By Christina Bossinakis
Good Samaritan (Harlan's Holiday) recorded his final official work ahead of an upcoming start in Saturday's GI Travers S. at Saratoga. The GII Jim Dandy S. winner covered five furlongs in 1:01.65 over the Oklahoma training track with regular exercise rider Juan Quintero aboard. The work, in tandem with stablemate Boule, was what the Hall of Fame trainer was looking for.
“He went good,” Mott said. “He broke off as you can see, a length behind his company, joined up and finished together, finished their last quarter in :24, galloped out well, and galloped out a good six furlongs, I was pleased with what I saw.”
Campaigned by WinStar Farm, Head of Plains, China Horse Club and SF Racing, Good Samaritan made his first six starts on the turf, winning a pair of them, including the GII Summer S. at Woodbine last season. The Travers will be only his second start on the dirt.
“We've got to see it again,” conceded Mott. “I guess he did it effectively enough the first time. He didn't look like he was struggling, so it would lead you to believe he could reproduce his last race, but it's a different group of horses. Maybe he'll have to be better to win. It's going to be a bigger field, and some new shooters in there. I don't know that I'd trade places with anybody today.”
Mott added, “I'm just hoping he stays healthy and sound, stays in one piece, that's it. He's doing good and he's training good. I hope he stays the way he is.”
In related news, Gunnevera (Dialed In) was vanned from Antonio Sano's South Florida training base and arrived at the Spa around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, accompanied by his groom, Luis Cabello.
“They told me the trip went good,” Sano said by phone. “The horse shipped OK, so everything is good.”
According to Sano, the winner of the GII Fountain of Youth S. is scheduled to walk today and gallop Tuesday and the trainer is expected to be on hand when the multiple graded stakes winner makes his first appearance on the track. The chestnut, who shipped in to Saratoga to win last summer's GII Saratoga Special, galloped home an easy five-length winner in the Aug. 6 Tangelo S. at Gulfstream. The chestnut colt has breezed once since his latest win, working five furlongs in 1:00 flat Aug. 18. Jockey Edgard Zayas, aboard for the both the breeze and the Tangelo win, will have the mount for the Travers.