Pletcher Quartet Stands Out in Frizette
R Heat Lightning, fresh off a nifty score in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs at Saratoga, steps up to a mile in the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Oct. 9 at Belmont Park. The Trippi filly has hit the board in all three starts.
R Heat Lightning closed to win the Sept. 5 Spinaway by four lengths under Garrett Gomez. She gets a new rider in John Velazquez.
Campaigned by E. Paul Robsham Stables and one of four entries in the race for trainer Todd Pletcher, R Heat Lightning began her career with a five-length score and then ran a close second in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park. She was tabbed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the Frizette.
“She’ll probably be placed in midpack,” said Pletcher, who won the race last year with Devil May Care and in 2005 with Adieu. “She has enough tactical speed that she can be close, but she can also come from off the pace.”
Two of R Heat Lightning’s followers in the Spinaway are back for the Frizette. Valiant Passion, trained by Pletcher for Team Valor International, finished third in the Spinaway after breaking her maiden by 9 1/4 lengths at Saratoga in her first start. Jose Lezcano rides the Lion Heart filly for the first time.
"We lost a little bit of training between her maiden race and the Spinaway as we were able to get just one breeze into her,” said Pletcher. “I think she has tactical speed and should be in a good position, and we expect an improved effort.”
Coax Liberty, who finished fourth in the Spinaway, ran third in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga in mid-August after breaking her maiden at Delaware Park. The daughter of Successful Appeal is owned by Copper Penny Stables and is trained by James Lawrence II. Jockey J.C. Caraballo gets a return call.
Promise Me a Cat boasts the year’s third-highest Beyer Speed Figure for a 2-year-old filly. Her 92 Beyer came in an 8 1/4-length maiden score at 5 1/2 furlongs last time out in her third start. The daughter of D'wildcat is trained by Carlos Martin for Blue Devil Racing Stable and is coming off a fifth-place effort in the Darley Debutante (gr. I). Edgar Prado rides for the first time.
The second-highest Beyer in the Frizette field belongs to Tap for Luck, whose 90 Beyer came at five furlongs in her maiden score at Saratoga in her only start. Pletcher trains the daughter of Tapit for Summit West Racing and Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust, and Alex Solis rides.
Maple Forest, by Forestry, heads into the Frizette off a runner-up effort in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park. She broke her maiden in her debut at Saratoga. Trained by Pletcher for Blue Heaven Farm, she will be ridden by David Cohen.
“I thought she ran well in both races,” said Pletcher. “She’s a filly who is precocious, and this is a good opportunity for us to run her in a Grade 1 race in a one-turn mile.”
A Z Warrior, by Bernardini , ships in from California with a runner-up effort in the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) two races back. She is trained by Bob Baffert for Zayat Stables and will be ridden again by Alan Garcia.
After Later and Joyful Victory head into the Frizette after first-start maiden scores. After Later won by 7 1/4 lengths at Monmouth. The daughter of Orientate is trained by Patrick Biancone for Robert Trussell. Pablo Fragoso rides again.
Joyful Victory, by Tapit , is the only runner in the field to be tested beyond seven furlongs. She won at a mile and 70 yards at Delaware Park Sept. 11 in her only start. Tony Dutrow trains for Fox Hill Farms. C.H. Velasquez is the rider.
“We think she is a grade I filly,” said Dutrow. “She has been promising for the previous two months that she is a special filly. Our expectations have been high.”
$300,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I, Race 8, 4:43 p.m.) 2-year-old fillies, 1 Mile (Dirt)
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