Friel's For Real Faces Tougher Test in Next Move

(from Aqueduct report)
Friel's For Real shoots for the second graded stakes win of her career in Friday's $100,000-added Next Move Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on Aqueduct's main track.

The Next Move provides an interesting match-up between Friel's For Real, Daydreaming, and the undefeated Saintliness.

"I don't want to say something stupid and jinx myself, but they're going to know she's in the race," said Friels For Real's Philadelphia Park-based trainer, Ned Allard.

Friel's For Real, who won the Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. III) last May, was one of nine older fillies and mares entered in the Next Move. She is the co-119-pound highweight with Daydreaming and Miss Fortunate.

Friel's For Real, a daughter of Sword Dance, won a high-priced allowance/optional claimer on the main track last April. This season, she is 2 for 3, having won an optional claimer on New Year's Day and the Maryland Racing Media Handicap at Laurel on Feb. 26. Overall, she has won 10 of 18 starts with earnings of more than $330,000.

Her lone defeat this year was a fifth-place finish in Santa Anita's Sunshine Millions Distaff. Allard said the race is one to throw out.

"She shipped out there fine, but it was all over once the gate opened," Allard said. "A horse bolted going into the first turn and she was carried out into the middle of the track. She had little chance after that."

The Next Move will be a step up, taking into account Daydreaming's late season wins in the 2004 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks and Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) and Saintliness' undefeated record.

Friel's For Real breaks from the rail with jockey Abel Castellano Jr.

Saintliness has managed to win all five of her starts going back to late January of 2004. She won her only race over the main Aqueduct track a year ago, taking a second-level allowance as the heavy favorite. Her trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, says this daughter of Holy Bull is one of a kind.

"I don't think I've ever trained one like her," McLaughlin said. "She's such a neat horse to be around. She does everything right."

Saintliness, bred and owned by Frank Stronach, hasn't raced since taking the Affectionately on the Aqueduct inner track Jan. 15.

"She had a splint that was aggravating her," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin says he'd prefer to see her on the lead.

"In horseracing, you always love to have an uncontested lead, but if someone outruns her a little early that's fine," McLaughlin said. "She'll run from anywhere."

Saintliness, to be ridden by Richard Migliore, won her only start going nine furlongs.

Trainer Shug McGaughey will send out Daydreaming, a daughter of A.P. Indy that hit her best stride late last season, finishing second in the Gazelle (gr. I) and winning the Indiana Oaks and Top Flight. Daydreaming, however, was anything but spectacular in her seasonal debut at Gulfstream Park Feb. 26, finishing fourth of five in the Sabin (gr. III) at odds of 3-5.

Daydreaming will get the services of jockey Edgar Prado.

$100,000-added Next Move Handicap (gr. III), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 1/8 miles
1. Friel's For Real, Ned Allard, Abel Castellano Jr., 119
2. Think Fast, Mike Hushion, Cornelio Velasquez, 114
3. Saintliness, Kiaran McLaughlin, Richard Migliore, 117
4. Take Me There, Del Carroll, Pablo Fragoso, 113
5. Grinch, Joe Orseno, Rafael Bejarano, 113
6. Rare Gift, John Kimmel, Stewart Elliott, 116
7. Daydreaming, Shug McGaughey, Edgar Prado, 119
8. Miss Fortunate, Bill Mott, Shaun Bridgmohan, 119
9. Pour It On, Hamilton Smith, Mike Luzzi, 114