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Jul 8, 2022
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Haughty stretches out for Saturday's G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational

by NYRA Press Office



  • Haughty stretches out for Saturday's G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational
  • Pretty Birdie seeks second graded score in G3 Victory Ride
  • Saratoga Race Course Week 1 stakes probables

Grade 1-placed Haughty will stretch out in distance when aiming for her first graded victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $700,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/4-miles over the inner turf at Belmont Park.

The sophomore daughter of Empire Maker is trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, who pursues his sixth Belmont Oaks conquest and also sends out Belmont Oaks aspirants Consumer Spending and McKulick.

Haughty captured her 2022 debut in the Penn Oaks over soft going last out on June 3. The 4 3/4-length victory in the one-mile turf test was her first start since a close third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November at Del Mar, a race that produced four other next-out winners at stakes level. 

Haughty’s third-place finish in the Juvenile Fillies Turf came less than three weeks after breaking her maiden going 1 1/16 miles over the Keeneland turf. 

“It was probably a little too much to do, but she handled it. Even though she didn’t win, she ran a tremendous race,” said co-owner Peter Bradley of her Breeders’ Cup effort. “The form that has come out of that race has just been unbelievably good, so it was a pretty key race. She’s a filly that’s improved since then in size and maturity. She had one good, easy race and it’s a step up, but I think she’s ready for it.”

Bradley, whose Bradley Thoroughbreds owns Haughty with Belmar Racing and Breeding, Cambron Equine and Team Hanley, said he was impressed with her Penn Oaks triumph. 

“She probably wasn’t in the best spot early on, but it looked like the proverbial walk in the park,” Bradley said. “You don’t see those kinds of performances very often. There were some solid fillies in there, but she breathes different air. I think this is the next step in line and it will tell us a lot about how good she really is.”

Haughty crossed the finish line first in her September debut but was disqualified to third. 

“It may be her best race with how she quickened and what she did. Unfortunately, she was taken down that day,” Bradley recalled.

Purchased for $310,000 out of Julie Davies’ consignment at the 2021 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, Haughty is out of the two-time winning Kingmambo mare Soaring Emotions. She is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and graded-stakes placed Souper Stonehenge. 

“She looked like a filly that had all the parts,” Bradley said. “She had the balance you look for, a stride that you don’t always see. We pressed for her; I was happy she sold on the first day. I think she would’ve brought 50 percent more later in the sale when people get more aggressive on how they bid. I couldn’t have been happier. There were no secrets with her, she looked like the right kind and she’s done what she’s supposed to do.

“She’s out of a Kingmambo mare, obviously he was a miler from the Mr. Prospector line, but her bottom side should have some stamina to it also,” Bradley added. “I don’t think the ten furlongs should be a problem. The first time they go that distance, they tell you whether it’s a problem or not. I don’t see it being a factor.” 

Flavien Prat, aboard Haughty in the Penn Oaks, has the return call from post 3 as the 5-1 co-second choice. 

***

Pretty Birdie seeks second graded score in G3 Victory Ride

Marylou Whitney Stables’ homebred Pretty Birdie looms large in a field of seven fillies set for the Grade 3, $150,000 Victory Ride on Saturday at Belmont Park. She is installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the 6 1/2-furlong test after two runner-up efforts in stakes company for trainer Norm Casse. 

A daughter of Bird Song, Pretty Birdie arrives from a second-place finish to graded stakes-winner Wicked Halo in the Leslie’s Lady on June 12 at Churchill Downs where she was challenged for the lead throughout by the eventual winner and lost the battle to the wire by 2 3/4 lengths. The effort came on the heels of another runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Eight Belles to subsequent Grade 1 Acorn winner Matareya on May 6 over the same surface and distance. 

“She’s doing good. We kind of were trying to teach her how to relax a little and unfortunately it got us beat last race,” said Casse. “We’ve switched things up and we’ve trained her like a quick horse – which she is – into this race. We’re hoping that she’s much sharper for this one.”

The gray filly got off to a strong start last year with a pair of wins in her first two outings, graduating on debut in June at Churchill Downs before stepping up in class to take the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga Race Course by two lengths. She closed out her juvenile year with an off-the-board finish in the Grade 1 Spinaway. Pretty Birdie returned as a sophomore in February at Oaklawn Park, finishing a distant fifth in the Dixie Belle before a return to form with a 2 3/4-length score in the Purple Martin on March 26 en route to her two recent runner-up efforts. 

“She’s a very honest filly. What’s cool about her is that she’s obviously very fast, but her temperament is the complete opposite,” said Casse. “She’s really chill and relaxed. In the paddock, it will seem like she’s really dull and maybe not into it, but she’s the complete opposite when she gets into the gate. She’s kept very good company her entire career, so we’ve been very proud of her.” 

Pretty Birdie will cut back a half-furlong in the Victory Ride after making her last two outings over seven furlongs, something Casse said he is cautiously optimistic about. 

“Preferably, if the race was three-quarters [of a mile], we’d be more confident,” said Casse. “You would think six and a half is within our reach.” 

Joel Rosario, who has piloted the speedy Jackie’s Warrior to four Grade 1 victories, will get a leg up on Pretty Birdie for the first time. Casse said he is hopeful Rosario can use the same commanding tactics as he does on the 2021 Champion Male Sprinter to guide Pretty Birdie to the winner’s circle. 

“I think the way I see it playing out is that she always breaks two or three lengths [the best] right out of the gate. Joel will just rush her out of there and play catch me if you can,” said Casse. “His instructions will be to ride her like Jackie’s Warrior. If he can ride her like he rides him, then we’ll be happy. It’s an exciting race to be a part of and we’re happy to be part of a big day there at NYRA.” 

Casse enjoyed stakes success at the Belmont spring/summer meet last month when John Oxley’s promising juvenile filly Devious Dame won the Astoria in style to remain undefeated through two starts. A daughter of freshman sire Girvin, Devious Dame was a comfortable 5 1/4-length winner under Rosario after closing from fourth-of-5 and easing up before the wire. 

Devious Dame worked a half-mile in 49 seconds flat over the Churchill Downs main track Friday morning, her first work back in preparation for the Grade 3, $200,000 Adirondack going 6 1/2 furlongs on August 7 at Saratoga. 

“She’s doing really well and had her first workout since the Astoria this morning; an easy half in 49,” said Casse. “The main thing that I like about her is that while we are lucky and fortunate enough that she’s been quick enough to win sprint races, I know that her game going forward is going to be going longer because she moves and acts like a two-turn horse. 

“That’s what we’re most excited about is when we get the opportunity to run her there,” Casse added. “Those races don’t come up for 2-year-olds until later on, so we just have to be diligent about the race selection going into the fall. That’s why we’re waiting until the six-and-a-half Adirondack.” 

Casse said the main objective for Devious Dame is a start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in November at Keeneland, a goal that could be reached with good efforts in the Grade 1 Spinaway on September 4 at Saratoga or Grade 1 Alcibiades on October 7 at Keeneland. 

“We’re just going race to race with her, and obviously we’d like to think she’s a Breeders’ Cup horse,” said Casse. “To us, the best way to get there and be able to run well is to run in the Alcibiades on opening day at Keeneland’s fall meet. We’ll have to decide after the Adirondack if the best way to do that is by going in the Spinaway or just skipping it. We just have to keep her sound and happy.” 

Casse will look forward to more graded stakes success this summer with Marylou Whitney Stables’ homebred Super Quick after a respectable second-place finish behind multiple Grade 1-winner Shedaresthedevil in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis on July 2 at Churchill Downs. 

A bay Super Saver filly, Super Quick made herself known with an eye-popping 14 1/4-length romp in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course, setting the pace and widening her advantage at every point of call to score her first graded stakes win. That effort came on the heels of a good third behind the reigning Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Malathaat in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare in April at Keeneland. 

Casse said he was proud of the Fleur de Lis effort from Super Quick, who will now turn her focus to the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch on August 6 at Del Mar rather than the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on the August 27 Travers undercard at Saratoga. 

“We’re very excited about her. We felt like she lost nothing in defeat and she got beat by a horse that’s very good, and in particular, very good at Churchill,” said Casse. “We’d like to think that she’s a Breeders’ Cup filly as well. The idea with her is to probably run in the Clement Hirsh because we’d like to avoid the heavy hitters in the race on Travers Day at Saratoga.” 

Out of the Cape Town mare Quick Town, Super Quick is a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes-placed stakes winner Viva Majorca and the stakes-placed mare Quick Quick Quick. 

*** 

Saratoga Race Course Week 1 stakes probables 

Thursday, July 14 

G3 Schuylerville

Probable: Adora (Mark Casse), Me and My Shadow (M. Casse), Summer Promise (D. Wayne Lukas), Sweet Harmony (John Terranova), Vedareo (Butch Reid, Jr.)

$135K Wilton

Probable: A Mo Reay (Todd Pletcher), Divine Huntress (Graham Motion), Favor (Pletcher), Gina Romantica (Chad Brown), Goddess of Fire (Pletcher), Gunning (Ken McPeek), Patna (Brad Cox), Tarabi (Cherie DeVaux)

Friday, July 15

G3 Forbidden Apple

Probable: Art Collector (Bill Mott), Buy Land and See (Tony Dutrow), City Man (Christophe Clement), Clear Vision (Matthew O’Connor), Get Smokin (M. Casse), Mira Mission (Ian Wilkes), Public Sector (C. Brown), Safe Conduct (Phil Serpe), Sanctuary City (James Ferraro), Scuttlebuzz (Rudy Rodriguez), Set Piece (Cox), Therapist (Clement), Wolfie’s Dynaghost (Tom Albertrani)

$150K Coronation Cup

Probable: Artos (Rusty Arnold), Poppy Flower (Bill Mott), Twilight Gleaming (Wesley Ward)

Saturday, July 16

G1 Diana

Probable: Bleecker Street (C. Brown), Creative Flair (Charlie Appleby), Dalika (Al Stall, Jr.), In Italian (C. Brown), Ocean Road (Brendan Walsh), Rougir (C. Brown), Technical Analysis (C. Brown)

G3 Sanford

Probable: Andiamo a Firenze (Kelly Breen), Boppy O (M. Casse), Curly Jack (Tom Amoss), I’m Wide Awake (T. Dutrow), Prove Right (Jim Chapman), Puttheblameonme (Jeremiah Englehart), Roman Giant (Steve Asmussen), Valenzan Day (Rodriguez)

Sunday, July 17

G3 Quick Call presented by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Probable: Asymmetric (Wesley Ward), Carpe’s Dream (Gregory DiPrima), Slipstream (Clement)


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NYRA Press Office

Trainer Ken McPeek has garnered plenty of knowledge and experience since starting his first runner in 1985. He’s known for his fearlessness when taking a gamble with his horses, like when he sent out Sarava to a shocking 70-1 victory in the 2002 Belmont Stakes for the dark bay’s first try against graded company, and more recently, scored a Grade 1 Preakness victory with upset filly Swiss Skydiver in 2020.