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Joe Hirsch Logical Spot for Winchester

Trainer Christophe Clement reported Sunday morning that Sword Dancer Invitational winner Winchester returned from his fourth Grade 1 victory in good order.


“He looks well,” said Clement. “So far, so good. We haven’t thought about his next race; he won the [Grade 1] Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last year, so that is a logical next step, but the good thing is we don’t have to make a decision right away.”


Clement chose to remain in Saratoga with Winchester’s owners, Bert and Diana Firestone, for the Sword Dancer rather than travel to Chicago to saddle a small bevy of stakes horses at Arlington Park, including defending Turf Male Champion Gio Ponti, who finished second in the Grade 1 Arlington Million; Cheetah, ninth in the Grade 1 Beverly D., and Race to Urga, 10th as the favorite in the Hatoof Stakes.


“Gio Ponti is on his way back, and as of now, he came out of the race in good order,” said Clement. “He was a bit unlucky. Yet again, there was plenty of rain, which is slightly annoying. Let’s see if we can get a break at some stage. Cheetah ran disappointingly, especially considering her previous race [1st, Grade 3 Robert G. Dick]. And Race to Urga had no racing luck at all.”



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