Much is being made of 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Hansen
drawing the No. 12 post position for the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham
on Saturday, but how about Tiger Walk,
who drew the outside No. 13?
“I think we’re going to run anyway,” said Ignacio
“Nacho” Correas, IV, trainer of Tiger Walk for Sagamore Farm.
“At this time of the year, the horses need to run. I think where we are
up on the first turn is going to tell it. He needs to get a good spot. Thirteen
horses on that track, you need a lot of luck. I think he’s a good horse.
If we get a good trip, we should run a good race, whatever that means. To hit
the board from the 13th post position, you need a dream trip.”
Post positions 9 and out are a combined 8-for-77 in route races at
Aqueduct since November 30 last year.
Still, Tiger Walk has every right to be a good horse. After two
nondescript starts on grass last summer at Saratoga, Correas put the son of
Tale of the Cat away for three months and returned in November at Laurel Park,
where he broke his maiden going a mile on the turf and winning by five lengths.
“He won at a mile on the grass, but he was training on the dirt
so good I was hoping they would take the race off the grass,” he said.
“He was training like a freak on the dirt. We decided not to go to Florida with him. We
went into an allowance [on the dirt at Laurel],
and I think it was a very good allowance, and he won good. We figured we’d
give it a shot at the Triple Crown trail and see what we’ve got.”
The trail led to a start in the Grade 3 Withers on February 4 on the
Aqueduct inner dirt, and Tiger Walk finished third behind highly regarded
Alpha, taking dirt kickback for the first time.
Because of the post position for the Gotham,
Correas has lowered his expectations for the outcome and has firmly set his
sights on the Grade 1, $1 million Resorts World Casino New York City Wood
Memorial on April 7 at Aqueduct.
“We’re taking this step by step,” the trainer said.
“I’m trying to build a horse that has so far been good to me. His
test is going to be in the Wood. There are very few horses that can win every
race that they run, so you have to be happy if they show you something. We’re
looking for the right signals from the horse.”