After missing last year’s Grade I $750,000 Whitney with a strained XYZ ligament, Successful Dan is under consideration for this year’s renewal on Aug. 3.
Trainer Charles LoPresti sent him out for a Saturday morning workout, and he turned in a bullet 1:00.61, the fastest of 18 over five furlongs on the main track.
“I was really on the fence what to do with [Successful Dan] after he got up here,” LoPresti told the New York Racing Association. “His race in the Foster was kind of a question. He had never been beat at Churchill.
“A lot of those horses didn’t show up that night. [The winner] Fort Larned ran a great race, but the rest of the horses — Ron the Greek and Take Charge Indy — didn’t run their races. Royal Delta didn’t run her race over that track [when second that night in the Grade II Fleur de Lis]. [Jockey Julien Leparoux] told me [Successful Dan] was having trouble getting hold of the ground, so I drew a line through [the race].”
Last year’s Whitney winner, Fort Larned, and Mucho Macho Man, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year, also worked five furlongs on the main track. Last year’s winner of the Jim Dandy and dead-heater in the Travers, Alpha, went four furlongs on the Oklahoma Training Track. All three are under consideration for the Whitney.
Fort Larned went in 1:03.81 for trainer Ian Wilkes.
“It was a little slower than what I wanted, but the track was a little dead this morning, and it was a work to step up a work,” Wilkes said. “We’ll come back [next week] and get a major work with him off this.”
Trained by Kathy Ritvo, Mucho Macho Man covered the distance in 1:01.61.
“He had a great work this morning, and we’re looking forward to the Whitney,” Ritvo said. “He’ll have one more work. The day will be dependent on the weather.”
Alpha went his four furlongs in 51.77 for trainer Kiaran McLoughlin.
“It was just a maintenance work,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough race, but he likes Saratoga, so we’ll see.
“[The track] was kind of weird today because it was wet, but it’s no big deal. He was fine. It was just a little half-mile. He’s fit and ready. He’ll have to work back next week, and we’ll make a decision.”
The Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez filly Silsita edged Broken Spell by a nose to win the $100,000 Princess Jess in the third race of the day, a 1 1/16-mile run over the inner turf for 3-year-old fillies.
Kitten’s Queen broke well from the 2 post for the early lead, but Broken Spell and Silsita both came out to join her as they rounded the first turn. Broken Spell led through the first quarter-mile, with Kitten’s Queen and Silsita close behind, and Lady of Gold in fourth. Velazquez started bringing Silsita around Kitten’s Queen after a half-mile, then Kitten’s Queen began a bid around the outside of Broken Spell. Kitten’s Queen just didn’t have enough kick, but Silsita had enough for both of them, surging to the finish through the stretch to catch
Broken Spell by a nose. Lady of Gold came on to finish third, trainer Chad Brown’s Wave Theory was fourth and Kitten’s Queen dropped to sixth.
Broken Spell has not won since breaking her maiden here last
Aug. 19. She was second 10 days later by a neck in her next start in the P.G. Johnson, and second again in the following start by a length in the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland.
Silsita, who went off at 6-1, has three wins from seven career starts, and is 2-0-1 in three turf starts.