Trainer Carl Domino knows next Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000
Man o’War is a big step up for Midnite Silver, but the way the
4-year-old Silver Deputy colt won his last race and has been training since has
him feeling optimistic.
“The distance suits him, he closed fast in his last race to
win, and he had a really good work the other day [June 28], going in 59.42,”
said Domino of Midnite Silver, who will be making his stakes debut in the 1 3/8th
mile Man o’War after going 2-1-0 from four starts this year. “He’s coming into
it in great shape.”
Owned by Robert Hoyer, Midnite Silver started once in the
fall of his 2-year-old season, then returned to break his maiden in May
2009 at Belmont Park, going on to finish the year 3-1-0 from six starts. After
finishing fourth in his first start this year, Midnite Silver won a one-mile
allowance at Aqueduct, finished second to Lime Rickey going 1 1/16th
miles on May 15 at Belmont, then turned in a powerful late run to close from
last to win by two lengths in a 1¼ mile optional claimer on June 2.
“We’ve always babied him because we thought he was a good
one,” said Domino. “He’s stepping up, but I think he deserves it. If he runs
his race, I think he’s going to be something to reckon with.”
Interpatation, winner of the 2009 Joe Hirsch Turf
Classic Invitational, is also gearing up for a run in the Man o’War, and
trainer Bobby Barbara likes the 8-year-old’s chances.
“He’s doing very well. I feel he’s going to get a
piece of this pie, and before the end of the year, he’s going to win one of the
big ones,” Barbara said.
Interpatation upset champion Gio Ponti, who was going for
his fifth consecutive Grade 1 victory, in last year’s Turf Classic. From
there, he shipped to Tokyo
for a start in the Japan Cup, in which he finished 14th. Off
for the winter, the gelding has made two starts in 2010, finishing eighth in
the Grade 3 Fort Marcy on May 1, and ninth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve
Manhattan Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 5.
Dual Eclipse award winner Gio Ponti is expected to
defend his title in the Man o’War, one of four Grade 1 races he won en route to
2009 honors as the nation’s Top Turf Male and Top Older Male. The 5-year-old
horse worked five furlongs in 1:02.05 Thursday morning for trainer Christophe
Clement in preparation for the race.
According to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New
York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), Bearpath, most recently second in
the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap; Expansion, third to Winchester and Gio
Ponti in the Grade 1 Manhattan; Grand Couturier, seventh in the
Manhattan, and Mission Approved, most recently second in an optional
claimer, are being pointed to the Man o’War along with Gio Ponti, Interpatation,
and Midnite Silver.