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Nihei Says Artest Could Target Troy

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Photo: NYRA

Trainer Michele Nihei reported that Artest, who rallied from sixth to win Thursday’s 5 ½-furlong Quick Call by 1 ½ lengths on one week’s rest, emerged from his quick turnaround in fine form.


“Most of the credit has to go to [owner] Dennis Narlinger,” she said. “I’m not the type of person to wheel horses back like that. We really wanted to see if this horse wants to be a closing sprinter. It’s been a little frustrating, because he’s the type of horse that screams talent in the mornings. This morning, the horse was like ‘See? I told you this is what I wanted to do!’”


Nihei said the 3-year-old Hard Spun colt possibly could face older horses in the 5 ½-furlong Troy on August 15.


“At the moment we need to see if we can keep him on a progressive racing schedule,” said Nihei. “The Troy is three times as far away as the Quick Call was from his last race; we’ll look at anything short on the grass.”


Nihei added that Upgrade, winner of the Grade 3, seven-furlong Jaipur at Belmont Park on June 8, was under serious consideration for the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on August 11.


“It’s a mile, but I like the way he’s been training the past few days,” she said. “It’s a challenging spot for him. But he’s on schedule for it if that’s where we decide to go.”


Grade 1 Jamaica winner Prince Will I Am, unraced since the 2011 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap, continues to train well for a return to racing, said the trainer. A third workout is upcoming for the 5-year-old Victory Gallop ridgling, who last Sunday went a half-mile in 49.58.


“We had been looking at the [August 3] John’s Call, but that may be a little bit ahead of his schedule,” said Nihei. “If not, then we’ll look at something for when we get back to Belmont, or maybe at Keeneland.”



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