Thoughtfully rolls in Adirondack

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Categories: Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Perhaps two races is too small a sample size to show versatility.

But after being comfortable on the lead to win her career debut in June, Thoughtfully ran behind horses in the early going on Wednesday, and she seemed to be OK with that, too.

The result was a five-length win in the Grade II Adirondack for 2-year-old fillies, as Thoughtfully and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. stalked the front-runners and took control at the eighth pole.

“She’s a super nice, classy filly,” Santana said. “Today, going 6 1/2 furlongs, I thought to take my time with her. It’s her second time out, and we wanted to teach her something. She responded really well.

“We were sitting behind the speed, and she was feeling happy and comfortable where she was. I was really happy with her, too, and I was just waiting for the hole to open, and she gave me a really good kick.”

Heider Family Stables bought Thoughtfully, a bay daughter of Tapit, for $950,000 at last year’s Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale.

 She won her debut at Churchill Downs on June 11 by 8 3/4 lengths while serving as the controlling speed for much of the race.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Make Mischief was coming off a second-place finish in the Schuylerville on opening day.

“She broke well,” Velazquez said. “She was on the lead last time, so I wasn’t going to fight her. The other ones decided to go, so I sat off them on the outside and waited for the others to come to me. I asked her and she responded, but the winner was very good.”

DERBY ATTENDANCE

Churchill Downs announced on Wednesday that it would limit total attendance to 40% capacity — 24,000 — for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.

The infield will be closed to spectators, a change from plans that were previously announced, with tickets already sold being refunded.

LUKAS TESTS POSITIVE

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been isolating at home in Kentucky, according to a tweet from his grandson Brady Wayne Lukas.

“Fortunately, he had not been at work for several days prior to the first symptom, so no one else at the barn is impacted. Wayne is on the road to recovery and looks forward to getting back to the track,” the tweet said.

Because of pandemic concerns, Lukas chose to remain stabled at Churchill Downs and did not send a string to Saratoga for the first time in over 40 years.

He turns 85 on Sept. 2.

ALABAMA FIELD

Swiss Skydiver, the top 3-year-old filly in the U.S. (with Test winner Gamine nipping at her heels), will face six rivals in Saturday’s Grade I Alabama.

Her connections took a swing at the males last time out, when she was second 3 1/2 lengths to Art Collector in the Grade II Blue Grass at Keeneland on July 11.

That gave her plenty of points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but she’ll stick to her own division in the Alabama while pursuing the Kentucky Oaks on Sept. 4.

The Alabama field, from the rail out, will be Envoutante, Spice Is Nice, Crystal Ball, Bonny South, Swiss Skydiver, Harvey’s Lil Goil and Fire Coral.

The card also includes the Saratoga Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds on the turf, and Decorated Invader should be a big favorite off his July 18 win in the Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame to run his record to 3-for-3 in 2020.

Reach Mike MacAdam at [email protected]

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