Belmont at Big A: Joe Hirsch, Woodward top Saturday card

Belmont at Big A: Joe Hirsch, Woodward top Saturday card
Photo: Jason Moran / Eclipse Sportswire

George Krikorian’s dual Grade 1-winner War Like Goddess vies to defeat males for a second consecutive victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont at the Big A.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 6-year-old daughter of English Channel was slated to run in the Flower Bowl (G2) on Sept. 2 at Saratoga in pursuit of a second win in that event, but was removed from consideration after she spiked a temperature.

“She seems good,” Mott said of how the bay has recovered from her setback as he watched her gallop over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's 1 1/2-mile inner turf marathon for 3-year-olds and up.

War Like Goddess scored in last year’s Joe Hirsch with an off-the-pace trip engineered by Jose Lezcano, pouncing from six lengths back to notch the 2 3/4-length triumph over Bye Bye Melvin and garner a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure.

In addition to the Joe Hirsch, War Like Goddess’ 5-year-old campaign included successful title defenses in the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland and Glens Falls (G2) at Saratoga. She attempted a third Glens Falls coup last out at the Spa, but was defeated a neck by McKulick after a troubled trip that saw her become very rank through the first half-mile and steady twice under regular pilot Joel Rosario.

“I think if she’s on the inside and covered up early, that’s fine,” Mott said. “The fact that she was rank around the first turn (hindered her). He (Rosario) asked her to run a little out of the gate and she was up on the bridle, and then he asked her to slow down. It’s like, ‘Do you want me to go, or do you want me to stop?’ You can’t have it both ways.”

War Like Goddess’ win in the Joe Hirsch propelled her to a second appearance at the Breeders’ Cup after finishing a close third in the 2021 Filly and Mare Turf. Last year, she remained in the company of males when taking on the Breeders’ Cup Turf and again finished third, defeated three lengths to returning rival Rebel’s Romance after saving ground on the inside and angling around Master Piece in the stretch to get up for show honors.

Over the past three seasons, War Like Goddess has worked her way to the upper echelon of the turf marathon division, male or female. She earned her first stakes victory in her second attempt when taking Gulfstream Park’s Orchid (G3) in 2021, and followed with her first of three consecutive scores in the Bewitch ahead of breakout scores in the Glens Falls and Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) at Saratoga, leading to her subsequent first trip to the Breeders’ Cup.

Junior Alvarado picks up the mount from post 6.

Godolphin’s Irish homebred Rebel’s Romance, who will exit post 5 under William Buick, looks to make amends from a last-out trip to Saratoga where he contested the Bowling Green (G2) on July 30, but clipped heels in the final turn and unseated jockey Richie Mullen.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, the son of Dubawi was making his first start since a seventh-place effort in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) in March and was in the midst of a strong bid from sixth in the nine-horse field when the incident occurred. He completed the course, was collared by the outrider and arrived back at the barn in good order, prompting his connections to briefly reroute him to the Arlington Million (G1) the following week at Colonial Downs before deciding to send the 5-year-old gelding back to Appleby’s yard at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, England instead.

Sophie Chretien, Appleby’s traveling assistant, said Rebel’s Romance has settled in well at Belmont and continues to train forwardly since arriving in New York on Saturday.

“So far, so good,” said Chretien. “He traveled well. I think without the incident, he was going so well and to me, he would have won easily. It’s something we weren’t expecting. But in the mornings, he doesn’t show anything is wrong. He’s been racing a long time and he looks so happy, hopefully he goes over like that.”

Rebel’s Romance was a two-time Group 1 winner in Germany last year, taking the Grosser Preis von Berlin in August at Hoppegarten and the Preis von Europa in September at Cologne ahead of his successful trip to Keeneland to take the Breeders’ Cup Turf by 2 1/4 lengths with his signature off-the-pace rally under James Doyle.

While Rebel’s Romance often delivers eye-catching rallies, Chretien said she does not believe he is tied to any one pace scenario.

“I don’t think he needs to have a crazy pace, just a normal one,” said Chretien.

Out of the stakes-placed Street Cry mare Minidress, Rebel’s Romance boasts a lifetime record of 14: 9-0-0 with field-best earnings of $2,994,610.

Trainer Christophe Clement looks to secure his second win in this event with Soldier Rising, who will depart post 2 under Jose Ortiz.

Soldier Rising makes his seventh attempt at an elusive Grade 1 score after finishing second in four of those efforts. The 5-year-old son of Frankel was a last-out second to Bolshoi Ballet in the Sword Dancer (G1) on Aug. 26 at the Spa, closing from 8 1/2 lengths back under Ortiz to be defeated 4 1/2 lengths in an effort that awarded him the fourth triple digit Beyer of his career, a 100.

In addition to the Sword Dancer, Soldier Rising also finished second in the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) as a sophomore and in a pair of Grade 1s earlier this year at Belmont Park in the Man o’ War and Manhattan. He is in pursuit of his first trip to the winner’s circle since a narrow score in an optional claiming contest last July at Saratoga, but has hit the board in four of seven starts since, all in graded company.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown brings a pair of contenders to the field with Adhamo, exiting post 4 under Flavien Prat,  and Stone Age, to be ridden from post 3 by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Adhamo enters from a game third-place finish in the Arlington Million (G1) on Aug. 12 at Colonial Downs, where he came flying home late from 10th of 11 for Prat to nab show honors by a neck over Never Explain and finish 2 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Set Piece.

Last year, Adhamo broke through at the top level with a strong 1 1/2-length victory over Epic Bromance in the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park in his fourth state-side outing after making his first 11 starts in France. The 5-year-old Intello chestnut also boasts Grade 1 placings last year when third in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs and Manhattan at Belmont.

Stone Age made his debut for Brown last out when finishing a tiring fifth in the Sword Dancer on Aug. 26. He contested the early lead under Prat and had a half-length advantage at the one-mile call, but faded in the late stages and was defeated by 11 1/2 lengths.

Previously trained by Aidan O’Brien, the 4-year-old Galileo colt finished a strong second to Rebel’s Romance in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year and was third in the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1). He seeks his first win since taking the Derby Trial (G3) last May at Leopardstown.

2023 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic G1

Charge It looks to rebound in historic Woodward

Whisper Hill Farm’s dual graded-stakes-winning Kentucky homebred Charge It will strive for a return to the win column in Saturday’s 70th running of the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodward for 3-year-olds and upward going nine furlongs at Belmont at the Big A.

Initially run at Belmont Park in 1954, the Woodward called Saratoga Race Course home from 2006-20 and made a return to Big Sandy in 2021. It was subsequently moved to Aqueduct last year due to ongoing construction at Belmont Park. Since its inaugural running, the Woodward has been championed by over 20 horses to win the prestigious race en route to Horse of the Year honors the same season, including Hall of Fame inductees Sword Dancer in 1959, Kelso from 1961-63, Buckpasser in 1966, Damascus in 1967, Arts and Letters in 1969, Forego from 1974-76, Affirmed in 1979, Spectacular Bid in 1980, Alysheba in 1988, Holy Bull in 1994, Cigar on 1995-96, Skip Away in 1998, Ghostzapper in 2004, Curlin in 2008 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

Charge It enters the Woodward from a distant fourth-place finish in the Whitney (G1) on Aug. 5 at Saratoga. There, he raced in between horses when a close fifth down the backstretch and was shuffled back to last-of-six around the far turn before moving to the rail and making a run for Hall of Famer John Velazquez. His Whitney effort, in which he finished 10 lengths behind victorious White Abarrio, came following a pacesetting 4 3/4-length win in the Suburban (G2) on July 8 going 10 furlongs at Belmont Park, where the 4-year-old gray son of Tapit made amends from three straight losses at graded stakes level.

Charge It displayed talent during his sophomore season, finishing a game second to White Abarrio in the Florida Derby (G1) last April at Gulfstream Park before finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby. He rounded out his 2022 campaign with a 23-length romp in the Dwyer (G3) going a one-turn mile at Belmont Park.

A victory would provide Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher with his fifth Woodward conquest. Pletcher, who saddled last year’s winner Life Is Good, will look to be the first trainer to secure back-to-back Woodwards since fellow Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen saddled Curlin in 2008 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

“He’s excellent. I’m very happy with the way he’s been training,” said Pletcher, whose other Woodward winners were Lawyer Ron in 2007, Quality Road in 2010 and Liam’s Map in 2015. “Hopefully, he gets back to one of his best races. Johnny felt like maybe he made a bit of a mistake with him (in the Whitney), but I thought he ran decently, I just didn’t think he ran his ‘A’ race.”

Charge It recently breezed an easy half-mile in 51.55 seconds on Saturday over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track.

“His last breeze was very good,” Pletcher said. “I think the way he’s been training and the little bit of extra time since the Whitney hopefully has him in peak form.”

Charge It is out of the Indian Charlie mare I’ll Take Charge, whose Grade 1-winning dam Take Charge Lady produced 2013 champion 3-year-old colt Will Take Charge, Grade 1-winner Take Charge Indy and Charming – the dam of Grade 1-winning millionaire and freshman sire Omaha Beach as well as 2014 champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi.

Velazquez, a four-time Woodward-winning jockey, will maintain the mount aboard Charge It from post 1.

This year’s Woodward will get a touch of international flavor in the form of Algiers, who will emerge from a six-month hiatus after finishing second in the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March at Meydan Racecourse. Trained by Simon Crisford, the 6-year-old Shamardal chestnut began the season with a pair of open-lengths victories in the first two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge (G2) at Meydan.

Ed Crisford, the son and assistant to Simon, said Algiers’ time off following the Dubai World Cup was beneficial.

“He’s come out of his break really well,” Crisford said. “He’s big, strong and moving great and he has great attitude. He’s training just as good if not better than in Dubai over the winter. This will be his first run since Dubai, so I’m sure he’ll improve for the run. He’s as fit as we can get him at home without running him. We’re really pleased with his progress. There should be some top horses in there, but I think he’ll run a big race nevertheless.

“He really progressed through his races. He won the Maktoum Challenge in great style, but he had to go out and do it again to prove it wasn’t a long time fluke,” Crisford continued. “But he did it again and that’s when we started to dream about the Dubai World Cup. His performance in the Dubai World Cup was so good. In that last eighth, he got a little leg weary. But it was a good performance, he was in good form and I’m sure he’ll have a good campaign all the way through Dubai and Saudi. We’ll see where he goes.”

Algiers will attempt to become the first Ireland-bred to capture the Woodward since 1999 winner River Keen and first internationally bred horse since Chilean-bred Lido Palace scored back-to-back Woodwards in 2001-02.

Bred by Godolphin, Algiers is out of the Platini mare Antara – a group-stakes winner in Germany and England, who was also Group 1-placed in England, France and Italy.

William Buick will fly across the pond to pilot Algiers from post 3.

?Four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Chad Brown will saddle  Zandon, exiting post 4 under Flavien Prat, who finished second to White Abarrio in the Whitney last out.

Third in last year’s Kentucky Derby, the Jeff Drown-owned colt earned Grade 1 honors when securing a 2 1/2-length victory in the Blue Grass last April going the Woodward distance at Keeneland. After finishing in the money in Saratoga’s Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers (G1) as well as the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx, the 4-year-old Upstart colt finished fourth as the favorite in the Cigar Mile (G1) in December at the Big A – his lone off-the-board effort in 12 lifetime starts. This year, Zandon has finished second in all three of his efforts, rounding out the exacta in Belmont Park’s Westchester (G3) in May and the Metropolitan Handicap (g1) in June en route to the Whitney.

Zandon was purchased for $170,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September yearling sale and is out of the Creative Cause mare Memories Prevail – a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Cairo Memories.

Brown will also saddle Grade 1-placed Pipeline, leaving from post 5 under Kendrick Carmouche, who was a last-out fourth in the Forego (G1) on Aug. 26 at Saratoga – a race where he finished third last year. The son of Speightstown seeks his first trip to the winner’s circle since an allowance triumph last April at Aqueduct.

Pipeline is out of the Empire Maker mare Vivo Per Lei, who was twice graded stakes-placed on grass.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Stretch Run Ventures’ Kentucky homebred Tyson, departing post 8 under Javier Castellano, will make another trip to the Empire State after finishing a game third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) on Sept. 2 at Saratoga for Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Josie Carroll. The 4-year-old gray son of Tapit saw dirt for the first time in his last effort after previously racing exclusively over all weather tracks. He captured Woodbine Racetrack’s Dominion Day (G3) on July 1 before securing a win in the Seagram Cup (G2) four weeks later.

Tyson is out of the Smart Strike mare Honouring, whose dam Teeming was conditioned by Carroll. She also trained Honouring’s stakes-winning full-sibling Treasuring as well as a pair of half-siblings in stakes-winner Cascading and stakes-placed Distracting. All hail from the prominent bloodlines of Better Than Honour and Reine de Course mare Best in Show.

Last year’s Woodward runner up Law Professor, who exits post 2 under Manny Franco, seeks a victory in this year’s running while emerging from a four-month layoff for trainer Rob Atras. The 5-year-old son of Constitution was last seen finishing sixth in the Pimlico Special (G3) on May 19 at its namesake track, but posted some of his best efforts have come over the Big A course. A 7 1/2-length winner of the Jan. 7 Queens County in his 2023 debut, Law Professor schooled his competition two starts later with a 4 1/4-length win in the Excelsior on April 1 over a muddy and sealed Big A main track.

“A just off-the-pace scenario is probably best for him,” said Atras. “He's a little bit versatile - he can sit close or be right on the pace if he needs to be or a little further back. He’s looking really good right now.”

Law Professor, a Kentucky homebred for Twin Creeks Racing Stable, is out of the Ghostzapper mare Haunted Heroine – a dual stakes winner on turf. His second dam Mona Mia produced Grade 1-winning turf millionaire Celestine.

2023 Woodward G2

Cody's Wish returns to one turn in Vosburgh

Godolphin’s multiple Grade 1-winning Kentucky homebred Cody’s Wish will turn back to a one-turn sprint in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Vosburgh, a seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up.

The Vosburgh, slated as race 3 on Saturday’s loaded 11-race card, is a win-and-you’re-in race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park. 

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the fan favorite Cody’s Wish was last seen finishing a closing third in the Whitney (G1) traveling a two-turn nine furlongs on Aug. 5 at Saratoga. It was the first time the son of Curlin had faced the nine-furlong distance since finishing third in a second-out maiden special weight in July 2021 at Saratoga and his first two-turn race since taking the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in thrilling fashion last year at Keeneland.

“One turn and seven (furlongs) to a mile is good for him,” said Mott. “We wanted to see if he could win the Whitney – it’s a very important race and if he could win the Met Mile and the Whitney, those are two very big races.”

Earlier this year, Cody’s Wish won the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) with authority, pouncing from 4 1/4 lengths off the pace with a sweeping five-wide move to run down his rivals in the stretch and draw clear to a 3 1/4-length score under regular pilot Junior Alvarado. That effort capped a six-race win streak that included Grade 1 triumphs in the Spa’s Forego, the Churchill Downs at its namesake track and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Cody’s Wish is named after teenager Cody Dorman, who was born with the rare genetic disorder Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome and is unable to walk or communicate without utilizing a tablet. The story of the bond shared by the two Codys has captured the hearts of many as Cody’s Wish has traveled across the nation since last March, drawing fans at five different racetracks and winning at four of them.

Mott commented on the 5-year-old’s physical condition and his temperament that allows him to bring his best race wherever he travels.

“Oh, he’s got a very nice disposition. He can be a little strong to gallop of course – he’s a big strong horse, but everything else about him is pretty good,” said Mott. “He’s actually carrying good flesh right now.”

After the Whitney, Cody’s Wish has remained at Saratoga to continue his preparations for the Vosburgh. He most recently covered a half-mile in 48.77 seconds on Saturday over the Oklahoma dirt training track, where Mott typically stables horses until it closes in early November.

“He’s training very well. His last breeze couldn’t have been any better and it was as good as we could have asked for,” Mott said.

Cody’s Wish, who boasts total purse earnings of $2,448,530 through a record of 14: 9-1-4, will emerge from post 6 in rein to Alvarado.

Along with Cody’s Wish, Mott will also be represented by graded-stakes-winner High Oak, who will leave post 5 under Katie Davis. The 4-year-old bay son of Gormley arrives from a game third-place effort in the Forego (G1) won by Gunite over High Oak’s victorious stablemate and reigning champion male sprinter Elite Power.

High Oak, who is owned by LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable, won the Spa’s Saratoga Special (G2) as a juvenile and made just one start as a sophomore in Gulfstream Park’s Fountain of Youth (G2), where he fell near the quarter pole and was away for the rest of the season. High Oak returned in March and was well-beaten in his first four starts this year, but has given two promising efforts in his last two outings when second in an optional claiming tilt on July 29 and in his aforementioned Forego effort.

Mott said the addition of Davis has proven to be a productive pairing.

“He’s finished up his last couple races pretty good. I’m pleased that he’s shown some willingness to try,” said Mott. “Katie has a great relationship with this horse. She gave him a chance early, didn’t rush him and gave him an opportunity to get his feet under him. When she asked him, he finished up nicely.”

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown saddles Accretive for another try at his first stakes score as he enters from a pair of allowance-level wins.

The 4-year-old son of Practical Joke was an impressive winner on debut last June at Belmont Park before making a strong stakes debut when second, defeated a neck to multiple graded stakes-winner Gunite, in the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga. The Klaravich Stables color-bearer closed out his sophomore campaign with an even fifth-place finish in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1).

This year, Accretive is undefeated through two starts at Saratoga, beginning with a 3 3/4-length romp in a first-level allowance on July 22 and most recently taking a one-mile second-level optional claimer by one length on Sept. 2. The $180,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase has banked $233,750 in earnings through his 5: 3-1-0 record.

Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the call from post 4.

New York-bred Sheriff Bianco, who will exit post 3 under Jose Ortiz, has hit the board in all but one of his 17 starts since being haltered for $30,000 by trainer Linda Rice last July at Belmont Park. Since the claim by owner A. Bianco Limited, the gelded son of Speightster has amassed $551,773 in total purse earnings from a record of 26: 6-11-5, including four wins and three stakes placings against fellow state-breds. Bred by SF Bloodstock, Sheriff Bianco enters from a second in a Sept. 21 optional claimer here against open company.

Built Wright Stables’ graded stakes-placed Cowan, who will depart post 2 under J. D. Acosta, won first off the claim for new connections last out when posting a half-length optional claiming coup on Sept. 22 at Charles Town for trainer Raymond Ginter Jr. Claimed for $62,500 from previous Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, Cowan finished a close second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) in 2020 and the listed Saudi Derby in 2021.

Though his lone stakes victory came over grass in the 5 1/2-furlong Duncan F. Kenner via disqualification last January at Fair Grounds, the 5-year-old son of Kantharos boasts a consistent main track record of 9: 3-4-0.

2023 Vosburgh G2

Beguine begins again in Gallant Bloom

Beguine returns to New York from a two-month respite for Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Gallant Bloom, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Trained by Ned Allard for breeder-owner Charles T. Matses, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Gun Runner chestnut has made two previous outings at Aqueduct Racetrack, completing the exacta behind Rossa Veloce in a November allowance to earn a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure and landing 1 1/4-lengths back of Betsy Blue in a key running of the Garland of Roses in December. The winner of the latter exited to win the Interborough and the third-place finisher, Disco Ebo, returned to win an allowance tilt.

Beguine was freshened after her Big A efforts and returned from a five-month layoff for a pair of starts at Belmont Park, romping to a 9 3/4-length allowance score in May over sloppy and sealed going ahead of a last-of-five effort in the Bed o’ Roses (G2) in June. She was last seen notching a gate-to-wire score in the Alma North on July 29 at Laurel Park when 2 3/4-lengths better than next-out Timonium Distaff-winner Response Time.

Beguine is coming into the Gallant Bloom in fine fettle as she looks to improve upon her previous best graded effort when a close second to Yuugiri in last year’s Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park for her former conditioner Daniel Peitz.

Allard said he could find no excuses for the ultra-consistent chestnut after the Bed o’ Roses effort and expects a better outing Saturday.

“I don’t think she was seasoned quite well enough to go after some top fillies,” Allard said. “I think we were a bit ambitious with her after her nine-length win in the mud. That said, she came back and won the Alma North very impressively. She caught a racetrack that was a little bit wet and it worked out very well for us.

“You have to be at the top of your game to beat that type of horse,” Allard added. “She's a little more seasoned right now and freshened up a little bit. I'm hoping for a big race.”

Beguine has trained consistently at Delaware Park since the Alma North, including a six-furlong breeze in 1:14.40 on Sept. 16 and a half-mile effort in 49.40 seconds on Friday.

"She's been training super. The weather might be in our favor, too,” Allard said, noting the recent wet weather in New York. “The only time she ran in the mud she was very impressive at Belmont earlier this spring.”

Out of the Allard-trained stakes-winning Eltish mare Shananies Song, Beguine is a half-sister to graded-stakes winner Favorable Outcome and the multiple graded-stakes placed Bellamentary. Allard also trained Shannies Song’s damsire, the Peter Fuller homebred Shananie, who won the 1984 edition of the Engine One at Belmont Park.

Dylan Davis, aboard for the May allowance score over Big Sandy, has the call from post 4.

Godolphin’s dual graded stakes-winner Caramel Swirl, exiting post 1 under Junior Alvarado] sports a ledger of 15: 5-4-3 and purse earnings of $642,450 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

The 5-year-old Union Rags mare made the grade in the 2021 Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland to cap her sophomore season. She made just two starts last year, taking an optional-claimer at Belmont ahead of a runner-up effort to eventual champion female sprinter Goodnight Olive in the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.

Caramel Swirl has made four starts this campaign, winning the Vagrancy (G3) in May at Belmont and finishing third in a strong renewal of the Bed o’ Roses (G2) won by Goodnight Olive over next-out stakes winner Wicked Halo. She enters from a distant fourth in Ballerina Handicap (G1) won by Echo Zulu on Aug. 26.

Mott said Caramel Swirl exited the Ballerina in good order, breezing back three times over the Oklahoma training track which includes a half-mile effort on Saturday in 49.25 seconds.

“There were good fillies in front of her in the Ballerina," Mott said. "She’s been a useful horse and has been just a tick shy of being a Grade 1 horse. She’s training well coming into here.”

Caramel Swirl is out of the Smart Strike mare Caramel Snap, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winning multimillionaire Frosted.

Multiple graded stakes-placed New York-bred Sterling Silver, leaving post 2 with Javier Castellano in the irons, will look to make the grade in her eighth attempt for trainer Thomas Albertrani.

The 4-year-old Cupid grey, who finished third in this event last year, placed in a trio of graded events in 2022 when third in the Victory Ride (G3) at Belmont and second in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga.

Bred by Mallory Mort and Karen Mort, Sterling Silver, out of the Distorted Humor mare Sheet Humor, is a dual state-bred stakes winner with scores last season in the Franklin Square at the Big A and Bouwerie at Belmont. She has won three of five starts at Aqueduct, including a rallying allowance win here in April.

2023 Gallant Bloom G2

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