Spa Notebook: Lovell Looking To Two Turns for Damon's Mound

Michelle Lovell welcomes back Damon's Mound following Saturday's GII Saratoga Special | Susie Raisher

Trainer Michelle Lovell, who sent out 'TDN Rising Star' Damon's Mound (Girvin) to win Saturday's GII Saratoga Special S., said Sunday that she was not ruling out either the seven-furlong GI Hopeful S. Sept. 5 or the Oct. 5 GI Champagne S. at the Belmont at the Big A meet going a one-turn mile, but is more inclined to get the colt some two-turn route experience for his next appearance.

“Everything's on our radar,” said Lovell. “We'll see how he is. He's never had a bad day, so I don't expect him to.”

Damon's Mound was awarded an 86 Beyer Speed Figure for his defeat of fellow 'Rising Star' Gulfport (Uncle Mo) Saturday.

“He's been so great,” said Lovell. “Everything went to perfection. Even the way the race set up. We were really happy to track the frontrunners. [Jockey] Gabriel [Saez] put an excellent ride on him. The rest is history. It's in the history books.”

Lovell is a former jockey and posted three runner-up efforts at Saratoga during her time in the saddle, but was thrilled to finally have her picture taken Saturday.

“We celebrated at dinner,” said Lovell. “I took my groom and some friends and just had a nice dinner. I had so many congrats from so many people. Saratoga is super special, obviously, that's an understatement. Getting to [be in the winner's circle] was awesome.”

Breeders' Cup Mile Likely Plan For Casa Creed…

After finishing third in the GI Fourstardave H. in each of the past two seasons, LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable's Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) finally got over the hump Saturday with a last-to-first defeat of odds-on 'TDN Rising Star' Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) at the Spa. The 6-year-old was earning his third career top-level success on the weekend, having most recently successfully defended his title in the six-furlong GI Jaipur S. on the Belmont S. undercard June 11. But where it comes to a future appearance on Breeders' Cup weekend, part-owner Lee Einsidler is fairly certain of where the entire will end up.

“[The Turf Sprint] is only 5 1/2 [furlongs] sprinting at Keeneland, which is a little short for him,” Einsidler said. “From what we saw yesterday, if all goes according to plan, I'm sure we'll show up in the Mile as long as he's training great and feels great.”

Casa Creed has faced the starter in the Mile the last two years, finishing 12th to Order of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}) at Keeneland in 2020 and eighth behind Space Blues (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) last year at Del Mar. Einsidler, who owns Casa Creed in partnership with New York sports radio personality Mike Francesa, is confident his charge can go better this time around.

“[Trainer] Bill Mott and I were in his stall a few weeks ago and he said 'Lee, he's better today than he's ever been in his entire career.' He's just been flourishing,” Einsidler recalled. “They say a lot of horses are at their best at five. Yesterday was the best performance of his career and he's a 6-year-old. He's just amazing. I'd say right now, he's at the total top of his game.”

Casa Creed, who was just touched off in the G3 1351 Turf Sprint in Saudi Arabia and was a sound fifth in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, could make one interim start prior to the Breeders' Cup, but could also be trained straight into the race, Einsidler said.

“If he's telling us he has to run, we'll run him there which is fine because you got four weeks to the Breeders' Cup and a trip over the course,” Einsidler said. “He's run there before, but now he's much better today than he was then. So, I think the idea of running him over there makes all the sense in the world, but if Mott wants to wait and train him up to the Breeders' Cup, that's why he's in the Hall of Fame. He makes those decisions.”

   And 2022 may not be the end of the road.

“If he stays sound and he's doing great, we'll run him next year,” said Einsidler. “There's a stallion career somewhere for him, but I'm all about racing so that's what we're going to do.”

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