Sainthood, 11th last time in the GI Kentucky Derby, became the first black-type and graded stakes winner for his sire (by Medaglia d'Oro) with a resilient victory in this off-turf prep for the GI Belmont Derby Invitational S.
Beaten a head dirt sprinting at Gulfstream Jan. 9, the dark bay scored by a nose around two turns on the Fair Grounds main track Feb. 13. He earned a spot into the Derby starting gate with a runner-up finish in the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks over Turfway Tapeta Mar. 27, and appeared to more or less run his race in the Derby at 43-1.
Favored among the five who stayed in here over put-up Federico Tesio S. winner The Reds, Sainthood broke on top but was well held by Joel Rosario and eventually conceded pacesetting duties to Shawdyshawdyshawdy. The Reds ranged up with a menacing move after a :48.56 half, prompting Rosario to give Sainthood his cue. The Reds poked a head in front and seemed to have all the momentum, but Sainthood boxed on gamely and pulled away late.
“I think he's a versatile colt, much like his sire Mshawish, who we trained and won graded stakes on dirt and turf for us,” winning trainer Todd Pletcher said of his charge. “This horse has run well on dirt and synthetic and slop today. I thought he actually ran a solid race in the Derby. He didn't disgrace himself by any means for a colt as lightly raced as he was. His two works here on the turf I thought were pretty impressive. We came into today hoping to get him on the turf, but it's also great to have one as versatile as he is who can run on just about anything.”
The 2021 Hall of Fame inductee continued, “When he broke his maiden, he was really green and didn't appreciate being alone. He's better with a target. One thing I told Joel [Rosario] in the paddock was that I wasn't sure who the target was going to be. That was my biggest concern. I told Joel to just be aware that he was better with a target and if he was fortunate enough to make the lead, he might idle a bit. Part of it was, when he made the lead he got a little bit lost and [The Reds] put a head in front of him and he fought back.”
As for whether or not Sainthood would make his delayed turf debut in the July 10 Belmont Derby, Pletcher said, “”We got a good prep for it if we decide to go that way. It's good to have a horse with this many options. We'll talk to the team and come up with a plan, but that will be towards the top of the list.”
Saturday, Belmont Park
PENNINE RIDGE S.-GIII*, $194,000, Belmont, 5-29, 3yo, 1 1/8m (off turf), 1:50.57, sy.
1–SAINTHOOD, 118, c, 3, by Mshawish
1st Dam: Lemon Hero (SP, $129,819), by Lemon Drop Kid
2nd Dam: Bright Gold, by Hold for Gold
3rd Dam: Bright 'n Early, by Northern Jove
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($100,000
Ylg '19 KEEJAN; $90,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP; $62,000 Ylg '19
OBSOCT). O-WinStar Farm LLC and CHC INC.; B-Edward Taylor
& Springland Farm (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Joel Rosario.
$110,000. Lifetime Record: 5-2-2-0, $201,900. *First black-
type and graded stakes winner for sire (by Medaglia d'Oro).
Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–The Reds, 120, c, 3, Tonalist–Ash Zee, by Exchange Rate.
($14,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEEJAN; $115,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP;
$130,000 2yo '20 OBSAPR). O-Flanagan Racing; B-R. S. Evans
(KY); T-John C. Kimmel. $40,000.
3–Shawdyshawdyshawdy, 118, c, 3, Summer Front–Shea
Darby, by Street Sense. O-Lawrence & Jennifer Goichman;
B-Larry Goichman (KY); T-Jorge R. Abreu. $24,000.
Margins: 1, 5, 7. Odds: 0.90, 1.95, 14.40.
Also Ran: Safe Conduct, Minuteman (Ger). Scratched: Hard Love, Public Sector (GB), Shaftesbury, Step Dancer. *Automatically downgraded when taken off the turf. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
Globe-trotting Mshawish was a stakes winner and group-placed in France and then Group 2 winner on turf in Dubai for Mikel Delzangles before joining the Pletcher barn for the second half of 2014. He took the 2015 GI Gulfstream Park Turf H. and was third in that year's G1 Dubai World Cup before annexing the GI Donn H. on the Gulfstream dirt the following season. Mshawish is finishing up his third year at Taylor Made Stallions.
The winner's dam won twice on the dirt but was stakes-placed sprinting on the sod. The daughter of MSW Bright Gold and half to SW Satin Gold (English Channel) sold for $15,000 at the 2019 Keeneland January sale carrying a Midnight Storm colt now named Onemoreandthecheck.
Sainthood becomes the 73rd stakes winner (24th group or graded) out of a mare by Lemon Drop Kid. He is bred like GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint upsetter Bar of Gold (Medaglia d'Oro).