will be showcased on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course, which will host
the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special.
of the seven Saratoga Special entrants will be making their second
start in Sunday's race, and trainer Todd Pletcher will send out two of
them in Corfu and Danza.
is stretching out in distance off a hard-fought, half-length triumph in
a five-furlong maiden race on July 25 at Saratoga. Leaving from post 1,
the Malibu Moon colt dueled for the lead from the inside and prevailed
following a lengthy battle with Pure Sensation.
was a very fast race," said Pletcher, who trains Corfu for Michael
Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith. "I think he showed some courage.
There was a lot of pace pressure early, and he seemed to bounce out of
the race really well, so we hope to take advantage of his speed and give
this a try. I was interested to see how he'd bounce back, and he
bounced back with very good energy. He's in great condition, and there's
every indication the race moved him forward."
Corfu, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, will have the services of Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez from post position 4.
Thoroughbred Partners' Danza enters the Saratoga Special off a
three-quarter-length debut win on July 12 at Belmont Park.
Sanford [on July 21] was too quick back, and we zeroed in on this
during that time," said Pletcher. "I think there will be more pace in a
race like this, and I think the horse will prefer to settle and make a
Javier Castellano will ride Danza, 8-1 on the morning line, from post 6.
and Bob Zollars' Candy Dandy stalked the early pace before running away
to a five-length victory on June 30 at Churchill Downs. Both the
runner-up (Dunkin Bend, August 3) and third-place finisher (Base Case
Scenario, July 27) returned to break their maidens at Saratoga.
been training good up here," said trainer Steve Asmussen of Candy
Dandy. "He was ready the first time, and he's very professional and easy
to train. He puts plenty into everything he does."
Rosie Napravnik has the call aboard Candy Dandy, 3-1, from post 3.
from Florida is Lunarwarfare, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 92 for
his debut victory on July 14 at Gulfstream Park. That figure has been
surpassed only by the 94 Big Sugar Soda received when he broke his
maiden in his second start on July 22 at Saratoga.
his debut, Lunarwarfare raced in the clear just off the early leader in
third, offered a challenge at the quarter pole, quickly dispatched the
pacesetter and drew off to a 6 ½-length triumph in the 4 ½-furlong dash.
extra distance] should be beneficial," said Michael Yates, who trains
the Shadybrook Farm homebred. "He has a good mind and he's easy to rate
if need be. In his debut we rushed him a little more than he wants to
be, but he responded well, finished well, and galloped out well. I was
impressed with the race."
Lunarwarfare, 6-1, will depart from the rail with Juan Leyva aboard.
Bryan is the only stakes winner in the field and is being wheeled back
off a 5 ¼-length triumph in the Grade 2 Sanford on July 21 at the Spa.
The Anstu Farm homebred also has a 7 ½-length victory against New
York-bred maidens on June 21 at Belmont Park to his credit.
Michael Dilger, who won his first stakes and race at Saratoga in the
Sanford, admits Wired Bryan is making a quick turnaround.
had 32 days between his maiden win and the Sanford; that's probably
ideal," said Dilger. "This is maybe a little bit short, but he's got a
good disposition, he's held his weight well, and he's trained well and
breezed well. It was a case of 'Why not?'"
Wired Bryan, 7-2, will leave from the outside post in the field of seven with Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons.
Saratoga Special will be the third start as well for Twang, who is also
coming back off short rest. After finishing third in his debut in June
at Churchill, the son of Dixie Union led the field from gate to wire in a
3 ¼-length maiden win on July 27 at Saratoga.
happy he broke his maiden and we started thinking about spots," said Al
Stall, who trains Twang for Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider.
"[Nominations for] the Saratoga Special closed that afternoon after he
ran, so we shot him into that race before it closed. We're just trying
to catch the right spot. He came out of the race well, so we're looking
sooner rather than later. He's a strong horse, and, win or lose, it
seems like the right thing to do.
professional," Stall added. "He doesn't need to be on the lead - he
just found himself on the lead the other day. We just took what they
gave us. He's a laid-back type of horse."
Joel Rosario has the call aboard Twang, 5-1, from post 5.
The Saratoga Special field also includes Ogermeister, who defeated New York-breds on May 16 at Belmont before finishing 15th of 24 in the Windsor Castle Stakes on June 18 at Royal Ascot.