Lee Pokoik's Sippican Harbor is in good shape following her impressive last-to-first, two-length win in Saturday's Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, trainer Gary Contessa said Sunday morning.
The 2-year-old filly by Orb won her second straight start after breaking her maiden by 17 lengths on August 12 at Saratoga. The victory came after placing fifth in her debut on grass on July 22 at the Spa.
“She's good. I'd say a little tired,” Contessa said. “We're not going back to the turf anytime soon, but I do believe she's just as good on the grass as she is on the dirt. So, the time may come where she does double duty.”
Sippican Harbor will head to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 4 at Churchill Downs and will train right up to the race.
“We're just going to work, I'm not going to run her again [until Churchill],” said Contessa. “She deserves a break. I ran her 20 days apart to get her ready. Two months to get her to the Breeders' Cup? Piece of cake.
“I'm definitely excited. I was crushed when she lost on the turf, I didn't think she could possibly lose, that's how much I loved her,” he added. “I thought she was phenomenal. Everything she's ever done, she's done like a super horse. There's a little bit of a stigma attached to Orb that he's throwing grass horses, so I just went with it, and thought 'oh we got a turf horse here,' but her dirt works and her turf works were sensational. It's thrilling to be in this position. It makes getting up in the morning a lot easier.”
The performance by Sippican Harbor was exactly what Contessa said he was hoping to see from his young filly. Now, with two impressive victories from three starts, the questions about her talent have been answered.
“We went to the champagne room and it [race replay] just kept playing and playing and playing. I love the call where he [race-caller Larry Collmus] said 'and she's the real deal!' I love that because that's exactly what I was thinking at that point. She's the real deal because going in, I wasn't positive. You could take a really good boxer and he beats up a chump and he looks really good doing it, but when you throw him in with Mike Tyson and he's knocked out in the first round. We had to see this to believe it.”
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