Saratoga Notebook: All Good With Silver Wagon; Decision Due on Trust n Luck; Big Pick 6 Closing; America America Update; Educating Birdstone; Champagne for Chapel Royal

By Mike Kane and Phil Janack
After attending church in Saratoga Springs Sunday morning, trainer Ralph Ziadie visited Barn 30 to check on Silver Wagon the winner of the Hopeful (gr. I) on Saturday.

"He came out good," Ziadie said. " Everything was good."

Silver Wagon, who is out of the first crop of the 9-year-old sire Wagon Limit, was purchased by Mahmoud Fustok's Buckram Oak Farm for $120,000 in February at the Calder 2-year-old in training sale.

Ziadie said he was not wavering from his decision to take the colt back to his base at Calder Race Course and bypass the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Oct. 25.

"Not this year," Ziadie said. "They've been calling. People have beeen asking. Not this year.

"He's come out of the race good and when we go back to Florida, Mr. Foustok and I will sit down together and discuss plans. He may not run again this year. We point him straight to the Fountain of Youth (gr. I) next year, or there's a race in December at Calder going a mile and sixteenth. Maybe I can talk Mr. Foustok into using that as a prep for the Fountain of Youth. That's something we will decide as we go on down the line."

No Juvenile winner has come back to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Ziadie wants to have a fresh horse heading into the Triple Crown prep races. He said Silver Wagon is plenty seasoned after three races.

"This horse is very mature. He does everything right," Ziadie said. " He's not the type of horse that you're going to have to need to run him."

After Silver Wagon ran a troubled second in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race at Calder on June 28, Ziadie called NYRA racing secretary Mike Lakow to tell him he was looking for a seven-furlong maiden race at the beginning of the meet. Ziadie said Lakow told him the first one was on Aug. 8.

"I said, `Fine, that will do,'" Ziadie said. "Our main objective was to run in there and back in the Hopeful. We were pointing to the Hopeful for that race."

After entries were taken, Ziadie said Buckram Oak officials asked him to consider skipping the race because Nick Zito had put two of the farm's 2-year-old in the race, Eurosilver and Mahzouz.

"I told him no, I didn't want to," Ziadie said. "I came here with that objective, to run here and point to the Hopeful. I thought that he would have wanted a race over the track and he is improving every day."

Zito scratched Mahzouz and Eurosilver ran second to Silver Wagon by 7 1/2 lengths.

Trust N Luck had Surgery
Ziadie said Sunday that Fountain of Youth (gr. I) winner Trust N Luck has undergone surgery to repair a suspensory injury in his left front leg.

The 3-year-old colt was found to have the injury on Aug. 19, the day after he turned in his final work for the King's Bishop (gr. I). Ziadie said the son of Montbrook owned by Einar Robsham was sent to veterinarian Dr. Alan Nixon.

"I spoke with Dr. Nixon after surgery and he is very confident that he will come back 100 percent," Ziadie said. "Mr. Robsham is not sure what he's going to do. As we go on down the line, I presume we will discuss it. I think this horse will come back 100 percent and I hope he doesn't retire him."

Big Closing Day Pick 6
Monday's closing day Pick 6 – which must be paid out – has two-day carryover of $390,590.

On Sunday, only two of the 11 races on the program were won by favorites. In the Pick 6, Aldebaran ($5.20) in the Forego (gr. I) was the shortest price. The only other winner who paid less than $10 in the Pick 6 was Sforza ($7.40) in the sixth race, the opening leg.

The 45 consolation winners each received $2,161.

America America Aims for Natalma
Trainer Franck Mourier said that America America was scratched from the Spinaway (gr. I) on Friday because the 2-year-old filly did not eat properly the morning of the race.

Mourier said America America was fine on Saturday and he expects her to be able to run in the Natalma (Can–III) Sept. 6 at Woodbine.

America America began her career at Gulfstream in April and raced in England and Germany during the summer before returning to North America.

Birdstone Better Off for Hopeful Drubbing
Though his well-regarded colt was beaten decisively in Saturday's Hopeful, trainer Nick Zito felt that Birdstone would be better for the experience.

Owned by Saratoga socialite Marylou Whitney, Birdstone ran fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by long shot Silver Wagon in the Hopeful. A half-brother to multiple stakes winner Bird Town, Birdstone was 2 1/2 lengths behind Chapel Royal, who was second as the heavy favorite.

It was just the second career start for Birdstone, who was impressive in his Aug. 2 debut, winning by 12 1/2 lengths.

"I think this was good. He came back fine, knock wood," Zito said Sunday. "I think we'll keep building on it. Obviously, it's a broken record by now, but it was just his second race. There's some positives in this.

"Unfortunately, it was a competitive field, and it didn't break the way I thought. I thought we'd be laying last and come with a run. I thought we'd make a big run and he didn't do that. He was hung up six wide all the way around the track. He had the worst trip."

Typically conservative with his young horses, Zito said he is tentatively eyeing the Champagne (gr. I) Oct. 4 at Belmont, and hadn't ruled out the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).

"The Whitneys don't like running their 2-year-olds a lot. It would have to be a good start," Zito said. "I would say we'd definitely look at the Champagne now because that's what we talked about last night. If everything comes up good and he's doing well, that might be a good idea. If not, we'll just wait. That's all we can do.

"This particular horse, because it's owned by them, I'd have to go slow. I know they put a bigger purse up for the (Juvenile), but they're more inclined to think about the horse. They may be in a better position than most people, but they are also horse lovers, which puts them in a better position to be in a better position. We'll play it by ear. I'll do what they want, and they want what's best for the horse."