Moment Is Right won the Astoria Stakes at Belmont by 1 1/2 lengths on June 4.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Moment Is Right won the Astoria Stakes at Belmont by 1 1/2 lengths on June 4.
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Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta

Moment Is Right Seeks Schuylerville Score

Top three from Astoria Stakes in July 24 for first graded event of Saratoga season.

The $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) kicks off the action at Saratoga Race Course July 24 as part of a loaded opening day card, and to quote Stefon of Saturday Night Live fame, this race "has everything."

Two Wesley Ward trainees, two from the barn of Steve Asmussen, a hot Todd Pletcher maiden winner, and one for first-time Saratoga trainer Keith Desormeaux make up most of the eight-horse field for the six-furlong test for juvenile fillies, which goes as the first graded stakes race of the upstate New York oval's 2015 season with an approximate post time of 2:39 p.m. ET.

Leading the group is Ten Broeck Farm's Moment Is Right, 1 1/2-length winner of the June 4 Astoria Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  went gate to wire in the race for Ward off an 8 1/2-length airing over males upon her debut going 4 1/2 furlongs May 15 in a $48,000 maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park.

Moment Is Right ships in from Keeneland, where she last breezed a bullet five furlongs July 17 in :59 3/5. Joel Rosario gets the call from post 6 aboard the 121-pound topweight; all others carry 119 pounds.

The other half of the uncoupled Ward duo is Mark Dodson's Banree, who needs to rebound off a fifth in the Tremont Stakes June 5 at Belmont.

"They're doing really well. Both are coming into the race great, so we'll see what happens," Ward said. "I don't know what happened (to Banree in the Tremont). She's always kind of been pretty quick out of the gate, but she was really compromised and lost all chance. (Moment Is Right) has been super. Going into the race it's a toss-up as to which one's better, that's for sure, and I'd even lean the other way a little bit. A lot of it has to do with the trip and what have you, but they're both pretty talented 2-year-old fillies."

Banree, a daughter of Macho Uno , was making her second start after breaking her maiden by four lengths against the boys April 16 at Keeneland over 4 1/2 furlongs in a maiden special weight worth $50,000. Rafael Hernandez rides from the outside.

Desormeaux has Astoria runner-up Decked Out, who was favored in that race but pressed the pace three wide and never was able to catch the winner. By Street Boss , she broke her maiden May 7 at Santa Anita Park in a $56,000 4 1/2-furlong event. The trainer's brother, Kent Desormeaux, has the mount from the inside.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will run the priciest filly in the race; Mathis Stable's Positively Royal, a $325,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase. The daughter of Bernardini  was a 3 1/2-length winner first out going five furlongs at Belmont in a $75,000 maiden special weight June 18, winning despite bumping at the start and going four wide into upper stretch. Javier Castellano gets the return call from the 7 hole.    

"She's a very professional filly," Pletcher said. "She trained at my dad's all winter and trained very well. She was one of the first ones to come in. She ran to expectations first time out and has trained accordingly since then. We've been fortunate over the years to have some nice fillies in here, and I think she is of that same caliber."

Pletcher has won the Schuylerville five times (2002, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2014) and gone on to take Saratoga's training title in each of those years.

Steve Asmussen has Ron Winchell's Tapit  filly Areolite in this spot and will also send out William and Corinne Heiligbrodt's well-traveled One Minute, by Run Away and Hide .

One Minute has already raced at Woodbine (seventh in the June 28 My Dear Stakes on synthetic last out), Belmont (third in the Astoria), Churchill Downs, where she broke her maiden by 7 1/4 lengths going five furlongs in a $44,000 event May 14, and Keeneland. Corey Lanerie has the call from post 5.

Areolite makes her third start , coming off a third in the six-furlong Debutante June 27 at Churchill. She is the only runner of the group to have tried the six-furlong distance before. When she broke her maiden May 21 at Churchill in a $48,000 maiden special weight, it was with a solid three-wide move after pressing the pace.

Off the Tracks and Little Miss Miss, both recent maiden winners making their second starts, complete the field.

Entries: Schuylerville S. (G3)

Saratoga Race Course, Friday, July 24, 2015, Race 4

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $150,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 2:39 PM (local)
11Decked Out (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKent J. Desormeaux119J. Keith Desormeaux-
22Little Miss Miss (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateMaria Remedio119Robert E. Reid, Jr.-
33Areolite (KY)Julien R. Leparoux119Steven M. Asmussen-
44Off the Tracks (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez119Roderick R. Rodriguez-
55One Minute (KY)Corey J. Lanerie119Steven M. Asmussen-
66Moment Is Right (KY)Joel Rosario121Wesley A. Ward-
77Positively Royal (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano119Todd A. Pletcher-
88Banree (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Manuel Hernandez119Wesley A. Ward-