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Sailmate Gets Class, Stamina Test at Spa

Sailmate, unbeaten in a pair of sprints at Belmont in 2012, will step up in class and stretch out in distance for the $100,000 Evan Shipman for New York-breds on July 23 at Saratoga Race Course, trainer John Kimmel said on Friday.

A 4-year-old son of Friends Lake, Sailmate won a second-level optional claimer for New York-breds by three-quarters of a length on May 26, then closed from seventh against open company to take an entry-level allowance by a nose on June 23.

“The horse really hasn’t done anything wrong,” said Kimmel, who trains the colt for Sugar Maple Farm. “I think he’ll enjoy the trip going a mile and an eighth [in the Shipman]. It’s just a matter of who he’s running against and if he’s good enough.”

Sailmate has made one previous stakes start, finishing fourth against state-bred 3-year-olds in Saratoga’s Albany, his 2011 finale.

“He was nursing a sore shin, and after the race he had shown a radiographic crack,” said Kimmel. “That’s why he got the time off. He didn’t run that badly, but he’s a much sounder, better horse now than he was back then.”



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