The 2020 Saratoga Race Course meeting has come to an end, and with that we’re bringing you one last Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour update to recap graduates that won over Closing weekend near and far.
The Fasig-Tipton Stable-Tour highlights the people and horses that make Saratoga special.
There were five graduate winners this weekend, including the winners of four featured graded stakes races at Saratoga and Churchill Downs Saturday and Sunday, and winners from Kentucky Downs.
Churchill Downs Winners
Rushie: Trainer Michael McCarthy’s decision to run Jim and Donna Daniell’s son of Liam’s Map in the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile instead of the Kentucky Derby paid off when he coasted home 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Sonneman to win the first graded stakes of his career with Javier Castellano aboard. Third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes this year, Rushie had enough points to enter the Derby starting gate but found his best stride cutting back to a mile for the first time since finishing second to Charlatan in an allowance at Santa Anita March 14. The Pat Day Mile was the Florida-bred’s third win from seven starts and his first since taking an optional claimer at Oaklawn May 2.
Sir Alfred James: Making his second start against winners after breaking his maiden on debut June 13, the Al Stall Jr. trainee found the winner’s circle again in Saturday’s fifth at Churchill Downs, a 7-furlong allowance on the dirt. A homebred for Mount Joy Stables, Marc McLean, Pope McLean and Pope McLean Jr., the 3-year-old Munnings colt entered the race off a second-place finish in an allowance at Saratoga July 25, his only loss in three starts. In his victory Saturday with Colby Hernandez up, he defeated a field that included Cowboy Diplomacy, a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner and champion 3-year-old filly Monomoy Girl.
Civil Union: Allen Stable’s homebred daughter of War Front made it three in a row Saturday when she won the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap for trainer Shug McGaughey. In the first graded stakes score of her career, the 5-year-old mare sat a length back in third under jockey Joel Rosario before making a late move in the stretch to take over the lead from Beau Belle and reach the wire a length in front. Winner of the River Memories Stakes at Belmont in her last start, she has now won or been in the money in all but one of her seven career starts.
Timely Tradition: The First Defense mare rebounded off her only off-the-board-finish of the year to win an allowance with Dylan Davis aboard for Bush Racing Stable Saturday. Trained by Ray Handal, the 6-year-old has not let age slow her down and is having one of the best years of her career, winning four of her six starts and placing in another. She has held her form well throughout her 2020 campaign, which includes a claiming victory at Aqueduct in March and a trip to Oaklawn to take a starter allowance in May. With her latest victory, she has increased her total career earnings to $387,577.
Klickitat: Shortleaf Stable’s son of First Samurai was the first of two winners for trainer Jimmy Jerkens Saturday when he took the eighth, a 1 1/16-mile allowance on the turf for New York-breds. Making his first start against winners after breaking his maiden in a maiden claimer last time out, jockey Luis Saez kept the 4-year-old gelding 1 1/2 lengths behind the pacesetter, Microsecond, until taking over in the stretch to draw away by 1 3/4 lengths. A $220,000 purchase for Shortleaf at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale, he has two wins, five seconds and a third from eleven starts.
Life On Top: The second of Jerkens’ two wins Saturday came in the 12th when Life On Top won a $40,000 claimer for non-winners of two races. A $250,000 buy for Centennial Farms as a yearling, the 3-year-old Carpe Diem colt had not been on the board in four starts since breaking his maiden at Aqueduct in January. Sitting about a length off the lead throughout most of the 1 1/16 miles, Life On Top was guided by jockey Junior Alvarado to a three-quarter-length victory in his sixth start this year and seventh of his career.
Come Dancing: Blue Devil Racing Stable’s multiple graded stakes winning mare found herself in the winner’s circle for the ninth time after taking Sunday’s Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap by three quarters of a length with Irad Ortiz Jr. up. Coming off a fourth in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes, the 6-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon scored the fifth graded stakes win of her career, which includes a Grade 1 victory in the Ballerina and a pair of Grade 2s in the Gallant Bloom and Ruffian Stakes last year. Trained by Carlos Martin, she has nine wins from 18 starts and $1,186,783 in earnings.
Trainer Bill Mott had a successful weekend with five winners that were featured in his Stable Tour Sept. 5. Here are Mott's winners from the Stable Tour:
Olympiad: Third in his debut August 1 for Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables and LNJ Foxwoods, the son of Speightstown graduated in a 7-furlong maiden special weight on the dirt Saturday. Ridden by Junior Alvarado, the 2-year-old colt was third throughout and swung four-wide at the top of the stretch in a drive to the finish, besting runner-up Caddo River by 2 ¾ lengths. A $700,000 yearling purchase, he is out of the graded stakes placed mare Tokyo Time.
Frank’s Rockette: Frank Fletcher’s homebred Into Mischief filly won her second graded stakes in a row Saturday when she came home victorious in the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes with Junior Alvarado up. Setting quick fractions as the pacesetter, Frank’s Rockette could not be caught by runner-up Reagan’s Edge and kicked clear by 2 ½ lengths. The Prioress turned out to be a rematch with Reagan’s Edge, who she managed to defeat by a head in the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont last time out. A talented 2-year-old in 2019, she showed her talent with a pair of Grade 1 placings in the Spinaway and Frizette Stakes, as well as a runner-up performance in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes.
Jane Grey: A bullet work from the gate August 31 set up Godolphin’s homebred daughter of Into Mischief for debut success in Sunday’s fifth, where she won with ease over a field of seven challengers in a maiden special weight. Guided to victory by jockey Junior Alvarado, the 2-year-old filly completed the 7 furlongs in 1:22.95 and paid $14.
Cucina: Rebounding off a fourth July 18, Donald Dizney’s homebred son of Northern Afleet won his second race of the year in Monday’s 10th, a 6-furlong allowance for 3-year-olds. The Florida-bred gelding closed well after being held just off the pace by Junior Alvarado, reeling in The Big S in the final stages to cross the finish line 2 ¾ lengths the best. Cucina now has three wins from 10 starts and $150,050 in earnings.
Lovestruck: Godolphin Stables’ had another debut winner Monday when their filly by Tapit graduated at first asking in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies on the turf. After making contact with fifth-place finisher Mrs. Frankel while having some trouble keeping a straight course down the stretch, Lovestruck and Junior Alvarado had to sweat out a steward’s inquiry and objection lodged by Dylan Davis, rider of Mrs. Frankel. The result was allowed to stand and Lovestruck scored the first victory of her career at odds of 9-1.
Kentucky Downs Winners
Secure Connection: The homebred daughter of Data Link for Stuart Janney earned the third win of her 11-race career in an allowance Saturday for trainer Shug McGaughey. A 10-1 upset winner in the field of 12, the 4-year-old filly sat well off the pace set by Recoded and rallied under Julien Leparoux to take over a few strides before the wire and win by 1 ¾ lengths. Her other win of 2020 came in a $40,000 claimer Opening Day at Saratoga.
Plum Ali: A winner on debut at Saratoga July 23, trainer Christophe Clement sent the 2-year-old First Samurai filly on to Kentucky Downs for a stakes victory Monday in the listed Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes. Racing for Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables, Plum Ali recovered from a poor start to take over the lead half-way through the stretch and pulled away easily from the 12 runners behind her, coasting home 2 ¾ lengths clear as the 6-5 favorite with Tyler Gaffalione up.
Dalika: Bal Mar Equine’s daughter of Pastorius earned her second victory of the year Monday when she took the One Dreamer Stakes by one length for trainer Al Stall Jr. Sitting in second and just off the pace set by Harmless, the 4-year-old German-bred mare improved off a fifth in the Caress Stakes at Saratoga last time out to secure the first stakes victory of her career with Miguel Mena up. A four-time winner in her 14 starts, she is graded stakes placed with a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs last year.