After Cease won an
optional claiming race Wednesday, running 1 1/8 miles in a sharp 1:48.90,
trainer Al Stall said, simply, “Horses for courses.”
Cease, an Adele Dilschneider-Claiborne Farm homebred, picked up his
third victory in three starts over the Saratoga
main track, beginning with 13 ½-length score in a maiden-breaker last year,
which immediately preceded an allowance victory.
In Wednesday’s race, Cease eased back to sixth, on the inside, in
the field of seven and bided his time until jockey Joel Rosario roused him for
a spirited stretch run. He ran the final three furlongs in 36.25 seconds as he
defeated a quality field that included runner-up Golden Gulch, Schoolyard
Dreams, and 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice.
“He was just behind, taking dirt,” Stall said. “He
almost likes to be in trouble. This is a horse we freshened up and [the
optional claimer] filled and everything fell into place.”
Stall has no immediate plans for the stakes-winning son of War Chant,
but going forward they might include the Grade 1 Woodward on September 1.
“We’ll talk about it. It’s early,” Stall said.
“We’ve got five more weeks. He could be sky-high by Labor Day. Cool
weather, he’ll be feeling good.”