Eleven months after
making her successful stateside debut at Saratoga Race Course,
Watsdachances returns to familiar surroundings looking to regain her
Trained by Mechanicville,
N.Y. native Chad Brown for owners
Michael Kisber and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Watsdachances aims for her
first victory of 2013 in Wednesday’s Grade 3, $200,000
Lake George on the inner turf.
The 1 1/16-mile Lake
George for 3-year-old fillies will be the third start of the year for
Watsdachances, an Irish-bred daughter of Diamond Green who is winless
thus far, having run fourth by 2 ¼ lengths in the
Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland and third by two lengths in the Grade 2
Sands Point at
After being imported from
Ireland, Watsdachances went 2-for-3 in 2012 for Brown, winning the $100,000 P.G. Johnson at
Saratoga on August 29 and the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at
Belmont before running a strong second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.
“She hasn’t really
picked up where she left off in her 2-year-old year with that good
second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup,” Brown said. “Her first two
races of the year weren’t bad, but they were subpar
for her standards. She was training well going into both of those
races, and she had no excuse in either one not to win.
“I think she’s training
a little bit better [in] her last couple of works. It’s time for her to
step up and pick up where she left off, being really the top 2-year-old
turf filly in the country, as she proved
in the Breeders’ Cup. I’m looking for that kind of a race out of her in
Since arriving in
Saratoga in mid-June this year, Watsdachances has had six local works for the
Lake George, including a pair of half-mile breezes on the turf. Her most recent, in 50.89 seconds, came on opening day, July 19.
“That was part of the thinking,” Brown said, “seeing that she’s off form just a touch, to get her up to
early, which we did. Maybe she thrives in this environment. It may have
worked. Her coat’s really come around, and she looks fabulous in the
morning. It could be a
Saratoga thing for her to get her back on track.”
Favored in each of her two starts to open the year, Watsdachances is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line in the
Lake George. She will leave from the rail with Javier Castellano aboard.
The 2-1 morning-line
favorite in the Lake George is Tapicat, a winner of three straight races
who is unraced since her victory in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks on
February 2, and Kitten’s Dumplings, a multiple graded
stakes winner who took the Grade 3 Regret last time out and who is 5-2
on the morning line.
With Hall of Famer Mike
Smith riding, Tapicat will leave from post position 2 while Kitten’s
Dumplings, who was second to that rival in the Florida Oaks, breaks from
post position 6 with Joel Rosario in the irons.
Two horses will be making their stakes debut in the
Lake George: promising Darley Stable
homebred Midnight Watch and undefeated Blossom’s Trail, the latter
making her first start for trainer Gary Contessa.
Blossom’s Trail, a bay
daughter of Purge, was also entered in the $100,000 My Princess Jess
overnight stakes on July 20 but was scratched out of that race.
“I figured we could be
20-1 in a 12-horse field, or 30-1 in a six-horse field on Wednesday, and
it’s graded,” Contessa said. “You never know. She’s not a bad filly.
She’ll be the only undefeated filly to ever
go off at such high odds in a stake. She’s been led over there three
times, and she’s won three times. I do expect a miracle. I expect to win
it but, again, I don’t know that I’m going win it. We’re going to find
out what she’s made of, but she’s done everything
right so far.”
Blossom’s Trail broke
her maiden first time out on March 1 and came back to win an optional
claimer four weeks later, both at Gulfstream Park, for trainer Ralph
Nicks. Contessa claimed her for $65,000 on behalf
of Wounded Warrior Stables following her latest victory June 20 at
“You’ve got to love a
horse that wins. She wins,” Contessa said. “You can’t go wrong claiming a
horse that does nothing but win. She’s my kind of horse.”
At 15-1 on the morning line, Blossom’s Trail drew post position 3 under Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado.
Midnight Watch takes a two-race win streak into the
Lake George for Darley and trainer
Kiaran McLaughlin. Eleventh of 12 following a tardy start in her
February 1 debut at Gulfstream Park, the Stormy Atlantic filly went
gate-to-wire in maiden and allowance victories, both against
older horses, 25 days apart in May at Belmont Park.
“She’s won her last
two, and she’s a nice filly,” McLaughlin said. “She had little issues
[as a 2-year-old] but she’s done very well this year. Her first time out
she had a terrible break and was in all kinds
of trouble; the next two times, she broke and was gone. She’s a very
“It just took a little
bit of time before we got her back in [a race],” said McLaughlin of
Midnight Watch, 5-1 from post position 5. “She’s doing well. It’s a
tough race, but we’re all right. They’ve got to catch
Also in the Lake George
field are the undefeated Maximova, who improved to 3-0 with a head
victory in the $90,000 Bit of Whimsy Stakes at Belmont on June 16, Fab
Flowers, and Skyfall, who was entered main track