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Hunters Bay On Track For Whitney

Hunters Bay breaks maiden at Belmont Park.
Photo: NYRA - Adam Coglianese

Trainer Reade Baker said Grade 1 Whitney Handicap candidate Hunters Bay and Grade 1 Prioress probable Tu Endie Wei will work tomorrow morning at Woodbine and ship to Saratoga on Monday morning for their engagements in next Saturday’s races.


“Everything’s a go,” Baker said from Toronto. “We’ll have to find out what the weights are for the Whitney before we know for sure.”


Winner of three straight at Woodbine, including the Grade 3 Dominion Day at 1 ¼ miles and the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/16 miles, the 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper hasn’t run past a mile in the United States since breaking his maiden at Belmont at 1 1/16 miles in May, 2010.


“We’ve always ended up sprinting in Florida; we’ve never had the chance to go long,” he noted, adding that the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on September 3 and the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 6 were long-term objectives for Hunters Bay en route to the Breeders’ Cup.


Tu Endie Wei, 4-1-0 at Woodbine, was making her first start on dirt when she finished third in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont.


“I think that she’ll end up running her best races on dirt, not Polytrack,” Baker said of the 3-year-old Johar filly. “Given that she had some mucus that day and got shuffled at the start, that might have been the best race of her life.”


He indicated that Tu Endie Wei likely would make one more start before the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.


Baker said he would like Tu Endie Wei and Hunters Bay to be stabled near Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, whose longshot Emma’s Encore won the Victory Ride.


“He and I went out to dinner the night before the race, and he was moaning about not being in the right race with her,” said Baker. “He led me down the garden path.”




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