On Leave, Pricedtoperfection face off in All Along

September 13, 2017 11:55am
On Leave wins 2016 Riskaverse
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Graded stakes winners On Leave and Pricedtoperfection will break side-by-side each looking to bounce back from disappointing efforts in Saturday’s $150,000 All Along at Laurel Park.
The 1 1/16-mile All Along for fillies and mares 3 and older and the 55th running of the $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up going 1 ½ miles are among six stakes over Laurel’s world-class turf course that complement the 26th running of the $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) on a 12-race Fall Festival of Racing program.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey won the All Along last year with Onus when it was run as the Lady Baltimore. This year, he sends out another Stuart Janney III homebred in 4-year-old War Front filly On Leave who, like Onus, will be ridden by Forest Boyce. They will carry topweight of 120 pounds from the rail in the field of nine.
On Leave is exiting the Aug. 26 Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga where she stalked a duel up front between Dickinson and Antonoe before tiring to be last of five, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by Lady Eli – all three Grade 1 winners. Prior to that she came up a neck short following a dramatic rally on the outside in the one-mile De La Rose.
“She came back fine. The last race didn’t turn up the way I thought it would,” McGaughey said. “It was a heavy race. I knew [Dickinson] was going to go and I thought we’d be laying right behind her but they sent [Antonoe] and that kind of messed things up for us.
“We’ll give her a bit of a class relief and see what happens,” he added. “She’s runs good every time. She’s a nice filly.”
A front-running winner of the 1 1/8-mile Sands Point (G2) last fall, On Leave began this year running second behind Cambodia in the 1 1/16-mile Gallorette (G3) May 20 on the Preakness (G1) undercard at historic Pimlico Race Course. Cambodia, also by War Front, has won back-to-back Grade 2 events at Del Mar.
“She ran really good in that last race at Pimlico to Cambodia and Cambodia has come back and won a couple stakes out in California,” McGaughey said. “The turf probably had a little bit more give in it that day than she likes, so we’re looking forward to bringing her down there.”
Madaket Stables and Head of Plains Partners’ Pricedtoperfection, who drew Post 2 under Feargal Lynch at 118 pounds, has gone winless since taking the one-mile Sweetest Chant (G3) last January. She has placed in four stakes since including the Commonwealth Oaks (G3) in September at Laurel.
The 1 1/8 mile Oaks was the last start for Pricedtoperfection before rallying to finish fourth, beaten two lengths, in a one-mile optional claiming allowance July 22 at Saratoga. Returning to graded company for her subsequent start, she pressed the pace before weakening to sixth in the Violet (G3) last out Aug. 19 at Monmouth Park.
“I was a little disappointed. I thought she ran very well first time back at Saratoga, so I was hoping for a better effort,” trainer Graham Motion said. “I might put some blinkers on her on Saturday. It just seemed like she didn’t really get into the race the other day. I’m hoping the third race off the layoff is going to be a help to her.
“It’s possible that race took a little more out of her than I thought it did, but I thought it was really encouraging and it was logical to take the next step and go to the stake at Monmouth,” he added. “She’s done well since. Maybe the mile and a sixteenth might suit her a little better. Miss Temple City, we really thought strongly that she was a miler. It makes sense for this filly, as well, to shorten her up a little bit.”
Pricedtoperfection will meet a familiar foe in Merriebelle Stable’s Light Up Our World, second as the favorite in the Violet for another Fair Hill-based trainer in Arnaud Delacour. The Violet was the third U.S. start for the Irish-bred Zoffany filly since coming to the U.S., having run second in her June 1 debut at Belmont Park and fourth in the Dr. James Penney (G3) in July at Parx.
“I thought she ran a good race at Monmouth; we just got beat by a better horse that day,” Delacour said. “She got shut off going into the first turn and our jock had to take back pretty aggressively. It may have cost her a little bit but she recovered pretty good from that and I thought she ran a good race. We’ll hope for the best with her.
“She’s been very consistent and run very well for us,” he added. “I’m just hoping for a little bit of a cut in the ground, because she’s performed very well on a softer turf in Europe. I’ve been trying all summer to get some soft turf but I haven’t able to so far. She’s only run on firm turf and I think some cut in the ground would help her.”
Also entered are multiple stakes winner Gianna’s Dream, an optional claiming allowance winner July 15 at Laurel that was most recently third in the Violet; multiple graded-stakes placed Juno for California-based trainer Neil Drysdale; Martini Glass, second in her last three starts including a one-length loss to retired champion Songbird in the July 15 Delaware Oaks; stakes winner Paige and Kelly Rubley-trained stablemates Northern Smile and Indian Paint.
Source: Maryland Jockey Club


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