Race of the Week 2017

Saginaw Begins 2013 Season in Hollie Hughes

Saginaw, who won 10 of 14 starts in 2012, will launch his 2013 campaign in Monday’s $75,000 Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct Racetrack.


Now 7, Saginaw was installed as the 3-5 morning-line favorite for the Hollie Hughes, a six-furlong sprint for New York-breds 3-years-old and up.


Saginaw was claimed for $30,000 in March by trainer David Jacobson and proved to be a worthy investment. For his new connections Saginaw has won nine of 12 starts at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. He has won six stakes, picking up his first open company stakes score with a one-length decision in the six-furlong Gravesend Handicap on December 15 at Aqueduct.


The gelding’s 10 wins in 2012 put him in a three-way tie for the most victories by a horse in North America in 2013, with his attempt to pick up an 11th triumph falling 12 ¾ lengths short when he was third in the 1 1/16-mile Alex M. Robb on December 26 at the Big A. The Alex M. Robb was Saginaw’s first start around two turns since his claim in March, with the son of Peruvian to cut back to one turn for the Hollie Hughes.


“As we got into the season, it looked to me his success wasn’t a fluke,” said Jacobson, who owns Saginaw in partnership with Drawing Away Stable. “He didn’t win just one or two races; he’s real. I hope he’ll have a similar campaign this year. With the way he is and the way the races fall, we’ll decide what distances he’ll run. Seven-eighths to a mile seems to be his best distance, so that’s what we’ll be aiming for. It’s amazing; horses like him don’t come around all too often.”


Saginaw will leave from post position 4 with Junior Alvarado aboard.


Jacobson also entered Christopher T. Dunn’s Be Bullish in the Hollie Hughes. The 8-year-old has won five stakes in his career, including the 2011 Hollie Hughes.


Claimed out of a fourth-place effort in September, Be Bullish finished second in his first start for Jacobson in November, then prevailed by one length on December 7, all at the $50,000 optional claiming level. In his most recent start, he was last of four in the True and Blue overnight stakes on January 9.


“I ran him back a little quick [in the True and Blue],” said Jacobson. “He’s going to run really big race on Monday. I’m looking for a big race from him.”


David Cohen will ride Be Bullish, 4-1 on the morning line, from the rail.


Jacobson entered Friday’s card second in the inner track trainer standings with 20 wins, one behind Rudy Rodriguez, who also entered a pair in the Hollie Hughes.


Sportswriter, who won the Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes on November 14 on Aqueduct’s main track, finished fifth in the Fire Plug Stakes on January 21 at Laurel Park after stumbling at the start.


“He kind of stumbled out of the gate, and I guess that compromised everything,” said Rodriguez, who trains the 4-year-old for Michael Dubb and Michael Imperio. “Maybe he didn’t like the track. Who knows? He didn’t run his best, that’s for sure. It looks like he’s ready to run.”


Cornelio Velasquez has the call aboard 15-1 long shot Sportswriter, who drew post 5.


Vincent S. Scuderi’s Uncle T Seven, who raced for trainer Wesley Ward in his previous start, will be making his debut for Rodriguez in the Hollie Hughes. The 7-year-old has won four stakes in his career and seeks his first black-type score since the 2010 Ashley T. Cole going long on turf at Belmont Park.


Most recently, Uncle T Seven trailed the field when fifth in the Turn of the Century overnight stakes on January 20 on the inner track.


“He pretty much does everything,” said Rodriguez. “We’re going to run him and maybe we can get a piece. We got the horse three weeks ago and the owner was pointing toward this type of race, so we’re just following their lead. We want to see where he’ll fit.”


Uncle T Seven, 8-1, will have the services of Eddie Castro from post 3.


Bruce Levine, third in the trainer standings, will be represented in the Hollie Hughes by Readytodefer, the 7-2 morning-line second choice. The Parting Glass Racing color-bearer and likely pacesetter has won two straight optional claimers at six furlongs: a main track race for New York-breds on November 28 and an inner track race against open company on January 6.


Readytodefer drew post 2. Jose Ortiz will ride.




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