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Mott Delighted With Close Hatches

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was delighted this morning with the way Close Hatches emerged from her 7 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Mother Goose.

 

“She looks great; I’m happy,” said Mott of the Juddmonte Farms color-bearer, who with the victory earned her first Grade 1 in three consecutive tries. “[Yesterday] she just kind of shot to the lead and seized the race at the three-eighths pole, and kept going. She trains like she had a race like that in her. She ran well last time [second in the Grade 1 Acorn] and didn’t embarrass anyone [when seventh] in the Kentucky Oaks, although probably that wasn’t her best race. She ran very average in the Oaks, and good in the Acorn, and real good yesterday.”

 

The Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, 1 1/8 miles around two turns on July 20 at Saratoga Race Course, remains the next logical target, said Mott.

 

Of more immediate concern is Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 New York for turf fillies and mares, in which Starformer looks to rebound from an eighth-place finish over soft footing in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay.

 

The 5-year-old Dynaformer mare turned up for the 1 ¼ mile race Sunday morning with a six-furlong breeze over the inner turf in 1:14.05

 

“She went really, really well, and did it on the bridle,” said Mott. “So, she was good.”

 

Also on the worktab for Mott was his other star 3-year-old filly, Grade 1 Ashland winner Emollient, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01.53 in preparation for an expected start in the Grade 1 American Oaks on July 13 at Befair Hollywood Park.

 

“We’ve found out with Emollient that synthetic and turf is going to be a little bet better than the dirt,” he said, adding that the promising sophomore filly Tapicat, winner of the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs in February, would likely target the Grade 2, $200,000 Lake George on July 24 at Saratoga.

 

Mott confirmed that Flat Out, whose four-race unbeaten streak at Belmont ended when he was third in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, was under consideration for the Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban Handicap on July 6.

 

“He runs well here,” said the trainer. “We didn’t get it done in the Met Mile, which we wanted to, and maybe we’d give him another opportunity here. I would think the Suburban might not be as tough as the Met Mile was. If we were to wait for the Whitney [Grade 1, August 3, Saratoga] we’d have to wait another month and I’m not sure the horse needs another month.”

 

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