Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said he is likely to ship a graded-stakes winner to Aqueduct Racetrack for the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham on March 6, which offers 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers.
Owned by Nick Cosato’s Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Stable, Wonder Stable and Michael Nentwig, Drain the Clock was an open-lengths winner of his last two starts, both of which were stakes at Gulfstream Park. After making his seasonal bow with a 7 1/2-length romp in the Limehouse on Jan. 2, he scored in his graded stakes debut in the Swale (G3) on Jan. 30 at seven furlongs. The son of Maclean’s Music sat off the flank of pacesetter Poppy’s Pride from the two path and took command at the far turn, powering home a 6 1/4-length winner.
Joseph said that either the Gotham or the $300,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 27 at Gulfstream Park are in play for Drain the Clock.
“We’ll work him Sunday and get a better idea from there. Right now, it’s still undecided,” Joseph said.
Sonata Stable’s Super Strong became a Group 1 winner on debut in the Classico Agustin Mercado Revron at Camarero in Puerto Rico.
The son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver will work on Saturday morning and could target either the Gotham or the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 6 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Owned by Sonata Stable, Super Strong was a 2 1/2-length winner of his career debut contested over sloppy conditions under jockey Juan Diaz. His most recent breeze was a sharp five-furlong move in 59.60 seconds over the Palm Meadows Training Track on Feb. 13.
“The jockey that rode him that day has rode a lot of good horses and said that he needed a chance in the states,” said Joseph. “I really liked his last work. He did everything right and he galloped out really well. The real test will be how he runs next.”