Will Pletcher Have Last Word in Spinaway?

Teen Pauline breaks maiden at Saratoga.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese

Others have had their say, but trainer Todd Pletcher has largely held the last word on 2-year-old racing this summer at Saratoga Race Course.

Heading into Thursday’s race card, Pletcher had sent 2-year-olds into the starting gate 55 times and come away victorious 20 times for a .360 batting average.

Pletcher will seek to continue his domination when he runs a pair of promising fillies, Dreaming of Julia and Corail, on Sunday in the 121st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway at seven furlongs. The historic Spa fixture, which has been won by numerous champions, including Ashado, Flanders, Meadow Star and Ruffian, will be run as the 10th race on an 11-race card that also includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds on the grass.

Both Pletcher fillies head into the Spinaway off debut scores by open lengths at low odds.

Wertheimer and Frere’s Corail (pronounced Kor-EYE), by Indian Charlie, debuted August 1 in a 5 ½-furlong sprint and won by 3 ½ lengths in a time of 1:04.52. Stonestreet Stables’ Dreaming of Julia, by A.P. Indy, ran five days later and won a 6 ½-furlong sprint by 10 ½ lengths in a time of 1:16.48.

“They’re both good-sized fillies I think will appreciate more distance down the road,” said Pletcher. “They are similar in that both were very professional in their debuts and have tactical speed and the ability to stretch it out, we believe. I think they’ll both be prominently placed early.”

Dreaming of Julia will run as part of a coupled entry with Teen Pauline, another Stonestreet filly in the hands of trainer Steve Asmussen. A homebred by Tapit, Teen Pauline set a Saratoga track record in her debut on July 25, running five furlongs in 56.53 seconds and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 92.

She will be ridden by Julien Leparoux from the rail, while Dreaming of Julia will leave from post position 6 under recent Hall of Fame inductee John Velazquez.

The Stonestreet entry was assigned 7-5 favoritism on the morning line. Corail, who drew post position 2 with Chris DeCarlo riding, was listed at 12-1.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott heads into the Spinaway with Live Oak Plantation’s Seasoned Warrior. The daughter of Majestic Warrior finished second to Baby J in June at Belmont Park, then broke her maiden by 3 ¾ lengths on August 12 at Saratoga at in a six-furlong race.

“We were trying to get a race in her [at Belmont] so we would have her experienced to  possibly win up here, and she did so in good style,” said Mott. “So, we’re looking forward to running her. She’s nice to train, looks a lot like her daddy. Majestic Warrior marked her pretty well, and he broke his maiden up here and won the Hopeful. So, maybe she can break her maiden up here and win the Spinaway.”

Seasoned Warrior, the second choice at 5-2 on the morning line, will leave from the outside under Junior Alvarado.

So Many Ways got her second victory in as many starts in the Grade 3 Schuylerville on July 20 at the Spa. Trained by Tony Dutrow for Maggie Moss, the Sightseeing filly finished 4 ½ lengths in front of Baby J that day, who also comes back for the Spinaway.

With Javier Castellano in the irons, So Many Ways drew post position 3 as the 3-1 third choice. Baby J ( 8-1) will leave from post position 5 with Ramon Dominguez riding.

Sweet Shirley Mae, fifth in the Schuylerville and 15-1 on the morning line, completes the field.


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