<b>Saratoga Notebook: Sunday Backstretch Buzz All About You; Medaglia Update; Gygistar Sizzles; Blazing Fury is Back</b>
Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 4:38 PM
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2002 8:51 PM
With the announcement of the return of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem to the $1 million Haskell Invitational field on Aug. 4, trainer Bobby Frankel said Wood Memorial and Belmont Stakes runner-up Medaglia d'Oro will probably stay in Saratoga and run in the $500,000 Jim Dandy the same afternoon.
Frankel swept the Saratoga stakes Saturday with Tates Creek winning the Diana and You taking the Test, both by a nose under jockey Jerry Bailey. Frankel ran his record to 3-for-8 Sunday afternoon when Sightseek, a half-sister to Tates Creek, won her maiden debut by 7 3/4 lengths.
"I've been lucky up here," Frankel said. "Maybe it was meant to be for me to race up here."
The Jim Dandy will gave Medaglia d'Oro a race over the track before the Travers on Aug. 24.
"I know it's a $500,000 difference, but sometimes some things are more important."
Frankel said he has decided which jockey he will use in the Jim Dandy.
"Can you guess who is riding Medaglia d'Oro now?" he said. "I was going to wait to see how the jocks did for me this weekend. It's a no-brainer now. Bailey rides him. He's got to be one of the best riders of all time."
Even though there are five months left in the year, trainer Bobby Frankel said Sunday that You's victory in the Test should enable her to clinch the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly.
"Just mail it. Mail it in," he said, smiling. "It should be that way?"
The Test was You's fourth grade I of the season.
"You just can't count the last two months of the year, or the last race of the year," Frankel said, referring to the Breeders' Cup Distaff. "She may not be a mile and an eighth filly."
Sunday morning, Saratoga's backstretch was buzzing about the dramatic stretch run of the Test on Saturday. Under Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, You came up the rail to nip Carson Hollow and jockey John Velazquez by a nose.
"I've had at least a half-dozen people come up to me and say it's the best race they ever saw," Frankel said. "In all my years of training, nobody has ever said that to me."
Among them was trainer Tom Voss. "He said it was the greatest ride he ever saw in his life," Frankel said.
You started slowly in the seven-furlong race. Near the
half-mile pole she encountered traffic and had to be taken back to last before making her run.
Trainer John Ward was impressed with the performance, that was played out in front of a crowd of 28,000 and a television audience on ESPN.
"That's the best race-riding that I have ever seen," Ward said. "Those two boys used every ounce of effort they had and finesse they had to get the job done. To me, the difference was that John Velazquez' horse had a different style of running, her head went up and down. Jerry rode a filly who kept her head rigid. Jerry's was on the nod."
Bailey managed to get You through an opening at the top of the stretch and into a position along the rail.
"Jerry was in tight," Ward said. "I thought Velazquez did a nice job of trying to pin Jerry without interfering with him. It was a hell of an effort."
Frankel said some people second-guessed Velazquez for allowing Bailey to come up the inside.
"I know they thought Johnny should have dropped to the rail, but that's a hard one," Frankel said. "You're riding as hard as you can. He doesn't know where You is. He's outside. If he had dropped to the rail on the backside it might have been a cleaner race. I might have got through easier. It isn't like he's got a lot of room to get through."
Frankel said he hasn't decided on the filly's next start. The options include the 1 1/4-mile Alabama on Aug. 17 or the seven-furlong Ballerina against older fillies and mares on Aug. 25.Gygistar Sizzles in Workout
Riva Ridge and Dwyer winner Gygistar turned in a bullet five-furlong work in :58.65 Sunday morning and remains a candidate for the Jim Dandy. It was the fastest of 34 works at the distance by a full second. Gygistar got sick after the Dwyer and missed a workout. If he is unable to make the Jim Dandy, trainer Mark Hennig said the gelding may run next in the King's Bishop on Aug. 24.
"We're not going to make a decision today, by any means," Hennig said. "We'll see how things go in the next couple of days, if it seems to knock him out at all, how he eats. At this point it seems like he's pretty healthy."Blazing Fury is Back
Saranac winner Blazing Fury scored a decisive victory in an allowance race Saturday and trainer Jimmy Toner said the 4-year-old gelding is likely to return to stakes company in the Man o' War at Belmont Park on Sept. 7.
After Blazing Fury finished last, beaten 10 lengths in the United Nations Handicap on July 6, Toner wanted a confidence-builder for his horse.
"I didn't want to come back and run him in another stake or do anything further with him until I got back to square one," Toner said. "I hoped to get his mind back into it. He had to step up and prove himself again that we're not far off base with him and he's capable of being able to step out again. Now, I'm comfortable. I know I'm back in the game again."Spa NotesAldebaran,
second in the Metropolitan Mile, worked five furlongs in :59 Sunday in preparation for the Forego Handicap on Sept. 1... Left Bank
prepped for the Whitney on Aug. 3 with a five-furlong work in :59.65. Trainer Todd Pletcher said the colt went a little faster than planned because he and stablemate Fisher Pond hooked up with Aldebaran... Trainer Christophe Clement said that Bernard Baruch runner-up Forbidden Apple
will train toward the Arlington Million on Aug. 17... Louisiana Derby winner Repent
moved closer to a return to racing with a three-furlong breeze in :37 2/5. Trainer Ken McPeek said he is now considering running the colt in the Travers. Repent has not raced since finishing second to War Emblem in the Illinois Derby on April 6. A few days after the race a chip was removed from the colt's left front ankle.
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