Woodslane Farm's multiple graded stakes winner Sadler's Joy is all systems go for Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, said trainer Tom Albertrani Thursday morning.
Albertrani said he's willing to draw a line through the 5-year-old's Grade 1 Sword Dancer on August 25 at Saratoga Race Course, where he closed from last to finish sixth by seven lengths, his largest margin of defeat in 20 lifetime starts.
With more than $1.7 million in lifetime earnings, Sadler's Joy has hit the board in 13 of those starts, including six wins, most notably posting a half-length victory in the 2017 Sword Dancer. This spring, Sadler's Joy finished second in the Grade 1 Man o' War and Grade 1 Manhattan by a half-length and a neck, respectively, and finished a close third in the Grade 2 Bowling Green behind dead-heat winners Glorious Empire and Channel Maker on July 28 prior to the Sword Dancer.
“His last start was really the only race that he didn't finish with fire, but he's trained really well since then so we're still very optimistic he can come back and run as well as he ever has,” said Albertrani. “We all deserve one off day.”
Sadler's Joy, by Kitten's Joy, wrapped up his major preparations for the Turf Classic with a strong gallop on Friday.
“He galloped out really great Friday and then we got bad weather, so there wasn't much we could do over the weekend, but he's ready to go,” Albertrani said. “It's pretty much standard for what he does leading up to a race anyway.”
Albertrani added that Godolphin's Grade 2 Glens Falls winner Lady Montdore is on track for the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl for fillies and mares on Sunday, October 7 during the October Festival of Racing. The 1 ¼-mile Flower Bowl, a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” for the Filly & Mare Turf, will mark the 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly's third U.S. start after beginning her career in France.
Lady Montdore won her domestic debut for Albertrani on August 6 with a 4 ½-length score in a turf allowance at Saratoga Race Course and followed up with her front-running 2 ¼-length victory in the Glens Falls on the Spa's closing weekend. Both races were at 1 3/8 miles over an inner turf course listed as good.
“She's doing well,” said Albertrani. “The biggest thing has been the rain. It seems like it's been following us all summer. At least with her, I know it doesn't make much difference. She likes it soft and I'm sure she'll get over any ground. With her light frame too, it looks like she's suited to soft ground. Overall though, I'm really happy with how she's progressed since she's been here. She's a really nice filly.”
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