Anna’s Arabesque Tries Stakes Company in $150K Coronation Cup

July 13, 2023

Played Hard Training Forwardly Towards G2 Shuvee

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Friday’s card at Saratoga Race Course could include moist track conditions as the National Weather Service has forecasted the potential for heavy rains and thunderstorms in the afternoon. However, trainer Phil Bauer has little concern for track condition for the stakes-placed Anna’s Arabesque, who vies for her first victory against winners in the $150,000 Coronation Cup, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for sophomore fillies.

“I think it’s an ambitious spot, but you have to take advantage of her 3-year-old season,” said Bauer. “I think we’ll watch the weather close and she’s won on the mud, so I think we’ll run either way.”

Owned by Rigney Racing, the daughter of Munnings graduated last out with a 2 1/4-length triumph in an off-the-turf maiden going the Coronation Cup distance on June 29 at Ellis Park. She earned a 65 Beyer Speed Figure for the victory after dueling for the early lead and drawing clear under Florent Geroux, who will retain the mount from post 3 on Friday.

“I think it was a lot better than it looks on paper,” said Bauer. “You ask a horse to do what she did and a lot of times they go backwards, but she fought on and got the job done. We’re excited to try her back in stakes company. It’s quick back but she seems fresh and we haven’t done a lot with her.”

It was the first main track start for the dark bay filly, who had previously finished a good third to Danse Macabre as a maiden in the Mamzelle in May at Churchill Downs, edged out of place honors a neck behind graded stakes-winner American Apple.

“It was a fight with the entry box early on the spring because there weren’t a lot of races on the turf in Kentucky, so that’s why we ran her in the stake,” Bauer said. “It kind of worked out that she was able to get stakes placed and improve her quality.”

Anna’s Arabesque could give Bauer a strong start to the meet where he will look to continue the impressive form he enjoyed here last season when posting a 13-6-1-0 record. His winners included Rigney Racing’s Played Hard, who scored in an optional claimer en route to her first graded score in the Grade 3 Locust Grove in September at Churchill. Played Hard went on to provide Bauer with his first Grade 1 triumph in this year’s La Troienne.

Bauer said the daughter of Into Mischief has settled in well to Saratoga and is training forwardly towards a start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Shuvee on July 23.

“She loves to train, so we’re excited,” said Bauer. “We don’t think she has regressed at all.”

@Tracking_Trips nice call Jon

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