'Improving' Joevia now under Belmont Stakes consideration

NYRA Press Office
May 25, 2019 02:54pm
'Improving' Joevia now under Belmont Stakes consideration
Photo: Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Following a stakes triumph in the Long Branch at Monmouth Park two Saturdays ago, trainer Gregg Sacco stated that Joevia is possible for the June 8 Belmont Stakes.

Owned by Jeff and Michael Fazio, the 3-year-old son of Shanghai Bobby went gate to wire in the 1 1/16-mile Long Branch over a sloppy track, where be recorded a career best 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

Joevia recorded his first work since the Long Branch on Saturday morning and went a half-mile in 48.80 over the Monmouth Park main track. Prior to the Long Branch, Joevia raced in the Wood Memorial where he crossed the wire seventh but was disqualified to last due to interference caused in the first turn.

"He worked well this morning, cooled out great, scoped well," Sacco said. "He'll have one more work next Saturday. He's not definite [for the Belmont Stakes] but we'll talk it over with the owners and make a decision. It was nice to get him back into the win column, after the sort of disaster he caused in the Wood. We know he's a better colt than that. He's still learning and improving with each start."

A first out graduate over a sloppy main track at Monmouth last July, Joevia was twice stakes placed following his career debut. He did not race again until the following February but was beaten a neck to Haikal in the Jimmy Winkfield at Aqueduct. He then raced back a month later in Laurel Park's Private Terms Stakes where he was a distant second to Alwaysmining.

"It's a talented group of colts, but our colt is talented as well," Sacco said. "He ran very well in the Long Branch. He trained at Belmont all winter and really went well over the surface, which can be a tricky surface."

While Sacco is not definite to race Joevia in the Belmont Stakes, he has committed Grade 1 winner
 Mind Control to the Grade 1 $400,000 Woody Stephens on the undercard.

Owned by Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable, the 3-year-old son of Stay Thirsty was a 10-1 upset winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga last summer. Last out, he scored at graded stakes caliber once more when taking the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct.

On Friday morning, Mind Control drilled five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Monmouth Park - his fourth work since the Bay Shore.

"He worked super [Friday morning], he galloped out strong," Sacco said. "We're looking forward to going back to New York with him. He's been training great and really has blossomed these past few months."

Bred in Kentucky by co-owners Red Oak Stable, Mind Control is out of the stakes winning Lightnin N Thunder broodmare Feel That Fire - a half-sister to recent stakes winner King for a Day.


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