Godolphin Racing, victorious in last
year’s James Marvin at Saratoga Race Course with Vineyard Haven, will attempt
to win the 2011 renewal of the opening-day stakes for older sprinters with Gayego.
The James Marvin, to be contested
July 22, will be Gayego’s first start since a ninth-place finish in a February
listed stakes at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse.
“If he could make [the Marvin], it
would be great, so hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get a few
more works into him,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to Saeed bin Suroor. “It
would be a nice race to win and get him back going again.”
Although Gayego won the Grade 1
Ancient Title Handicap at six furlongs in 2009, Mettee said the 6-year-old is
currently being pointed toward races that are seven furlongs to one mile in
“He’s not eligible for many races
anymore, so we’d have to go to the [seven-furlong James Marvin] or to the
Vanderbilt [Handicap, Grade 1, six furlongs, Saratoga, August 7]. “The
Vanderbilt at six is probably too short for him now. In his prime, six was OK,
but at this stage he needs to go at least seven.”
Mettee said Gayego will likely be
retired following his 2011 campaign, which could include starts in the Presque
Isle Mile, a race he won last year, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, in
which he was third in 2010, and the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap.