Al Stall, Jr. continued his strong 2012
Saratoga Race Course meeting by sending out Sign to a 11 ¾-length debut victory
on Sunday, the trainer’s sixth win from 20 starts since racing commenced
here on July 20.
Sign drew the rail post and left the gate in seventh place before
flashing speed along the inside to race in third, 1 ½ lengths behind the
leader, through an opening quarter-mile in 22.56 seconds. After dropping back
to fourth while awaiting running room on the turn, the daughter of Pulpit
circled the field four wide and needed only minimal urging from Rosie Napravnik
to run up the score in deep stretch.
Off at 10-1, Sign paid $22.00 and ran six furlongs in 1:10.37.
“She was professional [training earlier this summer at
Keeneland], but we didn’t know if she could do that at Saratoga,” said Stall. “I
don’t know what was behind her [in her maiden win], but I’ve never
had a 2-year-old win like that on dirt here. That’s what gets you out of
bed in the morning. She’s kind. I tried to get her behind dirt in the
morning, and her mind is good, very good. She comes from a very good Claiborne
family where all the horses have innate class, and she’s just like some
of the other ones I’ve had.”
Sign, a homebred for Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, is out of Cross,
who won a restricted stakes on turf via disqualification as a 2-year-old. A
half-brother to Cross, Lattice, captured the Grade 2 American Derby and Grade 3
Louisville Handicap, also on grass.
Stall, who trained both Cross and Lattice during the latter stages of
their careers, always thought Sign would do her best running on the dirt.
“If you look at her, physically, she looks like a dirt
type,” said Stall. “She has a big, powerful hip on her, and she
gave me a dirt feeling, just being around her. She doesn’t have a
Stall, who is based in Louisiana in the winter and Kentucky in the
spring and fall, said the Grade 2 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs in October is a
possible target for Cross.
On Friday, Stall sent out 2-year-old colt Central Banker to a maiden
victory, and one day later Stall won with Magical Moon, a 2-year-old filly who
broke her maiden by 10 ½ lengths in a turf sprint. Both Central Banker and
Magical Moon were second-time starters.
Other horses previously featured in the New York Watch series include
2010 Champion Two-Year-Old Male Uncle Mo, 2011 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
Royal Delta, 2011 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly My Miss Aurelia, and Grade 1
winners Boys At Tosconova, J. B.’s Thunder, Winter Memories, Currency
Swap, To Honor and Serve, and Alpha.