Sassy Agnes seeks 4th straight win in Big A stakes
By Bob Ehalt
As much as winter racing may lack the charisma of a Saturday afternoon at Saratoga, it does provide an opportunity for some horses to rake in the cash that eluded them in the summer.
A fitting example is Sassy Agnes, who heads Saturday’s $150,000 New York Stallion Series stakes at Aqueduct and seeks a fourth straight win – all in stakes – after breaking her maiden in a Finger Lakes stakes on Sept. 8.
Trained by Linda Rice, the 2-year-old New York State-bred filly, followed up her initial victory with another stakes win at Finger Lakes and most recently captured the $100,000 Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct by 1 ¼ lengths in a front-running victory.
The even-money favorite is scheduled to face five rivals on in Saturday’s six-furlong stakes with more than half of them trained by Jeremiah Englehart.
The best of the bunch promises to be Cartwheelin Lulu, the 5-2 second choice who has won two of three career starts.
In her last start, Cartwheelin Lulu tired in the one-mile Maid of the Mist Stakes and finished fifth, beaten four lengths.
The six-furlong distance figures to suit Cartwheelin Lulu, who was victorious by 1 ½ lengths in the seven-furlong Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park in her previous start.
“It’s a spot that makes sense for her,” Englehart said. “We just wanted to go into this race and try to give her a good shot at winning.”
Englehart will also send out Party Like Grandma (8-1), who was third in a Finger Lakes stakes and fifth in the Gimma, and L.A. Page (15-1), who was eighth in the Maid of the Mist Stakes after winning a maiden claimer.
“We gave (Party Like Grandma) a bit of a break from her last start trying to build up her energy again. She’s really been doing well since she came down to Belmont. We’re looking forward to seeing her in this race.” Englehart said. “(L.A. Page is) consistent with me and my team in the mornings. Whether or not she’ll be a stakes-caliber horse for us is yet to be determined, but she gives me all the impressions that she’s ready for this race and she’ll be ready to run her race.”
The field also includes Forgotten Hero (3-1), who is coming off a decisive maiden win, and She’s So Shea D (12-1).