Poised to be a significant player in the female turf division off early season wins at Gulfstream in the La Prevoyante H. (G3) and The Very One (G3), Suffused instead has something to prove in Saturday’s $200,000 Waya (G3) at Saratoga. The Juddmonte Farms homebred enters the 1 1/2-mile test on a three-race losing skid, including unplaced finishes in her last two starts.
Perhaps affected by yielding ground when second to Sea Calisi in the New York (G2) in early May, Suffused failed to fire when fifth as the public choice in the Sheepshead Bay (G2). Even a recent sojourn to Canada, for the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine, failed to halt the skein as Suffused finished fourth as an odds-on choice.
“She’s been training well enough,” trainer Bill Mott said. “She’s been aggressive in her gallops, she’s eating well; looks good. We’re optimistic about it.”
Softish conditions could exist at Saratoga on Saturday with rain in the forecast. On firmer ground, Suffused has handled the local turf well. Second by a head in last year’s Waya, Suffused rebounded to take the Glens Falls (G3) at the end of the 2016 meet.
Guilty Twelve has prevailed in two photo finishes this year, most recently in the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) at Delaware Park over Gone Away. Trainer Graham Motion will also saddle Lottie, a close third in the $100,000 River Memories at Belmont last month behind Apple Betty and Orchid (G3) heroine Summersault.
“They are both training well,” Motion said. “[For] Lottie, we kind of tested her a little bit last time at Belmont and I thought she handled it very well. Guilty Twelve obviously really stepped up to win a graded race last time, so this will be a step up for her again here at Saratoga. They both certainly seem to be doing well coming up to the race.”
Saratoga on Saturday also cards a pair of grass stakes for older horses that have not won a graded stakes this year. Grade 1 veteran Ring Weekend, a past winner of the Bernard Baruch H. (G2) and Saranac (G3) at the Spa, faces a tough challenge in the $100,000 Lure over 1 1/16 miles. A recent second against allowance foes at Delaware snapped a four-race skid of unplaced finishes, but Ring Weekend faces a serious three-pronged challenge from the Chad Brown barn.
Camelot Kitten, a four-time graded stakes winner at three last season, and 2016 Dixie (G2) winner Takeover Target, both make their seasonal reappearance in the Lure. The respective past two victors of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2), they are joined by Projected, a strong second in the Dixie and Poker (G3) earlier this year. Christophe Clement also has a classy entry in multiple graded stakes winner Blacktype.
Sassy Little Lila, who’s narrowly missed twice in Grade 1 company since December, looks the one to catch in the $100,000 De La Rose for fillies and mares at one mile. A tough-beat second in the American Oaks (G1) on New Year’s Eve and second by less than a length to Antonoe in the Just a Game (G1) last time, her main rival figures to be last year’s Sands Point (G2) winner On Leave, who exits a score in the $100,000 Perfect Sting at Belmont.