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My Miss Aurelia Adirondack Choice

Sagamore Farm’s Millionreasonswhy returns to action off her victory in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont Park, heading a promising field of six 2-year-old fillies Sunday in the 95th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack at Saratoga Race Course.

 

Millionreasonswhy, a bay daughter of Grand Slam, won her debut in an off-the-turf sprint June 11 at Colonial Downs for trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Correas and then powered home to a two-length victory in the Grade 2 Matron on July 3 at Belmont Park.

 

In that race, Millionreasonswhy broke last in the field of six and overcame several problems to win going away under jockey John Velazquez, who retains the mount for the Adirondack. Since then, Correas has kept Millionreasonswhy on her toes with back-to-back five-furlong works in 1:01 on the Tapeta Footings surface at Sagamore. 

 

“I knew I had a good filly. How good? Horses that age change race by race,” Correas said. “Experience makes a big difference for a 2-year-old. I’m expecting a big effort, but I know the company will be different. This field is tough, but my filly is tough, too. She can run from off the pace. In the Matron, she got into traffic, she went four wide and she showed her class.”

 

Even with her experience, Millionreasonswhy, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, will need to display speed as well. She will face stiff opposition from Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s My Miss Aurelia, a sharp one-length winner in her debut July 22 at Saratoga. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the bay daughter of Smart Strike lived up to her $550,000 sales price, zipping 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.59, earning a field-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

 

My Miss Aurelia is the 6-5 favorite on the morning line.

 

“She’s fast,” said Asmussen, who retains jockey Julien Leparoux for the race. “She ran once and ran well.”

 

Trainer George “Rusty” Arnold is bullish on the prospects of G.W. Humphrey Jr.’s New Wave, a $300,000 daughter of Tale of the Cat, who won her debut by a neck July 9 on the Polytrack at Arlington Park. Since the victory, she has moved to Saratoga and trained well.

 

“We bought her at Keeneland, and she’s done everything right,” Arnold said. “She had three good works, we’re encouraged and we’re going to run her. She handles the dirt very well, and we don’t see problems with the dirt.”

 

Out of the Unbridled Song mare Ecology, New Wave, 8-1, is a half-sister to the versatile General Quarters, who has won Grade 1 races on turf and Polytrack as well as a Grade 3 stakes on dirt.

 

“We’ve liked her since the day we got her,” said Arnold, who has given the mount to Alex Solis for the race.

 

John Oxley’s Funny Proposition represents another fast threat. After breaking seventh in her debut July 4 at Churchill Downs, the $275,000 daughter of Medaglia d’Oro cut through an opening quarter-mile in 21 1/5 seconds and opened up by two lengths in the lane before winning the six-furlong race by three quarters of a length.

 

“We had about 15 (horses) at Churchill Downs all spring, mostly 2-year-olds we wanted to get ready for the end of Churchill Downs and Saratoga,” said Canadian-based trainer Mark Casse’s son and assistant, Norman Casse. “We wanted to train them on the dirt instead of the Polytrack at Woodbine. The ones that showed the most talent at Ocala were the ones pointed toward Saratoga.”

 

Funny Proposition was bet down to 3-1 in her debut; clearly the word about the Casse 2-year-olds was out.

 

“I think they had her 8-1 in the morning line, and I was surprised she wasn’t the favorite,” Casse said. “I don’t know if we have a horse that’s training better. A lot of our horses have struggled over the deep surface (at Saratoga) and she has handled it beautifully.”

 

Funny Proposition is 6-1 on the morning line.

 

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has entered Siena Racing Stable’s Anna Sophia, 12-1, a three-length winner in her five-furlong debut June 30 at Belmont Park.

 

“There are so many unknowns about these things,” Mott said of 2-year-old stakes races. “you don’t have a lot of options, so you take the next step. She’s been on a regular schedule. Everything has gone pretty well.”

 

Completing the field is George and Stephanie Autry’s Bellacourt, 5-1, a daughter of Lion Heart who broke her maiden July 31 in her second career start, beating New York-bred maidens by 6 1/4 lengths after being bumped at the start.

 

The field for the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

New Wave (KY)

Alex Solis

118

G. Arnold

8-1

2

Bellacourt (NY)

Eddie Castro

118

J. Lawrence

5-1

3

Funny Proposition (KY)

S. Bridgmohan

118

M. Casse

6-1

4

Millionreasonswhy (KY)

J.R. Velazquez

122

I. Correas IV

5-2

5

My Miss Aurelia (KY)

J. Leparoux

118

S. Asmussen

6-5

6

Anna Sophia (KY)

J. Lezcano

118

W. Mott

12-1

 

 

 

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