Breeders' Cup winner Modern Games has summer targets in N.Y.

Breeders' Cup winner Modern Games has summer targets in N.Y.
Photo: Bill Denver/Eclipse Sportswire

Modern Games, the 2021 Breeders’ Cup winner whose victory was overshadowed by a betting snafu, likely will return this summer to the U.S.

Trainer Charlie Appleby on Sunday identified two Grade 1 events in New York as likely targets for the 3-year-old Dubawi colt.

“We’ll probably take him to America, something like the Belmont Derby or the Saratoga Derby I think will be suited to him,” Appleby told Sky Sports. “Ten (furlongs), 9 1/2 on quicker ground there, is probably his gig.”

 

 

Appleby spoke after Modern Games finished third at Chantilly in the Prix du Jockey Club (G1), which Vadeni won for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The third-place effort followed a score May 15 at Longchamp in the French 2000 Guineas (G1), which marked the first start of his 2022 campaign.

The $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) runs July 9 at 1 1/4 miles, while the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) at 1 3/16 miles is scheduled for Aug. 6. Both events are part of the New York Racing Association’s Turf Triple series for 3-year-olds that also includes the $1 million Jockey Club Derby (G3) in September at Belmont.

Modern Games came to Del Mar last fall and won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. The Godolphin homebred settled in sixth under jockey William Buick, found four-wide running room in the stretch and surged clear to score by 1 1/2 lengths.

The victory came minutes after a veterinarian erroneously scratched Modern Games following a gate incident. Stewards then allowed the horse to run for purse money but were unable to reverse the effects of the scratch dropping him from the pari-mutuel pool.

The California Horse Racing Board announced in March that, following an investigation, no one was penalized for the betting gaffe. The CHRB issued five recommendations to avoid similar events in the future, including the designation of only one vet who can recommend or communicate a scratch to stewards.

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