Trainer Mark Hennig said he will try his recent maiden
graduate Settle for Medal in the Grade 1, $250,000 Three Chimneys
Hopeful for 2-year-olds on Saratoga’s
Closing Day, September 6.
In his first start on July 2, Settle for Medal broke awkwardly
and was last through the first quarter of a mile before rallying to be a
distant third to Boys At Tosconova, who is expected to be the favorite in the
“I think my horse ran a good race despite what he had to
overcome,” Hennig said. “He got off slow, got dirt kicked in his face, and
managed to be third.”
Four weeks later, Settle for Medal broke well, rated, and
made a strong stretch run to draw off by two lengths at 21-1 at the Spa on July
31. While Hennig knows the Hopeful will be a challenge, he is hoping the added
eighth-mile and a strong pace will set it up for his colt.
“The Hopeful will be a tough race,” Hennig said. “I think
the more horses with speed that are thrown into the race, the more it will help
my horse. I also think the added ground will benefit him as well.”
Sovereign Default remains on target for the Three
Chimneys Hopeful, according to trainer Rick Violette.
A two-length winner at Belmont Park
in his lone previous effort, Sovereign Default breezed five furlongs on the
main track yesterday in 1:01.44, eighth quickest at the distance.
“We just wanted to have him go five-eighths and gallop out
well, and that’s what he did,” said Violette, who conditions the colt for
Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence.
Sovereign Default was entered in the Grade 2 Saratoga
Special on August 16, but was scratched and his stablemate Bail Out the Cat
competed instead, finishing second to Kantharos.
“Bail Out the Cat was doing very well, and I thought
Sovereign Default could benefit from the three additional weeks,” said
Sovereign Default will have a formidable opponent in the
Three Chimneys Hopeful in Boys At Tosconova, but Violette has been encouraged
by the subsequent performances made by Sovereign Default’s vanquished opponents
following the July 15 maiden race. Stay Thirsty, second in that heat, broke his
maiden by 5 ½ lengths at Saratoga on August 14, while fifth-place finisher Air
Support returned to prevail by nose at Saratoga on August 13 in a 1 1/16th-mile
“It’s certainly been a key race,” said Violette. “He
beat some nice horses that day.”