Keepmeinmind on point for G1 Runhappy Travers; Dream Lith under consideration for G1 Spinaway

August 12, 2021

Saratoga Week 6 stakes probables – Wednesday, August 18 – Saturday, August 21

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Robertino Diodoro, who sports a ledger of 19-5-4-1 at the half-way point of the Saratoga summer meet, said he is hoping he can cap off an already successful venture with a flourish by saddling Keepmeinmind in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 28 and Dream Lith in the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway on September 5.

Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith and Spendthrift Farm’s Keepmeinmind, a sophomore son of Laoban, has shown improvement in his last two starts matching up career-best 97 Beyers.

In the nine-furlong Grade 3 Ohio Derby on June 26 at Thistledown, Keepmeinmind closed from last-of-9 to finish third, a half-length back of the victorious Masqueparade.

Last out, in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, Keepmeinmind raced from last-of-5 but just 2 1/2-lengths off the pace, before closing gamely down the lane to finish second, a half-length back of Grade 1 Belmont Stakes-winner Essential Quality.

“I thought he ran a big race. I really thought as he matured some more in the second half of his 3-year-old year, I was hoping he would come around,” Diodoro said. “His last two races have been his better races. I think there’s still a couple more lengths for him to improve and hopefully that’s enough for him to get the job done.”

The talented bay was multiple Grade 1-placed at Keeneland as a 2-year-old, finishing second in the Breeders’ Futurity in October and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November, before graduating at fourth asking with a last-to-first rush in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club on November 28 at Churchill Downs. 

Diodoro said Keepmeinmind, who competed in two-thirds of the Triple Crown finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Grade 1 Preakness, will now target the Runhappy Travers, a 10-furlong test for sophomores and a return engagement with the reigning 2-year-old Champion Essential Quality.

“I think the extra distance definitely helps him. He’ll run all day and that will be to his benefit,” Diodoro said. “We’ll breeze him this weekend, but we’re pointing towards the Travers.”

Last out, Keepmeinmind was piloted by Joel Rosario for the first time. The colt responded by not dropping too far out of it in a compact field of five.

“He was a lot closer last time, and we were real happy about that,” Diodoro said. “That was his first time on him, and he mentioned there’s a couple quirky things about him that he knows now. I think he’s excited to ride him back.”

The probable field for the Runhappy Travers includes Dynamic One [Pletcher], Essential Quality [Brad Cox], King Fury [Kenny McPeek], Masqueparade [Al Stall, Jr.], Midnight Bourbon [Steve Asmussen], and Miles D [Chad Brown].

Cypress Creek Equine and Arnold Bennewith’s Dream Lith, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the Street Cry mare Elle Sueno, registered a 76 Beyer for her 2 1/4-length debut win Sunday at odds of 36-1 sprinting 6 1/2-furlongs on the Saratoga main track.

“All the help and myself all loved the filly from Day One. We broke her in Arkansas, so we’ve seen a lot of her,” Diodoro said. “My only concern was she needed two turns to win, but she proved me wrong. I was pleasantly surprised. I knew she would run good, but I didn’t think she could win going that short. She ran very impressive.”

With David Cohen up, Dream Lith tracked from fourth before advancing four wide at the top of the lane, taking command at the eighth pole and finishing strong.

“One of the big plusses to her is she’s been all class and professional from Day One. She a good-minded filly and I think with any good horse that means a lot,” Diodoro said. “The one horse [Popular Vote] broke bad and ran off to the lead. I thought when that horse went blowing by her early that would get her on the bit and aggressive, but David Cohen said she sat there and relaxed and waited until it was time to go. She’s a smart, classy filly.”

Diodoro said the Dream Lith will now point to the Grade 1 Spinaway, a seven-furlong sprint on the main track.

“She’s come back great, but we’ll wait until we breeze her and make sure everything is go,” Diodoro said. 

Diodoro said Flying P Stable’s Lone Rock will look to extend his current win streak to five in the 1 5/8-mile Grand Prix American Jockey Club on September 18 at Belmont.

The 6-year-old Majestic Warrior gelding has won seven of his last eight starts. His current streak is capped by wins in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational presented by Northwell Health in June at Belmont and the last-out Birdstone on August 5 at Saratoga.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed and touch wood, but he’s come out of it just like he went into the Birdstone and the Brooklyn – like a monster,” Diodoro said. “We just have to keep him healthy and happy and keep moving forward.”

Lone Rock was claimed back by Diodoro and Flying P Stable for $40,000 out of a winning effort in October at Keeneland and has lost just once since, finishing second by a neck in the Temperence Hill in March at Oaklawn.

“He was meant to be a good horse,” Diodoro said. “He’s built like a good horse. He’s a big, strong horse. I always say good horses love to train and he loves to train.”

Flying P Stable’s [owner Jason Provenzano] Fort Peck registered a career-best 92 Beyer in his first start for Diodoro, taking a nine-furlong claiming route on Saturday at the Spa by 6 3/4-lengths.

The 6-year-old Fort Larned gelding was claimed for $62,500 out of an off-the-board effort in May at Churchill Downs.

“We claimed this horse and for three weeks or longer after we got him we thought we were in trouble with the horse,” Diodoro said. “He had some internal issues more than physical issues. We took our time and I have to give the owner credit for letting us do our thing and not pressing on to run him. It took him awhile to come around. That’s one thing about Jason, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get a horse right as long as you think you can. It paid off for sure.”

Diodoro said Fort Peck has thrived since shipping up to Saratoga from Churchill Downs.

“The surroundings here at Saratoga sure didn’t hurt him,” Diodoro said. “He has some back class. We just have to get it back out of him.”

Saratoga Week 6 stakes probables

Wednesday, August 18

$120,000 Bolton Landing

Probable: Charlee O (Michelle Nevin), Derrynane (Christophe Clement), Fulminate (Mark Casse), Kneesnhips (Tom Amoss), Poppy Flower (Wesley Ward), Squid (Mike Maker), Stand Up Comic (Butch Reid, Jr.)

Thursday, August 19

$100,000 Union Avenue

Probable: Hannah Dances (M. Anthony Ferraro), Sadie Lady (Rob Atras)

Possible: Awesome Debate (Bruce Brown), Irish Constitution (Ray Handal), Love and Love (Mike Miceli)

Friday, August 20

$120,000 Skidmore

Probable: Baytown Frosty (Paul McEntee), Bueno Bueno (Jack Sisterson), Lucci (Wesley Ward), Pure Panic (Mike Maker)

Saturday, August 21

Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama 

Probable: Army Wife (Mike Maker), Clairiere (Steve Asmussen), Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek), Malathaat (Todd Pletcher), Maracuja (Rob Atras), Played Hard (Phil Bauer), Will’s Secret (Dallas Stewart)

Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid 

Probable: Bubbles On Ice (Christophe Clement), Illiogami (Rusty Arnold), Lovestruck (Bill Mott), Por Que No (Kent Sweezey), Runaway Rumour (Jorge Abreu), Spanish Loveaffair (Mark Casse), Technical Analysis (Chad Brown), Tobys Heart (Brian Lynch)

Possible: Plum Ali (Christophe Clement)

$120,000 Smart N Fancy

Probable: Beantown Baby (Arnaud Delacour), Lead Guitar (George Weaver), Robin Sparkles (Bruce Brown)

NYRA/Saratoga Press Release

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