Back from injury, American Guru tries stakes in the Woodbine Mile

Woodbine Communications
September 07, 2019 03:20pm
Back from injury, American Guru tries stakes in the Woodbine Mile
Photo: Michael Burns/Woodbine

American Guru will be facing a major test when he not only makes his stakes debut but tries Grade 1 company to boot in next Saturday's $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile. But, the lightly raced Stronach Stable homebred has shown enough ability to give his connections reason to believe.

“I think he’s a very talented horse,” said Michael Doyle, who is the trainer of record for American Guru and also acts as a racing consultant for the Stronach operation. “Jimmy always thought the world of him.”

Jimmy, as in New York-based trainer James Jerkins, launched American Guru’s career in March of 2018 and saw him finish just a nose shy of being undefeated in that four-start turf campaign. But the now 5-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song suffered a condylar fracture that summer and wound up being away from the races for more than a year.

“We thought maybe it would be good for him to train here, on the synthetic,” said Doyle, who had welcomed American Guru into his barn in early June with a long-term eye toward the Woodbine Mile.

“He had been ready to run, and the only place I could find to run him was the Play the King prep.”

American Guru tried the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in that 6 ½-furlong allowance race on July 21. Prominent early, American Guru weakened to finish fifth behind Silent Poet, a Stronach Stable runner trained by Nick Gonzalez who went on to win the Play the King Stakes and also is a Woodbine Mile candidate.

“He got a little tired,” said Doyle. “But I thought that the race would have to help him, and if he was going to make the Mile, he needed maybe to run a mile.”

That opportunity knocked three weeks later, and American Guru made all the running to score convincingly in an inner turf course allowance race.

Now comes the $1 million question. 

“I’m just hoping he moves forward,” said Doyle. “I think with a bit of luck he’d have a chance.”

American Guru prepped for the Woodbine Mile on Saturday with five furlongs in 1:02.40 on the Tapeta under exercise rider Calvin Giles.

“Everything went great,” said Doyle

2019 Woodbine Mile (C1)


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