Trainer Dale Romans reported Saturday that Quick Wit
emerged from his nose victory in Friday’s off-the-turf edition of the
Grade 3 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes in good order and
could make his next start on turf in the Grade 1, $400,000 Jamaica
Stakes on October 6 at Belmont Park.
“He came back good, looks good. I don’t know what we’ll
do with him next,” Romans said. “The Jamaica is an option. Most
realistic would be we’ll go back to Belmont, but we’ll see how things
unfold here in the next few days.”
Originally carded as a Grade 2 race at 1 1/16 miles on the
Inner Turf Course, the Hall of Fame was automatically downgraded after
it was transferred to the main track at 1 1/8 miles, pending a final
review by the American Graded Stakes Committee. While the complexion of
the race changed after it was taken off the grass, Romans said he felt
it was no less challenging.
“I thought it was equally as tough when it moved over,” the trainer
said. “Optimizer had run well [on dirt], and Daddy Nose Best, and
that’s why the race held together. [Quick Wit is] an emerging horse
though. He’s a horse that’s getting better and going the right way.
Maybe he can step up to another level.”
Romans has a bevy of turf horses in the barn now and
expects to run three sophomores in next weekend’s Grade 1 Secretariat
at Arlington Park – the streaking Silver Max, most recently victorious
in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby, along with Cozzetti and Finnegan’s Wake.
“It’s good to see [Quick Wit] can handle the dirt,”
Romans said. “We are overrun with turf horses right now, so this horse
may have to become a dirt horse whether he wants to or not. I have to
wait and see what happens in the Secretariat. After this, I would
probably take Max against older horses, try to win something big and
point him towards the Breeders’ Cup. He just started getting good. He
always had some talent; he just never was as focused as he needed to
be, but he put it all together this winter. Next weekend will divide
them up a little bit.”