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Repole Able to Roll at Saratoga

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The Saratoga trip begins for Mike Repole and his sizeable entourage this weekend.

And, when Repole rolls into city together with his household and buddies, he expects one factor. Verify that, two issues.

One is to see the horses he owns win. The opposite is to see them win quite a bit.

He’ll hit the bottom working. His Playing Lady  is within the 5-2 co-second selection within the $500,000 Teaching Membership American Oaks (G1) on July 22 at Saratoga Race Course; then Nest , which he owns along with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House, runs in the $200,000 Shuvee Stakes (G2) on July 23.

The following weekend, perhaps the star of the Repole show arrives when Forte , owned in partnership with St. Elias Stable, starts his trek to the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) when he enters the starting gate for the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) July 29.

“I’ve got a lot of horses…I’m loaded,” Repole said by phone. “I’m going to try and have some fun. I mean, it’s exciting. A good month of racing. Maybe a little more.”

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Repole talks fast. Real fast. The 54-year-old from Queens talks faster than some horses run. If you’re not paying attention, you might miss something. Maybe a lot.

Before getting into his expectations for the summer, he changed hats. Time for him to become a member of the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce and do his pitch for Saratoga Race Course.

“What’s the average attendance? Twenty thousand? Twenty five? Basically, you can have 25,000 on any given day card, which is equivalent to everybody who goes to Aqueduct for six months,” Repole said. “It’s a meet where a $25,000 claimer wins and it feels like a graded stakes. It’s magical. It has an allure that is like what Fenway Park is to baseball.”

Repole has had summers of fun at the Spa before. He has won the Travers. He has a couple of Alabama Stakes (G1) and Coaching Club American Oaks, too.

From 2010 to 2012 he was the leading owner at Saratoga. But he didn’t say he was loaded then. Not like now.

“It’s a different feeling,” he said. “I have a horse in the Coaching Club Oaks that could be the first or second favorite. I have Nest coming back. Forte. The loaded feeling I have now is with having quality horses that can win the big races … the ones I have dreamed about winning since I was a kid.”

He’s just getting started. He said he has 100 2-year-olds and that gets him talking even faster.

Repole reminds you that Uncle Mo , who might need been the most effective he ever had, broke his maiden as a 2-year-old at Saratoga on Travers Day of 2010. He gained by 14 1/4 lengths.

One other of his star equines, Stay Thirsty broke his maiden at Saratoga—only by 5 1/2 lengths—in 2010 and then came back the next year and won the Travers.

About this year’s batch of juveniles, Repole wasn’t going to get too much into the bravado. At least not yet.

He talks constantly with Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher for updates. He likes the feedback he is getting.

“We are working horses right now that we like that don’t have names,” Repole said. “Who knows who could be the next 2-year-old champion like Uncle Mo and Forte were? The part of who is going to be the next one is incredibly exciting.”

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