Amidst Waves Prevails in $150K Bolton Landing

By Ryan Martin

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Amidst Waves doubled up on stakes scores in Sunday’s ninth running of the $150,000 Bolton Landing, displaying a strong turn of foot and fending off an inside rally from Crown Imperial to capture the 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf test for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.

The Midshipman chestnut entered from a prominent score in Monmouth Park’s Colleen on July 29, which came seven weeks following a second-out maiden score over the Widener turf at Belmont Park.

“To come back from short rest at Monmouth and come back up here and get the job done here, she’s done a lot in a short period of time,” said trainer George Weaver.

Breaking sharply from post 2 under meet leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., Amidst Waves settled a close fourth in between horses as Astonesthrowaway set the tempo through an opening quarter-mile in 22.52 seconds over the good going. Around the far turn, Ortiz, Jr. swung his charge wide with dead aim on the pacesetter, who clocked the half-mile in 45.65 with Crown Imperial matching strides along the rail.

Although drifting in late in the stretch, Amidst Waves got up to even terms with a stubborn Crown Imperial, who continued to duke it out in the final strides, but Amidst Waves managed to hang on to win by a nose in a final time of 1:03.38.

Crown Imperial finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Gram. She’s Fire and Astonesthrowaway completed the order of finish. Takemetothebeach was scratched.

“She broke so well, and I didn’t have to use too much to get position,” said Ortiz, Jr., who captured his 11th stakes win of the meet. “She relaxed well and that was what the trainer told me – to sit off, lay behind the speed and it worked out perfect. I was in the clear turning for home and I just took that [path]. I think the turf is playing very fair right now.”

Weaver said he liked the trip his filly received, where she was a little further from the front than her victory in the Colleen.

“I thought she was going to have her [Crown Imperial] measured. I told Irad at Monmouth she pressed a little bit, I preferred the way she ran at Belmont where she kind of just sat and punched down the lane,” Weaver said. “I was pretty sure he was going to have her measured but there was a moment there I was like, ‘is she kicking in?’ And I was like, ‘oh, yeah she is.’”

Weaver commented on the deep stretch run from Amidst Waves, who was cocking her head outward in the final strides.

“She was just digging in a bit. Digging in to try to get the job done,” Weaver said. “Irad didn’t come back and be like ‘oh she’s lugging in bad’ or anything, she just had her head cocked a little bit, no big deal. A lot of horses do that.”

Amidst Waves, owned by R.A. Hill Stable, BlackRidge Stables, Swinbank Stables, Big Tufff Stables and Black Type Thoroughbreds, could be one of several 2-year-olds that Weaver could point towards the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in November at Santa Anita. Weaver’s arsenal of turf juveniles also includes dual stakes-winning colt No Nay Mets, Group 2 Queen Mary victress Crimson Advocate, as well as Saratoga debut maiden winning colts Good Lord Lorrie and Twisted Filigree and Belmont maiden winner Please Advise, a son of Palace Malice who is entered in today’s Soaring Free at Woodbine.

“We will try to pick a path that will get us there. But probably wait until later, September or October, maybe to a Keeneland race. I’ll check out some options,” Weaver said.

Tyler Gaffalione, aboard Crown Imperial, said he was proud of his filly’s effort.

“She broke alertly and put me in the right spot,” Gaffalione said. “We were able to track the speed. Coming into the stretch, a spot opened up for us and she responded for me. I was perfectly fine down in there [on the inside]. They fought to the finish and my filly wound up galloping out in front.”

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