Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational winner Winchester
and Grassy, recent winner of the
Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap, tuned up this morning for Super
Saturday’s Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, working five
furlongs in company over the inner turf.
With assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul in the irons, Winchester broke off about
1 ½ lengths in front, was joined by Grassy at the quarter-pole and maintained a
head advantage at the wire. Winchester,
last year’s Turf Classic winner, was caught in 1:02.47 while Grassy, with
exercise rider Jerry Fogarty aboard, was caught in 1:02.26.
Afterward, trainer Christophe Clement offered a succinct assessment.
“We worked the two horses, Grassy and Winchester, on the turf. Nice work. A little
slow, but they finished well and were very willing. They will be entered for
the Turf Classic on Wednesday.”
Winchester, who finished third in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes at
Arlington Park in his only other 2011 appearance, will be ridden by Cornelio
Velasquez in the Turf Classic, while Grassy, 1-2-0 from five starts, will have
John Velazquez aboard for the first time, said Clement.