Augustin Stable's Latice has traveled the world in her 10-race career. Bred in Ireland, the 4-year-old filly has raced in America, France, Hong Kong and Canada. In the process, she has run in some of the world's toughest grass races such as the Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) and Hong Kong Cup (HK-I).
Her world tour takes a stop at Aqueduct on Saturday for the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT), one of two stakes on the 10-race, opening Fall Meet weekend card.
Latice had the lead in the 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor (Can-I) in the stretch 13 days ago, but yielded late to Honey Ryder. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard is anxious to run her at the Long Island distance of 12 furlongs where he feels her one-paced style will be more effective. The thing that concerns him is the quick turn-around.
"We were looking for another spot, but the Long Island was the only race that made much sense," Sheppard said. "She's taken everything in stride since the E.P. Taylor, so we thought it was worth crossing our fingers and hoping there is enough gas left in the tank."
The filly who beat Latice in the Cicada at Delaware, Green Hills Farm's Spotlight, will try to do the same in the Long Island. Trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Spotlight registered her first stakes win since taking the Lake Placid in 2004.
A Lulu Ofa Menifee was a decent fourth behind Honey Rider and Film Maker in the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga. John Velazquez replaces the injured Richard Migliore.
French import Olaya figures to take some support in her debut for trainer H. Graham Motion. She posted a win going a mile and a half in a June 19 stakes race in France.
A pair of New York-breds will tackle Latice in the Long Island after the Ticonderoga was rained off the turf at Belmont two weeks ago. Yaddo winner Kate Winslet and the Todd Pletcher-trained Little Buttercup both have been assigned 114 pounds for the Long Island.$150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT), fillies and mares 3 & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. Kate Winslet, Richard Violette, Cornelio Velasquez, 114
2. Latice, Jonathan Sheppard, Jose Santos, 121
3. Serendipitous, H. James Bond, Channing Hill, 110
4. Olaya, H. Graham Motion, Edgar Prado, 112
5. A Lulu Ofa Menifee, Barclay Tagg, John Velazquez,114
6. Spotlight, Christophe Clement, Ramon Dominguez, 116
7. Little Buttercup, Todd Pletcher, Mike Luzzi, 114