By Karen M. Johnson
Chatain, whose foot problems are behind him, seeks his second stakes win of his career in the Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Oct. 27.
The $150,000 Sport Page drew a field of five. Chatain, with veteran rider Jean-Luck Samyn in the saddle, drew the rail in the seven-furlong dirt race. He carries 116 pounds, one less than the high weight, Sir Greeley.
Chatain, a son of Forest Wildcat, hasn’t run since winning an allowance race by two lengths at Saratoga over a track labeled good for the late Martha Gerry’s Lazy F Ranch.
Chatain’s trainer, Angel Penna Jr., had hoped to run Chatain in the Forego (gr. I) at Saratoga at the end of the six-week meet, but a foot bruise kept the 4-year-old colt in the barn.
“That was a bit of bad luck,” Penna said. “A bruise could take 48 hours to heal, or it could take two weeks. His feet are fine now.”
Penna, who hopes to use the Sport Page as a prep for the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct next month, indicated he would not run Chatain if the Aqueduct surface resembled a “swimming pool.” Rain is in the forecast.
Sir Greeley, who finished second by a whisker to Chatain in the Hal’s Hope (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in January, looks to turn the tables in the Sport Page. Although he has made just three starts this year, Sir Greeley has made the most of his opportunities. In addition to the Hal’s Hope, Sir Greeley finished second in the Deputy Minister (gr. III) at Gulfstream and won a starter handicap at Belmont Park in his last start Sept. 27.
Premium Wine, the lone 3-year-old in the field, is in top form for trainer Tony Dutrow. The son of Prime Timber enters the Sport Page off three consecutive wins. He won a New York-bred maiden race over Aqueduct’s main track earlier this year by nearly eight lengths.
Godolphin Stable’s Sport Page hopeful is Council Member, runner-up to his stablemate, Afrashad, in the James B. Moseley at Suffolk Downs in his last start. Council Member is a closer.
“You would think he’d be competitive at seven furlongs,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to Godolphin’s trainer, Saeed bin Suroor. “I think he’ll be able to sustain that run of his.”
Tasteyville cuts back in distance, following his runner-up finish to Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr.I) starter, Any Given Saturday. This year Tasteyville has not run in any races less than a mile.