The grade I Spinaway Stakes for 2-year-old fillies has traditionally helped bring the curtain down on the Saratoga Race Course summer stand—"spinning away back to Belmont Park"—and this year's seven-furlong stakes not only brings together nine able juvenile fillies to help close the meet, but also brings the curtain down on track announcer Tom Durkin's career. Saratoga Race Course, Sunday, August 31, 2014, Race 10
Durkin, who has been calling races at the New York Racing Association since 1990, when champion Meadow Star won the Spinaway on her way to post-season honors, will make his final call in the $350,000 race Aug. 31.
There is talent in this year's Spinaway from the rail out. There are regally-bred pedigreed fillies and fillies that have turned heads in their debuts.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas—who has trained a record five winners of the Spinaway—has a maiden in the field, and his protégée Todd Pletcher, who has three Spinaway winners on his resume, has a pair of strong hopefuls.
Condo Commando broke her maiden by 12 under Joe Bravo in her debut Aug. 3 at the Spa for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The filly, by Tiz Wonderful, is a half sister to the swift Checklist, third in the True North Handicap (gr. III) and 2005 Derby Trial (gr. III). Mike Dubb and K. Valerio paid $72,000 for her as a yearling at last year's Keeneland September sale. she runs for dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and The Elkstone Group.
Angela Renee, trained by Pletcher, is a full sister to Woodward Stakes (gr. I) winner and Gainesway stallion To Honor and Serve. By Bernardini —Pilfer, by Deputy Minister, she comes in off a maiden win and a runner-up effort to a "buzzsaw" in Cavorting in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 10.
Three Chimneys' Lady Zuzu is from the Lukas barn and is from the last crop of Dynaformer. A standout as the sale topper at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale as a $1,225,000 purchase, Lady Zuzu is out of Indy Pick, a half sister to Acorn Stakes (gr. I) winner Finder's Fee and a daughter of grade I winner Fantastic Find. Lady Zuzu was third in her debut Aug. 8, but was beaten only 1 1/2 lengths.
Samantha Siegel's homebred By the Moon (Indian Charlie—By the Light, by Malibu Moon ) was a three-quarter-length maiden winner July 18 for trainer Michelle Nevin. She is the second foal out of New York-bred By the Light, winner of the Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot Princess Stakes in 2007 and a runner-up in the following year's Prioress Stakes (gr. I).
Darling Sky drew clear by 7 1/4 lengths in her Aug. 9 debut at Parx Racing. The daughter of Sky Mesa was a $40,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old find by Swilcan Stable and The Harp Racing Stable from Eisaman Equine, agent. She drilled a half mile over Saratoga's main track in :48.90 Aug. 25.
Coffeepot Stables' Winter Dawn, also by Sky Mesa, broke her maiden at the Spa Aug. 3, scoring by a neck going six furlongs in 1:10.55. Out of Reboot, by Rubiano, and bred by Woodford Thoroughbreds, she is a half to multiple stakes winner Summer Cruise and group I-placed Rebuttal. She brought $185,000 at the Fasig-Tipton preferred sale of New York-bred yearlings last August.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Curalina was a $125,000 Keeneland September sale buy and is Pletcher's second runner in the Spinaway. By Curlin , she ran second in the mud in a six-furlong maiden special weight at the Spa July 27.
Ryabinka, by Sharp Humor, was bred by Bluegrass Hall, the breeder of Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner V. E. Day . The chestnut filly has already made four starts in her young career, all coming in South Florida for Raut and trainer Gennadi Dorochenko. The outsider was seventh in her stakes debut July 12 at Gulfstream Park.
Matt Schera's Bonnie K may be on the outside, but is not an outsider. By the swift Majestic Warrior, Bonnie K is a half sister to Prairie Meadows Derby winner and Indiana Derby (gr. II) placed Karma. Bonnie K comes to Saratoga off a hard-fought neck score first time out at Penn National Race Course. Schera purchased her for $83,000 out of the Ocala Breeders Sales' Co. spring sale from Gayle Woods, agent.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Condo Commando (KY) Joe Bravo 118 Rudy R. Rodriguez - 2 2Angela Renee (KY) John R. Velazquez 118 Todd A. Pletcher - 3 3Lady Zuzu (KY) Luis Saez 116 D. Wayne Lukas - 4 4By the Moon (KY) Jose L. Ortiz 118 Michelle Nevin - 5 5Darling Sky (KY) Cornelio H. Velasquez 118 Robert E. Reid, Jr. - 6 6Winter Dawn (KY) Shaun Bridgmohan 118 Wayne M. Catalano - 7 7Curalina (KY) Javier Castellano 116 Todd A. Pletcher - 8 8Ryabinka (KY) Joseph Rocco, Jr. 118 Gennadi Dorochenko - 9 9Bonnie K (FL) Jose Lezcano 118 James L. Lawrence, II -
Saratoga Race Course, Sunday, August 31, 2014, Race 10