Race of the Week 2017

Flat Out Has Final Blowout for Woodward

While Grade 1 Personal Ensign Invitational winner Royal Delta relaxed Monday morning, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott sent out his 7-year-old gelding Flat Out for a final blowout before contesting the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday.

With regular exercise rider Neil Poznansky aboard, Flat Out zipped four furlongs in 48.30 seconds over the Oklahoma training track, the best of 44 works at the distance. The work came one day after Mott’s other Woodward entrant, Ron the Greek, went four furlongs in 49.30 at Oklahoma, second-best of 27 at the distance.

“Ron was bucking and squealing yesterday, and Neil thought Flat Out gave him a good feel this morning,” Mott said.

Ron the Greek, a 6-year-old son of Full Mandate, finished fourth, beaten just 4 ¼ lengths, in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap on August 3. Flat Out, however, has been on the sidelines since cruising to a 2 ½-length score in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap on July 6 at Belmont Park.

“We had the option [to run Flat Out in the Whitney],” Mott said. “He had won the Suburban, and we thought if he was doing really, really well going into the Whitney, we’d run. We worked him and thought he maybe wasn’t on his game 100 percent. He has always had issues with his feet, and we thought we needed a little more time for one of his feet.

“With that being said, we pointed to the Woodward. We didn’t want to skip them both. This work today was as good as Neil has felt him. He gets on him every day, and he seemed to think he was more on his game than he has been some of his previous works.”

Ron the Greek and Flat Out will face a strong field in the Woodward, likely including the top three finishers from the Whitney, Cross Traffic, Successful Dan and Mucho Macho Man.

Royal Delta, meanwhile, is targeting the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Invitational on September 28 at Belmont Park as her final race before the Breeders’ Cup. Like last year she likely will be cross-entered in both the Distaff and the Classic, Mott said.

“She looked fine; she was good this morning,” Mott said. “Looked like she’s got another one in her. If she runs in the Beldame, we go to the Breeders’ Cup. She could be nominated [to both the Classic and Distaff] the same way she was last year, but I don’t think anything is written in stone yet. I think that would be a conversation for something closer to the race. I don’t think it’s something we’re going to plan on now. It’s an option.”

Except for failed efforts to win the Dubai World Cup on Meydan Racecourse’s synthetic surface the past two years, Royal Delta’s record has few blemishes. She made amends Sunday for her half-length loss last year in the Personal Ensign, and her upset second-place finish in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs after the World Cup turned out to be a springboard to a 10 ¾-length win July 20 in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap.

When Royal Delta finished her work in the Personal Ensign yesterday, the 18,706 in attendance at Saratoga greeted her with a standing ovation as she made her way back after galloping out. With Mott and owner Benjamin Leon next to her, Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith walked Royal Delta in a circle three times as the crowd roared.

“I heard them when she crossed the wire, and, obviously, I was standing out in front with Mr. Leon,” Mott said. “And he was beside me, and as she was approaching, everybody was applauding, and I said, ‘Listen to this behind you.’ It made him feel good too. I didn’t have to tell him, but I said, ‘It’s nice. People still appreciate seeing a good horse.’ To see the consistency; they’re just very gallant animals, particularly one like her.”




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Older Comments about Flat Out Has Final Blowout for Woodward...

I saw this mistake before as well. My eyes almost popped out of my head the first time I read it LOL. One of his connections assured me however that he is NOT :)
Don't worry, SSilence, Flat Out wasn't gelded. I've seen that mistake, about calling him a gelding, made before. Probably has to do with Flat Out still running at age 7.

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