Sayif and Get Serious, who
finished at opposite ends of the Battlefield Stakes here last Saturday, are
likely to meet again in the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes (G3) here on Haskell Day,
Sayif, a 5-year-old
Irish-bred owned by Saleh Al-Homaizi and trained by Patrick Biancone, was a
wire-to-wire winner of the Battlefield, getting the mile over a turf course
labeled “good” in 1:34.40.
Get Serious, a 7-year-old
trained by John Forbes and Pat McBurney for Jim Dinan and Phantom House Farm,
never looked comfortable on the softened turf and finished sixth of six. He had
won the Battlefield in front-running fashion in 2009, setting a course record
of 1:32.70 over firm ground.
“If Sayif comes out of the
race well, he’ll go in the Oceanport next,” said Biancone.
The trainer also saddled
Nownownow for the Battlefield, but the 6-year-old never ran and finished fifth.
“I thought he would win,”
Biancone said, “but he strained his ankle in the race. He will be out for a
Get Serious will tackle the
mile and a sixteenth Oceanport – a race he won last year by a neck over the
Biancone-trained Violon Sacre – only if the going is firm.
“There was a lot of debate
among us whether to start in the Battlefield,” McBurney said. “In the end, we
decided to give him one more try over a soft course.
“The jockey (Pablo Fragoso)
said after the race that Get Serious didn’t like the grass course at all,”
Last year, Get Serious had a
dream season, winning five stakes in six starts over the firm Monmouth turf.
His only loss came in the 11-furlong United Nations (G1), just a little too far
This season has been the
complete opposite. In three starts, he’s caught “good” turf twice and finished
off the board, and ran once on the main track, another surface Get Serious does
“As good as everything fell
into place last year, that’s how bad it going this year,” McBurney said. “He’s
bigger and stronger this year, but nothing has gone right yet.”