A handy winner of Belmont's Matron Stakes (gr. II) last month, undefeated Millionreasonswhy will try to keep it going in the $150,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 14.
Millionreasonswhy, trained by Ignacio Correas IV for Sagamore Farm, is the lone stakes winner in a field of six promising juvenile fillies entered for the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack. In fact, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Grand Slam out of the A.P. Indy mare In Secure is the only entrant to have yet faced winners.
The Adirondack, which is the major stakes prep for Saratoga's Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 4, tops a 10-race program. It is the ninth event on the card with a 5:30 p.m. EDT probable post.
A $115,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase last year, Millionreasonswhy began her career June 11 at Colonial Downs, overcoming a poor start to win by four lengths.
She was overlooked in the July 3 Matron at six furlongs when sent off at odds of 6-1. Millionreasonswhy trailed the field of six on the backstretch before launching an outside bid on the turn. She wore down the pacesetter Say a Novena in the stretch while winning by two lengths.
“Experience makes a big difference for a 2-year-old," Correas said. "I’m expecting a big effort, but I know the company will be different. This field is tough, but my filly is tough, too. She can run from off the pace. In the Matron, she got into traffic, she went four wide and she showed her class.”
Her time in the Matron, 1:12.68, was better than that of Belmont's Futurity winner, Jack's in the Deck, earlier on the card. John Velazquez, who was aboard the bay filly in the Matron, retains the mount. Millionreasonswhy breaks from post 4 with top weight of 122 pounds.
My Miss Aurelia broke her maiden impressively at Saratoga.
The Stonestreet Stables' Kentucky homebred won at first asking July 22 for trainer Steve Asmussen, kicking clear in the lane before winning by one length. The bay daughter of Smart Strike lived up to her $550,000 sales price, zipping 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.59 while earning a field-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure.
My Miss Aurelia was made the 6-5 morning line favorite, with Millionreasonswhy listed at 5-2.
“She’s fast,” said Asmussen, who will retain Julien Leparoux to ride. “She ran once and ran well.”
Anna Sophia, Funny Proposition, and New Wave come into the race off debuting maiden wins.
John Oxley's Funny Proposition overcame a rail draw to lead from gate to wire for trainer Mark Casse in winning at Churchill Downs. The Medaglia d'Oro filly ran an opening quarter-mile in :21.38 and won the six-furlong test by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:10.99.
Siena Racing Stable homebred Anna Sophia, a daughter of Oasis Dream, tallied by three lengths for trainer Bill Mott June 30 at Belmont.
New Wave, a gray/roan daughter of Tale of the Cat trained by Rusty Arnold for G. Watts Humphrey Jr., made her bow at Arlington Park, winning a 5 1/2-furlong dash on Polytrack by a neck.
Since the victory, she has moved to Saratoga and trained well.
“We bought her at Keeneland, and she’s done everything right,” Arnold said. “She had three good works, we’re encouraged and we’re going to run her. She handles the dirt very well, and we don’t see problems with the dirt.”
New York-bred Bellacourt produced a 13-1 upset in her second start July 31, romping by 6 1/4 lengths over state breds at Saratoga in spite of being bumped at the start of the six-furlong test. Trained by James Lawrence II for owner George Autry, the Lion Heart filly ran sixth in her debut at Belmont three weeks earlier. Eddie Castro takes the call.
$150,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, 5:30 p.m.), 2-Year-Old Fillies, 6 1/2 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. New Wave (KY), A O Solis, 118, G R Arnold II
2. Bellacourt (NY), E Castro, 118, J L Lawrence II
3. Funny Proposition (KY), S Bridgmohan, 118, M E Casse
4. Millionreasonswhy (KY), J R Velazquez, 122, I Correas IV
5. My Miss Aurelia (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, S M Asmussen
6. Anna Sophia (KY), J Lezcano, 118, W I Mott