Anjaz After Breakthrough Win in Long Island

Anjaz After Breakthrough Win in Long Island
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Strathnaver won the Lady Baltimore Stakes on September 21.

The beautifully bred filly Anjaz has an excellent shot at her first graded win when she challenges seven female opponents in the $200,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 9 on the turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Bred by Darley in Kentucky and owned by Godolphin Racing, 4-year-old Anjaz is by Darley stallion Street Cry   out of the group I winner Playful Act, by Sadler's Wells. The dam, an English champion, brought $10.5 million from Sheikh Mohammed's team as a broodmare prospect at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

To date, Anjaz has won three of 11 starts with three placings, all of her victories coming in Great Britain. She has four starts in the United States since last spring, following her transfer to trainer Tom Albertrani for the 2013 season. Her best U.S. showing to date was a runner-up finish by one length to Tannery in the 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) over a soft inner turf course at Belmont Park May 25.

In her most recent start, Anjaz was also second in the listed Waya Stakes Aug. 5 on a firm inner turf at Saratoga Race Course. As in the Sheepshead Bay she showed a good late turn in the Waya, coming home willingly from sixth after lacking room in the stretch to the furlong pole. The Waya, at 1 1/2 miles, is the same distance as the Long Island and should fit well with the bay filly's style.

The Long Island, which also drew recent Lady Baltimore Stakes winner Strathnaver, is the eighth on Aqueduct's Saturday program with a scheduled post time of 3:43 EST.

Anjaz, who shares the top weight assignment of 118 pounds with Strathnaver, drew post 2 as the 5-2 morning line choice and will be ridden for the first time by Javier Castellano. In a paceless field, they could be on the lead.

Andrew Stone's British import Strathnaver won the first two starts of her U.S. career this spring including the Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland going 12 furlongs at odds of 18-1 in April. Trained by Graham Motion, the English-bred daughter of Oasis Dream ran poorly in her next starts, the Sheepshead Bay and Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park.

But she bounced back with a late-charging head victory in the 1 1/16-mile Lady Baltimore Sept. 21 at Laurel Park. After beginning her career with two wins from nine tries in her native country, she is 3-for-5 in the U.S. Rajiv Maragh has the mount for the first time on the 4-year-old bay filly from post 6.The only graded stakes winner in the field is pegged at 3-1.

Trainer Christophe Clement has entered a pair in impressive allowance winner Tabreed and minor French stakes winner Aigue Marine, a close third in last year's Long Island.

China Horse Club's stretch-running Tabreed, who won her prep at nine furlongs Oct. 16 by four lengths at Keeneland, will make her graded stakes debut in the Long Island. The daughter of Sakhee, began her career in France, winning a maiden race in her fourth and final start in that country before she was purchased. Since her arrival in the U.S., the 4-year-old has won two of six starts, both at 1 1/8 miles, and has been worse than third only once.

"We'll try to stretch her and see what happens," said Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Clement. "The filly, mentally, is very relaxed. Last time at Keeneland she was at the back and made one run. She's no problem to rate, so we think a mile and a half won't be a problem."  

Junior Alvarado will ride Tabreed, 6-1 on the morning line, from post 4.

Aigue Marine, a 4-year-old Galileo filly owned by her breeders, Haras du Mezeray and Skymarc Farm, was beaten three-quarters of a length in her North American debut in the 2012 Long Island. She has made only two starts since then, winning an optional claimer by four lengths and finishing seventh as the favorite in the Orchid (gr. IIIT). Both starts came in March at Gulfstream Park.

"She's fresh, coming back off her layoff, but she is doing well," said Lorieul. "Aigue Marine was third in this race last year, so we'll try again."

Aigue Marine will break from post 3 under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Motion also entered Inimitable Romanee, who has faced New York-breds in her past seven starts. She was seventh in the Ticonderoga Oct. 19 at Belmont most recently.

Left a Message won the Flaming Page in August at Woodbine and enters the Long Island off a second in the 1 1/2-mile Dowager Stakes Oct. 20 at Keeneland. White Rose ran second in an off-the-turf edition of the Glens Falls and was seventh in the Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) Sept. 28. Sheppard's Pie was sixth in the Dowager in her stakes debut.

$200,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 3:43 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Inimitable Romanee (NY), C P DeCarlo, 114, H G Motion
2. Anjaz (KY), J Castellano, 118, T Albertrani
3. Aigue Marine (GB), I Ortiz Jr., 116,    C Clement
4. Tabreed (GB), J Alvarado, 115, C Clement
5. Left a Message (KY), A O Solis, 116, T F Proctor
6. Strathnaver (GB), R Maragh, 118, H G Motion
7. White Rose (KY), J L Ortiz, 114, W I Mott
8. Sheppard's Pie (PA), C H Velasquez, 114, J E Sheppard
 

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