Sweet Loretta, Pretty City Dancer among seven entered for Spinaway

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Jen Caldwell

August 31st, 2016

Seven juvenile fillies are set to line up in Saturday’s $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, and two of those already bring a stakes win into the seven-furlong affair.

That would be Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer, who captured the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) and Debutante Stakes, respectively, in their last races.

Sweet Loretta brings an unbeaten two-for-two mark into the Spinaway for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Tapit filly took her maiden by seven lengths before romping by 4 1/4 lengths in the six-furlong Schuylerville on July 22.

"I thought she ran very well – showed some professionalism coming from off the pace a bit," Pletcher praised Sweet Loretta’s Schuylerville effort. "This particular race looks like it has quite a lot of speed in it, so the race complexion could set up well for her."

Javier Castellano will be aboard the bay miss for the first time on Saturday.

Pletcher will also saddle Cherry Lodge in the Spinaway, and that Bernardini filly enters the race off a one-length win in her August 7 debut at Saratoga. John Velazquez was aboard that day and sticks with the bay lass instead of Sweet Loretta, whom he piloted in the Schuylerville.

Behind Cherry Lodge in her racing debut was Amapola, who actually won her first race by 9 3/4 lengths while setting a new track record at Gulfstream Park before being disqualified.

"I was a little concerned when we were in that race and there was a filly that had already broken her maiden by 10 lengths and been disqualified, but she ran to expectations," Pletcher said. "We're pleased with the way she came out of the race and the way she's trained since."

Pretty City Dancer broke her maiden in her second try and then added the Debutante Stakes to her resume last out on July 2. All of her starts have thus far come at Churchill Downs for trainer Mark Casse, so she’ll be trying a new track under new jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in this spot.

"She's super talented," assistant trainer Norman Casse said. "I think that she may take a little longer to become a true professional, but the sky is the limit for her. She has the ability to be a really good racehorse. We just need to get her that racing experience to become really good."

The only other two with stakes experience in the Spinaway are Fun, who finished second in the Schuylerville, and You Know Too, runner-up in the August 3 White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware Park after a six-length debut score at the same venue in late June.

Completing the Spinaway field are Runway Doll, a 13-length first-out winner going six furlongs over the track on July 31, and Special Risk, who has finished third and second so far in two starts.

Sweet Loretta photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography