Juddmonte 'planning for next year' with Tacitus, Hidden Scroll

October 10, 2019 04:05pm
It’s on to 2020 for a trio of Juddmonte Farms’ sophomore colts.

Garret O’Rourke, general manager of the farm's U.S. operation, said Thursday that multiple graded stakes winner Tacitus, along with stakes runners Honest Mischief and Hidden Scroll, will all be prepared to run as older horses.
As reported this week by Daily Racing Form, Tacitus is bypassing the Breeders’ Cup Classic after five straight on-the-board finishes in graded stakes without a win. Most recently, Tacitus ran third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) when trying older horses for the first time. 
O’Rourke acknowledged the Juddmonte team and trainer Bill Mott have been “frustrated” by Tactius' campaign. Since winning the Wood Memorial (G2) in April, Tacitus also ran third in the Kentucky Derby and was a runner-up in the Belmont Stakes, Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers Stakes (G1). “We had to make the decision if we go to Breeders’ Cup, is there anything we can lay our head on to say that he’s actually going to improve and beat the horses that have been finishing ahead of him?” O’Rourke said. “I do feel like he’s one of the most consistent 3-year-olds out there, if not the most consistent. But we were getting a little frustrated that he was always right there and not getting the job done. "It just seemed the best thing for the horse was to let him get stronger and grow. He’s a big horse. I think we have a better shot of finding those few lengths he needs to make up going from 3 to 4 years of age then we do in three weeks. I just don’t think any of us knew what we would do differently to make up those lengths in the Breeders’ Cup. "Planning for next year seems like the better idea.” O’Rourke said all of the big-money races early in the season -- such as the Pegasus World Cup (G1), the new $20 million Saudi Cup and $12 million Dubai World Cup -- will be considered. “Everything will be on the table,” O’Rourke said. “I think that’s the beauty of stopping now. Bill can have him in Payson Park in December and if everything goes as planned you can either move early with him or wait until a little later. He’s a very, very sound horse, very competitive and consistent horse. "What we want to see is that he just gets a little bit bigger and stronger and just get that little bit better.” Juddmonte also has high hopes for big 4-year-old seasons from Honest Mischief and Hidden Scroll. Honest Mischief returned from a 2 ½-month layoff to win an allowance sprint race at Keeneland on Wednesday for trainer Chad Brown. The well-bred colt, who is by Into Mischief out of multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter Honest Lady, previously contested the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) and Amsterdam Stakes (G2) with only minor success. O’Rourke said the plan is to hopefully point Honest Mischief to major sprint stakes in 2020. As for Hidden Scroll, he was briefly on the Triple Crown trail this spring when finishing off the board in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Florida Derby (G1). Following a fourth-place finish in a Churchill Downs allowance on Kentucky Derby day, the son of Hard Spun was given time off. He returned to the work tab Wednesday with an easy three-furlong drill at Saratoga for trainer Bill Mott. “There is no plan at all yet," O'Rourke said. "We gave him a good rest after the Kentucky Derby and he’s just got back to Bill. The year is about over, so next year is the plan for him. Bill can treat him as patiently as he wants from here until then.”

 

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