Casse reroutes Sir Winston to new Aqueduct race of choice

January 27, 2020 03:34pm
Saying Monday that he "wasn't comfortable with the racetrack," trainer Mark Casse scratched Sir Winston from last Saturday's Jazil Stakes. The conditioner then entered the Belmont Stakes winner in a new spot, a Friday allowance going a mile at Aqueduct.

“I thought if we ran him there we wouldn’t know where we’re at because he’s never been on a sloppy track,” Casse said looking back to the weekend. “It’s very tough to close on those kinds of tracks. When you run on a sloppy track like that, it’s not quite as safe and you don’t know if they like it or not.”

New York-bred Mr. Buff went on to win the Jazil with relative ease. Sir Winston, a 4-year-old by Awesome Again, will have jockey Dylan Davis board Friday when he takes on six rivals, multiple stakes winners among them.

Casse had selected the Jazil as a race that could springboard Sir Winston to the March 28 Dubai World Cup (G1). He said that goal remains in play with the $100,000 Bernardini running Feb. 29 at 1 5/16 miles at Aqueduct.
“Our hopes would be that he would run well and then come back maybe in the Bernardini," Casse said. "Then we would still have a shot at Dubai." Casse's still waiting to see Sir Winston run over fast dirt for the first time since his Belmont victory last June. In his Dec. 28 comeback at Fair Grounds, the colt finished last of 12 in his turf debut in the Woodchopper Stakes run over a yielding surface. “This race was in the book," Casse said of Friday's spot. "It’s not ideal because it’s a little short for him. All I’m looking for is a positive race where he’s closing.”


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