Centennial Farms' Preservationist exited his victory in the Grade 1 Woodward presented by NYRA Bets in good order according to trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who scored his second win in the 1 1/8-mile event for older horses at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
The 6-year-old son of Arch notched his first Grade 1 win in the Woodward two starts after winning his graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 6 at Belmont Park.
The Woodward was a redeeming win for Preservationist, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 3, where he set the pace but faded to finish 7 3/4 lengths behind McKinzie.
On Saturday, Preservationist stalked the pace and made a winning bid surging between horses in mid-stretch to win by a half-length, registering a 106 Beyer Speed Figure.
“It's always good when you can save ground and the horses can deal with being in a crowd like that and still be on the bridle. That's huge,” said Jerkens. “It took a while to happen, but it finally did at the very end once a horse on the outside started to fade and opened it up a bit. I felt once he got some room, a big horse like him would wear them down.”
Jerkens said he was equally pleased to get a Grade 1 win under Preservationist's belt. The triumph was only a tenth career start as well as his sixth career win for Preservationist, who reached the seven-figure mark with $1,037,300 in career earnings.
“That's why it was such an exhilarating win,” Jerkens said. “It was only his tenth start and he's going to be 7-years-old in three months, so it was huge. He's got a nice pedigree. The female family was very, very good.”
Jerkens said he was unsure as to where his next start would take place, but mentioned that Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28 as a possibility.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup is a “Win and You're In” for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
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