Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand
The promising three-year-old Adventist hasn’t had the best luck in his two previous Kentucky Derby prep races, finishing third with troubled trips in both the Withers Stakes (gr. III) and the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), but the third time might be the charm when Adventist starts in the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) on April 9th at Aqueduct.
The son of Any Given Saturday completed his preparations for the race by breezing six furlongs in company with In Equality on March 31st. Adventist was timed in 1:14.55 seconds.
In the Wood Memorial, Adventist is expected to face a quality field led by Shagaf, who defeated Adventist by two lengths in the Gotham Stakes, by Gyarmati thinks that Adventist is ready to run well.
“[Adventist] is doing fantastic,” trainer Leah Gyarmati was quoted as saying on the Aqueduct website. “He’s been on a regular breeze schedule, his breezes have been great: strong gallops to the pole and really good gallop-outs. So it’s probably been more work than it looks like on paper.
“The three-quarters the other day was really the gallop out,” she said. “He went five-eighths and galloped out three-quarters and ended up galloping out the full mile. I couldn’t ask for anything better, he’s doing really well.”
Gyarmati also spoke of Adventist racing somewhat greenly in the Withers and the Gotham: “I think that comes with racing experience that he’ll just have to get,” said Gyarmati. “And I don’t think he was always as green as it looked; there was a lot of bumping going on and it wasn’t just him. I thought he was pretty professional when he got walloped a few times and he just kept on digging in and outfinished the horses he was bumping with. He’s got some fight in him.
“Obviously, when you have a horse with talent and they’re really giving you a big effort, you wonder if you’re one bump or one duck in from being second or winning that race because you lose momentum when that happens,” she said. “But that’s tempered with being very excited about having a nice horse. I try not to cry too much.”
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