Only five sophomore fillies--plus one entered for main track only--passed the entry box for Friday's Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga, but boy, oh boy, what a crew.
Leading the pack will be Ocala Horses' Wait a While, a runaway winner of the $750,000 American Oaks Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) in her last start July 2. Shipping across the country to Hollywood Park, Wait a While streaked to the lead on the turn and pulled away to a 4 ½-length score over a very good field.
With the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) being run this weekend, it was considered that Wait a While would hang out in Southern California. However, "Having already shipped across the country once, we felt the Lake Placid might be a little easier on her," Pletcher said in a New York Racing Association press release. "That's a really long trip and they don't always bounce back from it right away. Plus, this race sets up well for her schedule, too. From here, if all things go well, we can look to the grade I Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland Oct. 14."
Back in New York, Wait a While, trained by Todd Pletcher, has been tuning up at Belmont Park. She worked four furlongs in :48.84 over the main track Saturday.
Bred in Kentucky by William S. Farish and W. Temple Webber, Wait a While is a daughter of Maria's Mon
out of the A.P. Indy
Facing Wait a While in the nine-furlong Lake Placid worth $150,000 is Lady of Venice, Art Show, Diamond Spirit, and Dancing Band. It won't be that easy.
Lady of Venice, owned by Martin S. Schwartz and trained by Patrick Biancone, figures to give Wait a While all she wants. Gorella's stablemate was a stellar four-length winner of the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs June 17 and was fifth, beaten only a length by Angara, July 29 against older fillies and mares in the Diana Handicap (gr. IT) over the Saratoga turf.
The going was yielding that opening weekend at the Spa.
She will be ridden again by apprentice sensation Julien Leparoux.
"She is only three, and there were some tough older fillies in there," Leparoux said of Lady in Venice in the release. "She had never run on that type of ground, so to be beaten only a length by that group, on that surface, I think she ran really good."
Lady of Venice is by Loup Solitaire--Lacewings, by Forty Niner and was bredin France by S.C.A. Elevage de Toureville and M. Enric o Erculiani. Prior to the Regret score, she won the one-mile Appalachian Stakes on turf at Keeneland in April.
William Backer's homebred Art Show, by Out of Place
, won the Salem County Stakes on turf at Meadowlands last fall and comes into the Lake Placid off a third-place finish in the Virginia Oaks for trainer Hamilton Smith. Mike Luzzi rides.
Diamond Spirit is only one for 15 in her career but does carry five stakes placings, including three grade IIIs. The daughter of Holy Bull
is owned by Joseph Allen and is trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, the same combo that won Saturday's Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) with War Front.
Dancing Band, also trained by Pletcher, is ambitiously spotted off a fourth-place finish in the Virginia Oaks in her stakes debut. The daughter of Dixieland Band
is owned by Blyar Stable.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has entered Stronach Stable's Citronnade as a "main track only" entrant. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid
, who is out of Canadian broodmare of the year Primarily won a 1 1/16-mile entry level allowance race at Belmont Park July 19 at 3-10.
The Lake Placid will be run for the 23rd time. In the last 10 years alone, the race has been won by turf standouts Memories of Silver, Tenski, Gaviola, Snow Dance, Wonder Again, and Sand Springs.Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT), $150,000, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/8 miles, turf, Friday, Aug. 18, approx. post 4:47 p.m EDT
PP - Horse - Jockey
1 - Dancing Band - John Velazquez
2 - Lady of Venice - Julien Leparoux
3 - Wait a While - Garrett Gomez
4 - Diamond Spirit - Rafael Bejarano
5 - Art Show - Michael Luzzi
MTO - Citronnade - Javier Castellano