Donegal Racing's Grade 1 Secretariat winner Carrick exited his Saturday breeze at Belmont in fine fettle, said trainer Tom Morley, who confirmed Sunday morning that the 3-year-old Giant's Causeway colt would make his next against older horses in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Saturday.
Morley said he was satisfied with how Carrick came out of the work, a 48.81-second four-furlong breeze over Belmont's main track, noting that the colt has the build and the breeding to appreciate the 1 ½-mile distance of the Turf Classic. He won the 1 ¼-mile Secretariat by a neck over 4-5 favorite Analyze It at odds of 38-1 on August 11 at Arlington Park.
“His work on Saturday was superb,” said Morley. “We just wanted to make sure he came out of it nicely, which he has, before making a definitive decision about the Joe Hirsch. As of now, he's on target for the race.”
Breaking his maiden in his debut on May 12 at Belmont, Carrick followed with a starter allowance win at Belmont before entering the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park winning the Secretariat.
“He's grown out quite well and is a very big 3-year-old compared to when he made his first start for us,” said Morley. “One of the reasons we decided to point for the Joe Hirsch instead of the [Grade 3, $500,000] Hill Prince [for 3-year-olds on October 6] is that we would receive weight in the Joe Hirsch rather than giving weight in the Hill Prince.”
In a field expected to feature multiple graded stakes winners Robert Bruce, Spring Quality, and Sadler's Joy, Morley said he believes Carrick has enough talent to win.
“Numbers-wise on the sheets, he's right there with the rest of the field,” he said. “He certainly has the pedigree to be well-suited to go the mile-and-a-half distance. The way he galloped out in the Secretariat only confirmed my thoughts as he stayed out in front the field past the wire. So, we'll take our shot especially with the Breeders Cup ‘Win and You're In' factor. Depending on how it goes, we always have the [Grade 1] Hollywood Derby as a backup.”
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