Despite odds, You Know Too “as tough as any” in Safely Kept
by Frank Vespe
A race with a 14-horse field in which a five-time stakes winner like Moonlit Song is 15-1 might seem like – and actually is – an awfully tough spot.
But for You Know Too, Saturday’s seven-furlong, $100,000 Safely Kept Stakes for three-year-old fillies at Laurel Park also offers class relief. She, too, is 15-1 on the morning line.
The Colonel John filly’s last four stakes tries have all come against graded foes, and she hasn’t caught any breaks in those races. In the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, she ended up fourth, beaten just two lengths by It Tiz Well. That runner next ran second in the Grade 1 Alabama and then won the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx Racing in September.
Following a subpar effort in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks and a win in a Delaware Park allowance, trainer Michael Gorham put You Know Too in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.
“They got like five inches of rain, and the track was terrible,” Gorham said. “But she ran OK. She loomed up at the top of the stretch but kind of faltered a little bit.”
After stalking the pace three wide, she challenged for the lead near the quarter pole before tiring, giving up the show spot late. She ended up fifth, but just a length from third.
The sixth-place finisher that day, three lengths behind You Know Too, was Bar of Gold. That runner made her next start in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, which she won at 66-1 odds.
While the Spinster is contested at 1 1/8 miles, the Safely Kept – like the Filly and Mare Sprint – is a seven-furlong race. Gorham doesn’t think the shortening of the distance should be an issue, however; though each of her last four races was at a mile or beyond, two of her three wins came at 5 1/2 furlongs.
“She’s really fast,” the trainer said. “As a two-year-old, she was really fast, and we had to kind of get her to throttle it down a little.”
Gorham will leg up Sheldon Russell aboard his filly. Regular pilot Alex Cintron has chosen to ride the Larry Jones trainee Astrollinthepark (20-1) here, and this will be Russell’s first time on You Know Too.
“Sheldon is as good a rider as they have there,” Gorham said.
The 5-2 morning line favorite in here is the Chad Brown-trained Your Love. The Flatter filly, a $425,000 purchase as a yearling, has won three of five and took an allowance at Belmont Park last out. Joe Bravo will ride.
Also in here is the talented local runner Shimmering Aspen. Trained by Rodney Jenkins, Shimmering Aspen has won five of eight but was a disappointing sixth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks last out.
“I have no answers for that race,” Jenkins said. “She just never really ran. I don’t think it was something where she couldn’t run with those horses, it was just a thing where she didn’t. Every once in a while, they throw in a clunker, that’s part of racing.”
Many others in here also could have a say in the outcome. In fact, eight of 14 entrants are stakes winners.
But Gorham says his filly is doing well and believes she’s ready to make a run at knocking down her first win in stakes company.
“Obviously, I’ve thought a lot of her,” he said. “I think she’s a good horse. There are some tough horses in there, but I think she’s as tough as any of the others. If she gets a good trip, she should be tough to beat.”