Homebred Verve's Tale could continue a successful season for Charles Fipke with a Go for Wand victory at Aqueduct Racetrack

Homebred Verve's Tale could continue a successful season for Charles Fipke with a Go for Wand victory at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos\Chelsea Durand

Go for Wand: Verve's Tale Could Continue Fipke Success

Tale of Ekati filly faces Highway Star in seven-horse field.

Homebred Verve's Tale could continue a very good season for Charles Fipke when she takes on multiple graded stakes winner Highway Star and five others in the $200,000 Go For Wand Handicap (G3) Dec. 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The 4-year-old Tale of Ekati  filly has only one win from seven starts this year, but has run exclusively in stakes company since her maiden-breaking score last October. She recently ran a huge effort for trainer Barclay Tag before being caught at the wire in the Oct. 28 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park.

"She's coming into the race in great shape," said Tagg. "She's a very dependable filly. Last time, I thought the jockey moved too soon around the turn and we got caught at the wire. This time we'll have Johnny Velazquez aboard, so as long he looks at the past performances and studies up I think we'll be in good shape."

Fipke, who bred Verve's Tale out of the Unbridled mare Verve, enjoyed tremendous success with runners from his program last month, with Forever Unbridled winning the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) and Seeking the Soul taking the Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (G1).

With Hall of Famer Velazquez in the irons carrying 118 pounds, Verve's Tale will leave from post 5.

Set to make her first start since finishing 11th in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), Chester & Mary Broman's homebred Highway Star is the 123-pound highweight in search of a rebound in the Go for Wand. 

A 4-year-old daughter of Girolamo, the Rodrigo Ubillo trainee has three wins from seven starts this year with victories in the April 9 Distaff Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct, the May 13 Ruffian Stakes (G2) at Belmont, and the Sept. 24 Gallant Bloom (G2) at Belmont. With a perfect 3-for-3 record at Aqueduct and 4-for-4 at the distance, Ubillio is looking for a strong showing coming off her subpar Breeders' Cup effort.

"She came out of her Breeders' Cup race fine," Ubillo said. "We were a little bit closer to the pace than she wanted. I don't think that trip suited her style at all, but we're looking to regroup and move forward. I've always thought a mile was her best distance. We'll see how the trip works out, but we know she likes Aqueduct and is doing well, so we're optimistic."

Highway Star will be ridden by Angel Arroyo from post 2.

Taking another swing at the mile distance is Godolphin Racing's Indulgent for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 4-year-old Bernardini  filly most recently finished second to fellow Go for Wand starter Lucy N Ethel by 2 1/4 lengths in the Nov. 5 Pumpkin Pie Stakes going six furlongs. She stretches out to a mile for the second time in her career—the first time resulted in a fifth in the Ruffian in May. She was second to Highway Star in the Distaff one start prior.

"We always thought she wants a mile because of her pedigree," said McLaughlin. "We tried it once and it didn't work out, but we're giving it another try. She's training well and we hope she can get lucky and win one, because she's been second in a graded stakes and now just needs to get a win. She seems to like Aqueduct, so we'll keep our fingers crossed."

With Luis Saez aboard, the pair will depart post 7.

Rounding out the field are a pair trained by Chad Brown in Jamyson 'n Ginger for Juddmonte Farms and Going For Broke for Waterford Stable, and Coffee Pot Stable's Flora Dora for trainer Marialice Coffey.  

Entries: Go for Wand H. (G3)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, December 02, 2017, Race 6

  • Grade III
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 2:06 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Jamyson 'n Ginger (KY)Javier Castellano116Chad C. Brown9/5
22Highway Star (NY)Angel S. Arroyo123Rodrigo A. Ubillo2/1
33Going for Broke (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.116Chad C. Brown6/1
44Lucy N Ethel (PA)Jose L. Ortiz117Todd A. Pletcher8/1
55Verve's Tale (KY)John R. Velazquez118Barclay Tagg5/1
66Flora Dora (FL)Michael J. Luzzi114Marialice Coffey20/1
77Indulgent (KY)Luis Saez116Kiaran P. McLaughlin15/1