or third in five previous stakes starts against fellow state-breds,
Inimitable Romanee goes after her first victory on Sunday in the
$150,000 John Hettinger for New York-bred females 3-years-old and up at
all, 11 fillies and mares were entered for the 1 1/8-mile John
Hettinger, including Mischief Maker, who will run only if the race is
taken off the inner turf course.
by Graham Motion for Gallagher's Stud, Inimitable Romanee was most
recently third, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Grade 1 winner Dayatthespa, in the
restricted Yaddo at Saratoga Race Course on August 16.
to that race, the daughter of Maria's Mon was second, a 1 ¼ lengths
behind another graded stakes winner, the recently retired Hessonite, in
the On The Bus, another state-bred Saratoga stakes.
was thrilled how she ran at Saratoga," said Motion. "This filly is very
hard-knocking, very honest, very straightforward. She's kind of a barn
favorite. I'm just very pleased with how she's doing, and I just hope
she can win one of these. I think she deserves to.
filly's been a little unlucky," he added. "She's starting to come
around, but it's a tough time to be a New York-bred grass filly."
Romanee was third to Hessonite in last year's John Hettinger, her most
recent try at nine furlongs. Second by a neck in the one-mile Mount
Vernon at Belmont on June 1, she is winless in nine starts following an
entry-level allowance victory last July 4, also on the Belmont turf.
think the distance is good for her. It's one thing that's appealing to
me about this particular race," Motion said. "I actually think she's run
better this year; she's more settled. They've been able to take her
back, and I think that's really helped her. Hopefully, one of these has
her name on it."
Hall of Fame rider Edgar Prado will be aboard Inimitable Romanee, second choice on the morning line at 7-2, from post six.
hard-hitting filly taking aim at the John Hettinger is
Wholelottashakin, who finished second in the Yaddo, a half-length in
front of Inimitable Romanee and 1 ¾ lengths behind Dayatthespa.
think she ran her race [in the Yaddo]," said Tom Bush, who trains
Wholelottashakin for owner Parting Glass Racing. "That was one of her
'A' races, and she just ran into a better filly. I was super pleased
with the effort. She definitely ran well."
4-year-old Scat Daddy filly shows three wins from five career starts on
the Belmont turf. Favored at 3-1 on the morning line, she drew post
four and will have a new rider in Irad Ortiz, Jr., replacing the injured
seems to like it [at Belmont]; she really does," Bush said. "She's
doing well. She shipped back from Saratoga good, and came out of the
race good up there. We had a couple more weeks after that race, and
she's done fine. She's a very hardy filly; very tough. She's ready to
exiting the Yaddo is Love Stanza Chance, who ducked out at the start
and raced wide before finishing last of six in her stakes debut for
trainer Tom Albertrani.
by Chester and Mary Broman, the 5-year-old Unbridled's Song mare has
registered each of her three career victories over the Belmont turf,
including a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance score on July 13.
were kind of throwing her in a little over her head [in the Yaddo],"
said Albertrani. "We were just hoping we could get a little lucky with
her and get a little black type. We're doing the same thing here. She's
going to have to step her game up, definitely."
John Hettinger is the fifth start this year for Love Stanza Chance, who
returned to the races in mid-May following a six-month break. Listed at
10-1 on the morning line, she departs from post 3 with jockey Cornelio
took her a couple races to come off the layoff," said Albertrani. "It
looked like she found her best stride the last couple races before the
Yaddo. It wasn't terrible, but we still feel like she's got to step up a
could be a little free-running, so if she settles and rates fine,
that's the whole key with her," he added. "Hopefully, she just kind of
relaxes and doesn't do too much early on. She's training well, so we're
just hoping for the best."
Unbridled, who gave legendary Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens his
first win of the Saratoga meet in the Saratoga Dew for state-bred
fillies on August 26, was one of three supplemental nominees to the John
Hettinger, along with Mlle Margaux, an optional claiming allowance
winner at Saratoga on August 31, and Harbor Mist.
out the John Hettinger field are Dreaming of Cara, fourth in the
Saratoga Dew; Diamondrella stakes winner Effie Trinket, who is
cross-entered in Saturday's Grade 1 Garden City; and Lady's Lunar Luck,
who is coming off a pair of wins at Saratoga.