No Stakes But Lots of Action Wednesday at Saratoga
Date Posted: 7/30/2002 4:07:31 PM

Although no stakes events are scheduled for Wednesday at Saratoga, the 10-race card will still feature top-quality racing. Headlining the Wednesday card is the eighth race, a third-level allowance at 1 1/16-miles on the Mellon (outer) Turf course. A field of six older horses is expected to contest the race.

Looking for a win in the feature will be the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Aslaaff, who will be returning to the turf. A colt by Quiet American, Aslaaf finished fifth on the main track at Belmont Park on June 21 after racing up close to the pace. McLaughlin will remove the blinkers for the colt's return to the turf.

"He was too keen in his last race," McLaughlin said. "He had run well on the dirt in the past and I had two others horses (Zoning and Rhythm Band) that were eligible for that condition on turf. We were disappointed with his effort."

Aslaaf not only gets his blinkers back, but he returns to the Saratoga turf, a surface where he compiled a 1-2-0 record from two starts last summer. Aslaaf has a career record of three wins from 17 starts while racing for Sheik Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum.

"We know he likes it up here," McLaughlin said. "He's trained well and should run his race."

Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who swept both Saturday stakes, the grade I Test Stakes aboard You and the Diana Handicap (gr. IIT) with Tates Creek, retains the mount on Aslaaf. They break from post 6.

The field for Wednesday's feature includes:
1 -- Gilded Emperor (Jose Santos, 123, 4-1)
2 -- Treasured Gift (Javier Castellano, 119, 8-1)
3 -- Jubileo (John Velazquez, 119, 5-2)
4 -- Tap the Admiral (Michael Luzzi, 119, 4-1)
5 -- Marchand Volant (Edgar Prado, 117, 7-2)
6 -- Aslaaf (Jerry Bailey, 117, 3-1)


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