Juvenile races in spotlight

>I Spent It put together a pretty convincing win in his debut at Belmont Park on July 2. Strong enou

I Spent It put together a pretty convincing win in his debut at Belmont Park on July 2.

Strong enough, in fact, to convince trainer Tony Dutrow to move the son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver up to Grade II company in today’s Saratoga Special at Saratoga Race Course.

He’s the 7-2 second choice on the morning line in what appears to be an evenly matched race that is part of a juvenile stakes double-header to be televised live on FOX1 from 5-6:30 p.m.

Also on tap is the Grade II Adirondack for fillies, which has drawn a tough field of seven, led by 5-2 favorite Angela Renee, a full sister to 2012 Woodward winner To Honor and Serve.

JoAnn and Alex Lieblong bought I Spent It for $600,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale in March, and his professional performance first time out appeared to have supported the investment.

He will break from the rail in the Saratoga Special under meet-leading rider Javier Castellano, who also rode him in the maiden win.

“He showed obvious talent from the start,” Dutrow said. “We saw his talent, everyone saw his talent, he breezed very fast at the sale. When you look at him, he’s an outstanding individual. That’s what led us to spend a great deal of money on him. Since then, he’s continued to show talent that few possess, and I think he’s a very good horse.”

The Saratoga Special includes three who are wheeling right back from the Sanford on opening weekend, Mr. Z, Cinco Charlie and Nonna’s Boy, who were 2-3-4 behind Big Trouble. Big Trouble’s racing future is in doubt because of a torn suspensory in his right foreleg.

Nonna’s Boy, owned by Repole Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, was the beaten favorite at 8-5 under John Velazquez in the Sanford.

“I thought it was an interesting race for him,” Pletcher said. “It showed he could sit off the pace a little bit and make a run. I think the one thing that John and I talked about after the race is that maybe we have to time our run a little better. He made a big move around the turn and flattened out a little bit.”

Angela Renee was impressive in her debut, winning by 21⁄2 lengths at Belmont Park on June 27.

The 3-1 second choice is Wonder Gal, who beat New York-breds by 141⁄2 lengths in the Lynnbrook Stakes at Belmont on July 6.

Also winning by open lengths in a career debut was Cavorting, who was 11 lengths ahead of Sweet Maya at Belmont Park on July 3 for Stonestreet Stables and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

“It was a ‘wow’ race,” McLaughlin said. “She’s a very nice filly. She’s trained great since, and is doing well. You don’t anticipate one running like that, but we’ve always liked her. She came in from Florida ready to go, and she’s done everything right.”

Vivian Da Bling (4-1) is a Lone Star shipper who won her two starts by a combined 153⁄4 lengths.

An interesting long shot is Take Charge Brandi, a half-sister to the top purchase price at this week’s Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale, a War Front filly who was bought for $1.25 million by trainer D. Wayne Lukas for owner Willis Horton.

The sisters are related to last year’s champion 3-year-old colt, Will Take Charge, through his dam, Take Charge Lady.

Take Charge Brandi battled the highly regarded Fashion Alert all the way before losing the Schuylerville by 11⁄2 lengths.

“Take Charge Brandi is pretty special, more than people know,” Lukas said on Tuesday. “She is grade-I quality.”


In preparation for the $1.25 million Grade I Travers on Aug. 23, Jim Dandy-winner Wicked Strong turned in a four-furlong work Friday in :48.71. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:013⁄5.

Wicked Strong won the Wood Memorial in April before fourth-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont.

Belmont-winner Tonalist, second in the Jim Dandy, breezed Saturday for the Travers, going five furlongs in 1:03.36 on the Oklahoma training track. He worked in company with Life in Shambles, who trailed Tonalist by a few lengths at the start of their work and pulled even with a furlong left, before Tonalist regained the lead. Tonalist galloped out six furlongs in 1:16 3/5 .

Also Saturday, Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve breezed four furlongs in 49.44 in company with Knights Nation, galloping out five in 1:02 and change on the main track.

Pointing toward the Grade I Personal Ensign on Aug. 22, Princess of Sylmar worked four furlongs in 49.60. Owned by Schenectady native Ed Stanco, Princess of Sylmar worked without the blinkers trainer Todd Pletcher added for her Aug. 2 breeze.

He said he knows they work, so he doesn’t need to see her run in them every time out.

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