SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Wesley Ward will saddle a strong pair of contenders in Hat Creek Racing’s Illegal Smile and Stonestreet Stables’ Wink for Sunday’s $120,000 Galway, a 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for sophomore fillies, at Saratoga Race Course.
Ward sent out the first and third place [Into the Sunrise] finishers in Wednesday’s $120,000 Mahony at Saratoga with Arrest Me Red posting a neck score in the 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for sophomores.
“Illegal Smile is breezing a lot like Arrest Me Red. She’s calm and cool and collected. She just sits back and makes that one big run,” Ward said. “Wink will just go right to the front.”
The Irish-bred Illegal Smile, by Camacho, graduated in the six-furlong Stewart Manor in November on the Big A turf and followed with a close fourth in the five-furlong Mamzelle in May at Churchill Downs.
Last out, she set the pace in a June 12 allowance win by Galway-rival Goin’ Good at Churchill, finishing a half-length back.
Wink winning her debut at Belmont Park on June 12, 2020. (Chelsea Durand)
The Kentucky-bred Wink, by Midshipman, won three of her first four starts, including the Colleen last August at Monmouth Park and the Melody of Colors in March at Gulfstream. Those two victories were separated by a runner-up effort in the Group 3 Prix d’Arenberg in September at Longchamp.
Wink will travel beyond five furlongs for the first time as she looks to make amends for an off-the-board effort last out in the Mamzelle.
Ward said Wink would prefer firmer footing.
“She’s going to run a really nice race if the turf is the way it was on Wednesday,” Ward said. “She wants no part of give in the ground.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will pilot Illegal Smile from post 6, while Hall of Famer Javier Castellano has the call on Wink from post 3.
Klein Racing’s Goin’ Good will look to secure her third win in succession for reigning Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Brad Cox.
The Congrats bay launched her current streak with an allowance score traveling 5 ½-furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf in June that registered a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure.
Goin’ Good followed up with an off-the-turf score in the Coronation Cup on July 18 at the Spa, prevailing by a half-length over Farsighted to notch her first stakes score sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs on a sloppy and sealed main track.
Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount from post 7.
Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and TOLO Thoroughbreds’ Alwayz Late, a bay daughter of Animal Kingdom, will shorten up to less than one mile for the first time in her ninth career start.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Alwayz Late graduated at fourth asking in February in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on firm Gulfstream Park turf and followed with an optional-claiming win at nine furlongs on the same course.
Two of her last three starts have come on the main track, including a pace-setting fifth in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Gazelle in April at the Big A and a stalking third last out against older company in an off-the-turf optional-claiming event at 1 1/16-miles at Belmont.
Mott successfully used a turnback in distance in June at Belmont when he saddled an exacta of Casa Creed and Chewing Gum in the six-furlong Grade 1 Jackpocket Jaipur.
“This is a little tougher. If you turn back at Belmont to six that’s one thing, five and a half furlongs here is a little different. It’s a bit more of a change,” said Mott. “She seems like she’s been up close in some of her races and backed up. This is straight 3-year-olds and I thought we’d give it a try.”
Alwayz Late breezed a bullet three-eighths in 35 flat on the Belmont Park dirt training track on August 7.
Manny Franco will be tasked with proving Alwayz Late a timely ride from post 9.
Bach Stables’ Bye Bye, an Into Mischief bay purchased for $140,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, captured the seven-furlong Grade 3 Soaring Softly by a neck in May at Belmont Park.
The Christophe Clement-trainee, a maiden winner sprinting five furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf in March, stretched out to one mile last out in the Wild Applause in June at Belmont and faded to seventh after setting the early pace.
Joel Rosario will guide Bye Bye from post 8.
Lawrence Goichman’s Star Devine [post 10, Hall of Famer John Velazquez] was a maiden winner at first asking in a six-furlong turf sprint in April at Aqueduct.
The Irish-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock, trained by Jorge Abreu, followed with a close fourth in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Soaring Softly in May at Belmont. Last out, Star Devine stretched out to 1 1/16-miles against older allowance company on June 17 at Belmont and closed to finish third after a troubled trip.
Rounding out the field are Li’l Tootsie [post 1, Eric Cancel], Tuscan Queen [post 2, Jose Ortiz], Dr B [post 4, Luis Saez], and Mischiefful [post 5, Jose Lezcano]. What a Trick [post 11, Dylan Davis] is first call on the also-eligible list, while Summer Brew is entered for the main-track only.
The Galway is carded as Race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race program at Saratoga Race Course. First post is 1:05 p.m. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Livebroadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Illegal Smile winning the 2020 Stewart Manor in November at Aqueduct. (NYRA/Coglianese)