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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Sean Avery Ready for Saturday's Vosburgh

Sean Avery (no. 6), ridden by Joe Bravo and trained by Allen Iwinski, wins the 27th running of the grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap for three year olds and upward on August 7, 2011 at Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)

After more than a year off, Sean Avery came roaring back to win the Affiliate Stakes on September 8 at Belmont, and now will line up Saturday in the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational as part of the “Super Saturday” card.

“The horse has got a ton of heart, and he’ll give you 110 percent every time you lead him over,” trainer Allen Iwinski said of the son of 1994 sprint champion Cherokee Run. “He couldn’t be training any better, and he couldn’t be any sounder than he is now. The owners set a goal to try to get him to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Iwinski, who earned his first Grade 1 as a trainer when he saddled Sean Avery to victory in the 2011 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, shopped for weeks for a return spot before settling on the six-furlong Affiliate. In the race, Sean Avery came from off the pace to put away three other runners – including Vosburgh entrants Zero Rate Policy and Royal Currier – to win by 2 ¼ lengths and earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 92.

Overall, Sean Avery is 7-1-2 from 11 career starts, having won four of five starts in 2011 before being sidelined with a tendon injury after the Vanderbilt.

While the Breeders’ Cup Sprint is the main goal, Iwinski is on edge and ready for the Vosburgh.

“When he won the Vanderbilt, it was my first Grade 1 win,” said the trainer, “and I was elated and it was so exciting, and he’s come back as good as or better than he’s ever been. If he wins, it will be the biggest purse I’ve ever won as a trainer. If he jumps up to win the Vosburgh and comes back in good order, and we’re getting ready to go to California, it will be another milestone just getting to the Breeders’ Cup.”

 

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