The legend of Cody's Wish (Curlin), dampened only briefly by a 10-length defeat in the two-turn GI Whitney S., is back at full flame with a gutsy effort in the rescheduled 'Win and You're In' GII Vosburgh S.
Rained off of Saturday's card at Belmont's Aqueduct Fall meeting, the Vosburgh awarded a paid entry to the GI Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint though winning trainer Bill Mott indicated a title defense for his stable's star in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders's Cup Dirt mile was preferred.
Beaten just once in his last seven starts (the aforementioned Whitney), Cody's Wish did little to deter the wagering public, jumping last from the outside gate at 1-9. And though he trailed the field off that trademark hesitant beginning, the son of Curlin was quick to rejoin the group paced up front by 9-2 second choice Accretive (Practical Joke). Kept outside of runners, Cody's Wish powered his way from last to within a length of that leader in a tightly-packed bunch up the backstretch as the opening quarter went in a moderate :23.33. Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard Accretive, gave a quick look over his right shoulder into the turn as Junior Alvarado had yet to move atop the favorite and the top two choices turned for home together with little separating them. Great Navigator (Sea Wizard) loomed along the inside and Accretive was game between horses but Cody's Wish was all class, putting away the pair into the final sixteenth and securing the win under wraps.
“It [gate issues] goes with him [Cody's Wish],” acknowledged Mott. “You always wonder [with the slow start]. He was off slow, but he was able to make it up. Ideally, there's more pace and they kind of come back to him, but everybody kept running today. I think obviously a horse like him when they go 44 [seconds] and change, he's going to close better and finish better if the others are coming back to him, but they kept running.”
When asked about potential 2024 plans for their star, Godolphin noted his career may be coming to a close.
“We'll probably retire him,” admitted Michael Banahan, director for bloodstock for Godolphin. “We got another year out of him which is great. The major goal was trying to win the Met Mile, which we achieved. Everything else was just bonus to top it off. In this situation, we'll try to be a repeat winner of the Breeders' Cup [Dirt] Mile. We're hoping he can do that again, he's obviously one of the best horses in the country and we'd like to maintain that position if we can.”
Dance Card, purchased by Godolphin connections as a 2-year-old for $750,000, became a Grade I-winner with her victory in the GI Gazelle S. but has arguably had just as much success in her paddock career. Besides Cody's Wish, she's also produced MGSW Endorsed (Medaglia d'Oro), SP Bocephus (Medaliga d'Oro) and 2-year-old Hunt Ball (Into Mischief) who was second in his Saratoga debut Aug. 19. Dance Card is represented by a yearling Street Sense filly and reported a Gun Runner filly this Spring before being covered by Gun Runner for 2024.
Champion #6 Cody's Wish cuts back in distance and returns to his winning ways in the G2 Vosburgh S. at Belmont for trainer Bill Mott with his regular pilot @JuniorandKellyA aboard! 🏆
— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) October 1, 2023
Sunday, Belmont at Big A
VOSBURGH S.-GII, $250,000, Belmont The Big A, 10-1, 3yo/up, 7f, 1:21.83, ft.
1–CODY'S WISH, 126, h, 5, by Curlin
1st Dam: Dance Card (GISW, $502,200), by Tapit
2nd Dam: Tempting Note, by Editor's Note
3rd Dam: Tempt, by Devil's Bag
O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Junior Alvarado. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 15-10-1-4, $2,586,030. *1/2 to Endorsed (Medaglia d'Oro), MGSW, $970,133. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Accretive, 120, g, 4, Practical Joke–Mallory Street, by Street Sense. ($180,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Falcon Wood Partners (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $50,000.
3–Great Navigator, 118, c, 3, Sea Wizard–All Even, by Stephen Got Even. O/B-Holly Crest Farm (NJ); T-Eddie Owens, Jr. $30,000.
Margins: 1HF, 3 1/4, 2. Odds: 0.15, 4.50, 22.60.
Also Ran: Sheriff Bianco, High Oak, Cowan.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.