Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
A strong second to Grade 2 winner Revolutionary in a one-mile
allowance on Jan. 11, Falling Sky will make his next start in the
$100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) on Feb. 8.
Trainer George Weaver had also nominated the 4-year-old Lion Heart
colt to the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) on Feb. 9, which is run at 1 1/8
miles. The Sprint is contested at seven furlongs.
“At this moment, we kind of want to focus on one-turn races and see
how it goes,” Weaver said. “It depends on how he runs in this race. He’s
kind of going to tell us, start by start. He’s never been on the turf,
and it’s not impossible that we’ll stretch him out later, too. But right
now, we’re kind of thinking one-turn dirt races.”
Owned by Newtown Anner Stud and Joseph Bulger, Falling Sky was on the
Triple Crown trail last spring, winning the Sam F. Davis (G3) and
running third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and fourth in the Arkansas
Falling Sky got some time off after finishing last of 19 in the
Kentucky Derby (G1), returning in the seven-furlong City of Laurel
Stakes at Laurel Park on Nov. 9, where he lost all chance after
stumbling badly at the start.
Weaver brought Falling Sky
back in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream, where he led from
the gate to deep stretch before being overtaken by Revolutionary, beaten
just a half-length.
Third in the Derby, Revolutionary is being pointed to the Donn by trainer Todd Pletcher, Weaver’s former boss.
"We were delighted with the race. I felt he ran a huge race last
time,” Weaver said. “There’s no shame to getting beat by Revolutionary.
He’s a big, good-looking horse who was third in the Derby. You don’t put
together the record that Revolutionary has without being a pretty
serious horse, so I don’t feel like we got beat by just an ordinary
horse. Hopefully, with another race under our belt and getting him a
steady diet of racing, we’re going to have a good year in front of
Twenty-nine horses were nominated to the GP Sprint, including
Pletcher’s unbeaten Catron and graded stakes winners Bear Tough Tiger,
Brujo de Olleros, Fort Loudon, Jackson Bend, Laugh Track and
“We were looking to run in a 6 ½-furlong allowance race last time and
it didn’t go, so we ended up running a mile because we needed to run
him,” Weaver said. “We’re cutting him back to seven-eighths and he’s
going to be pretty salty. We know there will be some quality runners in
there, but he’s doing really well so it’s just going to be up to him.
We’re very happy to be in the race.”