Runaway Rumour targeting Yaddo; Venti Valentine eyes Fleet Indian
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Lawrence Goichman’s homebred Alluring Angel (GB) raised eyebrows at Saratoga Race Course Thursday when closing from 8-of-9 and 8 1/2-lengths back to win a maiden special weight turf sprint event for juvenile fillies under the meet’s leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. for trainer Jorge Abreu.
Forced six wide down the lane, Alluring Angel kicked into gear and scored by a half-length over the Wesley Ward-trained and betting favorite Cowichan. The win came as a pleasant surprise for Abreu, who thought she might have needed a little more time before making a trip to the winner’s circle.
“She always trained like a horse that would need a race or a couple more breezes, but she proved different,” said Abreu.
Abreu gave credit to the three-time Saratoga meet-winning jockey aboard for helping the daughter of Fastnet Rock get the job done.
“I think that was the key, having him on her back. I think he’s the one that got her to the wire,” said Abreu. “She kind of broke with him but took herself back.”
Abreu said Alluring Angel, who recorded a 65 Beyer Speed Figure in victory, will likely target a sprint stake next.
Alluring Angel had been working with another horse for the duo of Goichman/Abreu in Lachaise, who brought her connections right back to the Saratoga winner’s circle again Thursday.
Traveling 1 1/16-miles on firm turf, the New York-homebred ridgling by Oscar Performance was sent off as the betting favorite and stalked the leaders under Flavien Prat before pouncing in the stretch to win by 1 1/4-lengths in a maiden special weight event for state-bred juveniles. The victory garnered a 61 Beyer.
“I was a little more into Lachaise because he’s been breezing really, really well,” said Abreu. “Flavien worked him out of the gate the other day and liked the horse and I liked the breeze.”
A half-brother to multiple graded-stakes placed Runaway Rumour and multiple stakes-winner Myhartblongstodady, both of whom Abreu was assigned training responsibilities for, Lachaise has big shoes to fill in the family tree.
Abreu says he sees some similarities in how the offspring of Elusive Rumour, by Elusive Quality, train.
“Lachaise and Runaway Rumour kind of look the same when training,” said Abreu. “Myhartblongstodady had a mind of her own.”
The two juveniles were training together for some time, and it was just a matter of waiting for the right race to be carded.
“I told Mr. Larry [Goichman] when the second [condition] book came out, I said, ‘look we just need to wait because they’re not ready,’ so I had to breeze them from the gate twice back-to-back,” said Abreu.
Both horses exited their races in good order and looked healthy today according to Abreu. A next race for Lachaise is yet to be determined.
Runaway Rumour, last seen finishing an even fourth in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial on July 12 at Parx Racing, breezed a half-mile over the Oklahoma dirt training track Friday in 49.55 seconds.
Abreu will look for some class relief for the daughter of Flintshire and target the $200,000 Yaddo Handicap, a New York-bred stake for fillies and mares, 3-and-up going 1 1/16-miles over Saratoga Race Course’s turf course on New York Showcase Day August 26.
“I breezed her on the turf last week. I wanted to give her a long [five-eighths] breeze and I didn’t want to do it on the dirt,” said Abreu. “I went a half-mile this morning and I’m pretty pleased with her.”
Second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid last summer at Saratoga, the Yaddo may provide Runaway Rumour with a good opportunity to get back to her winning ways.
“I think a little class relief [will help]. She’s done very well here in the past,” said Abreu.
Goichman’s New York-homebred has a lifetime record of 12-3-2-1 with $279,530 in the bank.
Also expected to return to the races on New York Showcase Day is NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes-placed Venti Valentine. The daughter of Firing Line enters from off-the-board finishes in the Grade 2 Mother Goose at Belmont Park in June and the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in May.
Abreu said he plans to work Venti Valentine Saturday, weather permitting, to gear up for the $200,000 Fleet Indian, a race restricted to state-bred sophomore fillies and run at 1 1/8-miles on Saratoga Race Course’s dirt track August 26.
In addition to being graded stakes-placed as a juvenile and sophomore, Venti Valentine is a two-time overnight stakes winner. First as a juvenile in the Maid of the Mist at Belmont Park in October and then the Busher Invitational at Aqueduct Racetrack in March.
A winner of $443,750, Venti Valentine has a 7-3-2-0 lifetime record.
NYRA Press Office
Main Photo: Alluring Angel battling to the wire in his debut at Saratoga. (NYRA/Coglianese)