Pole Setter's turf stakes score gives Cox multi-surface options

May 29, 2019 04:36pm
Pole Setter's turf stakes score gives Cox multi-surface options
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Pole Setter owns last-out wins now on both dirt and turf, begging the question: What's next?

The 3-year-old son of Take Charge Indy went 6 1/2 furlongs April 7 in an allowance optional claiming race over a sloppy Keeneland track. With jockey Javier Castellano aboard, Pole Setter nipped Sniper Shot by a nose for his second career victory.

Then Saturday, the Brad Cox trainee moved to the turf at Belmont Park for the $100,000
Paradise Creek StakesPole Setter assumed the early lead under jockey Luis Saez and led gate-to-wire, securing the victory by 1 1/4 lengths over second-place Pulsate.

“It was a big effort,” Cox said. “We shipped him up right before the race. We’d been targeting the race for about two weeks. He responded well.”

Owned by Steve Landers Racing LLC, Pole Setter has started nine races – six on dirt and three on turf. His only other victory before his last two came in his first start last August over a mile on the Ellis Park turf.

Pole Setter has earned $178,700 so far in his career.

“He performed on (turf) last summer in Kentucky and he ran well on it, broke his maiden on it first time out,” Cox said. “We were kind of chasing that Derby dream last fall and into the winter. He just didn’t want to do two turns on the dirt, so we shortened him up. …

“We’re very, very pleased with his performance (in the Paradise Creek). He came out of it in good shape.”

Cox plans to leave Pole Setter in New York for the time being, training at Belmont. He said he’s open to running the colt on either surface for his next time out.

“I would not be scared to put him back on the dirt at all,” Cox said. “He’s an extremely good work horse on the dirt and I do think he can handle both surfaces."


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