Saratoga Springs, NY August 12, 2011
The late Carl Lizza’s homebred Street Game looks to add a Grade II win to his resume in today’s seventh race at Saratoga, the $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes. The handsome chestnut faces six rivals and a super firrrrrm turf course, which may be the chief challenge for the winner of the Grade III Hill Prince in June on yielding turf at Belmont Park. While the solid turfer is by Kentucky sire Street Cry, he is out of the thoroughly NY-bred Thunder Puddles mare Thunder Achiever.
And here’s something you don’t see often: Claude “Shug” McGaughey will saddle a NY-bred filly, Aquifolia, in the fourth race. Until recently Shug trained only for the Phipps family, but he now takes in a few outside clients and is unleashing the first-time starter for Helen Alexander and Helen Groves.
Bred by Alexander Groves (Michael) Matz LLC and foaled at Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud, the filly proves that the NY-bred program is encouraging the breeding of ever-improving stock. Sired by Smarty Jones when he stood in Kentucky, the three-year-old filly’s dam Agarita is a Danzig daughter and is the granddaughter of 1983 Broodmare of the year Courtly Dee. The late Courtly Dee was the dam of champion Althea, Ali Oop and Aishah.
– Tracy Egan