Woodslane Farm homebred Wolfie’s Dynaghost, a half-sibling to millionaire Grade 1-winning turfer Sadler’s Joy, will make his grass debut in Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, a one-mile inner-turf test for sophomores at Saratoga Race Course.
The 37th edition of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, slated for Race 7, is part of a loaded Friday card that includes the $120,000 Alydar in Race 8, a nine-furlong test for older horses who have not won a sweepstakes in 2021 other than state-bred; and the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy presented by Horse Racing Ireland, a 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for older horses in Race 9.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Wolfie’s Dynaghost graduated at first asking at odds of 33-1 in a seven-furlong maiden special weight in November over a good main track at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Ghostzapper bay, out of the Dynaformer mare Dynaire, returned to action in May when running a distant fifth in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Peter Pan over a Belmont Park main track rated fast.
Last out, in an off-the-turf optional-claiming event at 1 1/16-miles on July 3 at Belmont, Wolfie’s Dynaghost relished the sloppy and sealed surface, bounding away to a two-length front-running score.
Wolfie’s Dynaghost posted his first recorded breeze on turf Sunday, covering a half-mile in 51.10 seconds on the Oklahoma training turf in company with older allowance winner Duress [52.65].
With Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, Wolfie’s Dynaghost tracked outside Duress before advancing through the turn and powering to the inside of his workmate for the stretch run, finishing up his breeze with vigor.
“It looked like he was really striding out well over it and it looked like he got a good hold of it. Irad was really happy with the work,” Albertrani said. “He galloped out strong, too. It was a really good work.
“He showed a great turn of foot when Irad asked him. He responded really quickly,” Albertrani continued. “When he gave him his cue, he quickened up nicely and galloped out good. I got him in 51 and he galloped out in 1:02 and change.”
Albertrani said he is hopeful that Wolfie’s Dynaghost will show the same affinity for turf as his half-sibling and stablemate Sadler’s Joy, a Grade 1-winner on turf with more than $2.6 million in earnings through 37 career starts.
“He has a lot of turf pedigree to him and if he’s anything like his half-brother, we’re optimistic that he’ll run well,” Albertrani said. “He’s run well on two wet tracks. The Peter Pan was a bit of a head scratcher. It could have been a combination of maybe he wasn’t 100 percent tight that day or the dry track, too. Maybe he was looking for turf all along.
“We came back and tried him on the grass and it came off so we ran him anyway, and he was really impressive,” Albertrani added. “I think we’re still in a phase with him and learning more about him, but I think this distance is perfect for him and if the grass moves him up a step or two, even better.”
Wolfie’s Dynaghost will exit post 8 under Ortiz, Jr.
Trainer Mark Casse, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, will saddle Breeze Easy’s Easy Time.
“I can’t think of anything better than to get inducted in the morning and win it in the afternoon,” Casse said with a laugh.
Easy Time, by Not This Time, graduated at first asking sprinting seven furlongs on Woodbine’s Tapeta main track in October but didn’t resurface until January when off-the-board in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man on dirt at Gulfstream.
The dark bay, purchased for $250,000 at the OBS July 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, tried the Gulfstream turf in February when second by a neck in a one-mile optional-claimer.
Last out, Easy Time returned to synthetic and made the grade with a two-length win in the Grade 3 Marine at 1 1/16-miles on July 11 at Woodbine.
“Easy Time is a nice horse. He broke his maiden impressively,” Casse said. “We tried him on the dirt at Gulfstream and he probably wasn’t ready to do that. He came back and had a troubled trip over the grass at Gulfstream and came out of it with a minor setback, so we gave him some time at our training center in Ocala. He was impressive last time.
“I think he’s a pretty good horse,” Casse continued. “Judging by his only performance on the grass at Gulfstream, I don’t think grass is an issue.”
Easy Time will exit post 4 under Tyler Gaffalione.
Trainer John Terranova entered a strong one-two punch in Eric Fein’s Original and Ranger Fox, but said it’s possible one of his entrants could scratch in favor of a start in the $120,000 Better Talk Now on August 29 at one-mile on the Spa turf.
Both horses worked a half-mile solo on the Oklahoma training turf Saturday with maiden winner Ranger Fox clocked in 51.66 and graded-stakes placed Original in 51.23.
“I’m not sure that both will run, but both worked very well,” Terranova said. “I thought Ranger Fox breezed really well yesterday and he’s really stepping forward, so I figured we’ll put him in there and take a look at the race.”
Ranger Fox, a Nyquist bay, is out of the Quality Road mare Xtra Spice, whose dam is Hall of Famer Xtra Heat.
Purchased for $310,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Ranger Fox graduated last out at fourth asking in a seven-furlong maiden special weight against older horses over good Belmont turf.
With Joel Rosario up, Ranger Fox tracked in third before taking command at the stretch call en route to a 5 1/2-length score, garnering a career-best 85 Beyer.
“He’s a colt with talent. He just needed a little time to mature,” Terranova said. “There’s a lot of room to go forward with this guy. He’s doing really well right now and he’s trained on forward since his maiden win at Belmont.
“He’s matured quite a bit,” added Terranova. “It was nice to see it set up last time and that he handled it without issue. He was real handy and it gives us options going forward as far as stretching out when he’s able to relax early.”
Original, a Kentucky-bred son of Quality Road with Luis Saez up for the second time following a third in an optional-claimer on June 4 at Belmont, set a moderate pace over good going in the Manila, kicking two lengths clear of the field at the stretch call en route to a head score in the one-mile Widener turf test.
“Luis got to know him the first time he rode him and it worked out last time,” Terranova said. “He handled the softer ground last time too which is encouraging. Both horses have handled softer going which is good given what we’ve seen with the weather so far up in Saratoga. We couldn’t be in better hands with Luis and Joel on our horses.”
Ranger Fox was assigned post 3 under Rosario, while Original would exit post 6 under Saez.
Rounding out the field are multiple stakes winner Annex [post 1, Junior Alvarado]; graded-stakes placed Public Sector [post 2, Flavien Prat]; maiden winner In Effect [post 5, Jose Lezcano]; and Next [post 7, John Velazquez], last-out winner of the one-mile War Chant on the Churchill Downs turf.
First post on Friday’s 10-race card is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
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NYRA Press Release
Photo: Wolfie’s Dynaghost (Chelsea Durand Photo)