Ever since she was claimed last autumn, Successful Sarah has made steady improvement. Except for one troubled trip, the 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly has perked up to win three of her last four starts.
Her next assignment will be in the$100,000 Next Move (gr. III) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs at Aqueduct March 28. The contest drew a field of six and is the last graded stakes on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track this season. It will go to post as race nine at 4:50 p.m. EDT.
Trainer John Terranova has had Successful Sarah for both of her Big A starts, and was so impressed by her last race, a head victory in a starter handicap Feb. 20, that he immediately targeted the Next Move.
“After she won her last two races at Gulfstream, (IEAH Stable and Pegasus Holding Group) bought her privately,” Terranova said. “That was in December, and the first race she ran for us (Jan. 30) was a throwout. The track was kind of heavy that day – kind of drying out – and she never got her footing.”
Her most recent start, according to Terranova, was a truer picture of Successful Sarah.
“They didn’t lay off her at all in that race,” he said. “She had to fight every step of the way, and she wound up winning. I thought that was a very gutsy effort by her, and she came out of that race fantastic.
“I really like the way she has been training, and I think a mile and an eighth won’t be a problem for her. I think she will love the distance, and I know (jockey) Eddie (Castro) feels the same way. He worked her and he knows she’s a nice filly.”
Successful Sarah will break from the rail and carry 119 pounds.
Highweight at 120 pounds is Chevalier Stable’s Weathered, who has helped trainer Karl Grusmark to a solid winter season at Aqueduct. The 4-year-old, New York-bred daughter of Key Contender is in excellent form, and had a big effort in winning the nine-furlong Rare Treat Feb. 21 at Aqueduct. That day, she broke sharply and when asked, skipped away to a 7 1/4-length victory in 1:49.84.
What was especially impressive that day was that Weathered had to weather a couple of pre-race distractions before facing the longest race of her career. A loose shoe forced Rap Tale back to the saddling area. Once that problem was corrected, the race was delayed even longer when the bridle came off of longshot Vladimira.
“All that stuff before the race got her a little worked up, but when I got back on her, she settled down,” said jockey Mike Luzzi, who will ride her again from post five.
Also doing well of late is Morris Bailey and Team Valor International’s Winning Point, a 5-year-old Point Given mare who has a 4-5-0 record from 10 lifetime starts. She made her seasonal debut March 8, and was an easy 4 1/2-length winner of the one-mile Am Capable. Winning Point is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.