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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017
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All Systems Go for Mission Approved

Mission Approved, with jockey Jose Espinoza, defeats Gio Ponti in the 2011 Manhattan Stakes G1

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 recent start.

 

“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 [2011] 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.”

 

 

 

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