No Dozing The Sleeper Pick In Forego; Hawksmoor Should Handle Soft Turf In Ballston Spa

by | 08.21.2018 | 3:34pm
No Dozing wins the Concern Stakes

Mr and Mrs. M. Roy Jackson's No Dozing put in his final work before Saturday's Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga, breezing four furlongs in 51.22 seconds on the Oklahoma training track Monday morning. The Forego is a “Win and You're In” for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile this fall at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Arnaud Delacour said No Dozing had an easier work to build on last week's impressive bullet five-furlong breeze in 59.68 seconds that was the fastest of a group of 23 on August 13.

“It was just an easy breeze, he had a pretty [intense] one last week, and we were happy with that,” Delacour said. “We just wanted him to stretch his legs today and we're very happy with that. If he comes back well, I think everything is in good order for the Forego.”

No Dozing has already posted a win at the Saratoga meet, registering a three-quarter length victory in an optional claimer on July 21. His victory in the seven-furlong race, the same distance as the Forego, earned the 4-year-old Union Rags gelding a personal-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

As a sophomore, No Dozing earned graded stakes placing twice, finishing third in the Grade 3 Lexington on April 15 and second in the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs. After a nearly eight-month layoff, No Dozing's return has set him up for the Forego, a “Win and You're In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November at Churchill.

“That race last time was pretty tough, with [fellow Forego contender] Awesome Slew and some nice horses in there, it helped him run in that rhythm, because they were going pretty quick,” Delacour said. “His finish was very encouraging to me.”

Delacour's other expected Travers Day entrant, Lael Stables' Hawksmoor, also breezed Monday, going four furlongs in 50.89 seconds on the Oklahoma turf track as she readies for the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.

Hawksmoor is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Diana on July 21 at the Spa, where she served as the pacesetter before being overtaken in the stretch in the 1 1/8-mile route. She earned a 99 Beyer for that effort, marking an improvement over her fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Gamely at the same distance on May 26 at Santa Anita Park.

The Ballston Spa, contested at 1 1/16 miles, marks the same distance in which the Irish-bred 5-year-old won her first graded stakes in the 2017 Grade 3 Beaugay on yielding turf at Belmont Park. Delacour also said the rainy summer and subsequently softer turf could be advantageous.

“She's doing very well and we're real happy with her,” Delacour said. “There's always a question mark when the turf is like that, but she's won before on very soft turf… so I don't see any reason why we should worry about the softer turf, because she's handled it in the past.”

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