Instagrand back in training at Saratoga after ankle surgery

NYRA Press Office
July 17, 2019 06:02pm
Don Chatlos, who recent took over Jerry Hollendorfer's string of OXO Equine runners at Saratoga, said Grade 2 winner Instagrand is back in training at Saratoga.

The Into Mischief sophomore, who finished third in both the Grade 3 Gotham and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, had a chip removed from his left hind ankle following an eighth-place finish in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs.

"Instagrand got in here on Saturday. He's just jogging right now," Chatlos said. "He wants to do more, but we'll take our time and let him tell us when he's ready.

"We'll let him get ready on his own, and if that means Belmont fall meet, that's fine."

A $1.2 million purchase, Instagrand emerged as a top runner from his crop early, winning his maiden special weight debut at Los Alamitos and Del Mar's Grade 2 Best Pal by a combined 20 1/4 lengths before a trio of defeats in 2019.

Chatlos has in his care another Into Mischief who cost $1.2 million. The 2-year-old is named Snap Chap and hasn't yet raced.

"We have Instagrand, which is a play on Instagram, and this one is named Snap Chap," said Chatlos, of course, reference Snapchat. "He looks the part for sure. He's a ways away from a work, but he's a nice looking horse."

While Instagrand gets back in shape, another of Larry Best's OXO Equine 3-year-olds is ready to run again with 
Rowayton, a multiple Grade 1-placed son of Into Mischief trained by Don Chatlos, to make his next start in the $100,000 Curlin on July 26 at Saratoga.

"He was supposed to breeze this morning, but the rain set that back," Chatlos said Wednesday. "He'll breeze on Friday. The race for him is the Curlin and I only wanted one breeze in between for him," said Chatlos.

Rowayton was an impressive allowance winner on June 6 at Belmont Park, rushing up the rail to victory in a 6 1/2-furlong test on Big Sandy that garnered a 97 Beyer. Last out, Rowayton endured a troubled trip when lacking racing room en route to a good third in the Grade 3 Dwyer won by the returning Code of Honor.

"That trip is what won us the allowance race, but probably cost us second in the Dwyer," said Chatlos. "I can't take anything away from Code of Honor. He ran huge that day."

Chatlos said that the nine-furlong Curlin will be used to assess whether the colt can stretch out to the 10-furlong distance of the Grade 1 Travers or if a cut back to seven furlongs for the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens is more appropriate.

"I don't think the distance is going to bother him, but until he does it, it's only speculation," said Chatlos. "The Curlin is the right race for him because the Jim Dandy has come up a banger. It's going to be a tough race. The Curlin is restricted [to horses that have not won a graded race over a mile in 2019], so it may not make it easier, but it will make it easier than the Jim Dandy.

"We can judge from there if it's the Travers or the Allen Jerkens next," continued Chatlos. "We can always cut back to the seven furlongs if we think the mile and an eighth was too much for him."


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