Belmont winner Sir Winston to return on Fair Grounds' turf

By Grant LaGrange/Fair Grounds
December 09, 2019 01:15pm
Tracy Farmer’s Sir Winston, who has not raced since posting a 10-1 upset in the Belmont Stakes last June, posted a bullet half-mile work in :47 3/5 on Sunday morning at Fair Grounds for trainer Mark Casse and top assistant David Carroll, who handles the local string. 

Sir Winston is being pointed to the listed Woodchopper Stakes on Dec. 28 going a mile on turf. In a 10-race career so far, he’s run only one other time on grass, but he does show two wins over Woodbine’s synthetic surface.

“It’s (restricted to) 3-year-olds and we need to get him started somewhere,” Carroll said. “That’s the most logical spot to get him back...He’s not the easiest work horse in the morning, so sometimes he needs some racing to get back into form, but we are really happy with Sunday morning’s work the way he’s been since we’ve got him back.”

“We’re looking for a good 4-year-old year with him and the way he’s been so far we have no complaints. It’s always exciting having the Belmont winner in the barn.”

After running a game second in the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in early May, the 3-year-old son of Awesome Again entered the final jewel of racing’s Triple Crown as a fresh horse. The beneficiary of a brilliant ride from Joel Rosario, Sir Winston saved ground and got the jump on the favored Tacitus, who was forced to race wide. He held off that foe by a length in the 1 ½ mile marathon. 

After that signature victory, Sir Winston spent time at the Casse Training Center in Ocala, Fla. Starting on Oct. 23, he posted six published works there prior to arriving at Fair Grounds. 

“He shipped in a couple of days ago and he galloped Saturday,” Carroll said. “We were looking to just get his feet over the track (Sunday) in a breeze. The track seemed fast early on, and he’s not normally a good work horse, but this morning he went quick and did it very nicely.”

“Huge credit to Mitch Downs and crew at Ocala who took him in after the Belmont and have nursed him back,” Carroll continued. “They have done a terrific job getting him back to this stage and condition wise he looks excellent. We’ll do something more serious with him next weekend and continue getting him ready to go."

Carroll said the barn's other Triple Crown race winner, Preakness Stakes hero War of Will, is enjoying some time away from training.

"He didn't miss any dance as a 3-year-old," Carroll said, with War of Will contending in all three spring classics," so he’s getting a well-deserved break. He’ll be at the farm for the foreseeable future and when the time is right, we’ll map out a plan for next year.”

Most recently ninth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, War of Will emerged as one of his crop's best when 
taking both the Lecomte (G3) and the Risen Star (G2) in highly impressive fashion at Fair Grounds.

The son of War Front posts a career record of 14: 4-1-2 with earnings of $1,615,569.


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