Grade 1 winner Math Wizard slated to return Friday at Saratoga

Grade 1 winner Math Wizard slated to return Friday at Saratoga
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Grade 1 winner Math Wizard, unraced since a ninth-place finish in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) in January, could make a return at Saratoga on Friday.

The 5-year-old horse, who gave trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. his first Grade 1 win in the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby, is a main-track-only entrant in the sixth race, a $105,000 allowance at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. The National Weather Service forecasts a 30 percent chance of rain, so it might be a bit longer before he makes his return.

Joseph could not be reached for comment.

After the Pegasus World Cup, Joseph told Horse Racing Nation that "we’re going to probably step back a bit with him and maybe run him next time in either allowance or a minor stakes, and we’re going to give him some class relief. He’s run some good races, but he’s run against some good horses. Next time we’re going to give him some easing class, try to get his confidence back.”

The Pennsylvania Derby is the last time Math Wizard won a race, and it was followed by a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic. In 2020,  he posted a record of 6: 0-2-0, with that second-place finish coming in the Monmouth Cup (G3).

In Friday's race, Math Wizard is the morning-line favorite, at 2-1, and he would have Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard should the race be rained off the turf. The two second choices, at 3-1, are Ajourneytofreedom, who finished third in the Belmont Gold Cup (G2) on June 24, and Dack Janiel's, also a main-track-only entrant, who is coming off a win in an allowance race at Saratoga on July 15.

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