Contention Runs Deep In Saratoga’s Lake Placid

by | 08.15.2018 | 5:38pm
Daddy Is a Legend, shown winning the Lake George under Manny Franco

Jim and Susan Hill's Daddy Is a Legend will go for her second graded stakes win at Saratoga Race Course in as many months when she competes against six other 3-year-old fillies in the 35th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Lake Placid on the Mellon turf course Saturday.

Listed as Race 8 on a 10-race card highlighted by the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama, the Lake Placid will be shown on Saratoga Live presented by Claiborne Farm, which airs nationally on FS2 from 2-6:30 p.m. ET. Regional coverage of Saturday's Saratoga Live can be found on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego.

Daddy Is a Legend is returning from a two-length win in the Grade 3 Lake George at 1 1/16 miles on July 20 at the Spa. Coming from off the pace, the Scat Daddy filly overtook Altea in the stretch, using a strong move from the rail to win over firm turf, earning a personal-best 95 Beyer Sped Figure in her eighth career start for trainer George Weaver.

After breaking her maiden in her third start, Daddy Is a Legend capped her juvenile campaign with a win in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante on Nov. 25 at Del Mar. After a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Edgewood on May 4 at Churchill, she stretched out to the Lake Placid distance of 1 1/8 miles, running fourth in the Grade 3 Wonder Again on June 7 at Belmont Park before coming back to win the Lake George.

“It'll be a nice field of fillies; none of these races come up easy, but we're happy with the way she's training going into it,” Weaver said. “She ran well in the Wonder Again but she still got beat by a length and a half. I think she would prefer to have some cover, but you can't always write your own race. I think she belongs in this race and hopefully we trained her well enough that she can get the distance and get the win.”

Jockey Manny Franco, aboard for the Lake George win, will have the return call from post 2 as Daddy Is a Legend will look to conquer a turf course deluged with consistent rainfall all summer.

“She won the Lake George on firm turf, so if it was up to me, I'd like it firm, but it doesn't look like it's going to be,” Weaver said. “When push comes to shove, I don't know if it's her best surface, but we're here now and committed, so she'll just have to deal with it.”

Daddy Is a Legend will also have to deal with e Five Racing Thoroughbreds' Rushing Fall, who started her career 4-for-4 before running second by a neck to Toinette in the Grade 3 Edgewood on May 4 at Churchill. The More Than Ready filly has already registered three graded stakes win, starting with a juvenile campaign in which she went 3-for-3, adding victories in the Grade 3 Jessamine before posting a three-quarter length win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November at Del Mar.

The Chad Brown trainee extended her winning streak with a one-length score over fellow Lake Placid contender Thewayiam in the Grade 2 Appalachian on yielding turf April 8 at Keeneland. In five starts, Rushing Fall has already earned $843,000 and enters her Saratoga debut looking to win at longer than 1 1/16 miles for the first time. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will have the return call from post 6.

Thewayiam finished second in her last three starts – all against stakes company – including running just 2 1/2 lengths behind Athena last out in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational. Stretching out to 1 1/4 miles for the first time, the French-bred daughter of Thewayyouare earned a 92 Beyer that was her best in eight starts since arriving from her native country.

Since shipping to North America, Thewayiam has four wins and three-runner up finishes in eight starts, winning at distances ranging from 7 ½ furlongs to the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on March 3.

“I think she's been remarkable, trainer Graham Motion said. “She just seems like she handles whatever you put in front of her and she's so tough. In the mornings, she's very straightforward. She's just a very tough competitor.”

In the Appalachian, Thewayiam rallied from sixth to second, just one length behind Rushing Fall. Stretching out to the Belmont Oaks distance, Motion said her effort from midpack to earn second was impressive.

“I don't think any of us knew with confidence that she was going to get a mile and a quarter,” he said. “I had a feeling that she would, but it just speaks to her competitiveness.”

Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be in the irons from post 1. Andina Del Sur will make her sixth straight graded stakes start, drawing post 7 for trainer Tom Albertrani.

Andina Del Sur ran fourth in the Lake George, carrying a field-high 124 pounds. Saturday's stakes will be her second time at the Lake Placid distance, following a close sixth-place finish two starts back in the Wonder Again.

“She always looks like she gallops out well, so I don't think extra distance hurts her,” Albertrani said. “I think she was subject to a slow pace in her last couple of races. They kind of sprinted away from her and she stayed a little one-paced at the end. So, hopefully, going a little longer, she'll have a little extra. She ran a good race [in the Lake George] and she carried top weight that day.”

Brown's other entrant, Significant Form, was fourth in the Belmont Oaks. After a fourth-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, the gray or roan daughter of Creative Cause started her year with a win in the Memories of Silver on April 22 at Aqueduct Racetrack and was second to La Signare in the Wonder Again before making her second straight start Belmont. She will now be running at the Spa for the first time since winning her debut last August, with jockey Irad Ortiz. Jr. riding from post 4.

Capla Temptress, winner of the 2017 Grade 1 Natalma, will be looking for her first win in four starts this year, drawing post 3 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

Go Noni Go, who won the Grade 3 Bourbonette on March 17 at Turfway Park, has finished on the board in her last two starts, including second in the Grade 3 Regret on June 18 at Churchill and third in the Hatoof last out on July 7 at Arlington Park. Trained by Mike Maker, Go Noni Go drew post 5 and will be ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

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