Edited track releaseLike most trainers halfway through this year's Saratoga meet, Todd Pletcher has experienced his fair share of satisfaction and frustration. Still, he again leads the training standings with 14 winners, including three graded stakes winners, heading into Wednesday's card."Obviously, we were pleased with the first week," Pletcher said. "But the second and third week have been disappointing. It has been frustrating--we haven't been able to get some horses into races and others haven't been running well. Hopefully, this will cycle around."Hoping to turn the cycle the right way is Ready's Gal, who she leads a field of six, 3-year-old fillies in Friday's Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) at nine furlongs on the turf.Ready's Gal is just one of the graded stakes winners Pletcher has at the Saratoga meet. His others were Travers (gr. I)-bound Flower Alley, who won the Jim Dandy (gr. II), and last year's 3-year-old filly champion Ashado (gr. I), who is being pointed towrd the Personal Ensign (gr. I) next week after her recent score in the Go for Wand (gr. I).The James Scatuorchio-owned Ready's Gal not only won the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIIT) three weeks ago, she has yet to be defeated at Saratoga--on both dirt and turf.As a 2-year-old, the daughter of More Than Ready , who was also owned by Scatuorchio and trained by Pletcher to win the 1999 Sanford (gr. II) and the 2000 King's Bishop (gr. I), won her debut and a first-level allowance race here last summer. Pletcher took the chance of running her in the Frizette (gr. I) where she just missed--by three-quarters of a length--to Balletto.Ready's Gal, bred in Kentucky by Alex Rankin and Louis Wright, is out of the Nasty and Bold mare Exquisite Miss. She was a $120,000 Keeneland September sale graduate.The beginning of her 3-year-old season was far from her 2-year-old form. Ready's Gal never ran her race in two second-level allowance races. At that point, Pletcher decided to try her on the turf and "she has become a different horse."Before she ran on the turf, Pletcher was impressed with the way she had been training over the course. Working in tandem with Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) winner English Channel, Ready's Gal never let her stablemate get ahead of her."She held her own against English Channel," Pletcher said. "That alone gave me an indication how she was going handle the turf."John Velazquez, who is battling for the Saratoga title with Edgar Prado, will be riding Ready's Gal again. However, Ready's Gal is expected to face solid competition from My Typhoon and Victory Lap.Live Oak Plantation's My Typhoon comes back to Saratoga where she won her debut on the lead from start to finish on the turf course at 2.
After winning her first start, My Typhoon was labeled a future stakes winner, based on her pedigree and sale price. A daughter of Giant's Causeway and 1993 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Urban Sea (by the late Miswaki), My Typhoon is a half-sister to European champion Galileo, who won the Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and Irish Derby (Ire-I), as well as the George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I). She was a $2.9 million sales purchase out of the 2002 foal sale at Tattersalls in England.The two races My Typhoon lost were against Melhor Ainda at Belmont Park: the Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-olds and the Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds. Melhor Ainda finished third behind Angara and stablemate Megahertz in a blanket finish in the Beverly D. (gr. IT) last Saturday at Arlington Park."She's the type of filly that needs space between her races," said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. "She needs time to develop, which she has done well. She keeps showing improvement in each race. If she runs here, she's in with a chance."Since that race, My Typhoon has won two of four races, including her most-recent victory in the Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs, where she held off Masseuse to win by a neck. "That race really impressed me," Mott said. "She showed a lot of courage and determination."Victory Lap arrived at trainer Robert Barbara's barn last Saturday after spending three months in Texas with trainer Cole Norman. The daughter of 1997 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Touch Gold has won five straight races with her most-recent victory being the most-impressive in the Lone Star Oaks in on July 4th weekend.Victory Lap trailed by as many as eight lengths in the first half before making a sweeping moving around the far turn and drawing off to win by 141/4 lengths.Since Victory Lap arrived at Saratoga, Barbara has considered his role "routine" in training the filly for the Lake Placid."She has run 12 times and she knows what she's here for," Barbara said. "My job is getting her ready for this race by keeping her relaxed and following through with her routine schedule."In the spring, John Pucek of Kentucky purchased Victory Lap from her breeder, G. Watts Humphrey Jr."She's talented and has some class," Barbara said. "We'll see how much she has against these fillies. Hopefully, she will run well enough where I can bring her to Belmont for a couple of nice grass races in the fall."Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT), Saratoga, $150,000, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/8 miles, turf, approx. post 4:47 p.m. EDTPP - Horse - Wgt. - Jockey
1 - Ready's Gal - 120 - John Velazquez
2 - My Typhoon - 118 - Jerry Bailey
3 - Capitulation - 116 - Eibar Coa
4 - Naissance Royale - 116 - Edgar Prado
5 - Wait It Out - 116 - Jean-Luc Samyn
6 - Victory Lap - 118 - Robby Albarado