Discreetly Mine, entering off an impressive graded sprint win last out, returns as the horse to beat in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 2 at Saratoga.
E. Paul Robsham Stables’ Discreetly Mine dispatched of a solid field of in the Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) July 4 at Monmouth Park when scoring as the favorite, and now seeks his third graded win of the year against nine 3-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. The son of Mineshaft will break from post 5 while carrying top weight of 123 pounds. John Velazquez will ride for Todd Pletcher.
Discreetly Mine became a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender when he won the Feb. 20 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. Two starts later, after finishing 13th in the Derby, Pletcher cut him back to seven furlongs in the June 5 Woody Stephens (gr. II), where he was runner-up to D’ Funnybone. He came from off the pace one month later to take the six-furlong Jersey Shore by 1 1/4 lengths.
“He’s the kind of horse that does a lot of things well,” said Pletcher, who won the Amsterdam with Quality Road last season. “His last two races sprinting have been good. That’s not to say we won’t stretch him out down the road, but hopefully this will be a springboard to the King’s Bishop (gr. I, Aug. 28).”
The bay colt, out of the Private Account mare Pretty Discreet, is 3-4-0 from 11 starts with earnings of $559,350.
Audre and Gordon Cappuccitti’s Essence Hit Man enters off a victory in the Achievement Stakes at Woodbine, his second black-type victory of the year. The speedy Speightstown gelding has gone wire-to-wire in all five of his lifetime starts. But this will be his first start on dirt, as all nine of his tries have come on either Polytrack or turf at Woodbine. Chantal Sutherland will have the mount.
Trainer John Terranova will send out General Maximus off his runner-up finish in the restricted Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont on June 20. The son of Freud has won three of five lifetime starts, including an allowance victory over eventual Pegasus (gr. III) winner Alfeet Express in an allowance race in January at Gulfstream Park. Two starts back he won the New York Stallion Times Square Stakes at Belmont. Edgar Prado has the call.
“In the Amsterdam, we’re going to see how he stacks up against the better 3-year-old sprinters,” said Terranova, who trains General Maximus for Michael Imperio. “I thought he ran very well in his first two races off the farm, and I think he’s sitting on a big race. We are hoping to shoot for the King’s Bishop.”
$150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:56 p.m.), 3YO, 6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Catalan (KY), P Fragoso, 115, P L Biancone
2. Make Note (NY), E S Prado, 121, G Weaver
3. Latigo Shore (KY), C H Borel, 115, N P Zito
4. Essence Hit Man (ON), C Sutherland, 121, A Cappuccitti
5. Discreetly Mine (KY), J R Velazquez, 123, T A Pletcher
6. Backtrack (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, M R Scherer
7. In Jack's Memory (KY), M Mena, 115, E J Guillot
8. Safe Trip (KY), J Lezcano, 115, E Kenneally
9. General Maximus (NY), J Castellano, 121, J P Terranova, II
10. Rule by Night (KY), S Bridgmohan, 115, S M Asmussen