McLaughlin Makes Saratoga Stakes Plans

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said this morning that multiple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky will most likely make her next start at Saratoga Race Course, either in the Grade 1 Ballerina on August 24 or the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 26.


“She’ll work tomorrow morning but my gut feeling is that she’ll skip the Delaware Handicap,” said McLaughlin of It’s Tricky, winner of the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps last time out. “It’s 1 1/4 miles, the track is tiring, and she doesn’t ship all that well. So that’s doubtful, and we’ll look at the seven-furlong [Ballerina] or the 1 1/8-mile [Personal Ensign].”


Last year at Saratoga, the Mineshaft filly won the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks and was runner-up to Royal Delta in the Grade 1 Alabama.


Opening weekend at the Spa could be a busy one for McLaughlin, who is looking at Friday’s Grade 3 James Marvin for Crossbow and Saturday’s Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks as a possibility for Questing.


Fifth in the Grade 2 True North Handicap on June 9 in his most recent start off a 3 ½-month layoff, Crossbow worked four furlongs in a brisk 47.23 this morning at the Greentree training center in Saratoga.


“He’s doing great,” said McLaughlin of the 4-year-old Bernardini colt, who won his first two starts this year, both in optional claimers, at Aqueduct Racetrack.


Questing, who was fourth and fifth in two turf starts for McLaughlin at Gulfstream Park,   returned to the dirt at Belmont on June 24 and was an impressive 3 ¾-length winner in a one-mile optional claimer.


“She ran huge that day,” said McLaughlin of Questing, who began her career in England. “If she ran that race back, she would look pretty good. And sometimes, it’s OK to be third in a Grade 1.”


McLaughlin said the Hard Spun filly would work tomorrow morning, after which a decision would be made.


The trainer added that Grade 3 Withers winner Alpha, unraced since finishing 12th in the Kentucky Derby, would likely make his next start in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 28.





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Older Comments about McLaughlin Makes Saratoga Stakes Plans...

Given the money involved at Saratoga, there will be top competition there. I would think going to the Delaware Handicap, even with its prestige, is ducking.
Kiaran always makes solid decisions with his horses, it's one of the many reasons why he's one of the best trainers in the game
This also happened this a.m.: Royal Delta: 5f Belmont 1:00.29, 1/9
It may be an excuse to duck, but it seems to me the real reason they re skipping Delaware Oaks is because of the money at Saratoga. Because of the slots increase according to the NY Post article, Saratoga purses will go from approximately $670k a day to just shy of 1 million a day, $970k to be exact. Shipping anywhere else with purses like that may not make sense. The old follow the money.
The Track is tiring? Really, if it is tiring then what is Saratoga? Quicksand? Correct me if i'm wrong, but you shipped this filly to Florida and PA last year? You ran her in a 10f race last year and ran second...right? No all of a sudden she can't ship and can't handle 10f? Wow....I'm sorry but this is an excuse to duck the best, just like he was doing with Alpha earlier this season, just like he did when he shipped this filly to PA instead of staying in NY, when she would have to ship, but would have faced RD and HDG. This is ducking, and it is sad.

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