Withers Stakes

The Week in Review: At Tampa Bay Downs, An Unlikely Win for the 'Little Guy'

As the field turned for home in Saturday's Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs, Dreaming of Snow (Jess's Dream), trained by Gerald Bennett, had the lead, but it sure looked like she'd never hold on. It wasn't just that she was 38-1 and had been pressed most of the way, it was who was chasing her, monsters from the stables of super trainers Mark Casse and Todd Pletcher in Wonder Wheel (Into Mischief) and Julia Shining (Curlin). Could a horse from the barn of a 78-year-old claiming trainer who had...

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Hit Show Exits Withers in Fine Shape

Gary and Mary West's Hit Show (Candy Ride {Arg}) exited his 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's GIII Withers S. in fine shape, according to Brad Cox's Belmont-based assistant trainer Dustin Dugas. "He looked good this morning," Dugas said. "He cooled out well yesterday and came back in good shape. He was at the front of the stall, and bright eyed this morning. We're happy with him and he was happy with himself." Hit Show's potential next starts include the Apr. 8 GII Wood Memorial. "He's always been a horse that...

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Courvoisier Looks to Stay Hot in Withers

The regally bred Courvoisier (Tapit) looks to extend his win streak and take his next step down the GI Kentucky Derby trail Saturday in Aqueduct's GII Withers S. Hitting the board in his first three attempts, the son of champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) broke through at 14-1 odds when trying nine panels for the first time at the Big A Dec. 2. He followed suit with a win in this venue's Jerome S. on a sloppy track on New Year's Day. "He's always been a big boy. He...

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Courvoisier Ready for Withers

Courvoisier (Tapit), last-out winner of the Jan. 1 Jerome S., tuned up for Saturday's GIII Withers S. with a five-furlong work in 1:02.41 (2/15) over the Belmont training track Friday. "He's doing well," trainer Kelly Breen said. "He breezed Friday by himself. It was a maintenance workout and he's good to go." Owned by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings and James Spry, Courvoisier is a son of 2014 champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway). Jerome fourth-place finisher Unbridled Bomber (Upstart) was declared ready for the Withers following a...

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Risk Taking Adds to Big Day for Medaglia d'Oro in Withers

Klaravich Stables' Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro) added to a big Saturday afternoon for his leading sire, who just minutes earlier had been represented by promising GIII Las Virgenes S. winner Moonlight d'Oro, in Aqueduct's GIII Withers S. Tracking from a midpack sixth as Jerome S. winner Capo Kane (Street Sense) showed the way through fractions of :24.02 and :48.71, the 9-5 favorite made his move on the outside along the home turn beneath Eric Cancel and blew away the frontrunner by midstretch to kick away an impressive 3 3/4-length winner....

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Capo Kane Back for More in Withers

Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto's Capo Kane (Street Sense), a romping 6 1/4-length winner of the one-mile Jerome S. at Aqueduct Jan. 1, will look to add a furlong and a graded race to his resume in the GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct Saturday. Trained by Harold Wyner, the bay colt was runner-up in his seven-furlong debut at Parx Oct. 28. He graduated by a front-running 4 1/2 lengths going one mile and 70 yards at Parx Nov. 25 and had everything his own way when loose on the...

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Wood Memorial Next Up for Max Player

George Hall's Max Player (Honor Code) exited his victory in Saturday's GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct in fine shape and will likely make his next appearance in the Apr. 4 GII Wood Memorial. Sent to post at odds of 5-1, Max Player was in tight and taking significant kickback into the first turn before jockey Dylan Davis angled him outside for smoother sailing. Settled wide in fifth, he grinded his way into contention through the final turn and found his best stride late to put away GII Remsen S. winner...

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Max Player Wears Down Shotski in the Withers

Max Player went from maiden winner to graded winner by outstaying his competition in Saturday's GIII Withers S. His victory was both the first black-type and graded for sire Honor Code (A.P. Indy), whose Lane's End barn mate Tonalist was also represented by his first graded winner Saturday in the form of GIII Forward Gal S. romper Tonalist's Shape. Awkward early but flying home late when second on debut going a mile at Parx Nov. 12, Max Player broke through in the slop by 4 1/4 lengths back in Bensalem...

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Shotski Takes Next Step Towards Derby in Withers

GII Remsen S. winner Shotski (Blame) will take his next step down the GI Kentucky Derby trail Saturday when he returns to Aqueduct for the GIII Withers S. Earning his diploma at second asking when switched from turf to dirt at Laurel Oct. 3, the bay was fourth in the Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs Oct. 27, but wired the field next out in the track-and-trip Remsen Dec. 7. "We know he likes the track, and we know he can get the distance," trainer Jeremiah O'Dwyer told the NYRA...

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Monday Morning Qb Could Come for Withers

Parx-based sophomore Monday Morning Qb (Imagining) is under consideration for Aqueduct's nine-furlong GIII Withers S. Feb. 1, which carries with it GI Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Second behind Saturday's impressive Gulfstream allowance winner Ny Traffic (Cross Traffic) in a Bensalem maiden special weight Oct. 12, the Butch Reid trainee earned an 85 Beyer Speed Figure when graduating back at that venue Nov. 16. He handled his first foray into stakes company with aplomb, taking Laurel's Heft S. over seven panels. "He was kind of tired, it was a big step...

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