Repent, finished second in the Travers.

Repent, finished second in the Travers.

Anne M. Eberhardt

<b>Saratoga Notebook:</b> Repent Shows He's Ready for Gold Cup; Still No Answer in Warners' Case; Veitch Returns; Stakes Runners Work

Travers (gr.I) runner-up Repent is being pointed for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr.I) on Sept. 28, trainer Kenny McPeek said Wednesday.

"He's going to Belmont Park," McPeek said. "If he's doing well, he'll go in the Gold Cup."

Repent returned to the track Wednesday morning. McPeek's assistant, Helen Pitts, rode the Louis Quatorze colt and described him as "phenomenal" after he jogged two miles.

"He's very happy," Pitts said.

"He was bucking and playing," McPeek said. "He's in very good order right now."

Repent returned from a 140-day layoff after surgery to remove a chip from his left ankle to finish second by a half-length to Medaglia d'Oro in the Travers.

The morning after the Travers, McPeek said he wasn't sure if he would race Repent prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr.I) on Oct. 26. Since the colt, owned by Feye Bach, has rebounded so well from the Travers, there is a greater likelihood he will race in the Gold

Warners' Illness Remain Mystery

Todd Pletcher said that the autopsy on Warners this week did not determine what was the cause of illness that led to the 3-year-old being euthanized on Aug. 20.

Warners was sent to an equine clinic after diarreha showed that he was becoming sick. Though the intestinal problem, believed to be the result of a bacterial infection, appeared to be under control, the colt developed laminitis.

On August 12, the Pletcher-trained stakes-winning filly
Freedom's Daughter died from an illness diagnosed as Colitis X.

Pletcher said that salmonella was ruled out a few days after Warners' death.

"Further tests show that it is not clostridium," Pletcher said. "That's the way I was thinking it was.

"I think we're back at square one, where they're running more tests. Unfortunately we're back in that same situation where they don't know.

"It's very alarming. To not know is kind of the worst thing. Hopefully they're continue to do some tests and get to the bottom of it."

John Veitch Returns to Stakes Company

Veteran trainer John Veitch will have a stakes runner for the first time in several years Friday when maiden winner Vasquez runs in the Spinaway (gr.I).

Vasquez' victory by a nose on Aug. 15 was Veitch's first New York winner since Dec. 1998. For part of the four years he was retired. He also spent more than a year training in Saudia Arabia.

Veitch said he wasn't sure when he last saddled a stakes winner.

"Oh, God, I don't know," he said Wednesday. "I can't remember the last time I ran in a stake. But I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning."

According to New York Racing Association statistics, Veitch's last stakes winner at Saratoga was Plenty of Grace in the 1992 Diana Handicap (gr.II).

Vazquez won a stretch duel in her only start. On Tuesday morning, the Shortleaf Stable filly, who is a daughter of freshman sire Coronado's Quest,worked a bullet four furlongs in :46.62.

"She has a tremendous turn of foot," Veitch said. "I don't know how far she'll go. Of course, we don't know anything about Corondo's Quest from the standpoint of how good a stallion he's going to be. But this filly has some ability and she has the courage to be a useful horse.

"Actually, she reminds me very much of a very nice filly that I had years ago, Before Dawn, that I had for Calumet back in the '80s, although this filly has shown brilliance from the very beginning. Before Dawn I thought nothing of until we ran her the first time. But this filly showed me a little bit in the
morning beforehand."

Before Dawn won the Spinaway for Veitch in 1981.

Veitch acknowledged he was looking forward to getting back into a top-level competition.

"It never gets to be old hat," he said. "It's always
exciting.The exciting thing is not the stake, it's being with the horse. It's part of my life and I love the horse. To have your hands on something that might be pretty nice is always a lot of fun."

Stakes Runners in Tuesday Workouts

Several stakes horses were on the NYRA worktab Tuesday

At Aqueduct, Bella Bellucci breezed seven furlongs in 1:26 4/5. She was caught in :36 3/5 for the final three furlongs. Trainer Neil Drysdale has nominated the French Deputy filly to the Woodward (gr.I), where she would face older males like Lido Palace, and to the Gazelle (gr I.), for 3-year-old fillies.

Both are scheduled for Sept. 7.

However, Drysdale said Bella Bellucci is headed for the Gazelle and will be ridden by Jerry Bailey. In seven career starts, Bella Bellucci has a record of five wins and two seconds.

Sword Dancer (gr.I) winner With Anticipation breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5.

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard said the 7-year-old gray horse will have one more breeze before running in the Man o'War (gr.I) on Sept. 7. Last year, With Anticipation followed his Sword Dancer win with a victory in the Man o'War.

Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth (gr.I) winner Booklet had his first workout of the summer, breezing four furlongs in :52. Trainer John Ward said he has not decided where the colt will make his next start.

Among the horses working Wednesday morning were Mariensky, who breezed a half-mile on the training track in :52.51. A troubled third in the Lake George (gr.III), Mariensky has been nominated to the Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap(gr.I) on Sept. 8 by trainer Christophe Clement.

Saint Verre turned in a bullet five-furlong work in :59.45 for trainer Allen Jerkens. It was the fastest of 26 works at the distance The early pace-setter in the Whitney, Saint Verre has been nominated to the Woodward.

Storm Flag Flying, the 2-year-old Storm Cat filly out of My Flag, turned in a bullet workouts of :36.81 for three furlongs over the Oklahoma training track.

Bowling Green Handicap (gr.II) winner Whitmore's Conn breezed four furlongs over the Oklahoma turf course. Trainer Randy Schulhofer said the 4-year-old will bypass the Man o' War and return in another race in the fall.