Gray is a common theme at Jim Ryerson's barn on the Oklahoma Training Track. Gray horses, most owned and bred by longtime Ryerson supporter Patricia Generazio, fill the stalls in the gray barn just off the midpoint of the turn on the Oklahoma. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 25 issue of The Saratoga Special.)
One of those grays, Disco Partner, picked up the barn's biggest win of the meet last Saturday in the $100,000 Troy Stakes. Generazio's homebred son of Disco Rico is one of two winners for Ryerson from 15 starters through Wednesday.
"We were really pleased," Ryerson, bucking the gray theme with a royal blue sweater that matched his barn sign, said last weekend. "We got off to a terrible start and it picked up, especially with that win Saturday. It helps a lot."
Ryerson took a few minutes away from his afternoon chores last week to talk about his Saratoga string with The Special's Shayna Tiller.
Taoiseach: Blue Sapphire Farm's 3-year-old Dublin colt is a three-time winner who is entered in Friday's Albany Stakes. "He was real good to us during the winter and he was third in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes last time. He's enjoyed it here. My friend purchased him 15 or 16 months ago and got him pretty cheaply ($4,000), and he's definitely worked out."
Simplylucky: Generazio's homebred Street Boss filly, a 2-year-old, worked 5 furlongs in 1:02.38 on the Oklahoma Training Track Saturday, her first work in Saratoga. "We hope to run her before the end of the meet. She trained very well at Belmont. She breezed five-eighths ... in company and went real well. Kendrick Carmouche worked her and she definitely should start at the meet."
Elite Heir: Generazio's 2-year-old daughter of Wildcat Heir finished sixth in her debut Aug. 12. "One of the grays we have here. She started here in a 5 1/2-turf sprint, she got off bad but she ran very well. She finished sixth but beaten only (5 1/4 lengths) after breaking poorly. Hopefully she'll get another chance here before we leave."
Ransom Drop: Nirvana Stables' Regal Ransom filly, who cost $60,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale, won debut at 26-1 going 6 furlongs on the dirt. "She's a New York-bred filly that we bought at Timonium. We were lucky in the slop here to win, there were four horses at the wire, but it still counts and we'll take it. She (was) nominated to the Seeking The Ante, which I won last year, or one of the Finger Lakes stakes on September 10. So we'll decide where we're going with her."
Jennifer's Legacy: WellSpring Stables' homebred 3-year-old Sky Mesa filly alertly looked out her window to greet the trainer as he approached. "We added blinkers in her last start and she finished second (in maiden claimer Aug. 15). She's raced five times ... with her second in the last start being her best. Maybe she'll get another crack before we leave."
Discreet Image: Generazio's homebred 2-year-old daughter of Discreet Cat is on the also-eligible list for today's third race, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race state-breds. "Rained out a couple weeks ago in a maiden New York-bred filly race that got taken off the turf. Her family's been all turf. I trained all her half (brothers and sisters). They all did good, Image Of Disco, Momma's Mark, Image Of Noon were all turf-only."
She's All Ready: A two-time Fasig-Tipton graduate, the feminine chestnut with a thick, speckled blaze finished seventh in an allowance-optional July 25. "Last year she was the star of the show for us, won both of her starts here including the Seeking The Ante on New York-bred Day. She came back this year and has been stakes placed. We raced her here early on the turf and she just didn't like it. She's a Girolamo filly that had a great 2-year-old year, started off very well this year and kind of has tailed off. But she loves training here and hopefully she'll rebound to her prior form."
Wicked Freud: Tall, gray 4-year-old Freud gelding pinned his ears and snapped at Ryerson as he walked past his stall. Generazio's homebred, a maiden winner at Saratoga last summer, finished seventh in an allowance-optional July 27. "Another Generazio gray. He won at Belmont and was second at Belmont prior to coming here. The heat kind of got to him in his only start here. We're hoping for a little cooler weather with him. The distance here, 5 1/2, is a little tough on him and the way the weather's been has led us to just keep him in training now. I have a race the last weekend for him so hopefully it will stay cool and we can get him in."
Disco Partner: Generazio's homebred 4-year-old by Disco Rico pulled a mild upset in Troy Stakes Aug. 20. "He always shows up, he's a nice little horse. The Jaipur was of course his biggest race, where he almost ran down Pure Sensation that day. He's also owned by the Generazios and trained by Christophe Clement. He's developed his own turf style, he came into the game as a nice solid dirt horse in New York-bred company, but he really turned it around when he came on the turf and became this one punch, late running sprinter on the turf."
Beyond The Green: Another homebred of Generazio's, has two consecutive fourths at Belmont June 26 and July 22. "He won earlier in the year for us at Aqueduct, solid New York-bred. Ran fourth early in the meet here (July 22) in a two-other-than allowance for New York-breds. Again, some of the distances here are a little tough for him so we may run him before we leave here or we might wait for Belmont."
Dark As Midnight: Midnight Lute colt finished fourth in a maiden special weight at Saratoga Aug. 11. "Another Generazio 3-year-old maiden who has been second, sixth and fourth in three starts. There's a race for him before we leave here on Sept. 3. He's trained very well here, another horse that has had a little trouble with the heat and has raced here. Some of the afternoons have been very hot."
Memories Of Peter: New York-bred 4-year-old Disco Rico colt started twice in allowance-optional races at the meet - eighth Aug. 8 and ninth Aug. 20. "Another gray Generazio turf horse. (In the Aug. 8 race) we were a little disappointed. He got trapped down inside and we're hopeful that's what he didn't like."
East Bay Lodge: Generazio's homebred 5-year-old Flower Alley gelding finished seventh in starter handicap at Monmouth Park Aug. 7 and is entered here Saturday. He's won three of 25 starts, including allowance going 1 3/8 miles here last summer. "Coming up for one of the marathon races, a mile-and-three-eighths. He's been disappointing this year. He's been at Belmont. He had a good year last year and we're trying to have him run back to some of those races. It's tough company (at Saratoga) but he's won here before so we'll give it a chance."