Wayne Tanner, assistant to English trainer Jeremy Noseda, is
optimistic that Western Aristocrat’s second trip to the United States will
prove as fruitful as his first.
Photo: Hollywood Park
Watching the 3-year-old colt being walked outside Barn 50
South by groom Davey Graham following morning exercise on the track Sunday,
Tanner was hopeful he could add the Hollywood Derby trophy Sunday to the
Jamaica Handicap one he brought home from Belmont Park on October 8.
“He stayed at Belmont about a week, and it was decided to
get him back in his own environment,” said Tanner of a return to Newmarket. “Jeremy
and Vinery (owner Thomas Ludt) sat down and talked and decided to come back
here.” Western Aristocrat cleared quarantine Friday after being flown here
Western Aristocrat led all the way through slow early
fractions in the Grade I Jamaica under Corey Nakatani but Tanner said it was
due to circumstances and that the colt does not have to be in front.
“The plan wasn’t to go to the lead at Belmont, but the speed
horse came out, there was no pace, and Corey rode his own race,” said Tanner.
Nakatani, the all-time leader in Turf Festival wins with 14
and a two-time Hollywood Derby winner, retains the mount. “Western Aristocrat
will breeze on Wednesday,” said Tanner. A Kentucky-bred son of Mr. Greeley, Western Aristocrat won
three of six starts in England
before the trip to New York.
Western Aristocrat is expected to be joined in the lineup by
fellow English shipper Slumber (Garrett Gomez), New York shippers Casino Host
(Joe Talamo) and Imagining, Kentucky shipper Willcox Inn, Oak Tree Derby winner
Ultimate Eagle (Martin Pedroza), Oak Tree Derby runners-up Venomous (Joel
Rosario), Cozy Kitten (Alonso Quinonez), and Cloud Man (Mike Smith), Irish Art
(Rafael Bejarano) and Surrey Star (Chantal Sutherland).