West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook, William Freeman and Cheryl Manning's Decorated Invader (Declaration of War), a close fifth as the 4-5 favorite in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Derby last time Aug. 15, resurfaces in Sunday's GII Hill Prince S. at Belmont Park.
Last term's GI Summer S. winner and unlucky GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf fourth-place finisher kicked off his sophomore campaign with three straight ultra-impressive victories, including Belmont's GII Pennine Ridge S. at this same one-mile distance June 20 and Saratoga's GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. July 18.
“He didn't run great going a mile and three sixteenths, but he only got beat three quarters of a length,” West Point's Terry Finley said. “He's getting a bit of a breather here. He's been at it once a month pretty much since the end of March when he made his 3-year-old debut and [trainer] Christophe [Clement] and his staff have done a great job with the horse.”
Decorated Invader is the even-money morning-line favorite for the Hill Prince.
The speedy Get Smokin (Get Stormy) figures to be on the engine once again from his rail draw. He was a good second after opening a lengthy early lead in the Hall of Fame, and most recently tired to eighth after setting the pace in the Saratoga Derby.
Buy Land and See (Cairo Prince), last fall's Awad S. winner over this same course and distance, enters off a third-place finish going 5 1/2 furlongs in Saratoga's Mahony S. Aug. 26.