Distance Test for Take D' Tour in Go For Wand

Distance Test for Take D' Tour in Go For Wand
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Take D' Tour blew away the field in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park in June.
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(fram Saratoga release)
With a date in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) on the horizon, trainer David Fawkes is anxious to see how his grade I winner Take D' Tour performs going two turns in Sunday's $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.

The reborn 5-year-old mare won the Ogden Phipps (gr. I) for owners Paul and Alice Muller by 5 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park June 17. She has won four in a row, but will be facing a tough cast of seven rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Go For Wand.

A good performance keeps them on the trail to the $2 million BC Distaff at Churchill Downs at the same distance Nov. 4.

Take D' Tour is winless in four starts around two turns, but all those races came before the daughter of Tour d'Or found career form under the Calder-based Fawkes. Additionally, she has never run farther than 1 1/16 miles. She comes into the Go For Wand off four straight speed-powering wins, including the Shuvee (gr. II) and the Phipps.

"It's been unbelievable, a lot of fun," Paul Muller said. "Our whole family went to Belmont to watch her run, and our whole family will be (at Saratoga) to watch her run.

"We've been awful high on her since she was a foal. It's just been a matter of time. We've been patient and waited. I don't know if we ever thought we'd come to a grade 1 race with her."

Take D' Tour will have to deal with at least two horses trained by Todd Pletcher that have good tactical speed. Pletcher, who has won all three graded stakes so far at the 2006 Saratoga meet, entered Oonagh Maccool, Pool Land, and Spun Sugar with the intent of only running two of them.

Oonagh Maccool, who shares the top weight assignment of 120 pounds with Take D' Tour, was perfect in three starts on dirt for Pletcher before she was outgamed by a head by Happy Ticket in the Fleur de Lis (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. She owns a pair of grade II victories, the Rampart at Gulfstream and the Louisville Breeders' Cup at Churchill.

Pool Land comes into the Go For Wand fresh, having last run and won in the Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap at Pimlico May 19.

Spun Sugar won the Apple Blossom (gr. I) in April over Happy Ticket, but finished a distant fourth as the favorite, 13 ½ lengths behind Take D' Tour, in the Ogden Phipps.

"She disappointed us a little in her last start," Pletcher said. "I think she's better around two turns. If you throw out that race, she's done very little wrong in her career.

"I want to look at the race, see how it shapes up, and decide (who to start) after that," said Saratoga's leading trainer the last four years. "They all have similar running styles that put them in stalking-type positions. Pool Land is probably the speediest of the three, so she'd probably be the one that would be closest to Take D' Tour. We're trying to win the race, so we're not going to use one as a rabbit."

Also contesting the Go For Wand are Nothing But Fun and Balletto, the second and third-place finishers from the Ogden Phipps.

Summerly, the 2005 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner, has not run since finishing second to Smuggler in last year's Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I).

"She popped a splint bone, and it had to be removed," said trainer Scott Blasi. "I've been very impressed with her training. The whole goal has been to get her going and have her ready for the Breeders' Cup."

$250,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I, Race 9, 5:20 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Spun Sugar (KY), 118, Michael Luzzi
2. Classy Charm (KY), 115, Mike Smith
3. Balletto (UAE), 115, Javier Castellano
4. Nothing But Fun (KY), 116, Richard Migliore
5. Oonagh Maccool (IRE), 120, John Velazquez
6. Pool Land (KY), 117, Garrett Gomez
7. Summerly (KY), 117, Shaun Bridgmohan
8. Take D' Tour (FL), 120, Cornelio Velasquez

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