Annals of Time gets another Grade 1 in the Sword Dancer

August 24, 2019 04:46pm

Annals of Time made a triumphant return to the Grade 1 level with a hard-fought victory Saturday over Sadler's Joy in the $850,000 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Annals of Time raced near the back of the nine-horse field before angling out for the stretch and unleashing an explosive bid to edge Sadler's Joy by a neck at the wire. Channel Cat checked in third followed by Channel Maker.

"When he tipped out, I thought we had a good chance because he has a really good, strong closing kick," said winning trainer Chad Brown. "But it was a little tight near the finish. I'm glad he got up in time."

Six-year-old Annals of Time was making the third start off a nearly two-year layoff for Klaravich Stable and Lawrence Willi. Prior to the break, the son of Temple City had won three of five starts, including the Hollywood Derby (G1) in 2016.

"It's been a real team effort," Brown said of Annals of Time's successful return. "A guy named Nick de Meric down in Ocala picked him out as a baby, and every time he has gone to the sidelines, he's gone to rehab with him and his team. He sent him back to us, now as a 6-year-old, in fine shape.

"We finally have had an uninterrupted training schedule and campaign with him," Brown continued. "He's back to his old form when he won the Hollywood Derby when he was a 3-year-old. He's probably better now, so I'm just so grateful to have him back healthy."

Annals of Time completed the 1 1/2-mile journey in 2:27.50 and paid $7.10 to win. With the victory, Annals of Time secured a "Win and You're In" berth to the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Ya Primo and Javier Castellano went to the front through a sharp opening quarter-mile in :23.36 and continued on the lead through half-mile in :47.96 before setting more moderate fractions of 1:14.82 and 1:40.51. Annals of Time and Sadler's Joy were content to sit near the rear of the field. 

As the field turned into the stretch, Annals of Time and Sadler's Joy began to rally. That pair hooked up inside the eighth-pole for an all-out sprint to the wire with Annals of Time just prevailing on the outside. 

"He's a good horse," Castellano said of his winning mount. "I don't know if I've seen a horse that, no matter if the pace is slow or fast, he always finishes really well. I'm very proud of him. Some horses have to have pace in the race but this horse doesn't need one."

With the victory, Brown tied Hall of Famer Bill Mott for the most training wins in race history with three as he also took the 2016 edition with Flintshire and the 2013 running with Big Blue Kitten. Castellano has also won the Sword Dancer three times, scoring with Flintshire and Telling in 2009.


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