Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph Graffeo, Eric Nikolaus Del Toro and Troy Johnson’s multiple graded-stakes winner Con Lima, first or second in 11 of 12 lifetime starts, can help kept the exclamation part on what is sure to be an feelings weekend for manager Todd Pletcher in Sunday’s Grade 3, $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The 1 3/16 -mile Saratoga Oaks Invitational, middle jewel of NYRA’s Turf Triple series for 3-year-old fillies, is one of two grass ventures on the program, joined by the $ 120,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose for older fillies and mares. Sunday’s card too boasts the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack for juvenile fillies on the central track.
In his first year of fitnes, the 54 -year-old Pletcher will be inducted Friday into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, situated across Union Avenue from the racetrack where he has been extending teach 14 goes including last year. Two days later he will be looking for his first prevail in the Saratoga Oaks, started in 2019.
Con Lima established the gait but fell a half-length short of winner Santa Barbara in the first leg of the Turf Triple series for sophomore fillies, the Grade 1, 1 1/4 -mile Belmont Oaks Invitational July 10 at Belmont Park. The Commissioner filly was left alone on an easy result, vanishing a half-mile in 51.31 seconds and a mile in 1:40.76 before being caught late.
Prior to that scoot, Con Lima won the 1 1/16 -mile Honey Ryder May 1 at Gulfstream Park and Belmont’s Grade 3 Wonder Again June 3 in subsequent starts, both also on the territory, where she has a record of five triumphs and two seconds from seven tries.
“It’s not obvious in her pedigree, but clearly she’s played well over the grass. She relishes the tighter turns at Saratoga like she did at Gulfstream. She’s doing well and we’re looking forward to trying it again, ” Pletcher said. “She simply continues to step up. She’s been super consistent and passes a good effort every time.”
Flavien Prat has the mount from berth 5 on Con Lima, whose other ventures prevails came over the winter at Gulfstream in the Ginger Brew January 2 and Grade 3 Herecomesthebride February 27, when she was sat first following the disqualification of Spanish Loveaffair.
“She seemed to really like Gulfstream, which is a tighter course, so maybe that will work in her spare now, ” Pletcher said. “If she continues to run her hastens the nature “shes been”, she should be able to get one of[ these ]. ”
Trainer Chad Brown is set to send out the pair of Higher Truth and Rocky Sky in the Saratoga Oaks. Michael Ryan, Jeff Drown and Team Hanley’s Higher Truth was third, a snout behind Con Lima, in the Belmont Oaks, exactly her fourth profession start and firstly in a stakes.
“She got a great trip and been here. I was proud of her try, ” Brown said. “She’s a mare that continues to improve, so we should be in good shape. Moving forward as far as her development, I really like what I participate. She’s a distance horse, absolutely.”
Peter Brant’s Rocky Sky will be hastening for the first time in the U.S. after four begin in her native Ireland. Last-place out, she won the 1 1/4 -mile Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Salsabil Stakes April 24.
“We’ve had her for a little while now. She seems to be really adapting to the program. The last-place pair labours were the best I’ve seen from her. She’s an rousing expectation, ” Brown said. “She’s doing everything right. We temporarily thought about the Belmont Oaks. It was just too soon for her. I demanded more meter with her and I think it was the right decision. I really like where I’m at now with her.”
Jose Ortiz has the mount on Higher Truth from post 1 while older brother Irad Ortiz, Jr. goes Rocky Sky from post 6.
Also in from Europe are Creative Flair and Messidor.
Godolphin homebred Creative Flair was trounced a head when third in the Group 3 Prix Chloe July 18 at Chantilly in France. The inlet daughter of Dubawi won twice this year in England, includes the 1 1/8 -mile Betfair British E.B.F. Abingdon Stakes June 10 at Newbury.
“She passed a huge race last season. It looked like she was really going to go and win that, and she just got collared near the line, ” said Chris Connett, traveling helper for tutor Charlie Appleby. “She will wear a hood to run in, but she’s ever worn that and we won’t change anything now. She’ll sit on or near the gait and she sees the junket pretty well. Her form is solid, and she should take a bit of beating.”
Hall of Famer Mike Smith gets the assignment on Creative Flair from announce 7.
Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Messidor, trained by Joseph O’Brien, has been third in three ventures in England and Ireland, and was only beaten 4 1/2 lengths when eighth in the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud Priory Belle One Thousand Guineas Trial April 11 at Leopardstown, raced at seven furlongs. Hall of Famer John Velazquez goes from pole 2.
Lazy F Ranch homebred Gam’s Mission covered a three-race win streak in the Grade 3, 1 1/8 -mile Regret May 29 at Churchill Downs. The attempt propelled the Galileo filly into the Belmont Oaks, where she was outkicked late following a wide trip and wound up fourth, overcome only two lengths.
“I supposed she flowed enormous, ” trainer Cherie DeVaux said. “All things considered, I mull she led her hasten which was really good in a Grade 1 strengthened in in companionship and losing by two spans to some very nice fillies. It was further than she’s ever gone before and a big step up in company, and I study she treated it all really well. She came out of it in good shape.”
Saratoga meet-leading rider Luis Saez ascents aboard for the first time from affix 3.
The ties of Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Michael Caruso’s Plum Ali will be hoping to see some early hoof to aid the champion of the Grade 2 Miss Grillo last fall that has been overpowered a total of five sections in her last three hastens- the Grade 2 Appalachian April 3 at Keeneland, Wonder Again and Belmont Oaks.
“The filly is doing well. The one thing with the filly that we need is perhaps a bit of gait to run at, ” said Miguel Clement, deputy coach to his father, Christophe Clement. “She’s been a bit compromised in her last few starts by a lack of pace. Hopefully she can get a real pace to run at and be shown her true-blue ability.”
Joel Rosario will be in the cast-irons from announce 4.
Completing the field is Respect the Valleys’ Out of Kind, last out winner of the 1 1/16 -mile Christiana Stakes July 3 at Delaware Park. Prior to that, the Dramedy daughter ran in back-to-back permits at her home move of Pimlico Race Course, finishing second by a snout May 15 on the undercard of the Grade 1 Preakness, and first by a leader June 13. Both scoots came against older horses.
Out of Sorts is trained by Brittany Russell, whose husband, rider Sheldon Russell, comes in from Maryland to razz from outside post 8.
“It’s sort of one of those now or never situations. She’s doing great. She’s been awesome on the turf this year. We conclude she’ll love the distance. She’s cool. She’s a handy filly, ” Brittany Russell said. “Sheldon can get her to shut off, but she also has that little bit of gas to her if he needs to use her a little. I envision she’s precisely the right form, and we want to find out if she’s that kind.”
The Saratoga Oaks Invitational is carded nine on Sunday’s 10 -race program, which offers a first upright of 1:05 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present daily video coverage of the 40 -day summer meet on FOX Sports. For the terminated Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and added programming info, tour https :// www.nyra.com/ saratoga/ racing/ tv-schedule.
NYRA Bet is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every scoot of the 40 -day meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Wager app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com
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