Adirondack good test for Polytrack form
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- A season-ending injury suffered by the undefeated Rated Fiesty has forced trainer Steve Asmussen to shuffle the deck regarding his juvenile fillies.
Thus, instead of running the heavy favorite in Wednesday's $150,000 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, Asmussen will send out just one of many contenders among the nine fillies in the Grade 2 stakes race at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Asmussen will saddle Sky Mom, a daughter of Maria's Mon who has won 2 of 4 starts. Most recently, Sky Mom finished second to Dancing Allstar in the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine.
"She had a pretty rough go,'' said Asmussen, who trains Sky Mom for Heather Stark, the daughter of Asmussen's main client, William Heiligbrodt. "She kind of earned second. She wasn't away from there as cleanly as she had been in all of her previous starts.''
Sky Mom has run 3 of her 4 starts over Polytrack. Her one race over conventional dirt came at Churchill Downs, where she won a first-level allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths over stablemate Elocution, who most recently won the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies.
"It was her best race,'' Asmussen said of Sky Mom's allowance win.
Polytrack form will get tested in the Adirondack as Passion, trained by Todd Pletcher, was a 7 1/2-length first-out winner at Arlington, while More Happy, trained by Bob Baffert, won her debut by a neck at Del Mar.
"She was very impressive against clearly a different kind of field than she's going to face on Wednesday,'' said Pletcher, who won this race last year with Octave. "The favorite from that race came back to break her maiden at Arlington by seven, which was encouraging; she's trained well since then.''
More Happy is a $1 million daughter of Vindication who won her debut by a neck, running 5 1/2 furlongs in a pedestrian 1:05.70. She shipped to Saratoga and worked five furlongs in 59.17 seconds from the gate last Thursday.
"We've always had a lot of high hopes for this filly,'' Baffert said. "She's got a lot of quality.''
Trainer Rick Violette is very eager to run Phantom Income, a 10 1/2-length debut winner at Belmont on July 6. Violette said he believes she can work out a stalking trip from post 8 under Eibar Coa.
"I don't think she has to be on the lead; she took a lot of dirt in that July 30 workout," said Violette, referring to a half-mile breeze in 47.80 seconds from the gate. "She split horses and opened up 10. She could easily stalk what could be three horses up in front of us, and she's in a great post position to do that. I'm dying to run this filly.''
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