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Lea Will Switch to Dirt for Forego

Lea, second in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap and third in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap behind reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in his two most recent starts, will switch to dirt for the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego on Saturday, trainer Al Stall said on Monday.

A Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider homebred, Lea has made one start on the dirt, winning an off-the-turf optional claimer by 3 ¼ lengths in June at Churchill Downs. That race was Lea’s 4-year-old debut, with the colt having won the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf last November at Churchill in his sophomore finale.

“He ran so well in that one [dirt] race,” said Stall. “We like the way the horse is training, and if you go by [Ragozin numbers], the race on dirt was the best race in his life by many, many points.”

Stall said his desire to avoid additional showdowns with Wise Dan was a primary factor in his decision to have Lea compete in the seven-furlong Forego.

“The next race was either the [Grade 2 Bernard] Baruch [on Saturday], which we didn’t want to do, or the [Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on September 15] with Wise Dan at level weights, or the [Grade 1] Shadwell [Turf Mile on October 15] with Wise Dan at level weights, so we’ll go back to dirt and see if it works,” said Stall.



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