G1 Whitney contender Maxfield on the work tab; Happy Saver works in company with G1 Whitney still under consideration
by NYRA Press Office
Godolphin homebred Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh, worked five furlongs from the gate Saturday under Jose Ortiz in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on August 7 at Saratoga Race Course.
Maxfield, who breezed in company with 3-year-old maiden winner Business Model over the fast main track at 8:45 a.m., was caught by NYRA clockers through splits of 24.3, 48.2 and stopping the clock in 1:01.61.
“I just wanted the company to take him to the wire,” Walsh said. “I think the best part of it was the gallop out from the wire to an eighth out. I had him out in 1:13 and change. He's doing good. I couldn't ask for more than that.”
A winner of 7-of-8 starts, the 4-year-old Street Sense bay will enter the nine-furlong Whitney, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to November's Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, from 3 1/4-length Grade 2 scores at Churchill Downs in the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba on April 30 and the Stephen Foster on June 26.
Walsh said Maxfield is thriving ahead of his first Saratoga start.
“He's doing as well as he's ever done right now,” Walsh said. “I hope he can run at least as well as he's done these last couple times and maybe even a little bit better. He likes it up here and is in a great frame of mind.”
Shortly after the Maxfield breeze, Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher sent out St. Elias Stable’s multiple graded stakes winner Dr Post, last out winner of the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup on July 17, in company with Wertheimer and Frere homebred Happy Saver to work a half-mile in 49.25.
Happy Saver, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, is under consideration for a start in the Whitney.
Pletcher said he is also considering the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on August 21 at Del Mar for both Dr Post and Happy Saver as he looks to keep the pair separated with the 10-furlong Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, also a “Win and You’re In’ berth contest for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, slated for September 5 at the Spa.
“I thought the work was solid,” Pletcher said. “We'll see how he [Happy Saver] bounces out of it. I haven't quite decided on the Whitney yet.
“There's also the Pacific Classic in-between,” he continued. “I just have to weigh my options. It might give me an opportunity to split the two of them up if I don't run Happy Saver in the Whitney.”
G1 Whitney aspirant By My Standards could add to a big weekend for Calhoun
Trainer Bret Calhoun is poised for an action-packed weekend with Allied Racing and Spendthrift Farm’s By My Standards lined up to start in the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney at Saratoga.
The four-time graded stakes winner has accumulated earnings in excess of $2.2 million with two Grade 1-placings on the NYRA circuit, including a runner-up effort in last year’s Whitney to Improbable. He was a late-closing second to fellow Whitney contestant Silver State last out in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 5 at Belmont Park.
By My Standards has posted all four of his graded stakes victories over two turns, capturing the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course during his 3-year-old year following a third-out maiden score. As a 4-year-old, the son of Goldencents captured the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds, the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and the Grade 2 Alysheba at Churchill Downs.
Prior to the Met Mile, By My Standards made a triumphant 5-year-old debut in the Oaklawn Mile on April 10. The Whitney will be By My Standards’ first start this year going nine furlongs, which Calhoun says is the horse’s best distance.
“That’s one of the things that impressed me about his last race, he ran so well and it wasn’t his ideal distance,” Calhoun said. “A one-turn mile is a little shorter for him, but he definitely can move forward off that race. He ran a nice race in the Met Mile. He got ran over at the gate a little bit, but he bounced back and trained very well since. I like the good spacing between his races. He’ll go an easy half mile Sunday at Colonial and will arrive at Saratoga Wednesday morning. Hopefully everything goes well between now and then.”
Gabriel Saez, who has piloted By My Standards in 14 of his 16 starts, will return to the irons.
Calhoun could also garner prosperity in West Virginia on Saturday with Mr. Wireless in the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park.
The Jon Lapczenski and JIL Stable-owned sophomore son of Dialed On won the Grade 3 Indiana Derby on July 10 at Indiana Grand Race Course last out over Sermononthemount and graded stakes winner Fulsome.
Calhoun also could have Tom Durant’s graded stakes-winning veteran Silver Dust target the Grade 3, $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Cup. The four-time graded stakes-winning son of Tapit won the Governor’s Cup in 2019 and captured the Grade 2 Ben Ali on April 10 at Keeneland two starts ago.
Calhoun said Silver Dust would prefer a cooler climate.
“It’s under consideration,” Calhoun said of the nine-furlong event. “He’s a lot better in the cooler weather. He just seems to thrive in cooler weather. His energy level isn’t near as high in heat. We’ll watch the weather and see what happens.”
Calhoun saddled Ain’t No Elmers to a second placing at graded stakes level in Wednesday’s Grade 2 Honorable Miss at the Spa, where she set the pace and held on gamely for third behind graded stakes-winners Bell’s the One and Lake Avenue.
“I thought she ran great. She battled all the way down the lane and never gave up,” Calhoun said. “She was outrun by two very high quality fillies, so kudos to them. Elmers bounced back good and hopefully there’s a graded stakes with her name on it in the future.”
Fulminate targets $120K Bolton Landing
Trainer Mark Casse expressed excitement in first out maiden winner Fulminate, who graduated on July 16 over the Gulfstream Park turf and will take her talents to upstate New York for the $120,000 Bolton Landing on August 18 at Saratoga.
Fulminate, who arrived at Casse’s Saratoga stable on Friday morning, was never in doubt in her debut when leading through every point of call and winning the five furlong maiden event by four lengths.
Previously owned by Quintessential Racing Florida, Fulminate was privately purchased by Gary Barber, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Wachtel Stable.
Casse said Fulminate's pedigree carries some sentimental value.
“Want to talk about breeding that’s been good to me? She’s by Get Stormy out of a City Zip mare,” Casse said. I just had to have this one.”
Get Stormy also sired six-time graded stakes winner Got Stormy, a Casse trainee who captured the Grade 1 Fourstardave against males in 2019 as well as the Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar in December of that year. City Zip produced Catch a Glimpse, a seven-time graded stakes winner who captured the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational in July 2016 for Casse.
“She reminds me a lot of Catch a Glimpse,” Casse said. “I saw her and I kind of knew. She reminded me even more of Catch a Glimpse when she broke her maiden.”
Bred in Florida by D’Oyen Thoroughbreds, Fulminate is the second progeny out of E Built This City. She was bought from the 2020 October OBS Sale, where she was consigned by Summerfield.