John's Call Tops New York Workout Tab

From the New York Racing Association
Trillium Stable's John's Call breezed four furlongs on the main track in :49 3/5 this morning, as the 10-year-old gelding seeks back-to-back victories in the Sword Dancer Invitational. John's Call became of the top turf horses in the country last year when he drew off to win by 9< lengths="" in="" the="" sword="" dancer.="" />

The Grade 1 Sword Dancer is worth $500,000 and will be run at 1= miles on August 11th. The alternate list of invitees and weights will be out on Monday. John's Call is following the same schedule he did in last year's Sword Dancer. In his lone race this year, John's Call won the Cape Henlopen at Delaware Park by 1= lengths for trainer Tommy Voss.

Along with his Sword Dancer victory, John's Call also won the Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. He was also fourth in the Man O' War at Belmont and ninth in the Japan Cup in Tokyo.

Twilite Farms' Gaviola posted a 1:01 breeze for five furlongs for trainer William Turner. Gaviola is coming off a second-place finish to England's Legend in the Grade 2 New York Handicap at Belmont on July 14.

Gaviola won six consecutive races last year - including the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup at Belmont. This year, Gaviola has come back to win the Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct and the finished second in the Suwanee River Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Gaviola is nominated to the Grade 3, $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup handicap for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf here on Sunday, August 12th.

Dogwood Stable's Trippi and Michael Tabor's Left Bank worked in tandem this morning over the Saratoga main track for trainer Todd Pletcher as both breezed five furlongs in :59 4/5 - the best workout for that distance. Neither horse has raced since the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont on May 28th.

"Both of them looked good on the track," Pletcher said. "We are trying to get both of them back on track. I know neither horse cared for the track in the Metropolitan. They had a hard time handling the gooey, muddy track. Both horses should have a race here at sometime during the meet." While Pletcher could not confirm Left Bank's next race, he did note that Trippi is being pointed for the Grade 1, $250,000 Forego Handicap at six and a half furlongs on September 1st.

Last year, Trippi finished third in the Grade 3 Amsterdam here at Saratoga before going on to take the Grade 1 Vosburgh. He was also ninth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Trippi's best finish this year came in his four-year-old debut when he was second in the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Left Bank won an allowance race impressively before pressing the pace and finished fourth to More Than Ready in last year's King Bishop at Saratoga. Pletcher then had the son of French Deputy stretching out to take the Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct.

Left Bank started his four-year-old season with a victory in an allowance race by more than seven lengths. He then went to Keeneland to finish a dismal seventh in the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup at Keeneland. Both horses are nominated for the Grade 2, $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt on Sunday.

Platinum Tiara, owned by Robert A. Murphy Jr. of M375 Thoroughbred Inc., breezed five furlongs 1:01 1/5 over the main track for new trainer Neil Howard. Platinum Tiara is coming off a third-place finish to was third to Silver Tornado in the Reeve Schley Jr. Stakes at Monmouth Park nearly four weeks ago. Following that race, Platinum Tiara was taken out of Joseph Waunsch's barn and brought her to Howard's barn.

"The owner wanted to keep her in New York for some of the grass races coming up," Howard said. "It's just a location change for the horse. Joseph is an excellent horseman and did a wonderful job with her. In fact, he has helped me out by telling me about the horse. He told me that she is very strong in the morning and needs to settle down and relax. She should be fine. She's a high-quality filly. Now, the key with her keep her on the grass and keep her consistent."

Platinum Tiara appeared to have a promising future after finishing second to Caressing in the last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs. But the daughter of Cozzene was disappointing during the winter at Gulfstream Park where she went unplaced in both the Forward Gal and Davona Dale Stakes.

Platinum Tiara's turf pedigree carried her to victory in the Patricia Stakes at Patricia Stakes at Hialeah in April. She was also second against older horses in the Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap before finishing a distant third to Coaching Club American Oaks winner Tweedside in the Sands Point at Belmont.

One the track this morning preparing for the A.G. Vanderbilt is the Gatsas Stables' Shadow Caster, who breezed three furlongs in :36 over the main track. Shadow Caster was a surprise last year here at Saratoga. Not only did Shadow Caster win an allowance race during the first week of the meet, he also took the Forego Handicap at 50-1. In six races over the Saratoga course, Shadow Caster has two wins, a second and two third-place finishes.