Sy Dog looks to do more than stroll in Central Park for juveniles
by Brian Bohl
Head of Plains Partners’ Sy Dog won his debut impressively with a four-length score in a sprint last month. The Graham Motion trainee will stretch out in distance for his stakes bow when he competes as part of an eight-horse field of 2-year-olds competing at 1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s $100,000 Central Park over Aqueduct Racetrack’s outer turf course.
The fourth running of the Central Park, slated for Race 7 on the 10-race card, is one of four stakes on the day that is headlined by the Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 1 1/2 miles on the inner turf; the $150,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship for 3-year-olds and up on the outer course; and the $150,000 Discovery for sophomores going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
Sy Dog rallied from 10 lengths off the pacesetter to cruise to victory in a seven-furlong contest over firm turf on October 24 at Belmont Park. The Slumber colt, who had trained at Motion’s base in Fair Hill over the all-weather track before his first start, has continued to breeze at the Maryland-based training center, putting in a five-furlong work in 1:02.60 on November 22.
“He had always really impressed us in the morning and we were looking forward to running him,” Motion said. “He had trained well since his debut win and it warranted us to take a shot in here. I’m not sure what he beat that day but it was nice to see him win the way he did.”
Bred by his owners along with Madaket Stables in Kentucky, Sy Dog will be piloted by Luis Saez from post 3.
The exacta from a thrilling finish in the Awad on November 5 at Belmont will rematch on Friday. Louis Lazzinnaro and Michael Dubb’s General Ken didn’t lead at any point in the race until the shadow of the wire, when the Violence colt overtook pacesetter Geno from the outside in the final jumps to win by a nose going 1 1/16 miles over a firm Widener turf course.
Off as the 4-5 favorite in the contest in his first start for trainer Chad Brown, General Ken got his nose down just ahead of 17-1 selection Geno. General Ken, bred in the Bluegrass State by Erik R. Johnson, was purchased privately after winning his debut on September 15 at Delaware Park going a mile and 70 yards.
Dylan Davis will pilot General Ken in his first Aqueduct start, breaking from the inside post.
Mendham Racing Stable’s Geno also won his first race – besting Hezastonecoldfox by a neck – in a six furlong sprint on September 19 over firm Belmont turf before settling for second earlier this month in his inaugural stakes effort.
The David Donk trainee earned an identical 80 Beyer Speed Figure as General Ken, marking the best number of any Central Park entrant, and will look to turn the tables in the return engagement.
Geno, a son of Big Brown bred in New York by Pete Martine, will have Jorge Vargas, Jr. retain the mount from post 2.
Whisper Hill Farm homebred Grand Sonata enters from a frontrunning maiden score at second asking in an off-the-turf 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on October 16 at Keeneland.
Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, the Medaglia d’Oro bay debuted in September traveling seven furlongs over firm Belmont turf in a runner-up effort to Slipstream, who exited that effort to the win the Grade 3 Futurity at the same track.
Jose Lezcano picks up the mount from post 5.
James Politano’s Ohtwoohthreefive, fifth in the Awad in his first stakes race, had finished in the money in each of his first four starts for trainer George Weaver. The Union Rags colt posted a runner-up effort and a pair of third-place finishes before his maiden-breaking victory at fourth asking in October over the Belmont grass. After his Awad effort, Ohtwoohthreefive will have Kendrick Carmouche pick up the mount, exiting post 6.
Rounding out the field are stakes-placed Wish Me Home [post 8, Trevor McCarthy] and Trust Daddy [post 4, Manny Franco] and last-out New York-bred maiden winner Maseta [post 7, Eric Cancel].
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