After securing the first grade I win of her career last year at Saratoga Race Course, recent TVG Acorn Stakes (gr. I) winner Sweet Reason will try to register a second straight top-level score Aug. 2 in the $500,000 Longines Test Stakes (gr. I).
Late-running Sweet Reason won her first two career starts at Saratoga, including a 5 3/4-length victory in last year's Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) when she rallied from seventh place. Treadway Racing Stable's Sweet Reason will cut back in distance for Saturday's seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. She rallied from 11th to win the one-turn mile Acorn June 7 at Belmont Park, when she edged expected Test rival Sweet Whiskey by a half-length.
The Test will be part of NBC's "Summer at Saratoga: Breeders' Cup Challenge Series" program that will air at 5 p.m. ET and is highlighted by the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Trainer Leah Gyarmati said Sweet Reason has been training well since her Acorn victory, including a bullet five-furlong move in :59.36 July 20 at Saratoga. She blew out three furlongs July 30 in :36.57.
"She's really turned a corner this year with her breezes," Gyarmati said. "She's never been this kind of work horse and now every time she works she's been right there. She's just growing up."
Back in familiar surroundings, Sweet Reason, by Street Sense , may be poised to take another step forward when she tries to extend her perfect Saratoga record to three races, according to Gyarmati.
"She's just doing better and she's happier," Gyarmati said. "She loves it here, so that should be a good sign for Aug. 2, we hope."
Sweet Reason was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite, and will break from post 7 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.
The field of 12 fillies includes only two others entered off of graded stakes wins. One is Ashbrook Farm's Southern Honey, who defeated older fillies and mares in the six-furlong Winning Colors Stakes (gr. III) May 26 at Churchill Downs. In the process, the daughter of Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Colonel John extended her win streak to three races, all clear victories at Churchill and Keeneland.
Also entering off a grade III victory is Whispering Oaks Farm's Street Story, who rallied from fifth to win the Victory Ride Stakes June 29 at Belmont. The daughter of Street Cry (IRE) edged Miss Behaviour by 1 3/4 lengths in that effort. The speedy grade II winner Miss Behaviour also is entered in the Test.
Barry Schwartz's Princess Violet will be looking for her first graded stakes win in the Test. The daughter of Officer enters off a runner-up finish in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont, where she defeated everyone but Untapable. Princess Violet was 9 1/4 lengths behind the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner.
Saratoga Race Course , Saturday, August 02, 2014, Race 9
- 3 yo Fillies
- 5:14 PM (local)
|1||Princess Violet (NY)||Jose L. Ortiz||116||Michael E. Hushion|
|2||Fiftyshadesofgold (TX)||Robby Albarado||118||W. Bret Calhoun|
|3||Sweet Whiskey (KY)||John R. Velazquez||118||Todd A. Pletcher|
|4||Thank You Marylou (VA)||Rajiv Maragh||116||Michael J. Maker|
|5||Southern Honey (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||118||George R. Arnold, II|
|6||Street Story (KY)||Joel Rosario||118||Steven M. Asmussen|
|7||Sweet Reason (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||122||Leah Gyarmati|
|8||Little Alexis (KY)||Jose Lezcano||116||Donna Green|
|9||Tea Time (KY)||Luis Saez||116||Michael R. Matz|
|10||Red Velvet (PA)||Paco Lopez||116||Todd A. Pletcher|
|11||Bird Maker (KY)||Shaun Bridgmohan||116||Ian R. Wilkes|
|12||Miss Behaviour (PA)||Javier Castellano||116||Phil Schoenthal|