Another Miracle sits on 'huge effort' in Tampa Bay's Inaugural

December 05, 2019 12:28pm
Another Miracle sits on 'huge effort' in Tampa Bay's Inaugural
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Trainer Gary Contessa continues to be pleased with his 2-year old American Pharoah colt, Another Miracle, and feels the juvenile stakes winner has a bright future ahead of him.

Whether that's is on dirt or turf, going long or short, is still yet to be determined.

In the meantime, Another Miracle is set to face six rivals Saturday in Tampa Bay Downs' $100,000 Inaugural Stakes, in which Another Miracle was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite going 3/4 of a mile on the main track.

“It will be very interesting to see how he runs on Saturday," Contessa said. "I expect a huge effort from him. He’s been down here training great. I couldn’t ask for a horse to be coming into a race any better than he is."

Another Miracle exits a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. Going back to last summer, he was also a winner of Saratoga's Skidmore Stakes.

“He did everything right," Contessa said of the Breeders' Cup effort on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park. “He got bounced around like a ping pong ball coming out of the gate. He’s a small horse in stature, so he took the worst of it for the first eighth of a mile.

"Let’s face it: Any five-furlong race is a roughly run race. Everyone is fighting for position. Everybody is fighting to get close.”

Contessa was mostly impressed with the colt’s ability to shirk off early trouble and stay on task. While the winner, Four Wheel Drive, led at every call while Another Miracle had to rally from mid-pack.

“He took the worst of it but then he settled in," Contessa said. "When it came time to run, he continued on. He came up the rail running late. He ran a very good race and I think with a little less trouble he could have finished second or maybe won it. I was very pleased -- very proud of him.”

Looking at the pedigree, the American Pharoah colt is out of a Medaglia d'Oro mare. Another Miracle might be able to carry his talents around two turns, something Contessa will consider.

"I’m going to slowly but surely stretch him out off of this race,” the trainer said. “I had a filly last year named War Canoe who is no bigger than he is and she goes a mile and a half on the grass.”

As for the colt’s preferred racing surface, Contessa believes he can do equally well on either the main track or turf.

“I’m kind of fishing around right now to figure out if he’s better on the dirt or better on the turf,” Contessa said. “It was a natural progression off the dirt win to run him on the grass in (the Skidmore) at Saratoga. At that point American Pharoah had nine winners, eight of them were on the grass, and he was the only one on the dirt. I don’t know if he’s better on the dirt or better on the turf.”

Contessa has been training Another Miracle at Tampa Bay Downs, his new Florida base of operations for this winter. The colt tuned up for the Inaugural, which goes as Race 3 on Saturday's card at 1:41 p.m. ET, with a local half-mile breeze Saturday in 48 seconds.

Owned by Leonard and John Green, Another Miracle has won twice in five career starts, only failing to hit the board once. Contessa and the owners go back a long way as connections.

“I trained for them in the 80s. We used to claim three or four horses a day. I probably had forty horses for them back at Monmouth Park,” said Contessa saids. “They have always loved this game. Over the last few years, they have stepped it up because they really love playing at a high level.”

In addition to Another Miracle, the Greens campaign Saratoga Derby winner A Thread of Blue, who runs for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and own a stake in last year's 2-year-old champion filly Jaywalk.

Leonard and John Green have enjoyed top-level success in the sport and Another Miracle is poised to add to that recent success.

"They went from a huge claiming owner to a high end stake owner," Contessa said. "I’m honored to be a part of their team. Leonard Green is an amazing man.”

2019 Inaugural (LS)


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