Jeremiah Englehart settled into new digs this spring – personally and professionally – and his stable is off to a familiar start at the Saratoga meet.
Englehart won nine races last year, giving him 30 wins for the last three years, and he’s already in the win column for 2018 thanks to Hay Field’s success in the sixth race Opening Day for owner Jim Riccio. Englehart sent out Puttheglassdown for faithful client Al Gold’s Gold Square and the Violence colt finished a credible second behind Nitrous in a 2-year-old maiden Saturday.
“I’m so lucky, my clients are great and supportive,” said Englehart, who relocated with his family from western New York to a new home between Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville this year.
Englehart also moved barns at Saratoga Race Course, from his former spot in Horse Haven on the Oklahoma Training Track across Fifth Avenue to the Oklahoma Annex. The Saratoga barn is now his main base, although he maintains a year-round presence at Belmont Park and is still active at Finger Lakes.
“Being here I was able to fluctuate with my numbers a little bit,” Englehart said. “I liked it and the horses were running well out of here to Belmont, so I asked to stay.”
The Special’s Tom Law stopped by the morning of Opening Day for what’s become an annual visit to Englehart’s barn.
Nisha: Claimed by Englehart and Riccio for $25,000 last October, daughter of First Samurai has won three of four starts this season. “She was running well when we claimed her and she’s stayed at the same level. We’re looking to point toward a stakes up here, not exactly sure which one yet. She just won the three-other-than at Belmont; she’s an established filly we hope we can keep doing well with.”
Aveenu Malcainu: Winner of last year’s Funny Cide and Grade 2-placed for Gold Square, he’s 0-for-2 this season with a third in the Grade 3 Bay Shore and a fifth in the Mike Lee. “He’s a horse who loves Saratoga. He just hasn’t run like we thought he would this spring. And even last fall he’d get the lead and stop. We did a dynamic scope on him and found out his vocal chords were shutting his air down a little bit and he was displacing. We did a throat surgery on him that so far has done what we wanted it to. Hopefully he’ll be back and ready to go up here. I want to find something, a nice soft spot, to pick his head up. He’s probably my best, but he just doesn’t know it yet. When he figures it out and physically inside everything is good, he still could be a really nice horse.”
Indy Union: Robert Hahn’s 3-year-old daughter of Union Rags finished third in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and ran against Midnight Bisou when fourth last time in the Grade 2 Mother Goose. “We’ll look to take her down a notch to an a-other-than, then maybe a 3-year-old filly stakes at the end of the meet. I kind of want to try to give her a bit of a break. She’s been running just fine but let her pick her head up a little bit.
Purrfect Miss: Fourth in last year’s Grade 1 Frizette for Orlando DiRienzo and Southfield Farm, daughter of Discreet Cat finished ninth in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness and rebounded with an allowance win June 24 at Belmont. “She just won the 1x at Belmont. We ran her in the Miss Preakness first off this year, I thought she’d run very well, I was confident and she didn’t run a lick. I just think she didn’t like the track. Came back in the 1x and ran well. That track at Pimlico, either you loved it or hated it. I had one that loved it and this one hated it.”
Sue’s Fortune: Homebred New York-bred 2-year-old filly for Richard Nicolai’s Fortune Farm, she won first time out at Belmont July 5. “She’ll most likely run back in the Adirondack. Timing wise that would be the race that fits. The Seeking The Ante is a little later but the Adirondack is six weeks rather than having to wait another two months in between races. Last year it was the race (New York-bred) Pure Silver won; she took advantage of a perfect spot for her. I’m hoping the timing works for this one, too, that everyone is shooting for the Schuylerville and then the Spinaway.”
Majestic Won: Owned by Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, 3-year-old Majestic Warrior filly broke her maiden July 11 at Belmont in her second start. “She was one we were high on all spring. We were thinking about the Coronation Cup but I thought it was too quick back so we’ll probably run her back in a 1x. She could very well be a stakes filly on the grass at some point this meet.”
Letzgometz: Zilla Racing Stable’s and Acquanova Stable’s New York-bred son of Itsmyluckyday shows four breezes, the most recent July 20 at Belmont. “He’s from the first crop of Itsmyluckyday and is doing well. I just brought him down to Belmont to finish up his gate work. He should be ready by second, early third book.”
Dirty: Tom O’Grady’s Maryland-bred Maclean’s Music won a Laurel Park allowance last time, his third victory in four starts. “We’re going to point to the Troy. He’s been a nice horse for us this spring on the grass. That surprised me, I didn’t think he had much grass breeding but he seems to get over it nice.”
She’s A Problem: A $100,000 buy in April, August Dawn Farm’s 2-year-old filly by Candy Ride breezed 3 furlongs twice this month. “She’ll most likely be third book or early Belmont. She’s a filly we have high hopes for, she’s been doing well the last few works.”
Forty Under: A $180,000 purchase out of last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale, son of Uncle Mo turned in back-to-back gate works on the Oklahoma this month. “He’s been working pretty forwardly. There’s a race for him the 28th we’re going to point to. He’s an Uncle Mo, I don’t know if he’s going to want to sprint but he’s been precocious enough that I think he’ll be forwardly placed and have a shot.”
Fifty Over: Another Saratoga purchase, this Uncle Mo colt cost $225,000 at the Fasig-Tipton selected sale and he’s up to steady half-mile breezes. “He was always the one that, body wise, gives you the impression he’s going to be a real nice colt but he just hasn’t picked it up yet. Right now Forty Under has been a little faster than Fifty Over, but I could see them switching places in a couple months.”
As for the names? “Robbie Medina, Shug’s assistant who helps Coach buy horses and gives him advice, helped out with them last year. Forty Under was $40,000 under budget and Fifty Over was $50,000 over budget.”
Prince of New York: Harold Lerner’s and AWC Stables’ Cairo Prince colt cost $100,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. “He’s a colt that on the farm before he came in was precocious and we thought would be early. He’s kind of been going through some minor changes and we backed off him a little bit. Since he’s been in Saratoga it looks like he’s going to be a nice New York-bred colt. Travis Durr bought him for the owners, probably second or third book. Travis and I have done well together, he’s helped me buying the horses, broke a good amount of them, seems to be working and we’ll try and keep it going.”
Raelyn (registered as Cameron Marie): Maryland-bred was a $40,000 yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall sale bought this spring by Gold Square. “We bought her in March and she’s a Maryland-bred by Super Ninety Nine, who I’m not too familiar with. She’s one of those fillies that when you stand next to them she gave you that good impression that she’s a good horse. She’s a pretty quick filly. Good enough for up here but also nice to have Maryland to fall back on, too.”
Take Me To Hardoon: Gold Square’s 2-year-old New York-bred Violence filly was purchased privately. She’s worked four times on the Oklahoma, including a half-mile Friday in :48.33. “Seems like a nice filly and we’re excited about her. We worked her against an older horse today, she got a little tired but :48 and change and doing it the right way. Hopefully she turns out to what I think she could be.”
China Cat: Gold Square’s 2-year-old Justin Phillip filly breezed a half-mile in :49.03 on the main track Saturday. “We bought her privately from Matt Lyons at Woodford. We liked her at the sale, thought she went over budget. Al liked the pedigree on her and it’s always nice when the owners like the horses you pick out, too. She’s been a real pleasant surprise, outworked what we thought she’d be.”
Puttheglassdown: Gold Square’s Violence colt finished second at 19-1 breaking from the rail in Saturday’s sixth race, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden for 2-year-olds. “He’s one of the horses early on that’s been at the head of the pack. He’s a half-brother to Fixedincome Larry, who we ran in the Dwyer.”
Fixedincome Larry: Gold Square’s 3-year-old homebred finished sixth in the Dwyer after breaking his maiden June 8 at Belmont. “He came out of the Dwyer good and I’ll probably look for an a-other-than for him. I still think at some point he’ll be in that stakes division. He’ll gradually get there. He’s a nice colt. When he broke his maiden on Belmont Day I thought that’s what he’d do all along.”
Bank Examiner: New York-bred daughter of Central Banker finished eighth in her debut in the second race Friday. Englehart bought her for $85,000 at last year’s Saratoga New York-bred sale for Harold Lerner, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Scott Akman and Paul Braverman. “I thought she’d be dirt all along, my assistant Axel at Belmont, she was begging me to try her on the grass so we trained her on the grass and they told me, ‘Yeah, she’s grass. She enjoyed it.’ Had been working well. I was expecting a good race from her, trying to be optimistic with things. I also know it’s Saratoga.”
Block And Plank: Louis Lazzinaro bought son of Tapizar for $105,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale and later added a partner in Riccio. “At first he was kind of pudgy and gave you that impression he’ll need some time. The last few weeks he’s picked it up and I like where he’s going. Lou bought the horse and saw I was the underbidder. I said, ‘Listen, if you want to have someone partner up I’ll send him over to your barn.’ I asked Jim Riccio, he liked the horse. They both liked the fact that Winning Colors was in the pedigree. She was second dam.”
Bubala: Two-year-old Candy Ride filly bought for $265,000 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale for Gold Square. “She could possibly be late third book. We’ve been taking our time with her. We really like her. She’s been working good but I’ve been going really slow with her.”
Evan’s Nice Now: A $17,000 weanling buy at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga October mixed sale, 2-year-old daughter of Trappe Shot breezed a bullet half in :49.02 on the Oklahoma dirt July 18. “She’s working really well, I’m going to enter for July 25. I’ve been hemming and hawing whether she’s dirt or turf. After her last work I’m going to work her on the dirt.”
Into Mischief colt: Unnamed New York-bred out of the Lord Avie mare Sister Baby cost $80,000 in April and is owned by Hibiscus Stable and Neal Allred. “When we got him in the sale you could tell he’d gone through a lot, he was real thin. We sent him to the farm and he kind of blossomed. I like how he looks now. He’s been working really good.”