Sadler's Joy Prepares for Joe Hirsch Turf Classic


Sadler's Joy | Sarah Andrew

Woodslane Farm's Sadler's Joy (Kitten's Joy) worked a half-mile in :50.03 over Belmont's main track Wednesday morning in preparation for his fourth appearance in the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Oct. 3. Trained by Tom Albertrani, the 7-year-old finished fourth in 2017 and third in the past two editions of the Joe Hirsch. A veteran of 32 career starts, the late-running horse boasts a record of 7-4-10 with purse earnings in excess of $2.6 million.

“We'll be looking at the Joe Hirsch next weekend for him,” confirmed Albertrani. “He's doing really well. He came out of his last race fine and continues to train well.”

Sadler's Joy closed for third in a pair of starts at the Belmont Park spring/summer meet, including the 10-furlong GI Manhattan S. July 4. After crossing the wire first in the 11-furlong GII Bowling Green at Saratoga Aug. 1, the chestnut was disqualified and placed fourth for lugging in. Most recently, Sadler's Joy finished fourth in a soggy renewal of the GI Sword Dancer S. at Saratoga Aug. 29.

“I think you just throw out his last race over soft going,” said Albertrani. “His two races prior to that, he won the Bowling Green and unfortunately got disqualified. He ran well that day and he ran well in the Manhattan. For him, it's a matter of getting the right trip and saving some ground. With his big move, winning or losing with him is all about the ground he loses or saves.”

Albertrani offered updates on a pair of turf-running stablemates as well. Mark T. Anderson's Beau Belle (Giant's Causeway) and Elizabeth Mateo's Lovely Lucky (Lookin At Lucky) will both make their next starts in the Oct. 10 GI Flower Bowl S., a 'Win and You're In' event to the GI Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

“They're both doing well and we'll probably aim for the Flower Bowl with both of them,” confirmed Albertrani.

Last time out, Beau Belle, with Luis Saez up, set a moderate pace in the Sept. 5 GII Glens Falls S. over 11 furlongs before staying on to finish third, a length back of winner Civil Union (War Front) and just missing the exacta by a nose to My Sister Nat (Fr) (Acclamation {GB}). Stablemate Lovely Lucky, accompanied by Jose Lezcano, was fourth.

“Lovely Lucky was being hard held the first part of the race [:53.22 opening half mile] and I don't think it helped her any to be held up quite like that,” said Albertrani. “I think the distance of her winning or losing, or even getting a little closer, would have been beneficial if Jose had let her use a little more of her stride. It may have helped Beau Belle being on an easy lead, but it made the other filly not want to settle and it hurt her in that respect. If it comes up the same scenario, I don't think we'll hold up Lovely Lucky and just let her go to the front because Beau Belle is better at settling.”

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