Synchrony was flawless in his first appearance at Woodbine, overcoming a less than ideal trip to get up for a one-length score in the Grade 2 King Edward on June 29, Queen's Plate Day.
“We were experimenting with the one-turn mile, because he hadn't done that,” said Michael Stidham, who trains the son of Tapit out of Brownie Points for Pin Oak Stable. “We feel like maybe the mile might be his very best distance.”
Next Saturday, Synchrony will be looking to remain perfect over the local course and distance as he seeks his first Grade 1 victory in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile. The Woodbine Mile is a “Win and You're In” for the Breeders' Cup Mile this fall at Santa Anita Park.
“The Grade 1 is huge,” said Stidham, noting that the homebred's stud potential would increase for owners Pin Oak Stable, who also are in the stallion business.
Synchrony had started six times when he debuted for Stidham at the Fair Grounds in February of 2017 and was unplaced in his first start for his new connections. But the now-six-year-old was tried on turf for the first time in his next outing, was an impressive allowance winner, and a new career was born.
“He'd been going through some issues which he had as a three-year-old,” said Stidham. “He had some bone-bruising. We had to kind of take our time to get him through that. The owners were very patient and gave me all the time I needed to get him healthy. We tried the grass with him and found that was definitely going to be his preferred surface. He's gone on to do some good things, and we hope he's got some more left in him.”
Synchrony has been a gem of consistency, being astutely managed while scoring in four Grade 3 stakes and a pair of Grade 2s including the King Edward.
Unfortunately, the cards have not fallen Synchrony's way in his three previous Grade 1 tries, as each came “off” courses which are not his strength. And while the elements obviously are not in Stidham's control, he has done everything else to forecast a tip-top performance in his biggest test to date.
“The one thing that we've learned about him is that he's always run very well off a freshening,” said the trainer. “That was kind of the idea of not trying to run him in between the King Edward and the Woodbine Mile. We thought that just training him up to it, having a fresh horse, would hopefully give us our best chance to come up with his best effort.”
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