and Vineyard Haven turned in separate five-furlong workouts over the Belmont Park
training track Sunday morning as they gear up for next Saturday’s Grade 1 Hill
‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap, one of four graded stakes to be offered that day
at Aqueduct Racetrack.
for the first time following disappointing efforts in the Breeders’ Cup,
Girolamo and Vineyard Haven covered the distance in 59.67 and 59.40,
Mettee, assistant to Godolphin Racing’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor, is hopeful
both horses will have better fortune in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile than in
the Breeders’ Cup, where Girolamo was 11th in the Sprint and
Vineyard Haven was sixth in the Dirt Mile.
got an inside draw in a big field, and I don’t think he is the kind of horse
who is sharp enough to stalk a 44-and-change pace,” said Mettee. “I think he
has 45-and-change speed. Hopefully the mile will suit him a little better.
Haven was drawn outside and stalked a very fast pace. It looked like for a
brief second he’d be there turning for home, but then he faded a little bit.
Zito’s horse [Morning Line] was able to hang in there and finish second, but
everybody else faltered in the last furlong. It looks like, on paper, that
there isn’t a tremendous amount of speed going in the Cigar Mile, and he’s
another one who should pull a better trip.”
on the worktab for Godolphin this weekend was Sara Louise, who earned a
bullet for her 47.03 four-furlong breeze at Belmont
on Saturday as part of her preparations for a title defense in Friday’s Grade 2
Top Flight Handicap, for which she was made the 5-2 morning-line favorite.