Preservationist in good shape following G1 Woodward; Jockey Club Gold Cup a possibility
by NYRA Press Office
- Global Access could target G2 Hill Prince following Saranac win
- Spanish Mission to make North American debut in Jockey Club Derby
- Pletcher maiden success continues; looking forward to productive Belmont meet
- Kimmel points maiden winner Famished to G1 Champagne
- G1 winners War of Will and Got Stormy on the work tab
Centennial Farms' Preservationist exited his victory in the Grade 1 Woodward presented by NYRA Bets in good order according to trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who scored his second win in the 1 1/8-mile event for older horses at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
The 6-year-old son of Arch notched his first Grade 1 win in the Woodward two starts after winning his graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 6 at Belmont Park.
The Woodward was a redeeming win for Preservationist, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 3, where he set the pace but faded to finish 7 3/4 lengths behind McKinzie.
On Saturday, Preservationist stalked the pace and made a winning bid surging between horses in mid-stretch to win by a half-length, registering a 106 Beyer Speed Figure.
"It's always good when you can save ground and the horses can deal with being in a crowd like that and still be on the bridle. That's huge," said Jerkens. "It took a while to happen, but it finally did at the very end once a horse on the outside started to fade and opened it up a bit. I felt once he got some room, a big horse like him would wear them down."
Jerkens said he was equally pleased to get a Grade 1 win under Preservationist's belt. The triumph was only a tenth career start as well as his sixth career win for Preservationist, who reached the seven-figure mark with $1,037,300 in career earnings.
"That's why it was such an exhilarating win," Jerkens said. "It was only his tenth start and he's going to be 7-years-old in three months, so it was huge. He's got a nice pedigree. The female family was very, very good."
Jerkens said he was unsure as to where his next start would take place, but mentioned that Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28 as a possibility.
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Global Access could target G2 Hill Prince following Saranac win
Live Oak Plantation's Global Access was doing well the morning after edging Good Governance by a neck to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac, trainer Michael Trombetta said Sunday morning.
The ultra-consistent Giant's Causeway colt won his second graded stakes in four starts and improved to 4-1-4 in 11 career starts when he rallied from last of five in the 1 1/16-mile Saranac for sophomores on the inner turf and overcame Good Governance lugging in a bit in the stretch, hitting the wire in a 1:41.80 final time.
"He seemed like he came out of it in good order," said Trombetta who won his first career graded stakes at Saratoga. "It was a fun day."
Global Access won the Grade 3 Marine on May 25 at Woodbine and followed with back-to-back third-place efforts with the Charlie Barley on June 29 before stepping up in class to earn blacktype in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame at one mile on Saratoga's inner turf.
All four of Global Access' career wins have come at the Saranac's distance. Trombetta said he will likely stretch him out further in targeting the 1 1/8-mile Grade 2, $400,000 Hill Prince on Saturday, October 5 on the Belmont Park turf.
"I'll look ahead and try to figure out what's next, but the Hill Prince is definitely an option for him in October," said Trombetta, who won the 2009 Hill Prince with Despite the Odds.
With double digit starts to his credit entering the weekend, Global Access was the field's most experienced entrant and the lone previous graded stakes winner. Trombetta said staying at Saratoga following the Hall of Fame proved beneficial, as did a stellar ride by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
"It helps. A couple of those horses were lightly raced. In our case, he shipped here from the Woodbine leading to the Hall of Fame and he ran well," Trombetta said. "But to be here for four weeks, to walk out of his stall and run, I think we were fortunate to have him fresh."
Global Access ran three times as a juvenile and has already made eight starts in his sophomore campaign, with his only off-the-board effort coming in his 2019 bow against allowance optional claimers in January at Gulfstream Park. He has finished in the money in his last seven starts, with Trombetta praising his maturity.
"He's been a little bit difficult as far as managing him on the tracks in the afternoons," he said. "We took the blinkers off and had to keep changing things. But yesterday was probably one of his most professional ways of running. He sat off the pace and relaxed and rated. When [Velazquez] called on him and asked him to run, he had a nice, sustained run."
David Palmer's Wet Your Whistle, fourth last out in the Grade 3 Troy on August 3 at Saratoga, worked four furlongs in 47.40 seconds on the all-weather training surface at Fair Hill in Maryland on Saturday.
Trombetta said he will likely enter him on Tuesday for the Grade 3, $700,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint. Before running at Saratoga last month, Wet Your Whistle had won four in a row, including a 1 ½-length victory in the six-furlong Grade 1 Highlander on June 29 at Woodbine.
The 4-year-old gelded son of Stroll has recorded Beyer Speed Figures of 90 or better in five consecutive starts. The Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Turf Sprint in November at Santa Anita Park.
"He worked back at home at Fair Hill yesterday and we're going to enter him Tuesday for Kentucky Downs," he said.
Live Oak Plantation's Win Win Win, who ran in the first two legs of the Triple Crown before winning the Manila on July 4 in his turf debut at Belmont, continues to receive a freshening in Ocala, Florida and will look to resume racing when he turns 4.
Win Win Win earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby after running third behind Outshine and the winner Tacitus in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March and ran second, 3 ½ lengths back of Vekoma, in the Grade 2 Blue Grass. In the "Run for the Roses," the Hat Trick colt was placed ninth and came back two weeks later to run seventh in the Preakness at Pimlico.
After eight starts on the main track, Win Win Win tried turf for the first time in the one-mile Manila, where he rallied from last of eight for a half-length win over Fog of Far on the firm Belmont grass. After taking to the new surface, his connections decided to rest him in Florida for the rest of the year.
"He's in Ocala. It was time to stop on him. He's going to get 90-120 days and rev him back up and hopefully we'll see him really early in the spring," Trombetta said. "I think he can do anything. He has a track record of seven-eighths on the dirt and he's run incredible at a mile and an eighth, and he's run very good on the turf, so I think there's a whole list of opportunities for him next year."
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Spanish Mission to make North American debut in Jockey Club Derby
Earle Mack and Team Valor's Spanish Mission, trained by David Simcock, will ship to New York from his base in England today in advance of his North American debut in the $1 million Jockey Club Derby on September 7 at Belmont Park.
The Noble Mission bay, bred in Kentucky by St. Elias Stables, captured the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy in July at Newmarket and enters the 1 1/2-mile Jockey Club Derby, third and final leg of the newly minted Turf Trinity, from a good third in the Group 3 Qatar Gordon on August 1 at Goodwood.
Simcock boasts an impressive record shipping horses to North America with four Grade 1 winners, including I'm A Dreamer [2012 Beverley D., Arlington Park], Sheikhzayedroad [2014 Northern Dancer, Woodbine], Trade Storm [2014 Woodbine Mile], and Desert Encounter [2018 Canadian International, Woodbine]. He also captured the 2014 Grade 2 Nearctic at Woodbine with Caspar Netscher.
The Jockey Club Derby is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event offering a berth in the Longines Turf in November at Santa Anita Park, and Simcock said the race was a natural fit for Spanish Mission.
"Obviously, being jointly owned by The Honorable Earle Mack and Team Valor meant that America was always an option for the horse," said Simcock. "It's a valuable race and it's great to support it."
Simcock said Spanish Mission demonstrated his class in winning the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy over Nayef Road.
"The Bahrain Trophy was a good run," said Simcock. "It showed that he stays well. English racing is obviously different, with long galloping tracks and generally a good even pace. A horse has far more time to organize himself in England and there is no doubt on the considerably tighter tracks in America we will have to think more about position in the race."
Last out, Nayef Road turned the tables on Spanish Mission, who was carrying more weight, in the Gordon.
"He was slightly unlucky in running at Goodwood, he didn't have a straightforward passage and considering he was carrying a penalty it was a career best effort. He's on an upward curve and I couldn't be happier," said Simcock.
Simcock said he is hoping for firm turf on Saturday as his colt tries the Belmont inner turf for the first time.
"He prefers a sound surface," said Simcock. "It will be different running on a considerably tighter track than what he is used to and this will be the biggest negative."
Regular pilot Jamie Spencer will have the call aboard Spanish Mission.
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BPletcher maiden success continues; looking forward to productive Belmont meet
Trainer Todd Pletcher picked up two maiden wins on Saturday's card with 2-year-old No Word for Wertheimer and Frere and 4-year-old Airtouch for Cheyenne Stables, with 12 of his total 18 victories at Saratoga this summer coming in maiden races.
"We were hoping our young horses could come in and do well and it's kind of picked up lately," said Pletcher. "We've got some other ones that are starting to come around as well, so hopefully that leads to a good Belmont Fall meet."
A son of Silent Name, No Word comfortably stalked and rallied late to win by 2 ¼ lengths going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
"We were pleased with the way he was coming into this race," said Pletcher. "We were optimistic he would run well. At the same time, winning long turf races in your debut is not always easy to do so we're happy he's run well."
Airtouch made his debut in August 2017 at the Spa in which he lost a by a nose. The Tapit colt enjoyed a successful return to the races on Saturday while making his first start in 2 years to win by a half-length, recording a 92 Beyer Speed Figure.
"He's a talented horse," said Pletcher. "It's been frustrating the number of setbacks he's had. A lot of credit goes to Everett Dobson [owner of Cheyenne Stables] for the patience he's had and perseverance. We've always felt he's been a talented horse, so hopefully he can put together a steady campaign now."
Bal Harbour emerged from yesterday's Grade 1 Woodward with a solid second-place finish, while Wooderson finished sixth. Pletcher scratched multiple graded stakes-winner Vino Rosso from the nine-furlong Woodward on Saturday morning in favor of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28 at Belmont.
Vino Rosso captured the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in May and returned to finish third last out on August 3 in the Grade 1 Whitney.
"'It was a really tough decision with Vino Rosso," said Pletcher. "We wavered back and forth for a long time. Our main focus is to get him to the Breeders' Cup Classic in good fashion. We felt like running twice was not the best way to get there. He's always run okay at Saratoga but is a little better at mile and a quarter. With that thinking running a mile and a quarter five weeks from the Classic [Jockey Club Gold Cup] will hopefully put us in a better position. That being said, Bal Harbour put up a gutsy effort. It was a tough beat, but it looks like he has taken himself to a new level. Wooderson also emerged out of the race okay and we'll look to regroup with him."
On Saturday, 3-year-olds Social Paranoia and Current breezed in preparation for a potential start in the $1 million Jockey Club Derby, the final leg of the inaugural NYRA Turf Triple Series and a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In race.
Social Paranoia breezed four furlongs in 49.44 seconds on the Saratoga main track while Current breezed four furlongs in 51.55 seconds on the Belmont training track.
"Both are doing well," said Pletcher. "I'm not sure we're going to run both. Current is more likely to head to the Jockey Club Derby while Social Paranoia is also under consideration for the Dueling Grounds Derby [Kentucky Downs]."
Lastly, Pletcher reported Marconi and You're to Blame are both on schedule to make their next starts at Belmont in the inaugural Jockey Club Grand Prix going 1 3/8 miles on the dirt.
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Kimmel points maiden winner Famished to G1 Champagne
Following a maiden victory at second asking on Saturday, trainer John Kimmel is considering the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne on October 5 at Belmont Park for Famished, who graduated at second asking going seven furlongs over the Saratoga main track.
Owned by Tobey Morton, the Ontario-bred son of Uncle Mo was third in his career debut behind impressive maiden winner Tumbling Sky.
"If everything shapes up well, we'll aim for the Champagne," Kimmel said. "It looks like the way he finished today he has the ability to go even further. The track is a bit deeper today. For him to give a good, sustained finish is a good indication that he's going to carry himself a little further."
Kimmel has enjoyed success with his younger horses this meet. Earlier in the week, he saddled Crystalle to victory in the P.G. Johnson.
"You can thank the owners," Kimmel said. "They had the confidence in me to pick these horses out and I'm really glad that they're showing up for them this summer because I had been telling them that I think they would have a good campaign into the fall and next year."
Perhaps Kimmel's best youngster is yet to come. Mandatory, by American Pharoah, is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner I'm a Chatterbox.
Mandatory was purchased by owner Tobey Morton for $400,000 from the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April.
"He's getting very close to the races. He has the looks of a colt with a very nice future," Kimmel said. "He'll work from the gate Monday and if everything goes well, we'll look to find a race for him in the next couple of weeks."
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G1 winners War of Will and Got Stormy on the work tab
Trainer Mark Casse breezed Grade 1 winners War of Will and Got Stormy over Woodward weekend in preparation for upcoming Grade 1 starts out of town.
Gary Barber's War of Will, a four-time winner with more than $1.5 million in purse earnings, captured the Grade 1 Preakness in May ahead of an off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. Last out, in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy presented by NYRA Bets, the War Front bay set the early pace en route to a fifth-place finish.
Casse decided to let War of Will bypass the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers and instead pointed the colt to the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby on September 21 at Parx, which could be a potential re-match with multiple Grade 1-winner Maximum Security.
On Sunday morning, War of Will breezed five furlongs in 59.55 seconds on the Saratoga main.
"The work was perfect," said Casse. "I wanted him to do a little something today. We're three weeks out from the Pennsylvania Derby, so I wanted a good work and a good gallop out. I got him galloping out a mile in 1:40 and still not wanting to pull up. So, it was really good."
Casse said he feels War of Will is rounding back into top form as the cooler fall weather arrives.
"He's been doing a lot of bucking and kicking recently which he hadn't been for a while," said Casse. "I don't know if his energy levels are up or if it's the crisp morning air, but he definitely enjoys this cooler weather. He seems to be really thriving right now."
The Canadian Hall of Fame conditioner said a start in the Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park is still in play if all goes well in Pennsylvania.
"We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but a good performance in the Pennsylvania Derby would have us looking at the Breeders' Cup," said Casse. "But, we have to get past this next one first."
On August 10, Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stable's Got Stormy became the first filly to win the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave, in its 35th running, covering one mile over the firm inner turf in a track record 1:32 flat.
The 4-year-old Get Stormy chestnut earned a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure in her Fourstardave score, which was her seventh win in 15 career starts.
Got Stormy breezed five furlongs in 1:00.38 on Saturday on the Oklahoma training turf in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile, a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event on September 14.
"She worked good. We had Sammy Jimenez breeze her," said Casse. "I told Sammy to let her go along nice and cluck to her at the top of the lane. He clucked to her and she came home the last quarter in 23 flat. She has an amazing stride."
Got Stormy won four of her nine sophomore starts, including victories in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen at Woodbine, the Penn Oaks, and the Wild Applause at Belmont. However, the talented filly has found a new level this year with her last three starts, including a four-length score in the De La Rose, boasting triple-digit Beyers.
"She's just grown up and got confident," said Casse. "We've had a lot of luck with our 3-year-olds giving them a break and letting them come back at four. Some of them mature and she's gone from a teenager to a grown up. She's bigger and stronger."
Casse said Got Stormy's Ontario Colleen win on the Woodbine turf, along with past Woodbine Mile successes with Tepin  and World Approval , give him confidence as the filly looks to beat the boys once more.
"When we decided to go to the Woodbine Mile, it was nice that she's already had a race over the turf there," said Casse. "She was extremely impressive on the turf at Woodbine and that, along with the success we've had going on to the Breeders' Cup from Woodbine, was on my mind. We already know she loves it there. My only fear is if we get a lot of rain. She's not overly crazy about soft turf."
Casse also reported that Tracy Farmer's Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston could be back to the races in New York later this year.
"Sir Winston is back in full training. My plan is to bring him back to Belmont and try to get a race in New York with him towards the latter part of the year," said Casse.