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Howe Great's Team Looking at Turf Classic

Team Valor International’s Howe Great came out of his Saturday allowance victory on the turf in good order, according to Dave Rock, assistant to trainer Graham Motion.

“I was pleasantly pleased with him, especially after his race the last time,” Rock said, referring to Howe Great’s seventh-place finish in the Canadian Turf  Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on February 23. “That was a good field he beat. The Woodford Reserve (Turf Classic, G1 at Churchill Downs on May 4) is a possibility.”

Howe Great won by a half-length over 36-1 longshot Middie, who got up in the final stride to nip Air Support by a nose for second. Also in the field were graded stakes winner Al Khali, who finished fifth, and Grade 1 winner Turallure, who was sixth.

“That could have easily been a Grade 2 race,” said Phil Oliver, trainer of Middie. “I was thinking of using the race as a prep for the (April 21) Ben Ali (G3), but now I don’t know. We will see how he is in the next couple of days. They went the last eighth in :11 and three and my horse was at least five lengths back, so he must have run his last eighth in :10 something.”

Trainer Shug McGaughey said he was pleased with Air Support’s effort in his 2013 debut and that the five-year-old came out of the race fine. Air Support’s next start has not been determined.



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