Unbeaten romper Pure Silver will only have to take on four fellow juvenile fillies in Saturday’s $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, and everyone of that quartet will be facing a winner for the first time in this spot.
Pure Silver already passed that hurdle, breaking her maiden by 1 1/2 lengths on June 22 at Belmont Park and going on to take the July 16 Lynbrook Stakes by that same margin. Jockey John Velazquez was aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher, and stayed in the saddle when the Mission Impazible filly stepped up to try graded company in Saratoga’s Adirondack Stakes (G2) on August 12.
“It just seems like the right thing to do,” Pletcher said of the three-week turnaround. “It’s a Grade 1 opportunity for her and she had such a great win over the track; the fact that she seemed to bounce out of it (means) we’re going to take a shot and hope it’s enough time to come back with a good effort. She’s given us all those indications, but until you do it, you never know.”
Pure Silver romped by 9 1/2 lengths in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack and stretches out to seven furlongs for the Spinaway on Saturday.
“She’s a filly who has good early speed and the way she finished the other (race), we feel like seven should be within her range. She should come back with another good performance,” Pletcher said. “She’s training really well and seems very happy with herself, so we’re looking forward to going again with her.”
Lining up against the talented gray miss is Separationofpowers, who broke her maiden at first asking by 11 lengths on July 30 at Saratoga. The Chad Brown-trained daughter of Candy Ride earned a field-best 96 BRIS Speed figure for that effortless score and keeps Jose Ortiz in the irons as she takes a major step up in class.
Lady Ivanka and Maya Malibu also both romped in their first outings, the former by eight lengths on August 9 at Saratoga and the latter by six lengths at Delaware Park on August 5. Irad Oritz Jr. has the call on Lady Ivanka for trainer Rudy Rodriguez while Javier Castellano will be aboard the Graham Motion-conditioned Maya Malibu.
“She’s been training good; I know we’re bringing her a little quicker than we wanted, but it’s a good race to get into,” Rodriguez said of Lady Ivanka. “The competition will be better, but that’s what makes it a good spot to run.
“She worked the other day and looked good, so we’re hoping for the best,” he added. “We hope she handles it. The distance is a concern for everybody. We have to see who shows up and steps up to this level. It looks like she likes the track. We’re happy with the way she’s been doing.”
Obvious Two completes the Spinaway filed off a 3 1/4-length maiden win in her third try at Thistledown. The Take Charge Indy filly was trained by Johanna Ureta for her initial three starts but goes here for new conditioner Anthony Quartarolo. C. J. McMahon will be holding the reins.
A pair of graded turf contests are also scheduled for Saturday at Saratoga.
One race before the Spinaway, nine sophomores were entered in the $300,000 Saranac Stakes (G3), and Bricks and Mortar puts his perfect four-for-four mark on the line in the 1 1/8-mile race. The Brown trainee captured his stakes bow in the Manila Stakes on Independence Day at Belmont Park. He most recently scored in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) by three parts of a length over the returning Yoshida, who was fifth in the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) before trying the Hall of Fame Stakes.
Joel Rosario has the call on Bricks and Mortar while Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Yoshida in the Saranac.
The other graded turf test, the $200,000 Glens Falls Stakes (G3), takes place three races after the Spinaway.
Nine fillies and mares were entered in the 1 3/8-mile affair, including the respective top three from the August 5 Waya Stakes (G3) – Estrechada, Lottie and Summersault – who were separated by only a half-length and a neck on the wire.
“It’s been tough coming from behind on the turf, but the surface has gotten more chewed up and she likes it that way, so hopefully she takes to it on Saturday,” trainer Mark Hennig said in regards to Summersault. “We’ll play it by ear where she’s placed but she’s doing excellent and the distance isn’t a concern as she’ll run all day.”
Also entered in the Glens Falls are War Flag, a close second in the Matchmaker Stakes (G3) last out on July 30, and Grade 1 winner Harmonize, fourth in both the Just a Game Stakes (G1) and Diana Stakes (G1) in her past pair of starts.
“She’s been training great coming up to the race,” trainer Bill Mott said of Harmonize. “Obviously, it’s a bit of class relief, she’s coming out of a very good race and the distance is something new for us, but we’re going to try it. She trains like she should be able to handle it.”