Heart to Heart ‘rocking and rolling’ into 8-year-old season

December 18, 2018 02:12pm
Heart to Heart ‘rocking and rolling’ into 8-year-old season
Photo: Courtesy of Keeneland

Among the oldest Grade 1 winners remaining in training in 2019, Heart to Heart is back to work at the Palm Meadows Training Center aiming to begin his 8-year-old season.

Trainer Brian Lynch said Tuesday the son of English Channel will target Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3, $100,000 Tropical Turf, a 1-mile race for 4-year-olds and up, as his comeback race.

“We’re hoping to have him ready for it, and the way he worked the other day, there’s no reason to say he shouldn’t be,” Lynch said.

Campaigned by Terry Hamilton, Heart to Heart put in his third breeze back at the Palm Meadows Training Center, clicking off a half mile in a bullet 46.65 seconds on the grass.

Heart to Heart last year won both the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) and Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) before second in the Shoemaker Mile (G1). Form there, his form tailed off with back-to-back finishes out of the money.

But, Lynch said, “I can give him legitimate excuses for his last two races,” with the turf only “good” — Heart to Heart prefers it firm — and plenty of competition on the front end, where he enjoys running throughout.

“He’s had some freshening. He’s had a little time off. He’s back and doing really good,” Lynch said. “He loves it down here and has always trained well to start his year. It’ll be nice to get him on track as an 8-year-old.”

Heart to Heart is not gelded, though Lynch said despite the horse’s 15 career wins, with earnings of more than $2 million, “grass horses are hard to place” at stud.

“They’re not the most desirable, even though people have soft spots for them because they’ve watched their careers,” he added. “He still wants to run, and so long as he’s productive, we’ll keep rocking and rolling with him, and we’ll have another good year with him.”

“In a perfect world,” Lynch said, Heart to Heart would move forward from the Tropical Turf to compete in Gulfstream’s Canadian Turf (G3) on March 2 before defending his Maker’s 46 Mile victory on April 12.


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