Forty Tales , trained by Todd Pletcher, and Declan's Warrior , trained by Nick Zito, will square off again in the $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) July 28 at Saratoga Race Course following their one-two finish in the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II).
Forty Tales outfought his rival to win by three-quarters of a length in the June 8 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park.
Both colts like to come from off the pace and possess powerful closing kicks. Although Forty Tales was victorious last time, Declan’s Warrior, who had won the Bay Shore (gr. III) and Gygistar stakes, had a ton of trouble in the race.
Forty Tales’ big moment prior to the Woody Stephens was his victory in the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. Both colts are 4-for-6 lifetime and as consistent as the come, finishing in the money in 11 of their 12 combined starts.
Joel Rosario returns aboard Forty Tales, who breaks from post 2 in the seven-horse field, and Jose Lezcano, who will be right outside him in post 3, will again be on Declan’s Warrior.
There is plenty of other competition in the 6 1/2-furlong prep for the King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I), to be run Travers day, Aug. 24.
Rainbow Heir, a Monmouth Park shipper trained by Ben Perkins Jr., is undefeated in four career starts and is coming off a five-length romp in the six-furlong Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) July 4, earning a strong 101 Beyer figure. The son of Wildcat Heir will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo and break from post 6.
Breaking on the far outside is the Steve Asmussen-trained Mico Margarita, who has found his best form with the addition of blinkers and is coming off a 4 1/2-length score in the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Calder Casino & Race Course July 6.
Rounding out the field are Mentor Cane, Salutos Amigos, and Cat Five Hurricane. Mentor Cane was a five-length maiden winner at Belmont last time out for trainer John Shirreffs and owners Jerry and Ann Moss. The son of Mizzen Mast will be making only his fourth career start and breaks from the rail under Edgar Prado.
Salutos Amigos, trained by Eric Guillot, looked like any kind breaking his maiden at Santa Anita Park in fast time, but has failed in three subsequent stakes appearances and finished fourth in the Bay Shore Stakes.
Cat Five Hurricane has only sixth in Calder’s Big Drama Stakes and has won two of 16 career starts. Trainer Barry Rose has a reputation for running his horses often and putting them in ambitious spots. If there is anything positive to say about the son of Cowtown Cat , it is that he’s in the best form of his career, finishing first and third, respectively, in his last two starts in allowance company at Calder.
$200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II, Race 10, 5:45 p.m.), 3YOs, 6 1/2 Furlongs
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Mentor Cane (KY), E.S. Prado, 117, J. Shirreffs
2. Forty Tales (KY), J. Rosario, 123, T. Pletcher
3. Declan’s Warrior (KY), J. Lezcano, 123, N. Zito
4. Salutos Amigos (KY), J.L. Ortiz, 117, E. Guillot
5. Cat Five Hurricane (FLA), C. Velasquez, 117, B. Rose
6. Rainbow Heir (NJ), E. Trujillo, 123, B. Perkins Jr.
7. Mico Margarita (KY), R. Santana Jr. 123, S. Asmussen