Precision set for Champagne; Interest carried over to Hopeful

Spurious Precision emerged from his Grade 2 Saratoga Special victory in good order and will make his next start in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes on October 6 at Belmont Park, trainer Rick Violette confirmed Monday

Spurious Precision emerged from his Grade 2 Saratoga Special victory in good order and will make his next start in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes on October 6 at Belmont Park, trainer Rick Violette confirmed Monday.

"All is well so far," said Violette, who trains the colt for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence. "He walked this morning, and he was a little tired. Our plan is to chill out a bit and have him ready for the Champagne, hopefully have a fresh horse again going into the fall. It pays being nimble though -- sometimes horses just don't cooperate with the best-laid plans."

Violette originally had planned to send Carried Interest, a gutsy debut maiden winner at Belmont on July 5, to the Saratoga Special, but that horse turned up with a sore shin and will be rerouted to the Grade 2 Hopeful on September 3, Violette said.

Instead, Spurious Precision filled in for his stablemate -- also campaigned by Klaravich and Lawrence -- to wheel back from a July 21 maiden victory. Pressed on the lead through early fractions of :21 1/5 and :44 in Sunday's race, Spurious Precision drew clear to win by five lengths under Alan Garcia.

"He broke so sharp, it's awfully difficult to tap on the brakes at that point and give up what came to him so easily, but they certainly put high pressure on him," Violette said. "We got pressed real hard by Southern Honor, and as soon as we put him away, Drum Roll pounced, so there was no breather there.

"I thought the scratch (of morning-line favorite Shanghai Bobby) actually might have hurt me. As much as he was a really nice horse, he would have been the speed to point at. I think (Spurious Precision) will be fine stalking, given his first race, so I think we'll be able to turn down the pilot light a little bit. He's actually probably better running at horses."

Violette was equally impressed by the way the son of High Cotton handled himself off the racetrack on Sunday.

"He's very cool," the trainer said. "In the paddock he was so quiet you were hoping he was OK, and in the winner's circle he was the same way, it looked like he hadn't run."

The colt's good temperament was one of the things that made him attractive to Violette at the 2012 OBS April Sale, where the colt fetched $105,000 from de Meric Sales, agent.

"He was a really well-balanced, good mover, and seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders, kind of in a plain brown wrapper," Violette said. "Nick de Meric was the consigner and his son actually found (Spurious Precision) in a field in Ocala somewhere. 

"Tristan (de Meric) was there to look at some other horses and he kept saying 'Who's that, who's that?' and the guy said 'Eh, he's a cheap one.' He said 'Well, do you mind if I take a look at him?' and pulled him out of the field. That's a pretty good story. I'm very friendly with the de Merics; they're a wonderful family, and Tristan obviously displayed some talent (picking out Spurious Precision)."

Violette added that Carried Interest will likely begin galloping next week for his Hopeful engagement.

"He's going to jog for another week or so," Violette said. "I'll just jog the pants off him. The shin, knock on wood, is really good, and we'll start galloping him in another week. He'll be fit enough to head over across the street (for the Hopeful).

"We're sparing nothing, it's just that jogging doesn't pound on the shin quite as much as galloping does, that's all. Actually, it will be perfect, going to the Hopeful with him, but if the Hopeful had (still) been a Grade 1, we might not have run (Spurious Precision) yesterday. It does alter plans." 

Todd Pletcher reported that Drum Roll, who finished fourth in the Saratoga Special after pressing the pace, returned in good form and is possible for the Hopeful.

"He seemed to come back well," Pletcher said. "He tried hard. It was a good effort for his second start."

Pletcher was delighted with Kauai Katie one day after her 2 3/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Adirondack, describing her condition as "excellent" on Monday morning.

"Really good," Pletcher of the two-year-old Stonestreet filly.

Kauai Katie is now two-for-two at the Spa, having broken her maiden on opening day, but it is unlikely she will try to turn the hat trick in the Grade 1 Spinaway on September 2.

"Chances are we don't run her three times this meet, but nothing is etched in stone," Pletcher said.

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