From a Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races release
Multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis is the 9-to-5 morning line favorite in a field of six three-year-old fillies for the $350,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) coming up this Saturday at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The 7-furlong Charles Town Oaks will be the featured race on the track’s seventh annual Race for the Ribbon program, which gets underway with a special post time for the first race of 5:00 P.M. EST.
Owned by Joe Ragsdale and trained by Ingrid Mason, Sarah Sis returns to her own age group in the Charles Town Oaks after trying older fillies and mares last time out in the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga, where she was able to make the lead before tiring to finish fourth. Prior to the Ballerina, she emerged victorious in the Iowa Oaks (G3) at Prairie Meadows in June.
“I knew that race (the Ballerina) was ultimately going to be very tough, with older fillies she’d never run against before, and she ran very well,” said Mason. “I thought she ran her race. I just thought that maybe next year we can beat those fillies. She needs to get better and I think she will with age. She was supposed to run in the Test and the night before she didn’t eat up and she had a lesion in there.”
The daughter of Sharp Humor first got her three-year-old campaign underway with a pair of tough defeats at Oaklawn Park, losing the Dixie Belle by a neck to eventual Eight Belles (G3) winner Promise Me Silver and dropping the Martha Washington by a head to champion Take Charge Brandi before breaking through with her first graded score in the Honeybee (G3).
“I think that was ultimately her best race,” opined Sarah Sis’s Arlington-based trainer of her filly’s effort in the Honeybee.
Despite the Honeybee being 1 1/16 miles versus the 7 furlongs she’ll face Saturday night, Mason has no questions as to whether or not she’ll enjoy the configuration of the race.
“I think seven furlongs fits my filly really well and two turns – she’s done them both. She’s very small and very quick. She doesn’t have to be anywhere in the race – she doesn’t have to be on the lead. She’s very ratable. And once you get her in the clear, she goes. She’s got natural speed and within herself speed. I’ve never just sent her out there. Julio (Felix) has never asked her to go.”
Mason, who has been both a trainer and jockey over the course of her career, hopes the Charles Town Oaks provides both her and the horse she deems the best she’s ever trained with the most lucrative score of their careers.
“She’s my little sweet pea. She’s not very big, just a little mighty mite. She’s 100 percent heart in her body. As a trainer you really appreciate those types of horses. They give you the chills and the goose pimples.”
Regular jockey Julio Felix once again has the call on Sarah Sis who will break from the rail for the sixth time in 12 career starts.
Despite going from a maiden to stakes winner to graded stakes placed in just two months, one of the prime challengers to Sarah Sis figures to be Smart Choice Stable’s Fusaichi Red, most recently third in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga on September 6 behind Cavorting and Bar of Gold.
“She came out of the Prioress well,” according to Fusaichi Red’s conditioner George Weaver. “There are only a few more spots left for three-year-olds, so it’s either this or wait for Keeneland, so we might as well take a shot. I’ve always liked my filly.”
After starting her career with four straight losses, Fusaichi Red finally broke through with a July 7 maiden win at Parx, dusting the field by 8 1/4 lengths and earning a Beyer speed figure of 86 in the process. The win was convincing enough for Weaver to move her straight into stakes company in her next start, just 12 days later. The daughter of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus didn’t disappoint, winning the Miss Woodford Stakes at Monmouth by 3 3/4 lengths before tackling the three-year-old filly sprint division’s best at Saratoga.
Despite the Charles Town Oaks being her first try around two turns, Weaver is not bashful about giving his filly the opportunity.
“I don’t know if she’ll do it (two turns) or not, but you have to take a shot. She’s a hard trier and rarely finishes off the board. There’s a lot of upside to it.”
Joe Bravo, aboard for Fusaichi Red’s maiden victory and run in the Prioress has the mount.
Calumet Farm’s White Clover comes into the Charles Town Oaks as a horse on the improve off a credible third in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) behind Delightful Joy and Eskenformoney in her last start.
Trained by Larry Jones, White Clover tried the likes of I’m a Chatterbox and Lovely Maria in the Rachel Alexandra (G3) at Fairgrounds earlier this year before stringing together three consecutive solid efforts that included a close up second place finish behind Sweetgrass in a Keeneland allowance race and a pair of wins, with her first stakes win coming in the Our Mims at Delaware Park on June 3. Saturday night will mark her third straight try in graded stakes company having taken a shot in the Delaware Oaks (G3) before the aforementioned effort at Monmouth.
Kerwin Clark, who has ridden White Clover in two of her three career victories, will be in the irons again on Saturday.
Todd Pletcher will send out Repole Stable’s Temper Mint Patty in an effort to claim his first win in the Charles Town Oaks. Repole and Pletcher teamed up in 2012 to take the Charles Town Classic (G2) with Caixa Eletronica.
Six days after a 9 1/4 length romp against statebred company in the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes, Temper Mint Patty went through the ring at Fasig-Tipton’s Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age sale. After the gavel eventually fell at the sale price of $350,000, the filly by Congrats found herself in a new barn, being transferred from Jeremiah Englehart to Pletcher.
In her first start for Pletcher, Temper Mint Patty tried the 1 1/8 mile restricted Fleet Indian at Saratoga but faltered to finish third as the odds on favorite. She’ll now shorten back up to the 7 furlong distance which produced the best Beyer figure of her career – an 89 earned in last year’s Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park.
Luis Saez has the mount on Temper Mint Patty who breaks from post 6.
Fellow New York-bred Hot City Girl also ships down from New York for trainer Linda Rice after scratching out of the Prioress two weekends earlier. The Lady Sheila Stable owned filly by City Zip was last seen in the Mother Goose (G1) on June 27 when she showed early speed in the 1 1/16 mile test before fading to fifth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths.
“We were hoping to get her graded place and Grade 1 would have been great, but they set an awfully fast pace in that race,” said Rice, a native of central Pennsylvania. “I had her in the Prioress and she drew the 1 hole in a 14 horse field and we opted out. It didn’t make sense. We scratched to find something different for her.”
Hot City Girl will wear blinkers for the first time on Saturday night as she leaves from post 3 with jockey Jose Ortiz.
The final runner is Toutsie Rules who will make her fifth lifetime start and looks to get back on track after beginning her career in 2014 with two consecutive victories, the second coming when she defeated eventual Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Lovely Maria at Fairgrounds.
Much like Sarah Sis, Toutsie Rules began her three-year-old season in the Dixie Belle at Oaklawn but checked in eighth, beaten 23 lengths. That was followed by seven months on the sidelines and a recent fifth place effort in an optional claiming allowance at Arlington, which marked her first start on polytrack.
From the barn of Michael Stidham, Toutsie Rules will have the services of J.D. Acosta in the Charles Town Oaks.
The featured Charles Town Oaks is carded as race 11 on the 12 race program and is slated to be run at 10:25 P.M. EST.[su_box title=”G3 CHARLES TOWN OAKS ENTRIES” style=”glass”]
- Sarah Sis, Julio E. Felix, 123, Ingrid Mason
- White Clover, Kerwin D. Clark, 118, J. Larry Jones
- Hot City Girl, Jose L. Ortiz, 118, Linda Rice
- Fusaichi Red, Joe Bravo, 118, George Weaver
- Toutsie Rules, J.D. Acosta, 118, Michael Stidham
- Temper Mint Patty, Luis Saez, 118, Todd A. Pletcher