Field includes stakes winners Fluffy Socks, Runaway Rumour, Navratilova, Tobys Heart.
Starlight Racing and Glen Hill Farm’s Jouster will shorten back up to a mile for the $150,000 Lake George Stakes (G3T) for 3-year-old fillies July 23 at Saratoga Race Course as she looks to get back in the money.
The Noble Mission daughter started favorite in her first six of seven starts, and she came through at a mile when going gate to wire in the April 3 Appalachian Stakes Presented by Japan Racing Association (G2T) at Keeneland. The Appalachian was her first stakes win and it followed a nose loss at 1 1/16 miles in the March 6 Florida Oaks (G3T) at Tampa Bay Downs.
In her last start, the Todd Pletcher-trained Jouster faded to fourth when racing 1 1/8 miles in the June 3 Wonder Again Stakes (G3T) at Belmont Park. She tuned up for the Lake George with a bullet half-mile in :47 4/5 July 16 on the turf of Saratoga’s Oklahoma Training Track.
“She’s doing great. I thought her breeze on Friday was exceptional,” Pletcher said. “Backing up to a mile is more of what she wants. I think that the key with her is backing her up in distance.”
Jouster has been assigned the highweight of 124 pounds, carrying two to six pounds more than her nine rivals. She’ll break from post 5 with Luis Saez back aboard.
Head of Plains Partners’ Fluffy Socks also shortens up after running fifth in the Wonder Again. The homebred daughter of Slumber closed out her juvenile season at Del Mar‘s fall meet by taking the one-mile Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3T). She returned this season to finish second beaten a head in the April 18 Memories of Silver Stakes going 1 1/16 miles at Aqueduct Racetrack, her first of two starts this year.
Fluffy Socks is one of four entries for trainer Chad Brown, who will also saddle allowance winners Amy C and Technical Analysis , who was sixth in the Wonder Again, and Irish group 3 winner Minaun , who was second last out in the June 26 Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont.
“She just took progressive steps,” said her trainer Rusty Arnold. “She was a decent 2-year-old. This year, we started her out at 5 1/2 (furlongs) and we wanted to stretch her out, and she did well at a mile. She’s matured with racing and got a little better.”
Tobys Heart, winner of the Bolton Landing Stakes last summer at the Spa and of the April 9 Limestone Turf Sprint Stakes at Keeneland, is “a much bigger, stronger filly now and she’s shown she can handle the two turns,” said trainer Brian Lynch. “As she gets older, you’re looking for a horse that can stretch out over a bit of ground. I feel really good about her improvement. We’re looking for a good leap with her.”
Rounding out the field is Demodog , who is 2-for-2 after taking maiden and allowance races at Churchill Downs for trainer Rodolphe Brisset.