Spice Island surged past favored Volga in the final 150 yards to capture the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/2 miles for fillies and mares on a yielding Aqueduct turf Saturday.
Five years after riding her last race in New York, Julie Krone – the most successful female jockey of all time – returns to the Big Apple on Saturday to pilot Team Valor Stables' Banyu Dewi in the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Aqueduct turf.
Saratoga Notebook: Record Discrepancy; Ashado, Daydreaming Point to Frizette; Volponi Trainer Checking Figures; Man From Wicklow Mending; Mariensky Sore; Possibility Abounds
After some additional research into the records was done by journalist Bill Mooney, it appears likely that trainer Todd Pletcher smashed the 49-year-old Saratoga standard for victories quite a bit earlier than first thought.
Sixty Seconds, who made her North American debut just last month, captured Monday's Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a head over Primetimevalentine at Saratoga. Alternate was just a neck back in third.
Trainer Christophe Clement, whose barn has been hit hard by the poor weather this summer forcing so many races off the Saratoga turf, starts three in Monday's $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 mile.
John Oxley's Snow Dance, winless since April 2002, scored an upset victory over a New York Handicap (gr. II) field that included a three-horse entry from the Bobby Frankel barn on the July 4 holiday card at Belmont Park.
Between the two of them, Christophe Clement and Bobby Frankel train five of the nine entrants in Friday's New York Handicap (gr. IIT).
Hero's Tribute, Sky Mesa, Dynever, and three of Christophe Clement's fillies turned in recent works at Belmont Park.
One thing we know for sure, Mariensky likes the turf about as soft as it can get. Twice in a week, she has won graded stakes over a very soft Belmont Park turf course.
Waterville Lake Stable's 13-1 shot Mariensky scored the biggest win of her career Saturday in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) on a soft grass course at rain-soaked Belmont Park, leaving 3-5 favorite Lilac Queen in her wake.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, often paired with some of racing's leading female turf horses in recent years, finds himself aboard another immensely talented grass runner in Lilac Queen for Saturday's $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Bedanken edged Mariensky by a nose Saturday at Keeneland to win the $115,700 Valley View Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies.
Mariensky has been primed for the Garden City Breeders' Cup (gr. I) spot after her troubled U.S. debut, while Craigsteel would relish a soft going in the Man o' War (gr. IT). The races are Sept. 7-8.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Pletcher's Harlan's Holiday, Invisible Ink Near Returns; Clement Takes His Time; Lukas Breezes Holiday Runner</b>
Harlan's Holiday, off since running fourth in the Preakness May 18, had an easy five-furlong breeze Saturday morning on the Oklahoma Training Track.
Nunatall took the lead with a furlong to go Monday and then held off two challengers for a head victory over Smok'n Frolic in the $115,000 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
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