AZ Azalea Stable's Offlee Wild was on the Saratoga main track Friday morning for a workout for trainer Juan Rodriguez, who has been taking over the training responsibilities of Richard Dutrow Jr. Dutrow will return to Saratoga on Monday after serving a 60-day suspension handed down in New York.
With regular rider Edgar Prado aboard, Offlee Wild breezed six furlongs in 1:13 3/5. The recent Suburban Handicap (gr. I) winner went :36 for three furlongs and :48 for four furlongs. The 5-year-old, along with stablemate Saint Liam, is being pointed for the $750,000 grade I Whitney Handicap at nine furlongs Aug. 6.According to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, only one of Dutrow's horses is expected to start, depending on the weather. Saint Liam, winner of the grade I Donn and Stephen Foster handicaps earlier this year, will be the likely starter if the track is dry. Offlee Wild is expected to run only if the track is wet.Another Whitney nominee, Klarvich Stable's Swingforthefences, last year's Iowa Derby winner, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 over the main track. The 4-year-old last raced in the seven-furlong Tom Fool (gr. II) July 17, finishing fourth as the favorite."The Whitney is a possibility," said trainer Rick Violette. "We'll see how he trains over the next week and what the field is looking like."Swingforthefences suffered an "ugly" quarter crack following his second-place Westchester finish Opening Day at Belmont, his last race before the Tom Fool."I thought I had him pretty right going into the Tom Fool," Violette said. "He just didn't handle the wet track in the Tom Fool. He switched leads five times down the backstretch."
If Swingforthefences does not go in the Whitney, Violette said another goal for the colt could be the grade I, $250,000 Forego at seven furlongs Sept. 3.