Tracy Farmer's Sir Winston will target the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont after a late-closing second in the Grade 3 Peter Pan behind Global Campaign, according to trainer Mark Casse.
The homebred son of Awesome Again was well off the pace in the Peter Pan and displayed an effective turn of foot in the final eighth of a mile, but was unable to catch the winner. The race was his first placing in a graded stakes event.
“He's a unique horse,” Casse said. “He doesn't have a whole lot of speed and he's kind of at the mercy of everyone else in the race, but he'll run all day.”
Sir Winston was on the road to the Kentucky Derby all season long but did not place in three starts on the Derby trail. Casse was impressed with his fifth-place effort in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, but drew a line through his distant seventh in the Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland, which was his last start before the Peter Pan.
“I thought he really exposed himself and showed that he was good in the Tampa Bay Derby,” Casse said. “When he ran at Keeneland, the way the track was playing, no one that was close to the lead had a chance that day. No question he'll run a mile and a half.”
Casse stated that Sir Winston will stay at Belmont Park with his string of horses supervised by assistant trainer Jamie Begg.
In other Belmont Stakes Racing Festival related news, Casse said that Got Stormy will point for the Grade 1 $700,000 Longines Just a Game after a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile behind Rushing Fall.
Owned by Gary Barber and Southern Equine Partners, Got Stormy is a three-time stakes winner and began her 2019 campaign with an allowance victory over the turf at Gulfstream Park before finishing third behind Rushing Fall in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.
“Last year, she was a nice horse,” Casse said. “She kind of reminds me of what we did with [Two-time Eclipse Award winner] Tepin at the end of her three-year-old year. We took our time with her and gave her some time off and we ran her back at Gulfstream and she ran well.”
Casse also said that Dream Maker, third-place finisher of the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs, will likely target the $150,000 Easy Goer on Belmont Stakes Day.
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