Frankel Impressed with Ginger Punch

Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel was still amazed with the way Ginger Punch managed to defend her Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) July 26 at Saratoga title by muscling her way between horses after being boxed in at the top of the stretch.

"I was nervous watching the race live," Frankel said. "I didn't know what was going to happen. I thought I was dead. I couldn't believe it. I don't like to be that excited. She's fine and everything was all right this morning."

Ginger Punch, who will be defending her title in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I), formerly the Distaff, at Santa Anita Oct. 24, will "probably" run in the $600,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs at Belmont Sept. 27, said the trainer.

Frankel said he would also look at the grade I, $400,000 Personal Ensign Aug. 22 at Saratoga, a race which is under consideration for Stronach Stables' Spring Waltz, the Rampart (gr. II) winner who was scratched from the Go for Wand.

"Who knows? I could change my mind and run [Ginger Punch] in the Personal Ensign," said Frankel. "There's good money. I think she [Spring Waltz] could have won that race yesterday. She's a nice filly."

Frankel said  Juddmonte Farms' First Defence, second in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. II) to Abraaj,  may run in $250,000 Forego Handicap (gr. II) Aug. 30.

"I thought he ran okay," Frankel said. "He lost position down the backside in the first eight of a mile. I don't know if he would have won the race, but I think it did cost him a length or two when he checked out. If he gets the lead, he can go from there."