Five fillies and mares that competed in the River Memories Stakes at Belmont Park in early July will return in the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes (G3T) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 5, including the top three finishers.
The 1 1/2-mile Waya is one of three graded stakes on the day, highlighted by the Whitney Stakes (G1) and the Longines Test Stakes (G1).
Allen Stable's Irish-bred Apple Betty, who won the River Memories by a half-length over Summersault, was making her second start at the distance since missing a win by a nose in the Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes (G3T) in October at Keeneland for her U.S. debut. The 4-year-old daughter of Galileo won three times in France for her previous trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. She is going for her second win for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
"She's doing good and it's all-systems-go," McGaughey said. John Velazquez gets the mount from post 1.
Summersault was trying the longest distance of her career in the River Memories for trainer Mark Hennig. She finished well despite a troubled trip.
"I thought she ran well," Hennig said. "She didn't get a lot of pace to run at, unfortunately, but she ran. She's always going to be a little bit of a victim to the pace, but she likes that distance. She's run well at those longer distances and she likes firm ground too, so hopefully it doesn't rain too much later this week."
Graham Motion's Lottie, who ran third in the race, will step up in class. She ran at the allowance level in her first three starts this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Arch will carry nine pounds less than the three highweights in the eight-horse field.
Guilty Twelve, Motion's other entrant in the race, won her graded stakes debut last out in the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (G3) July 8 at Delaware Park, rallying in the stretch to best Zipessa by a nose.
After making three starts in Britain, the Giant's Causeway mare has won four of her seven U.S. starts and will stretch out to 1 1/2 miles for the first time.
"They are both training well," Motion said. "(For) Lottie, we kind of tested her a little bit last time at Belmont and I thought she handled it very well. Guilty Twelve obviously really stepped up to win a graded race last time, so this will be a step up for her again here at Saratoga. They both certainly seem to be doing well coming up to the race."
The 5-year-old daughter of Champs Elysses (GB) began this season with back-to-back grade 3 wins at Gulfstream Park, capturing the La Prevoyante Handicap by one length and posting a five-length victory in The Very One Stakes March 4.
"She's been training well enough," Mott said. "She's been aggressive in her gallops, she's eating well; looks good. We're optimistic about it."
Estrechada seeks her first win in the U.S. since arriving from Argentina. Trained by Mike Puype, she finished sixth in the River Memories and previously ran third in the Santa Barbara Stakes (G3) April 30 at Santa Anita Park. Roy Lerman's Evidently also returns in the Waya after finishing seventh in the River Memories.
Augustin Stable's Gone Away, who finished a close third behind Guilty Twelve in the Robert G. Dick Memorial, rounds out the field and is seeking her first graded win.