Mt. Vernon Winners Square Off in Yaddo Handicap

(Edited from track report)
Shopping for Love and Eventail, winners of their respective divisions of the Mount Vernon Handicap, meet for the first time in Friday's $75,000-added Yaddo Handicap for New York-Bred fillies and mares racing at nine furlongs over the grass at Saratoga Race Course.

Shopping for Love, owned by Donald George and Denni D'Arcangelo, drew away by four lengths to win the first division of the Mount Vernon for trainer Kenny Nesky. The 5-year-old mare picks up two pounds off that race and retains the services of Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey.

Eventail, owned by Gallagher's Stud, finally won her first race on the grass as she took the second division with a 3 ΒΌ-length decision for trainer Richard Schosberg. Edgar Prado riders her again and she will carry three additional pounds since that race.

After finishing second and third in two attempts on the turf before breaking her maiden on the dirt, Eventail showed signs of being a promising state-bred runner when she won the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes and finished second in the Honey Bee (gr. III) at the Meadowlands.

She was unable to carry that dirt form into her 4-year-old season when she was fourth three times. When Schosberg brought Eventail back to Belmont, he decided to run her back on the turf where she quickly showed improvement.

Her best performance came in the Ticonderoga where she was beaten a head by Ransom's Pride, last year's Yadoo winner.

"Since she raced so well on the dirt as a 3-year-old, we expected her to the same thing last year," Schosberg said. "She was beaten in races where we didn't think she should have been beaten. It took us a while to figure out that we should try her on the grass again. That turned her around."

Shopping For Love was one of the top New York-Bred filly or mare turf specialist last year when she was a game second in the Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont before going to Rockingham Park to win the Spicy Living Handicap.

However, Shopping for Love proved to be disappointing her next two races: the Diana (gr. II) at Saratoga and the Violet Handicap (gr. III) at the Meadowlands.

"She was showing some wear and tear in her front ankles," Nesky said. "We gave her some time off and get herself back together. She appears to be back to herself."

Shopping for Love came back in the spring at Aqueduct in the Broadway Handicap, a sprint on the dirt for New York-Bred fillies and mares, where she never posed a threat and finished fifth. The 5-year-old mare came back nearly two weeks later to finish second in a classified allowance on the grass before finishing last in the Beaugay Handicap (gr. III).

"I ran her in the Broadway to get a race into her," Nesky said. "But she was giving us a hard time at Aqueduct. She just didn't like being there. She was acting up in the paddock and on the track. We brought her to Belmont and she ran a huge race in the Mount Vernon."

As a 3-year-old, Shopping for Love won the Ticonderoga, Busher and Bowerie while finishing second in the Sands Point (gr. III), the Lake George (gr. III) and the Yaddo on the grass.

Wake Up Kiss comes off a nine-month layoff for trainer H. James Bond. The daughter of Cure the Blues has yet to be defeated in three races on the grass, including her last race when she beat Lovely Amanda by a head in the Perfect Arc division of the New York Stallion Series for fillies and mares on the grass at Aqueduct last year.

"She got sick on us when we were getting ready to bring her up from Florida in the spring," Bond said. "Things didn't work out for us where I wanted her to run. So, we waited for this spot. She has been training nicely and we have set her up for this race. We'll see if I am right or wrong."

Based on her workouts, Wake Up Kiss has fully recovered. In her most recent work, Wake Up Kiss posted a five-furlong breeze that went in :59 3/5 over the Oklahoma Turf Course last week.

After two disappointing sprint races against state-breds, Wake Up Kiss quickly excelled on the grass as she broke maiden by four lengths over the Mellon Turf Course at Saratoga in September.

"She has a lot of breeding for the grass," Bond said. "We decided to take a shot. She has really taken a liking to the grass."

About three weeks later at Belmont, Bond had Wake Up Kiss in entry-level allowance conditions for state-breds on the grass before putting her in the New York Stallion Series.

Longingtobeme looks to redeem herself in the Yadoo after just missing by a neck in last year's running for trainer John Morrison. Since then, she has finished third to Eventail in the Mount Vernon.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has Lovely Amanda trying state-bred company again following a second-place finish in the Mount Vernon. After her second-place finish in the New York Stallion Series, Lovely Amanda easily won the Montauk Handicap at Aqueduct.

Rhum comes back to Saratoga where she was unsuccessful in last year's Yadoo for trainer John Servis. This year, the reformed claimer has finished no worse than second in three listed stake races at Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park.

$75,000 Yaddo Handicap
PP. Horse (Jockey), Wgt.
1. Shopping for Love (Jerry Bailey), 122
2. Ma Femme (Julio Pezua), 113
3. Textbook Method (Jose Santos), 115
4. Eventail (Edgar Prado), 120
5. Blue Iris (Mark Guidry), 114
6. Lovely Amanda (John Velazquez), 117
7. Brandala (Jose Espinoza), 116
8. Lady d'Jour (Javier Castellano), 113
9. Indy Mood for Luv (Jorge Chavez), 113
10. Rhum (Mike Luzzi), 122
11. Longingtobeme (Richard Migliore), 115
12. Wake Up Kiss (Pat Day), 116
13ae Beijio (Jean-Luc Samyn), 112
14ae Kawajlain (Jean-Luc Samyn), 112
15 Indy Glory (No rider), 120 (main track only)