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Sharp Debut Winners Meet in Adirondack

Wonder Gal, winner of the 2014 Lynbrook stakes
Photo: NYRA Photo
A trio of sensational debut winners at Belmont Park is set to line up for the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.


 

The 6 ½-furlong Adirondack is part of a 10-race card that also features the Grade 2, $200,000 Toyota Saratoga Special for 2-year-olds at the same distance.


 

Leading the triumvirate of downstate maiden breakers is Wonder Gal, who proved her name was no coincidence when she demolished a New York-bred field in the Lynbrook Stakes at six furlongs. The dark bay or brown filly did not show the typical speed of an odds-on juvenile - lagging eight lengths behind the field in the early going - but validated her odds by inhaling the field around the far turn and drawing off to win by 14 ½ lengths.


 

"She's doing great; she breezed very well a couple days ago," said Leah Gyarmati, who trains Wonder Gal for Treadway Racing Stable - the same owner and trainer that sent out Sweet Reason to victory in the Grade 1 Longines Test on Whitney Day. "I think she wants to go long, but she was very impressive sprinting [in the Lynbrook]. She's a big filly. She's not slow or anything in her breezes, but she's not some speedy thing that takes off from the pole. She's a very relaxed, laid-back filly, so her running style fits her personality."

 

 

Taylor Rice has the return call on Wonder Gal, 3-1 on the morning line, and the pair will break from the rail.

 

 

Cavorting debuted on July 3 at Belmont in a four-horse field for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Stonestreet Stables. The daughter of Bernardini - bet down to even money - exploded from the gate and took the field wire to wire to prevail by 11 lengths.

 

 

Cavorting was purchased for $360,000 as a weanling in November 2012 and has had two breezes since arriving in Saratoga, most recently going five furlongs in 1:01.60 on August 2.

 

 

"[Her debut] was a 'wow' race," said McLaughlin. "She's a very nice filly. She's trained great since and is doing well. You don't anticipate one running like that, but we've always liked her. She came in from Florida ready to go, and she's done everything right."

 

 

Cavorting, 7-2 on the morning line, will break from post 5 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.

 

 

Rarely absent in 2-year-old races at the Spa, trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented by the 5-2 morning-line favorite Angela Renee in the Adirondack. Also a daughter of Bernardini, the bay filly won in her unveiling by 2 ½ lengths in a five-furlong maiden race on June 27 at Belmont; and that race was subsequently flattered by runner-up Sunday Sonnet, who came back to break her maiden by 7 ¼ lengths in an off-the-turf race at Saratoga.

 

 

Of her fellow Belmont maiden graduates, Angela Renee will be stretching out the farthest in distance on Sunday.

 

 

"I thought [her debut] was very professional and very straightforward," said Pletcher, who trains Angela Renee for Siena Farm. "She had trained very well and she has a pedigree that suggests that she wants to run further, yet she was able to win going short. I think that speaks of her quality and class, and the added distance should only be to her benefit."


 

Expectations are high for the precocious filly, who is a full-sister to 2012 Woodward winner To Honor and Serve, and Pletcher hopes the Adirondack could be the springboard for a lucrative career.


 

"Hopefully she's got a big future in front of her, but certainly anytime you've got a filly with her type of family then graded stakes are what you're hoping for," said Pletcher.


 

Hall of Famer John Velazquez will ride Angela Renee from post 3.


 

The three Belmont shippers figure to face a stern test from a pair of already accomplished fillies: Take Charge Brandi and Vivian Da Bling.


 

Runner-up in the Grade 3 Schuylerville on Opening Day at the Spa, Take Charge Brandi will be back for more on Sunday. The chestnut filly dueled with eventual winner Fashion Alert through sizzling fractions in the Schuylerville before being overtaken late and finishing 1 ½ lengths back.


 

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas for Willis Horton, Take Charge Brandi, 10-1 on the morning line, will be ridden by Corey Lanerie from post 4.


 

Undefeated filly Vivian Da Bling will go in search of her third straight victory in the Adirondack. The gray or roan filly, trained by Bret Calhoun, debuted on June 15 at Lone Star Park and won by 9 ½ lengths. She followed the performance with an equally impressive encore, taking the TTA Sales Futurity by 6 ¼ lengths.


 

Rosie Napravnik has the mount aboard Vivian Da Bling, 4-1 on the morning line, and the duo will leave from post 6.


 

Rounding out the field are Phoenix Park, who broke her maiden at Parx in her first and only start, and Empressive Humor, who took her debut by a neck on July 23 at Saratoga.

 

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