Appleby To Start Althiqa, Summer Romance In Diana Stakes At Saratoga

Trainer Charlie Appleby enjoyed a one-two finish with Althiqa and Summer Romance in the $500,000 Grade 1 Longines Just a Game Stakes on June 5 going one mile on turf for fillies and mares at Belmont Park in Elmont, Ny.

On Saturday, the 4-year-old fillies breezed solo on the Belmont inner turf with Althiqa covering the distance in :48.66 and Summer Romance in :49.45 in preparation for the nine-furlong $500,000 Grade 1 Diana Stakes on July 17 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, Ny.

“They went solo yesterday just to get back on the grass and give them a little blowout,” said traveling assistant Sophie Chretien. “They both went very well and they’re very happy.”

Summer Romance, with Luis Saez up, set a sharp pace in the Just a Game, but could not stay off the late run of Althiqa, under Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

“They ran one-two. You can’t do better unless you dead heat,” said Chretien, with a laugh.

Chretien said Summer Romance may have had the tougher assignment last out and will benefit from the added distance at Saratoga.

“Althiqa came from behind and the other was in front, and Althiqa is a pure miler,” said Chretien. “Maybe Summer was a bit too fresh, but that’s racing. Longer might be better for Summer.”

Two more Appleby-trained Godolphin runners will arrive at Belmont next Sunday with Secret Protector to target the $1 million Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and Creative Flair on point for the $700,000 Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational. The 10-furlong first legs of the Turf Triple series are slated for July 10.

Creative Flair, by Dubawi, won the 10-furlong Abingdon Stakes on June 10 at Newbury Racecourse in Newbury, England, while Secret Protector, by War Front, arrives from a third to Mohaafeth in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes on June 17 at Ascot Racecourse, also in England.

“The colt was with me in Dubai. He came into the year in February with a win at Meydan and was promising,” said Chretien. “He’s a lovely colt and he just finished third in a good Ascot race and the one that won was really nice.”

Chretien said if Secret Protector can handle the quick turnaround and travel time, he should be a factor.

“If he travels well, and he should as he’s quite a relaxed horse, then it should be fine,” said Chretien. “I believe he came back well from his race and he’s a genuine horse. Ten furlongs will be perfect for him.”

The post Appleby To Start Althiqa, Summer Romance In Diana Stakes At Saratoga appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.