Readthebyline, a winner of five of 22 career starts, will make his
stakes debut in the $100,000 Evan Shipman on Monday at Saratoga Race Course.
The 1 1/8-mile Evan Shipman is for New York-breds, 3-years-old and up.
The last time Readthebyline faced New York-breds, the 4-year-old
gelding won a second-level optional claimer by three lengths in
February at Aqueduct Racetrack. He then
made four starts in optional claimers against open company: a fourth in
March at Aqueduct, a win in April at Aqueduct, a third in May at
Belmont Park, and a win on June 22 at
In his most recent start, Readthebyline set a fast pace and ran
away to a six-length victory, clearing the first allowance condition in a
1 1/16-mile race. He received
a Beyer Speed Figure of 103 for the effort.
“Sometimes horses jump up and run a big one,” said Rick
Schosberg, who trains Readthebyline for Black Swan Stable. “When he had
the lead turning for home, I started
walking downstairs [to the winner’s circle]. Even if he runs fast
fractions, he has a good chance to win if he has a lead, because he
blows up with confidence. He has the tactical advantage of being a
speedy horse. A lot of that had to do with building confidence
with wins over allowance horses. That, in turn, helped him physically
in terms of relaxing.”
Schosberg says the timing is right for Readthebyline to take on stakes company.
“Going from an [entry-level] allowance to a New York-bred stakes
is a step up, but practically every horse in this spot has gone through
those races,” said Schosberg.
“It’s no small feat to be able to handle open company.”
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride Readthebyline, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, from post position 3.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Awesome Vision seeks his second stakes triumph, having dead-heated with New York-bred champion
for the win in the Compelling Word overnight stakes in March at
Aqueduct. The Compelling Word was his third straight victory over the
inner track, having captured a pair of optional claimers
earlier in the meet.
Following the Compelling Word, Awesome Vision made two starts at
Belmont, finishing fourth against open company in May and third when
back in against state-breds in
the Commentator Handicap on June 1.
The Evan Shipman will be his first start around two turns since the Compelling Word.
“We’re going two turns this time around, and I think that will
really help him quite a bit,” said trainer Tom Albertrani. “He’s coming
off a good third, and he’s been
training well off that race. He’s had a little freshening and
everything is looking good. He would benefit from a good pace. He does
like to make a good closing kick. In most of his races, it looks like
he’s not going to get up, and then makes a late run.”
Awesome Vision, the 3-1 third choice on the morning line, will depart from post 2 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.
The 2-1 morning-line second choice is Groomedforvictory, who was
claimed for $25,000 in his most recent start, a 5 ½-length romp in a
seven-furlong state-bred optional
claimer on June 30 at Belmont. The 8-year-old gelding will now race for trainer Mike Maker and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Joel Rosario will ride Groomedforvictory, who drew post 5, for the first time in the Evan Shipman.
The field also includes Anaphylaxis, Bigger Is Bettor, and So Scott.