Pletcher trio set to challenge Golden Award in G3 Shuvee
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The top-three finishers of the Summer Colony earlier this month will each take a step up in class on Sunday, with Nonna Madeline looking for a second straight win as part of a nine-horse field of older fillies and mares in the Grade 3, $125,000 Shuvee at Saratoga Race Course.
One of three entrants for trainer Todd Pletcher, Nonna Madeline won her first career stakes in the 1 1/8-mile Summer Colony on August 5, posting a 1 ¼-length score over a fast track. Running at the same distance in the 44th running of the Shuvee, the 4-year-old daughter of Candy Ride enters having run first or second in her last three starts.
Owned by Teresa Viola Racing Stables and St. Elias Stables, Nonna Madeline has breezed twice at the Spa since the Summer Colony, including a four-furlong work in 49.33 seconds over the main track on Sunday.
“I thought she ran terrific last time and she’s coming into this one training well,” Pletcher said.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard for her last win, will have the return call from post 6.
Her stablemate, Bellera, ran third in the Summer Colony, which followed another blacktype effort when third in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap on July 11 at Delaware Park.
“Bellera should improve for having that race in the Summer Colony,” Pletcher said. “I thought she ran a little bit flat last time but she’s had a really good schedule since then and I expect an improved race from her.”
Owned by Mathis Stable, Madaket Stables and Doheny Racing Stable, the Florida-bred is 4-2-3 in 11 career starts, including a win over a sloppy and sealed Saratoga track last year in her third career start, facing optional claimers. She made the grade in the Grade 3 Comely in November at the Big A.
A daughter of Bernardini, Bellera started her 4-year-old year with a win in the Ladies over an off track in January at Aqueduct Racetrack and is 1-0-3 in five starts this year. Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be in the irons from post 2.
Farfellow Farm’s Another Broad will make her first start since a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis on June 27 at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old daughter of Include has been training at Saratoga since July, registering six workouts while awaiting her next start.
“She’s fresh and she’s put in some good breezes,” Pletcher said. “We tried to enter a couple of times as a main-track only, but to no avail. She seems to like a mile and an eighth, so it’s a logical target. One good thing for all three of them is that they don’t mind the wet surface if it’s going to come up on Sunday.”
Luis Saez will ride Another Broad, drawing post 8.
Summer Wind Equine’s Golden Award ran second in the Summer Colony, and the two-time graded stakes-winner will look to notch another for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. As a 4-year-old last year, Golden Award won both the Shuvee and the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm in November at Aqueduct.
Golden Award will aim to become the Shuvee’s first-ever repeat winner. Since the first running in 1976, the race has seen many talented horses earn a trip to the winner’s circle, including Hall of Famer Personal Ensign in 1988.
Junior Alvarado will ride again from post 5.
Our Super Freak ended her sophomore year with a win in the Shine Again last September at Laurel Park. After running fifth in the Grade 2 Inside Information in January at Gulfstream, she returned from a six-month freshening to run second in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher on July 18 at Monmouth.
Conditioned by Cherie DeVaux, Our Super Freak, by Mineshaft, enters her first start at Saratoga after earning a personal-best 99 Beyer. Jose Lezcano will pick up the mount out of post 4.
Royal Flag made her stakes debut in her fifth career start, running third in the Molly Pitcher in a race won by Horologist. The Chad Brown trainee had won three straight before taking the step up in class.
A 4-year-old Candy Ride filly, Royal Flag has never finished worse than third in her career and will make her Saratoga bow with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard, drawing post 9.
Lucky Stride’s first 11 career races came at Camarero in Puerto Rico, and after posting eight wins will now run for the first time outside of that track. Transferred into the care of trainer Michael Trombetta, Lucky Stride will look to build on a career that saw her win both the Group 3 Roberto Clemente and the Group 2 Dia del Veterano last year.
Jose Ortiz will be in the saddle, exiting from post 1.
Rounding out the field is the veteran New York-bred 6-year-old Lucky Move, who won the Obeah in June at Delaware Park, for trainer Juan Guerrero [post 7, Manny Franco] and Letruska, fifth last out in the seven-furlong Grade 1 Ballerina on August 8 at Saratoga, for trainer Fausto Gutierrez [post 3, Joel Rosario].
The Shuvee is carded as Race 9 on the 10-race card with a post time of 5:46 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:10 p.m.