Revolutionary will face stakes company for the first time off a
dominant maiden victory when he competes in the Grade 3, $200,000
Withers on Saturday
at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Withers for 3-year-olds is one of four stakes on Saturday’s
card, which also includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan, $100,000
Busher, and $100,000 Correction.
The Withers is the first race in New York on Churchill Downs’
“Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, with the winner to receive 10
points, the runner-up 4 points, the
third-place finisher 2 points, and the fourth-place finisher 1 point.
WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary began his career in a pair of
sprints. He was third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, in September at Saratoga Race
Course after being severely impeded
at the start. He subsequently reported home second by 2 ¼ lengths in
After breaking sluggishly and racing evenly late to finish third
by 4 ¼ lengths in a one-turn mile race in November at Aqueduct,
Revolutionary put it all together on
December 28 on the inner track, taking command at the quarter pole and
running away to an 8 ½-length score.
“[The improved performance] was a combination of a lot of
things, the stretch out the, two turns, the clean start, a good trip,”
said trainer Todd Pletcher. “We weren’t
surprised he did something impressive, and it was the first time
everything had gone smoothly. He didn’t have a bad trip when he was
second at Belmont, but I thought the track that day was very speed
favoring and it was hard to make up ground. A talented horse
got loose and we just couldn’t run him down, and he had a horrible
start in the one-turn race at Aqueduct.”
Another clean start will give Revolutionary his best chance of employing his tactical speed, Pletcher said.
“The key will be for him to break cleanly and put himself in a
good stalking position, or if it were a paceless race he could possibly
be on the lead,” said Pletcher.
“The main thing is we want him to get away cleanly and get into a nice
Javier Castellano has picked up the mount aboard Revolutionary,
who drew post position 3 and was installed as the 3-5 morning-line
Siete de Oros nearly upset the Grade 2 Jerome on New Year’s Day
at Aqueduct, battling with Vyjack to the wire and settling for second by
a head at 41-1. The Jerome was
Siete de Oros’ first start in blinkers.
“He ran a really good race. Blinkers made a big change with him;
he was concentrating more,” said owner/trainer Ramon Preciado. “After
the race, he was even better than
he came in. I’m hoping he’ll run a really good race [in the Jerome].”
Before the addition of blinkers, Siete de Oros’s accomplishments
included a pair of wins and a third in the Pennsylvania Nursery, all at
Maria Remedio will come in from Parx Racing to ride Siete de Oros, 8-1 on the morning line, in the Jerome. The colt drew post 6.
The Withers also attracted the third- and fourth-place finishers from the Jerome, Amerigo Vespucci and
Amerigo Vespucci, who was also second in two stakes at Laurel
Park, will be ridden by Erick Rodriguez. Trained by Timothy Tullock, Jr.
for Aldie Germania Farms, Amerigo
Vespucci is 15-1 on the morning line.
three-quarter-length maiden winner in December at the Big A, settled in
midpack and picked up the pieces to finish fourth in the Jerome. He and
fellow Darley Stable representative Valid form a coupled
entry that was made the 7-2 morning-line second choice.
“We’re learning more about [Long
River] all of the
time,” said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “He
might appreciate more ground. He’s very sharp. The first two kind of got
the slip on us; they had a little more turn
of foot. We still think our colt is very, very talented, but we might
be looking for more ground. I think he can handle two turns on the inner
track just fine, but as the races get longer it can only help.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the assignment aboard
River from the rail.
Valid enters the Jerome off a 3 ¾-length maiden win on December 31 at
“He’s improving, so it’s good timing to see where we fit in,” said Magnuson.
Junior Alvarado will ride Valid from post 2.
The Withers field also includes impressive maiden winner
Escapefromreality, maiden Champion Boy, and Damon Runyon victor Smooth