Juddmonte Farms' Slumber
appears on his way back to major stakes racing following his
authoritative score Thursday in a $100,000 optional claimer at 1 3/16
miles on the Mellon turf course.
a 5-year-old British-born son of Cacique trained by Hall of Famer Bill
Mott, hadn't been out since winning an allowance last August because of
nagging carpal tunnel issues in a foreleg. Before that, he hadn't run
since finishing fourth, beaten 1 ½ lengths in the Grade 1 Hollywood
Derby in November 2011.
Thursday, Slumber settled easily into fourth behind pacesetter Roadhog,
and jockey Junior Alvarado tracked on the inside, saving ground on the
backstretch through a half-mile in 50.18 seconds.
the field reached the far turn, Alvarado remained inside while others
bid for the lead. Turning for home, Slumber shot through an opening down
the middle of the track and pulled away to win by 3 ¾ lengths in a time
was impressive," Mott said. "He was impressive here last year, too. We
would have liked to have made plans for him last year, but we were
was with me most of the time, but he went back to Juddmonte [in
Lexington] for about three months this spring. I thought we were going
to make it back, but in January we had to stop on him again."
that the horse is healthy, Mott has optimistic plans for Slumber. He
mentioned the Grade 2, $200,000 Bowling Green Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on
the grass September 7 at Belmont Park, but is leaning toward the Grade
1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at 1 ½ miles on
September 28, also at Belmont.
seems like the Bowling Green comes up a little quick, and you can't run
both the Bowling Green and the Turf Classic, I don't think," Mott said.
"So, I think my choice is to go to Canada or run in the Turf Classic,
if I can get an invitation."
broke his maiden at Epsom in 2011 in his second start. He finished
third, beaten just three lengths to future Group 1 winner Treasure
Beach in the Chester Vas and then placed in two more graded stakes.
He ran in the Hollywood Derby for trainer Charles Hills and then was transferred to Mott.
* * *
Trainer George "Rusty" Arnold was all smiles walking back to his barn after watching Centre Court breeze on the Oklahoma training track turf course on Friday.
exercise rider Simon Harris, the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly was
clocked in 48.13 seconds for a half-mile in her second work since
finishing last of five as the favorite in the Grade 1 Diana on July 27.
just came off the grass, and she went very nice," Arnold said. "That
will be her last work. If she comes out of this work good, I'm going to
be very happy."
is targeting the Grade 2, $250,000 Ketel One Ballston Spa on the
Travers undercard August 24 for Centre Court, a winner of five career
graded stakes including the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April.
very pleased with the way she's doing," Arnold said. "I have no
problems right now. She's doing very well, I think. I'm happy."
* * *
Fourth behind subsequent Grade 2 Saratoga Special winner Corfu in his debut on July 25, Aarons Orient returned to break his maiden at Saratoga on Thursday for trainer Steve Asmussen.
juvenile son of sprint champion Orientate, Aarons Orient came from just
off the pace under jockey Joel Rosario to win in 57.69 seconds for five
furlongs, .58 faster than Corfu's time in the previous race.
a very fast horse," said Asmussen. Aarons Orient is owned by A and M
Racing, Inc., which purchased the horse out of Ocala's April 2-year-old
in training sale for $75,000.
Valerio bought him out of OBS off of Bobby Dodd, and he's been a lovely
horse since he came in. Honestly, we were surprised he got beat the
first time, but he obviously got beat by a nice horse."
is now 5-for-10 with 2-year-olds at the meet, including a dead-heat
victory with Brazen Persuasion in the Grade 2 Schuylerville on opening
day, July 19.
let [Aarons Orient] go back to the track before we do something,"
Asmussen said. "I think he's a stakes-caliber horse, and we'll find one