runner-up Volponi will make his next start in the 12-furlong Sword Dancer on Aug. 10.
"That's the logical race for him," Johnson said. "We just have to see how he does. He's a big, strong, sound horse. Take him back out there and see how he does is the answer. You don't have to train him a lot because you're running him often.Spa Notes
Gygistar remains a possibility for the Jim Dandy, trainer Mark Hennig said Saturday. The Riva Ridge and Dwyer winner got sick after the Dwyer and missed a work. Hennig plans to work the colt Sunday morning and then decide whether the Jim Dandy is feasible. "There's a chance. It's 50-50 right now," Hennig said. "He's doing really well. I've just got to see how he responds to the work and see if there are any residual effects of the coughing and snotting. I'll scope him and see how his lungs are. If everything is clean then we'll think about it."... Meanwhile, Jim Dandy and Haskell prospect Stephentown breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5...Bob and Beverly Lewis' Orientate turned in a four-furlong work in :49 2/5 for the Forego on Sept. 1... Greatness prepared for the Amsterdam on Aug. 3 with a six-furlong breeze in 1:15 3/5.
FREE! E-Newsletters from The Blood-Horse!...
Follow the top stories of major racing events, racing previews and results with FREE e-newsletters from bloodhorse.com. As news develops, we'll deliver updates to your inbox. Follow important events moment by moment, step by step!