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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Eightyfiveinafifty Eyes Woody Stephens

The speedy Eightyfiveinafifty had his first work Saturday since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3, one-mile Derby Trial in the mud at Churchill Downs on April 24, covering a half-mile in 47.06 over the main track at Aqueduct.  The move was the fastest of nine at the distance.

 

“It was super,” said Gary Contessa, who trains the colt for Harold Lerner, John Moirano, and Team Stallion Racing.  “He always works well, but he was a little tired after the Derby Trial.  I’m seriously considering the Woody Stephens for him, but it’s not etched in stone.  If I see he’s moving along like his old self, he’ll go, but I want to make sure of that before I commit.” 

 

Contessa said Eightyfiveinafifty would likely work three more times, including this Sunday, in advance of a possible start in the Grade 2, $250,000, seven-furlong Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard June 5.

 

“In the Derby Trial, he acted like a horse who didn’t handle the track,” said Contessa.  “He came back blowing hard and the race seemed to take something out of him, usually it’s all you can do to walk him after a start.  It could have been he didn’t like that particular track on that particular day, or maybe the mud will be a problem for him going forward, but I may try him in the slop another day just to make sure.”

 

Contessa also reported that Castaneda, impressive winner of the Fred “Cappy” Capossela on March 6 who was most recently fifth after fading as the pacesetter in the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct on April 24, has returned to training following an injury sustained just after the latter race.

 

“He kicked a wall and I thought he might have bowed a tendon, but we got really lucky and the x-ray and ultrasound came back clean,” said Contessa.  “He’s just now getting back to training and he could train into the Mike Lee, or another race around that time.”

 

The $100,000 Mike Lee is a seven-furlong race restricted to New York-breds scheduled for June 20. 

 

 

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