(Edited press release)
New York horseplayers that have dismissed trainer Ramon Preciado’s Philadelphia Park shippers this winter simply because they are Philadelphia Park shippers have learned a valuable lesson: give Preciado respect when he ships into town.
Saturday, Preciado - sporting a local record of four wins, two seconds and a third from just nine starts - travels back to the Big A armed with a razor sharp mare named Amber Note. Both horse and trainer are aiming for the top prize in the featured $65,000-added Rare Treat Handicap at nine furlongs. Amber Note faces a field of six older fillies and mares.
Perhaps for the first time ever in a handicap race, every runner totes 114 pounds.
A 7-year-old by Editor’s Note, Amber Note is a nose shy of winning three straight races at Aqueduct this winter. On Jan. 11, Amber Note took her debut for Preciado by a neck in a $25,000 starter handicap, defeating her highly regarded stablemate Ragin,g Rapids, in the process. Two weeks later, Amber Note just missed winning a $50,000 claiming race by a nose to Lunar Rendezvous. Then, earlier this month, Amber Note left her tight photo finishes in the dust when she won a $50,000 claimer by two widening lengths at one mile and 70 yards.
“When I brought her up for the starter handicap, I didn’t know what kind of horse she was, to be honest with you,” said Preciado, the younger brother of well-known Philly Park trainer Guadalupe Preciado. “I knew I had the horse to beat in Raging Rapids, but when Amber Note ran by her and won, I was really impressed. Since then, she’s been running great. I don’t think she could be going into the Rare Treat any better.”
Amber Note has never started at the Rare Treat distance, but given her pedigree and strong finishes over the inner track, she should relish the stretchout to nine furlongs.
“She’s training unbelievable, and it would be nice to win a stakes with her,” said Preciado, who worked for the late Robert Camac before he took over his own stable about five years ago.
The field for the Rare Treat:
1--Freedom Ridge, Jose Espinoza, 114
2--Amber Note, Eddie Martin Jr., 114
3--Fuego Grande, Mike Luzzi, 114
4--Daytime Promise, Alan Garcia, 114
5--Dina, Eibar Coa, 114
6--Game Card, Channing Hill, 114
7--A Bit of Pressure, Rudy Rodriguez, 114