Saratoga Notebook: Numbers Steady; Frankel Reconsiders on You; Another Setback for Ward Barn

Saratoga Notebook: Numbers Steady;  Frankel Reconsiders on You; Another Setback for Ward Barn
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
You, winning the Test Stakes.
With two-thirds of the six-week Saratoga complete, total handle is up 7% compared to last year and the on-track attendance and handle figures mirror the record numbers set during the summer of 2001.

The total attendance of 696,902 at Saratoga for the first 24 days is 0.7 of one percent more that last year. The on-track handle of $76 million is ahead 0.1 of one percent.

The total handle bet on Saratoga racing through Monday's program is $367.6 million.

Pletcher Double-Teams the King's Bishop
Todd Pletcher will have two starters in the King's Bishop (gr. I) Saturday--Smooth Jazz and Folkestone Park. Edgar Prado will ride Smooth Jazz. Pletcher said Tuesday morning he had not selected a rider for Folkestone Park.

Smooth Jazz finished third in an allowance race on Aug. 3 behind Voodoo and Aldebaran.

"It was the toughest three-other-than in the history of racing probably," Pletcher said. "I thought he ran excellent. It was just one of those races where there a lot of graded stakes winners in there and Aldebaran, who was second in the Met Mile, he didn't even win it. It was just one of those super-tough races that when you pick up the overnight you think, `Jeez,
welcome to Saratoga.' It served its purpose. It was a good race for him. Hopefully, it will set him up well for this."

Smooth Jazz was purchased by Michael Tabor after he won the Best Turn at Aqueduct on Feb. 23. The son of Storm Boot made his debut for Pletcher in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and finished 10th of 11 after dueling with Booklet on the lead.

Pletcher said the colt washed out in the paddock and washed out in post parade at Aqueduct before finishing last as the odds-on favorite.

"We learned something," Pletcher said. "He's obviously a horse that needs to run where he's stabled or ship in a little sooner than we shipped him in and school him in the paddock a lot. The last two races have been very good."

Folkestone Park, a $1.15 million yearling purchase, won a Saratoga allowance race by more than lengths on July 27 and is 3-0-1 in five starts.

Frankel Reconsiders Decision on You
Trainer Bobby Frankel said Tuesday morning that he is reconsidering his decision to give multiple-graded stakes winner You the rest of the year off. After talking with NYRA racing secretary Mike Lakow, Monday, Frankel said that depending on the field he may run You in the Ruffian (gr. I) at Belmont Park in September.

Prado, Mott are Meet Leaders
Taking advantage of a slow week by Jerry Bailey, the seven-time riding champion at Saratoga, Edgar Prado moved to the top of the riding standings. Prado has 36 winners, four more than Bailey.

According to New York Racing Association statistics for the fourth week of the meeting, Prado had 13 winners from 43 starters. Bailey had two winners from 15 starters. He was out of town for two days, competing Saturday at Arlington Park in the International Turf Festival and Sunday at Monmouth Park in the Iselin Handicap.

Bill Mott is the leading trainer with 14 wins from 64 starts. Todd Pletcher has 11 winners from 59 starters.

Minor Setbacks for Forest Secrets, Bold Truth
Minor physical problems will prevent Forest Secrets and Bold Truth, trained by John and Donna Ward, from competing in weekend
stakes.

A sprain of the left front ankle will keep Debby Oxley's multiple stakes winner Forest Secrets out of the Personal Ensign (gr. I) on Friday.

Bold Truth will miss the King's Bishop (gr. I) Saturday due to a lung infection. In his most recent start, Bold Truth was third in the Amsterdam (gr. II) on Aug. 3.

Forest Secrets, a 4-year-old Forest Wildcat filly, was in contention early in the Go for Wand (gr. I) on July 28 when jockey Pat Day felt her take what he thought was a bad step. He did little more than galllop her home the final five-sixteenths of a mile and she finished fifth in the field of seven.

"She just has an ankle that she twisted a little bit in the last race, the Go for Wand, when they backed out of there," Donna Ward said Tuesday. "So she will not run in the Personal Ensign. When she came back she felt good and galloped good. It's just a little bit of a sprain and we don't want to take a chance on making it worse."

Donna Ward said the filly is walking under tack, but isn't in hard training. "If she goes out there and twists it again, then you've got a big problem instead of a small problem."

A lung infection was discovered in Bold Truth following his most recent work. Many of the horses in the Wards' barn, including all nine of their 2-year-olds, have been sick during the meet.

"He was scoped three days ago and there was just a lot of junk in there. I don't know if it's come from the babies. It's just one of those things. He's not coughing or anything and he's galloping, but it is there, so he will not run."

Donna Ward said that Perfectly Stunning, the New York-bred purchased as a yearling for $1.2 million in 2000, may make her racing debut Friday against other state-bred maidens. Perfectly Stunning was scheduled to make her first start during the Churchill Downs spring meet, but injured a hoof a couple of days before the race.

Multiple stakes winner Snow Dance is scheduled to race Saturday in the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup that is part of the Travers Day program. Snow Dance pressed the pace in the Diana (gr. II) on July 27, dropped back briefly under jockey Pat Day then rallied to finish third, beaten a nose and a length.

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