(Sir Winston winning the 2019 Belmont Stakes / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Tracy Farmer’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes-winner Sir Winston will seek his first triumph since the “Test of the Champion” in Saturday’s $100,000 Jazil at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Sir Winston, a 4-year-old Awesome Again chestnut trained by Mark Casse, finished off-the-board on December 28 in the Woodchopper over a yielding Fair Grounds turf when making his first start since winning the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.
Upon returning to the Empire State, Sir Winston threw his left-front shoe while recording a five-furlong work in 1:02.86 seconds over the Belmont training track on January 16.
Casse said Sir Winston, who was a little tender on the left-front hoof following the breeze, was fitted with glue-on shoes on both front feet and is tentative to start in Saturday’s nine-furlong test for 4-year-olds and upward.
“We’re entering pretty far out, so as long as he trains well the rest of the week, we’ll run. We added glue-on shoes and those have seemed to help him,” Casse said.
Casse said the long-term goal for Sir Winston is the Group 1, $12 million Dubai World Cup on March 28 at Meydan Racecourse.
“Right now we’re trying to make the Dubai World Cup, but he likes New York and likes to run long,” Casse said.
Jockey Manny Franco will pilot Sir Winston for the first time from post 2.
Long Lake Stable’s Stan the Man will attempt to win second time off a six-month layoff when breaking from post 5 for trainer John Terranova.
Last out, the 6-year-old Broken Vow gelding was victorious in the Queens County on December 21 at the Big A, where he has recorded five of his six career wins.
“We had him as ready. Ideally, off the layoff, we weren’t looking at a mile-and-an-eighth but there wasn’t much else out there for him,” Terranova said. “We knew he needed the race, but it was a good one. He got a little tired late in the race and came out of it really well. Since then, he’s been forward.”
Stan the Man covered a half-mile in 49.50 seconds over the Belmont training track on Monday morning; the fastest of 46 recorded works at the distance.
“He had a nice easy work this morning. He was very focused,” Terranova said.
Jockey Dylan Davis piloted Stan the Man to his Queens County victory and will return for Saturday’s race.
Chester and Mary Broman’s appropriately named Mr. Buff seeks a repeat win in the Jazil after winning last year’s edition by 5 ¼ lengths in wire-to-wire fashion.
Trained by John Kimmel, the 17.2-hand son of Friend Or Foe successfully defended his title in the Alex M. Robb last out, which he won by 7 ¼ lengths and recorded a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. This marked the fourth time in his 34-race career where Mr. Buff produced a triple-digit Beyer.
The New York homebred enjoyed his best year yet last season with five stakes wins and will attempt to begin his 2020 campaign in similar fashion.
Breaking from the rail, Mr. Buff will be piloted by regular rider Junior Alvarado.
Completing the field are Adventist [post 3, John Bisono], Backsideofthemoon [post 4, Eric Cancel], Small Bear [post 6, Jorge Vargas, Jr.], Leitone [post 7, Jose Lezcano], and Roaming Union [post 8, Kendrick Carmouche].
The Jazil is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.