Trainer Jimmy Toner issued an upbeat bulletin Friday morning
as Phillips Racing Partnership’s Winter Memories continues to progress
toward a start in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Sands Point on Memorial Day.
“She hasn’t missed a beat,” said Toner of the
3-year-old Winter Memories, who last year dominated in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo
at Belmont Park and finished second to More Than
Real in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. “We’ll do a breeze
this Sunday, if we can get back on the grass this week.”
Toner said he has long felt Winter Memories, who in her lone
start this year won the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland on April 21, would
only get better with age.
“She has really filled out and matured,” said Toner. “She
filled out behind. Last year, she was all legs and a big head, but now she has
been able to fill out into it. She seems to be developing as she goes on, so
that’s encouraging. Initially, when she came in [to the barn], you’d look at
her and say, ‘Next year,’ because you could see she had a grass foot and was
big and rangy. Once we got to Saratoga
and breezed her on the grass, we saw she had come along a lot quicker. I really
didn’t expect that much out of her last year, but she came to hand quickly.”
Toner also commended Winter Memories for her victory in the
Appalachian, in which she made a five-wide rally to win by a neck.
“She did everything she was supposed to do, and we were very
satisfied with the way she came back,” said Toner. “Hopefully, we can continue
the rest of the year like that.”