SARATOGA SPRINGS — Speaktomeofsummer finished off the Grade II Lake Placid in winning fashion, as trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joel Rosario finished off a strong start to their respective Saratoga Race Course meets on Sunday.
Speaktomeofsummer and Rosario got past Stunning Sky on the outside late to win by a head, giving the jockey and trainer three wins on the day.
Rosario finished Week 1 tied with Jose Ortiz for the top spot in the rider standings, but no one was hotter than Clement this weekend.
He won two races on Saturday, including the Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame with Decorated Invader, for five total on the weekend. Rosario was on Decorated Invader.
“She [Speaktomeofsummer] had a great trip; thank you, Joel,” Clement said. “He’s riding great at the moment.
“The last two days have been good. Let’s keep it going.”
Rosario let the speed take position in front of him down the backstretch, then made a move on Speaktomeofsummer at the top of the stretch, as Stunning Sky took the lead.
Speaktomeofsummer got by Stunning Sky to give Rosario his eighth win of the meet in four days.
“I thought I would be a little closer [early], like Christophe told me, but everybody had the same idea to be up there,” Rosario said. “It looked like the first part was fast but they all got into their position, so I thought I’d let her be happy there and hopefully have a good run at the end.
“She was moving beautifully, but when I passed the leader, she waited a little bit and the other horse came back again. But she came on again and I was able to hold them off.”
Jockey Luis Saez, who is nearing the completion of a 14-day quarantine for a positive COVID-19 test, will be permitted to ride on Friday, pending a negative test and clearance from a physician that he can no longer transmit the coronavirus.
Saez tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, July 10 while riding at Keeneland. He has remained asymptomatic throughout the period of quarantine, which will total 14 days this Friday.
Current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance recommends a 10-day quarantine period for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, but remained asymptomatic prior to and throughout the duration of quarantine. Saez made the determination to extend his quarantine to 14 days in the interest of protecting his fellow riders.
The decision to allow Saez to potentially return to action on Friday, so long as all steps are completed to the satisfaction of the New York Racing Association and his attending physician, was made in consultation with the Jockeys’ Guild and the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).
Saratoga Race Course is closed to out-of-town jockeys. In addition, any member of the regular NYRA jockey colony who travels to ride at any other racetrack will not be permitted to return to Saratoga.
Jockeys and valets are not permitted access to the barn area. In order to work a horse in the morning, the jockey must meet the horse in the paddock and can then proceed to the main track.
Jockey agents must produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain access to the barn area. Races will continue to be drawn via Zoom.
MAXIMUM SECURITY WORKS
Saez was supposed to have ridden Maximum Security in the Grade II San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday, but he was on the shelf with COVID-19.
Then nobody else rode Maximum Security, anyway, because the track canceled its weekend cards when 15 jockeys tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
So Maximum Security breezed six furlongs in 1:11.60 at Del Mar Sunday morning instead.
Del Mar has added a race day Monday, July 27, to accommodate for the lost racing this weekend. The track has also rescheduled the San Diego for next Saturday, and Maximum Security is entered, with Abel Cedillo named to ride.
AROUND THE BARNS
Code of Honor breezed five furlongs in 1:01.93 on the main track in preparation for the Aug. 1 Whitney.
The 2019 Travers winner was third to Vekoma in the Met Mile last time out.
“Code of Honor worked really, really well, I was really pleased,” trainer Shug McGaughey told NYRA. “He didn’t get the best trip [in the Met Mile]. Two turns is better for him, especially now that he’s older, but I thought he ran really well. They went really fast, he had a wide trip. The winner had a dream trip over a speed-favoring trip, so I thought it was all good.” …
Bodexpress has been nominated to the Aug. 1 Whitney, after he was a late scratched from the Monmouth Cup on the Haskell card Saturday.
Best known for having completed the 2019 Preakness with no jockey after unseating John Velazquez out of the Pimlico starting gate, Bodexpress suffered a small abrasion on his nose while shipping to New Jersey for the Monmouth Cup.
“When he was warming up for the race, they said he was bleeding, and the state vet scratched him,” assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. told NYRA. “This horse is full of stories, but this one is not because of him. He behaved well, and he was doing everything that he had to do. He came back good, scoped fine, and he’s already home and walked this morning.”
Delgado Jr. said Bodexpress’ stablemate at Saratoga, Caracaro, will point toward the Aug. 8 Travers after finishing second to Country Grammer in the Peter Pan on opening day.
“He’s already here, and if he can move forward from that effort, we think he can improve enough to belong in the race.”