SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – August Dawn Farm’s Three Technique returned to graded stakes company last out with a strong third place showing in the Grade 2 John A. Nerud going seven furlongs on Belmont Park’s Independence Day card. After garnering a 95 Beyer Speed Figure for finishing 1 3/4 lengths back to winner Mind Control, trainer Jeremiah Englehart said Three Technique will target another high-caliber sprint in the six-furlong Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on July 31 at Saratoga.
The 4-year-old son of Mr Speaker ran twice at Saratoga last year, running 10th in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens and sixth in the Grade 3 Saranac. But after closing 2020 with a pair of mile contests against optional claimers at Belmont and Aqueduct Racetrack, respectively, Englehart said they decided to focus on sprinting for 2021, which resulted in Three Technique’s first career graded stakes black type last out in a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup. The Vanderbilt will be drawn on Wednesday.
“We’ve made the commitment to see how he handles sprinting and concentrate on the races that fit that category for him,” Englehart said. “He’s always trained fairly well up here. Since he came in during the spring, he’s been training forwardly and doing very well.”
River Dog winning the Mike Lee at Belmont May 31, 2021, as he gets back-to-back wins in May. (NYRA/Coglianese)
Robert Hahn’s New York homebred River Dog, unraced as a juvenile, has started his career 2-for-2 for Englehart, beginning with a seven-length debut win on May 2 going six furlongs and handling the step up in class and distance with a 1 3/4-length victory in the seven-furlong Mike Lee over a muddy and sealed Belmont track on May 31.
The Twirling Candy colt will likely head to the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for sophomores going 6 1/2 furlongs on the Saratoga main track on August 1, Englehart said. After besting fellow state breds in the Mike Lee, River Dog will now face a stiffer test.
River Dog has recorded his last six works at Saratoga dating to May 15, including a bullet four-furlong effort in 47.19 seconds on July 10 over the Oklahoma main track and a work on July 17 also going a half-mile in 49.11 over the Spa main track. The Amsterdam will draw on Thursday.
“We’ll run him in the Amsterdam. Hopefully, he shows he can compete against open company, but he’s been doing very well,” Englehart said. “He’s been very strong in his works.”
Emcee Stable’s A Life That’s Good, who broke her maiden as a juvenile in December at Aqueduct, won a stakes race for Englehart last out, capturing the Niagara at New York’s Finger Lakes on June 28, and the New York homebred will run back at the track in the 34th running of the $75,000 New York Oaks on Monday in Western New York.
The 3-year-old Congrats filly made her first career start in October on the Belmont turf before being moved to the main track. Englehart said following the New York Oaks, she could run at either Saratoga towards the end of the 40-day summer meet or target the Belmont fall meet.
A Life That’s Good’s win in the Niagara was her first start in five months since running fifth in her 2021 bow in the Franklin Square in January at the Big A. The showcase day for New York breds at Belmont on October 30 could also be a long-term goal, Englehart said.
“We were just trying to find a spot to start her out [in the Niagara] and she got a little tired, as expected, but Andre Worrie gave her a really nice ride in that race,” Englehart said. “The plan was to get her to the New York Oaks and see how she’ll handle the distance and two turns. Hopefully, she puts in a good performance on Monday.
“Either towards the end of the meet here or Saratoga or the showcase day at Belmont could be a possibility,” Englehart said.
NYRA Press Office
Top Photo: Three Techniques winning an AOC at Belmont on May 1, 2021. (NYRA/Chelsea Durand)