Trainer Charlie LoPresti has been puzzled by Turallure’s inability to recapture his 2011 form.
Perhaps he can put all the pieces together in the Grade II Bernard Baruch at a mile and a sixteenth on the Mellon turf course at Saratoga Race Course today.
Turallure won this race two years ago on his way to becoming a Grade I winner in the Woodbine Mile.
That led to a second by a nose to Court Vision in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, a race in which Goldikova finished third, but Turallure hasn’t won since the Woodbine race.
One of the primary reasons for LoPresti to believe that he can do so today is that Turallure is back at the track where his nice 2011 run began.
He was second by a head to Seal Cove on July 24, and is the 6-1 on the morning line for the Bernard Baruch.
“Once I got him up here, the old Turallure was back,” LoPresti said. “He looked out his window, and he was sharp watching the races in the afternoon. He was brilliant in his breezes.
“And we got Jose Lezcano to ride him because Julien [Leparoux] went to the west coast, and he ran a great race, and Lezcano said to me when he came back, he said, ‘Boy, what a nice horse.’ He said, ‘I’ve got him figured now.’ And so he’s trained real forward. I’m expecting a big effort. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t run good.”
One piece that will have to go missing is Lezcano, who broke his wrist and will be out for four more weeks.
Leparoux was going to be in town to ride Successful Dan in the Woodward, anyway, so he’ll be back on Turallure, too.
LoPresti said that some bone bruising in the wake of a second by a neck to Data Link in the Grade I Maker’s Mark hampered the 6-year-old Turallure last year.
He raced just two more times and was off the track from last July until a comeback race at Keeneland in April.
Another in the process of regaining form in the Bernard Baruch is 9-5 favorite Silver Max.
As a 3-year-old emerging turf star last year, he won six straight, capped by the Grade I Virginia Derby.
After a fifth in the Secretariat, trainer Dale Romans sent Silver Max against older horses in the Grade I Shadwell Mile, and he was ninth to Wise Dan.
He lost to Wise Dan again this year, in the rain-soaked Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, but he beat Howe Great by 5 3⁄4 lengths in the Grade III Oceanport at Monmouth on July 28.
“I think he’s back, and he’ll end up being one of the best turf horses in the country when the year is done,” Romans said. “He had the makings of it last year. I squeezed the lemon a little bit, and he needed a freshener. He got it, and he’s doing a lot better.”