Fingal’s Cave Breezes for $200K Fleet Indian

August 19, 2022

Lady Jasmine on Target for $150K P.G. Johnson

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Alifyfe Racing’s Fingal’s Cave breezed five-eighths in 1:02.45 over the main track Friday in a final tune-up for next Friday’s $200,000 Fleet Indian, a 1 1/8-mile dirt route for sophomore fillies, on New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course.

The Carpe Diem filly has been perfect in three starts dating back to her debut in May at Belmont Park where she defeated fellow state-breds by 8 1/2 lengths sprinting six furlongs. After graduating, the David Donk trainee was asked to stretch out an extra panel and did so with ease under jockey Jose Ortiz, posting a nine-length romp, against state-breds, in a first-level allowance on June 25 over Big Sandy.

Most recently, Fingal’s Cave was asked to go two turns against open-company July 29 at the Spa, a race she took the field gate-to-wire in to remain unbeaten and record a career-high 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

“The two-other-than did not fill so we elected to run in an open company,” said Donk. “But it also gave us, more importantly, the opportunity to run her at a mile-and-an-eighth, which was great.”

After watching the workout this morning, Donk had praise for both horse and rider entering the race.

“She’s done, knock on wood, really well since she’s run,” said Donk. “She breezed really well today, Jose breezed her and hopefully that sets us up for next Friday.”

Fingal’s Cave will face stakes company for the first time in the Fleet Indian, but has already passed the two-turn test entering Friday.

Purchased for $75,000 out of the 2021 Ocala Breeders’ Sale for 2-Year-Olds in Training in April, Fingal’s Cave has proven her worth with $148,500 in earnings from those three wins.

Lady Jasmine a debut winner at Saratoga August 3, 2022 (NYRA/Coglianese)

Lady Jasmine, trained and co-owned by Donk with John T. Behrendt, Charles K. Marquis, Suzanne K. Haslup, Sean Carney, William J. Punk, Jr., and Philip DiLeo, was a debut winner on August 3 at the Spa traveling 1 1/16-miles over the turf. Lady Jasmine sat off the lead down the backside before taking aim and prevailing by 1 1/2 lengths under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.

The Cairo Prince bay will make the jump to stakes company in the $150,000 P.G. Johnson, a 1 1/16-mile turf route for juveniles, on September 1 at Saratoga.

Lady Jasmine returned to the work tab on Thursday, breezing a half-mile in 49.55 seconds on the main track, for the first time since graduating. She will now be tasked with defeating open company.

“The waters get a little deep,” said Donk. “Johnny liked her when he got off her, so it’ll be a big test for her, but it’ll give us an idea of maybe what we have.”

Purchased for $45,000 out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale, Lady Jasmine has already made that back, earning $48,400 from her maiden score.

Philip A. Gleaves, Steven Crist, Ken deRegt and Bryan Hilliard’s graded stakes-placed Thin White Duke was last seen beaten just a neck by six-time graded stakes winner Golden Pal and three-time graded/group stakes winner True Valour in the Grade 3 Troy on August 5 at Saratoga. The 4-year-old son of Dominus is likely to take advantage of his allowance eligibility next week at Saratoga, though Donk did mention the $150,000 Lucky Coin September 2 as a possibility as well. 

“He’s been in great form and done really well here,” said Donk. “His head’s buried in the feed tub out of the race. In a perfect world, I think he’s back in allowance next week.”

Thin White Duke became graded stakes-placed after the third place finish in the Troy which also saw him earn a career-high 99 Beyer Speed Figure, surpassing a previous high of 85, and build on an impressive resume at Saratoga, where he boasts a 5-1-3-1 record.

Donk took over training duties from former conditioner and part-owner Philip Gleaves, who retired from training last year, and is 7-1-1-1 this campaign.

A lifetime winner of $344,001 and 17-3-3-5, Thin White Duke re-established himself as a turf horse this year after making just three of his first ten starts on the lawn as a 2 and 3-year-old.

Donk also provided an update on Philip Gleaves, Joseph Straus and Hugh Fitzsimons’ Yes and Yes, who was last seen finishing fifth behind stablemate Thin White Duke in the Grade 3 Troy, and will wait to find a spot at the Belmont at the Big A meet.

Another horse that Donk took over training duties for Gleaves this year, Donk said he was informed by the former conditioner that the Saratoga grass has never been his forte.

“We ran him long. We ran him short. He didn’t fire the last time,” Donk said. “He’s done well so we’ll just wait on him and run him at Aqueduct.”

The 6-year-old gelded son of Sidney’s Candy started the year with Donk 3-for-3, sprinting his way through allowance conditions before a pair of off-the-board graded stakes finishes at the Spa.

Yes and Yes has banked $325,680 in 24 career starts for his connections, with an in-the-money record of 5-4-4.

NYRA Press Office

Main photo: Fingal’s Cave breaks her maiden at Belmont Park May 22, 2022 (NYRA/Coglianese)

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