Drain the Clock Up in Time in Woody Stephens

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Drain the Clock | Sarah Andrew

Drain the Clock (c, 3, Maclean's Music–Manki, by Arch) outslugged favored Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) by a neck to lead home a one-two finish for his sire in a thrilling renewal of the GI Woody Stephens S. at Belmont Park Saturday. It was 7 1/4 lengths back to Nova Rags (Union Rags) in third.

With Jose Ortiz subbing for his sidelined brother Irad Ortiz, Jr., the last out GIII Bay Shore S. winner broke sharply and very briefly cleared the field of six. Jackie's Warrior, off a step slowly after getting bumped at the start, rushed up and challenged from the inside as those two locked horns through an opening quarter in :22.09 and half mile in :44.19.

Last year's GI Champagne S. winner held a slight advantage and floated Drain the Clock into the seven path as they hit the quarter pole. Jackie's Warrior led by a length at the stretch call and continued to dig down gamely, but Drain the Clock just kept on coming on the outside and wore down that rival to win in a pulsating finish at odds of 7-1.

A runaway winner of Gulfstream's Limehouse S. Jan. 2 and GIII Claiborne Farm Swale S. Jan. 30, Drain the Clock stretched to 1 1/16 miles with a solid second after setting the pace in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. Feb. 27. He bypassed the Triple Crown trail and turned back to seven furlongs for an easy score in the Bay Shore Apr. 3.

“We talked it over so much with [co-owner] Nick Cosato [of Slam Dunk Racing] and he wanted to break well and use him for the lead,” winning trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. said. “We just left it up to Jose [Ortiz]. We told him the break was important and to make [Joel] Rosario [aboard Jackie's Warrior] make a decision. If they're going to let you lead, lead.

“Obviously, Jackie's Warrior missed the break and after that he ran up on the inside and we were in a good spot. If we were good enough, then we were going to win. At the quarter pole, I thought we were going to be second. It looked like he was backing up a little bit. He dug in after that, and then Jackie's Warrior wouldn't give up. All credit to the horse.”

Ortiz added, “That's what it's all about, people want to come here to see those kinds of duels. It was a great race, everybody gave their best. I'm just happy we came out with the win and I'm happy filling in for Irad [Ortiz] and not messing it up.”

Joseph added that the GI Allen Jerkens Memorial S. at Saratoga Aug. 28 would be next for Drain the Clock.

Pedigree Notes:

Drain the Clock is one of five graded winners for promising young sire Maclean's Music. This is his fourth Grade I winner. Arch is the broodmare sire of 31 graded winners, including standouts such as dual Classic winner I'll Have Another and champion Uncle Mo.

The winner's dam Manki aborted her 2019 foal by Mr Speaker, but has since produced a Mineshaft colt in 2020 and a filly by Vino Rosso in 2021. Winless in four career starts, she most recently RNA'd for $55,000 at the 2015 KEEJAN sale.

Drain the Clock's Group 3-winning third dam was responsible for Midnight Line (Kris S.), third in the 1998 G1 Vodafone Oaks and later a Grade II winner and multiple Grade I-placed in North America. Midnight Line is the dam of MGSW & MG1SP Communique (Ire) (Casamento {Ire}).

Saturday, Belmont Park
WOODY STEPHENS S. PRESENTED BY NASSAU COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY-GI, $392,000, Belmont, 6-5, 3yo, 7f, 1:22.27, gd.
1–DRAIN THE CLOCK, 124, c, 3, by Maclean's Music
                1st Dam: Manki, by Arch
                2nd Dam: Private Ice (GB), by Pivotal (GB)
                3rd Dam: Midnight Air, by Green Dancer
1ST GRADE I WIN. O-Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Stables LLC,
Wonder Stables and Nentwig, Michael; B-Nick Cosato (KY);
T-Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $220,000. Lifetime
Record: 8-6-1-0, $539,550. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for
eNick report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Jackie's Warrior, 124, c, 3, Maclean's Music–Unicorn Girl, by
A. P. Five Hundred. ($95,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-J Kirk &
Judy Robison; B-J & J Stables (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
$80,000.
3–Nova Rags, 122, c, 3, Union Rags–Wishful Splendor, by Smart
Strike. ($275,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP). O/B-Michael P. Shanley
(KY); T-William I. Mott. $48,000.
Margins: NK, 7 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 7.50, 1.05, 11.70.
Also Ran: Dream Shake, Tulane Tryst, Caddo River.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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