All systems are “go” for Mission
Approved’s planned start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
Invitational after the 7-year-old breezed one mile on Belmont Park’s
inner turf course on Thursday.
Mission Approved, winner of Belmont’s
Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap in June, was clocked in 1:39.07.
“A lot of people don’t do that,” said owner/trainer
Naipaul Chatterpaul of having Mission Approved breeze one mile before a race.
“That’s been my way of working him since I’ve had him, if he
needs it. If he doesn’t, then I don’t do it.”
Chatterpaul noted he broke routine prior to Mission Approved’s
seventh-place finish in the August 13 Grade 1 Arlington Million, his most
“When he went to Arlington,
the shipping took a lot out of him, so I couldn’t do much,” said
Chatterpaul. “The shipping took so much that he came up empty in the
stretch. He’s doing way better [now]. Coming back from Arlington he had lost of weight, and
he’s put it back on.”
The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic will be contested at Mission
Approved’s home track, which is also the site of his second- and
fourth-place finishes in the 2010 and 2011 Grade 1 Man o’ War.
“I think he’ll be much more comfortable running on home
turf,” said Chatterpaul. “He was second in the Man o’ War
last year and won the  Manhattan.
That says it all right there.”
The 2011 Man o’ War was captured by Cape
Blanco, the Irish invader who returned
to the United States
to win the Arlington Million and who will make another cross-Atlantic journey
to compete in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Chatterpaul affirmed that Cape Blanco’s
expected presence in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic will not deter him from
running Mission Approved in the race.
“[Mission Approved is] training well and I hope everything stays
that way,” said Chatterpaul. “He’ll run his race. Running
against Cape Blanco, I don’t have a problem.
That’s just horse racing – you cannot avoid him. Some people try to
avoid him, but I don’t think that’s right. Then you don’t
make a proper horse race.”