Mike Lee winner
Preachintothedevil, aiming for a start in the 1 1/8-mile Albany on August 24, turned in a 1:16.54 six-furlong breeze
at Saratoga on
“It was just a little maintenance
stuff,” said Gary Contessa, who trains the colt for Crossed Sabres Farm. “He
went nicely galloped out strongly. He’s right on schedule for the Albany .”
Preachintothedevil is exiting a 4
¼-length runner-up effort behind stablemate Socialsaul in the July 16 New
York Derby at Finger Lakes . Socialsaul, owned
by Samotowka Stables, will breeze tomorrow and is also probable for the
Albany , Contessa
The Mike Lee and the New York
Derby form the first two legs of the Big Apple Triple, a series for 3-year-old
New York-breds that was inaugurated in 1999.
If either Preachintothedevil or
Socialsaul win the Albany , Contessa would become the first trainer
to win all three legs of the Big Apple Triple in the same year with two
different horses, but would not receive the $100,000 bonus awarded to the
connections of any horse who sweeps the series. Tin Cup Chalice, who won all
three legs in 2008, is the only horse to complete the sweep.
“If they gave me a free lunch or
something [for winning all three races], I’d be happy,” quipped Contessa.
Contessa believes both
Preachintothedevil and Socialsaul have an equal chance of winning the Albany .
“Socialsaul had the perfect trip
[in the New York Derby], while Preachintothedevil had a very eventful trip,”
said Contessa. “He stumbled coming out of the gate, checked off heels going into
the first turn, and was blocked on the backside, so he didn’t have the best
“I don’t even have an opinion as
to who will win [the Albany ],” continued Contessa. “I like them
both. We’ll see who the better horse is in the Albany . I think they are very close. It’s hard
to separate those two. I just hope I win it with one of them! Some other horse
could beat us.”