Lael Stables' Check the Label shoots for her fourth consecutive graded stakes win Aug. 22 at Saratoga, as she headlines the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies.
The nine-furlong turf race drew a field of six and will go as race 4 on the Saratoga Sunday program.
Trainer Graham Motion, who sent out last year’s winner, Shared Account, is back for a repeat bid with blossoming star Check the Label, who will carry top weight of 122 pounds including Ramon Dominguez. The daughter of Stormin Fever has been on fire after three consecutive defeats to begin her sophomore campaign.
The dark bay/brown filly won the Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in April for her first stakes victory, came back on May 31 to take the Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont, and most recently pulled away in the stretch to score the July 17 Virginia Oaks (gr. IIT) by nearly three lengths at Colonial Downs as the odds-on choice. After that last race, Check the Label was acquired privately by Roy and Gretchen Jackson from breeder and former owner Brereton Jones.
“She’s just a filly who has improved a lot, without a doubt,” said Motion of the 7-5 morning-line choice. “Even I’m surprised at the ease with which has won these races. She has a tremendous turn of foot.”
An earner of $341,227 from 12 starts, Check the Label will break from post 3. She was bred in Kentucky and is out of the Mazel Trick mare Don’t Trick Her.
Though there are no other stakes winners in the field, Robert Masterson’s Exclusive Love
and Harlequin Ranches’ No Explaining
—both based at Woodbine—are capable of pulling an upset off their last starts when finishing runner-up and third, respectively, in the July 28 Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Exclusive Love was making her stakes debut for Mark Casse and only her second start on turf. She won her grass debut in June going one mile at Woodbine in an allowance contest.
No Explaining has won twice in allowance company for Roger Attfield this season. She had a troubled trip in the Lake George before making a big run in the stretch while coming only 1 1/4 lengths short.
“I thought that if No Explaining had a better trip, she would have been right there,” said Attfield.
Also in the field is two-time stakes placed Triple Cream
who adds blinkers; last out allowance winner Hatheer
; and Central Bank Ashland (gr. I) runner-up It's Tea Time
, who was also ninth in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and comes out of a two-turn allowance score at the Spa earlier this month.
$150,000 Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 4, 2:39 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hatheer (KY), A Garcia, 116, K P McLaughlin
2. Triple Cream (KY), R Maragh, 116, J J Toner
3. Check the Label (KY), R A Dominguez, 122, H G Motion
4. Exclusive Love (KY), S Bridgmohan, 116, M E Casse
5. No Explaining (IRE), J R Velazquez, 118, R L Attfield
6. It's Tea Time (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, G R Arnold, II