HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Joe Sharp said he would like to run multiple stakes-winner Summer in Saratoga in the $500,000 Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3). He and co-owner Anderson Farms just want to make sure she fits.
“We’re going to make a decision as it gets a little closer, but it’s definitely under strong consideration,” Sharp said. “From what I’m gathering, it looks like her (handicapping) numbers will be pretty competitive in the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf. As long as we’re both comfortable taking a shot, that might be what we do.”
Summer in Saratoga was fresh off victory in Keeneland’s Grade 3 Dowager Stakes when the mare was sold for $630,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s November sale. Sharp figured that probably was the last time he’d see the daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun. However, owner Anderson Farms sent her back to Sharp. In her first and so for only start for her new owners, Summer in Saratoga won the $75,000 Blushing KD Stakes at the New Orleans’ Fair Grounds.
“Obviously you hope it would work out the way it did,” Sharp said of being able to keep Summer in Saratoga in his barn. “At that price range where she was expected to sell, most people would be purchasing her as a broodmare prospect. There was no guarantee you were going to get somebody who would want to continue to race her, let alone trust us to have her again. It really all came together nicely.”
Sharp had never before met Dave Anderson, who campaigns the now 6-year-old mare in the name of his farm in Ontario, Canada, and with Narola LLC. Success would come quickly, but not before facing a speed bump.
“We actually sent her up to New York,” Sharp said. “She got scratched in the paddock; she kind of sat down behind. So we brought her down to the Fair Grounds. She got herself back together and ran huge the other day. Corey (Lanerie, her regular jockey) happened to be in town. He knows her so well. It all worked out, basically first start for the new connections to get a win.”
Whether Summer in Saratoga races a full season or races a time or two before being bred would appear up to the 6-year-old mare.
“It’s on a start-by-start basis, Sharp said. “From what I understood from Dave, as long as she’s performing at a level that can add to her resume, then I think he’s content to move forward with racing.”
Sharp has had Summer in Saratoga for all but her first two races. That span encompasses her seven victories, four coming in stakes – including in three of her last four starts.
“Honestly, this moment right now is probably my favorite version of Summer in Saratoga that I’ve been around,” he said. “There are probably a lot of different factors contributing to that, but mainly maturity. She has that being about her of a good horse that’s very alpha and very confident. She makes my job easy.”
While Sharp’s main winter base of the Fair Grounds has a series of turf stakes for fillies and mares, those purses don’t come close to Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf’s $500,000.
“The Fair Grounds series has been good to us over the years,” Sharp said. “But we get spoiled in the spring, summer and fall with the purse structure in Kentucky. So it’s nice to have some big purse money to run for in January if you can be competitive. So we’re grateful to Gulfstream for putting that on.”
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Summer in Saratoga with Corey Lanerie up wins the 2021 Rood and Riddle Dowager