Newly arrived trainer Eoin Harty said he
was pleased with the progress of Endorsement,
the 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor who is pointing to Saturday’s Grade
“He loves it here. He’s
really, really training good here,” Harty said. “I hadn’t
seen him in a week, and I saw him this morning and he’s really in top
shape. After a work like he did here last weekend, to be acting like he’s
acting is a real positive sign.”
On July 23, the Casner Racing color-bearer
breezed five furlongs over Saratoga’s
main track in a bullet 58.86 seconds, galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.26. He
is tentatively scheduled to put in his final pre-Whitney work Monday morning,
but the time and track are dependent on the weather.
Harty wasn’t pleased with
Endorsement’s behavior prior to his last start, the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap
at Belmont Park on July 7, when he acted up in the
paddock and the starting gate before finishing last of seven, beaten 37
It was, by far, the poorest performance
for Endorsement, winner of the Grade 3 Texas Mile and third by a length in the
Grade 3 Pimlico Special this year. He has been off the board just twice in 10
career starts, with four wins and three seconds.
“If I didn’t have a reason why
he ran so poorly, I’d say I wouldn’t have even considered this
race,” Harty said. “But, he had a genuine reason for running so
badly, and his races up to the Suburban were good races. He showed improvement
in each race, so if you throw out the Suburban, he deserves a shot.”
Harty, who had a six-hour delay on his
flight from California to Saratoga, planned to school Endorsement in
the paddock during today’s seventh race.
Joel Rosario will be aboard Endorsement
for the first time in the Whitney, replacing Martin Garcia, who rode the
chestnut in his past two races. Formerly based on the West Coast, Rosario entered Sunday’s card with seven wins in his
first full summer at Saratoga.
“I’ve used Joel and I’ve
watched him ride out in California,
and he’s an excellent rider out there,” Harty said.
“I’ve watched him since he’s been back here, and he seems to
be doing extremely well. He’s a good front-end rider, and he seems to be
getting better at that. That’s how I want to run this horse.”