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Donk Has Big Plans for Hessonite

Hessonite returned from her victory over the boys (and girl) in Thursday’s NYSS for 3-year-olds on the turf in good order, and trainer David Donk has some big plans for the New York-bred daughter of Freud in mind.


“Should I be crazy and contemplate the [Grade 1] Garden City [September 17, Belmont Park] and running second behind Winter Memories?” he asked. “Or maybe the John Hettinger against older [New York-bred] fillies and mares a week later? I’ve got Paraiba for that race, but things could change.”


This year, Hessonite is 3-0-1 from four starts, with her only loss a third-place finish to Summer Soiree in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park on June 25.


“She’s got Grade 3 placing already; a Grade 1 placing wouldn’t be a bad thing,” said Donk, who trains Hessonite for William Punk, Jr. and Philip DiLeo.


In the NYSS, Hessonite rallied four-wide on the turn and posted a head victory over Freud’s Honor under a confident ride by Ramon Dominguez.


“I’ve never ridden, and I never had a desire to, but I’d like to get inside a jockey’s head and understand how it feels to be so confident in a horse during a race,” Donk said. “He rode her with a lot of confidence.”



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