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Top News in Saturday's TDN
Slop No Problem For Versatile 'Llama'
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8th at SARGIII Nat'l Museum of Racing HOF S. ($200k)  [1 1/8m (off turf)]Winner: Notacatbutallama, c, 3 by Harlan's Holiday
Friday, Saratoga Race Course
*NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RACING HALL OF FAME S.-GIII, $196,000, SAR, 8-9, 3yo, 1 1/8m (off turf), 1:52 1/5, sy.
1--NOTACATBUTALLAMA, 122, c, 3, by Harlan’s Holiday
     1st Dam: Self Rising (SP, $164,931), by Hansel
     2nd Dam: My Necessity, by Ziggy's Boy
     3rd Dam: Salt in My Stew, by Dr. Blum
($50,000 yrl '11 FTNAUG; $105,000 2yo ‘12
OBSAPR). O-Repole Stable; B-Happy Hill Farm (NY);
T-Todd Pletcher; J-John Velazquez. $120,000.
Lifetime Record: 12-6-3-1, $488,334. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating:

2--North Slope, 115, c, 3, Elusive Quality--Jinni, by
A.P. Indy. O/B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran McLaughlin.
3--Battier, 122, c, 3, Tale of the Cat--Whobabydatiz, by
Boston Harbor. ($13,000 2yo ‘12 FTMMAY).
O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Lady Sheila Stable
& Brahman Red LLC; B-Loren Nichols & Dr Joseph
Tripi (FL); T-Todd Pletcher. $20,000.

Margins: 3/4, 1HF, NK. Odds: 2.85, 3.50, 3.05.
*Automatically downgraded when transferred to the main track.
Also Ran: Charming Kitten, Get in Line.
Scratched: Balance the Books, Rydilluc.
Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO.
   Notacatbutallama entered this test with five wins from nine starts on the grass, but is bred to be anything but an abject failure on the dirt. After all, his sire never set foot on the infield and his dam, a four-time winner and stakes-placed in New York-bred competition, was well beaten in a single try over the green stuff. The Repole runner made his first six start on the turf, winning his maiden at second asking during this meeting last Aug. 20, then was fourth to Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) in the GII With Anticipation S. 10 days later and runner-up to Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) in the GIII Pilgrim S. Oct. 8. After ultimately deciding against a trip to California for the Breeders’ Cup, Notacatbutallama validated 2-5 favoritism in the Incurable Optimist S. at Belmont Oct. 28 and added a victory in the Super Mario S. the following month ahead of a runner-up effort in a sloppy renewal of the restricted Damon Runyon S. over the Aqueduct inner track Dec. 9. A distant sixth to Vyjack (Into Mischief) in the GIII Jerome S. Jan. 5, the Repole runner resurfaced with a rank third in the James W. Murphy S. on the Preakness undercard May 18, but atoned for that defeat with a neck success in the GIII Hill Prince S. at Belmont June 15. Ignored as an 11-2 chance in a graded-stakes quality field in the July 13 Solar Splendor S. downstate, he was along late by a half-length and was given his chance in this event, rained onto the main track for a second straight season. Content to ride the rails in a joint third early, Notacatbutallama bided his time while saving all the ground as North Slope got first crack at the tiring pacesetter Get In Line (Divine Park). North Slope hit the front going reasonably well in upper stretch and looked a winner for a few strides, but John Velazquez kept after Notacatbutallama, and they drove through underneath North Slope in the final 70 yards for the victory. Battier, entered as main-track only, had every chance off a good trip, but finished an excuse-free third. "We felt like those three horses would show speed and we'd be in a spot behind them,” commented winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “He was in good position and when the rail came open, he came up the fence. I had a feeling he was turning into a top-class turf horse, and you hate to change surfaces. At least we know now in this situation what he can do."

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