You Know Too aims to step up in Spinaway
You Know Too won at Delaware Park at first asking. Photo by HoofprintsInc.com
by Frank Vespe
She is, at 15-1, the second longest shot in the morning line for Saturday’s Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. The group of two-year-old fillies will travel seven furlongs on the main track.
But you can rest assured that trainer Michael Gorham has high hopes for You Know Too, the freshman Colonel John filly he trains for himself and XYZ Racing.
“I think she’s just a nice filly,” Gorham said Thursday morning by phone. “We’re just trying to give her a shot.”
You Know Too, out of the unraced Pulpit mare Palais Versailles, dazzled in winning at first asking by six widening lengths under a hand ride from Erick Rodriguez. She earned a gaudy 87 Brisnet speed figure for that event, not far behind this race’s top last-out fig, a 94 recorded by Sweet Loretta (5-2).
In her follow-up, in the $50,000 White Clay Creek at Delaware Park, You Know Too, sent off at 3-10, dueled through fast early fractions, drew off in the stretch, but ran out of gas and was caught late by Clairvoyant Lady.
It seemed like the classic case of a horse who exerted too much early — the first quarter mile of that race went in a sharp 21 4/5 seconds — before emptying out late. But Gorham said there was more to it than that.
“When we scoped her after the race, she had a lung infection,” the veteran trainer said, “which definitely compromised her chances.”
Despite that, she held second, 1 1/2 lengths clear of the show horse, Easy Money.
Now, a course of antibiotics later, You Know Too is showing Gorham that she’s ready to get back in action. The Kentucky-bred, who sold for $56,000 as a Keeneland yearling, worked a bullet half-mile in 48 1/5 seconds at Delaware Park August 23; that was the fastest of 17 works at the distance.
“She’s pretty good,” said Gorham. “She had a big excuse the last time. I wouldn’t think of it if she didn’t have such a big excuse in that last race.”
You Know Too will break from the outside in the compact, seven-horse group and will have Luis Saez in the irons. Saez is currently fifth in the Saratoga colony by wins, with 27, and sixth in earnings.
But this race will be no easy assignment. Todd Pletcher trainee Sweet Loretta (5-2) has impressed in winning two races by a combined 11 1/4 lengths, including the Grade 3 Schuylerville, in which she won easily despite a slow break. Remarkably, though, top rider John Velazquez, who rode her to her two wins, chooses a different Pletcher runner in Cherry Lodge (2-1), who won by a length at first asking as the 7-5 choice.
Steve Asmussen’s Runway Doll (3-1), a 13-length winner over the strip at first asking, and Mark Casse trainee Pretty City Dancer (7-2), who won the $100,000 Debutante at Churchill Downs last out, are other logical contenders.
Gorham says he expects his filly to track the pace. “We’re working her behind horses,” he said. “I don’t see her too far back, but I wouldn’t really want her on the lead, either.”
While this will be Gorham’s first Spa start this season, he has plenty of experience there. While in years past he has taken strings up there for the winter, last year he won three of eight starts shipping in. And Mandy’s Gold, likely the best runner he’s trained to date, won the 2002 Honorable Miss at the old Spa.