Saratoga Notebook

Charge It breezing July 20 at Saratoga | Sarah Andrew

Todd Pletcher stablemates Charge It (Tapit) and Far Bridge (English Channel), each victorious in stakes company on the July 8 program at Belmont Park, returned to the worktab for the first time since those efforts.

Whisper Hill Farm's 'TDN Rising Star' Charge It, who returned to winning ways with a dominating victory in the GII Suburban S. at a mile and quarter, went a half-mile in :49 flat over the Saratoga main track and is on track for a start in the GI Whitney S. Aug. 5.

“He worked really well. We're on target for the Whitney,” Pletcher said. “The way he came out of his last race, he had good energy and was moving great. He's settled in really well here. He seems like a horse that's in really good form.”

Far Bridge, campaigned by Lawrence Sarf's LSU Stables since being purchased privately from Calumet Farm, was the impressive winner of the GI Belmont Derby Invitational downstate and went four furlongs in the company of 4-year-old stable companion Al's Rocket (Cairo Prince) in :49.95.

“I wanted to breeze him on the turf [Friday], but I didn't like how the forecast looked, so I'm glad we got it in yesterday. He went well,” Pletcher said.

With the exception of the featured GIII Lake George S., Friday's turf races were transferred to the main track.

Far Bridge is a candidate for the $600,000 GI Saratoga Derby Invitational S. over a mile and three-sixteenths on the Whitney undercard.

 

 

 

New York-bred 3-year-old filly Maple Leaf Mel (Cross Traffic) fired a half-mile in :49.22 over the Oklahoma training track, the quickest of eight works at the distance as she prepares to put her unblemished five-for-five mark on the line in the GI Test S. Aug. 5. It was her first work since posting a 2 1/2-length success in the GIII Victory Ride S. at Belmont Park July 9.

“It went very good,” said Melanie Giddings, who trains the filly for Bill Parcells's August Dawn Farm. “We didn't do anything special and kept it simple. The track was a little wet, but it was tight enough. I like the surface here.”

Giddings, who is the subject of an upcoming TDN feature and for whom the filly is named, took over the everyday training from Jeremiah Englehart this past January.

“She came out of her last race really well with good energy,” said Giddings. “She's great and she's the star. She's always been professional, even as good-feeling of a horse as she can be. When she was a baby, I was worried she may be goofy in the paddock or something, and she was awesome. She's always been like that. The good ones do things a little different than most.”

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