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Daily Racing Form: Gleaves Duo Looks Tough On Turf In Skidmore

Yes and Yes and Swamp Rat will make their stakes debuts in Friday's $100,000 race.

Talk about no respect. On May 25, Yes and Yes went postward at 36-1 in his career debut then outran his odds rallying to a game nose victory going five furlongs over the Belmont turf course. Three weeks later, his stablemate Swamp Rat was similarly ignored in the wagering, going off at 24-1 before rallying to a 2 3/4-length triumph, also on the Belmont turf.

Yes and Yes and Swamp Rat are trained by Phil Gleaves and both figure to garner quite a bit more support when they make their stakes debuts, weather permitting, in Friday’s $100,000 Skidmore at Saratoga. The 5 1/2-furlong Skidmore lured a full field of 14 2-year-olds that includes main-track-only entrants Lexitonian and Backtohisroots. There is heavy rain in the forecast at Saratoga for Friday.

Yes and Yes, a son of Sidney’s Candy, was bred and is owned in part by Gleaves. The colt, who earned a 72 Beyer Speed Figure on graduation day, is a half-brother to Miami Cat, whom Gleaves sent out to win the Equalize Stakes here in 2012.

“You never can say you think you’re going to win a maiden race like that first time out at Belmont, but he is a half-brother to Miami Cat, who won a listed stakes up here on the grass, and is by Sidney’s Candy, so I thought he’d really like the turf,” said Gleaves. “I was hoping to get a prep race into him before the stakes, but it failed to fill, so here we are.”

Swamp Rat is a son of Hat Trick owned by his breeder, Bryan Hilliard. He, too, earned a 72 Beyer for his maiden win, which came at six furlongs.

“Swamp Rat is actually named after a prized rodeo bull the Hilliard family owned,” said Gleaves. “He’s by Hat Trick, and all the Hat Tricks want grass. He had also trained well on the turf up here prior to his first start, so I expected he’d run well.”

Gleaves is hopeful weather forecasters will prove to be wrong Friday.

“These horses are both proven on grass and require turf for their optimum performance, so neither will run if the race comes off,” said Gleaves.

As expected, trainer Wesley Ward entered the same three fillies he had in Wednesday’s Bolton Landing Stakes back against males in the Skidmore, with Shang Shang Shang the only one who’ll run. Shang Shang Shang is coming off a nose triumph in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at five furlongs over a good-to-firm course at Ascot on June 21.

“She’s doing great and had a nice work against Chelsea Cloisters the other day,” said Ward. Chelsea Cloisters and Stillwater Cove also were entered by Ward in both the Bolton Landing and Skidmore.

Trainers Steve Asmussen and Todd Pletcher each entered a pair of juveniles in the Skidmore, all of whom might be better served if the race was moved to the main track.

Asmussen scratched Grade 3 Bashford Manor winner Sir Truebadour out of Saturday’s Saratoga Special to await this spot, while the Asmussen-trained Carter Cat was a 2 1/2-length winner of an off-the-turf maiden race earlier in the meet.

Pletcher counters with Good Good, a winner over the main track at Gulfstream Park in his only start, and Lexitonian, who also captured his debut before returning to finish a distant sixth behind stablemate Sombeyay in the Grade 3 Sanford here four weeks ago.

This story originally appeared on DRF.com


Visit DRF.com for additional news, notes, wagering information, and more.

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Mike Welsch, Daily Racing Form

Mike Welsch lives in south Florida covering Gulfstream and Calder. He clocks horses for Daily Racing Form leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup, among other national events. He joined DRF in 1972.

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