Sounds of the City back for more in Caress

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Six days ago trainer Alan Goldberg and owner Richard Santulli came to Saratoga as outsiders in a field of five and left after Laughing’s an upset victory in the Grade 1 Diana. Today they return as the slight choice in the Caress Stakes, a 5 ½-furlong sprint for older females on the grass.

Santulli’s Sounds of the City leads a field of eight entered in the main body of the Caress field, which features more than a few entrants looking to return to their former winning ways.

Sounds of the City, a 5-year-old Street Cry mare who is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the $100,000 stakes with Jose Lezcano named to ride, last won in late March and then lost four straight. The losses all came in stakes, three on turf, after the win going 5 1/2 on the dirt at Laurel Park.

“We wanted to prepare her for Keeneland,” Goldberg said of the decision to start her 2013 campaign on the main track. “And she can run on the dirt, she rates good.”

The start at Keeneland came in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes, where she finished third. She also finished third in the Klassy Briefcase Stakes last time out at Monmouth. Goldberg said Sounds of the City was forced along the rail, which she doesn’t tend to favor.

“She wasn’t crazy about being up along the rail at Monmouth,” Goldberg said. “In this race, the main thing is getting her to go to the outside.”

Sounds of the City won last year at Saratoga in her only local start, at today’s distance and after taking an overland path around the far turn. The mare’s success at Saratoga played a big part in Goldberg shipping her from Santulli’s Colts Neck Stables training center in New Jersey for today’s race.

“She seems to like the turf,” Goldberg said. “There are also not a lot of races that are 5 1/2 on the turf for fillies.”

Madame Giry showed an affinity for the course and distance last year with a pair of victories for trainer Cam Gambolati. The Maryland-bred daughter of Castledale used those wins as a springboard for victories in the Smart N Fancy at Belmont and Buffalo Trace Franklin County at Keeneland in the fall. She lost three straight since, all in Florida.

“She was just having some problems down in Florida this winter,” Gambolati said. “We ran her against the boys just to get a race in her and I think it did her a lot of good.”

Gambolati believes that the five and a half furlong distance will suit the filly better than the five furlong distance that she had been running in her previous starts.

“It doesn’t seem like there would be that much of a difference, but I’ve definitely noticed a difference,” Gambolati said. “It seems like 5-furlong races are really gung ho while with the races that are the extra sixteenth of a mile you can get a good break and a decent position, and that’s good.”

Linda Rice, Saratoga’s leading trainer in 2009 still seeking her first win of 2013, sends out Double the Energy. Unraced since finishing sixth in the Lady’s Turf Sprint Feb. 24 at Gulfstream, the 4-year-old Unbridled Energy filly won last year at Saratoga going 5 ½ on the turf when she was trained by John Salzman Jr. Rice claimed the filly out of her next start for $50,000 last August and she’s trained her ever since, including the Lady’s Turf Sprint.

Double the Energy came out of that race a little sore and her connections decided to put her on the shelf for a summer campaign.

Rice thinks she’s got Double the Energy ready to run big, but at the same time might need a race since she’s getting a little heavier.

“To be honest, she’s carrying a little too much weight,” she said,.”I think she’ll run big, but she’s got a little bit heavier. But hopefully she runs well.

“Ever since we claimed her, she’s shown a little more versatility and so she can play however the race comes up. She can go to the lead, or if it’s fast , she can sit right off of it so I think we’re in a good position there.”

The field for the Caress also includes last year’s winner, Rosa Salvaje, for trainer Lisa Lewis and jockey Alex Solis at 8-1, Giant’s Causeway runner-up Spun Cap for trainer Eduardo Caramori, stakes winner Silverette for Dale Romans, Lion Down by Me and Queen Chatanika. Holiday Soiree and Well Kept are entered main track only.