Yoshida Wins the Woodward


Joel Rosario is not going to lead the jockeys’ standings when the 2018 Saratoga meeting comes to a close Monday, but he saved his best for last–relatively speaking. The 33-year-old native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic recorded a stakes hat-trick Saturday afternoon, winning the GIII Saranac S. aboard Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) for Chad Brown, the GI Spinaway S. atop Sippican Harbor (Orb) for Gary Contessa and closed out the sequence when guiding ‘TDN Rising Star’ Yoshida (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) to a come-from-behind success in the GI Woodward S.

“He went very nice. I was just a passenger,” Rosario said. “He was taking very nice to the dirt, and he liked it early on. Turning for home, he was there for me, and he kept going. Like I said, I was just a passenger. All my thanks to Bill Mott, I’m glad I won the race for him, and that he gave me the opportunity.”

Winner in his seasonal debut of the GI Old Forester Turf Classic, Yoshida was a very good fifth in the G1 Queen Anne S., the annual lid-lifter of the Royal Ascot meeting in June, but never factored when fifth as the favorite in the GI Fourstardave H. Aug. 11. But a switch to the dirt?

“Elliott Walden [of WinStar Farm] has been wanting to try it for a long time,” said trainer Bill Mott, now a four-time Woodward winner (Cigar, 1995-96; To Honor and Serve, 2012). “We talked about it and Yoshida has been running so well on the turf and he’s a Grade I winner on the turf, so you can’t say we made a mistake by not running him on the dirt. We were going to do it, it was just a matter of the opportune time, and right now there was no turf race that we had in mind in the next 30 days so we thought let’s do it.”

Drawn gate one in a full field, Yoshida fell out of the gate and drifted back into the latter half of the field, as Leofric (Candy Ride {Arg}) and Rally Cry (Gio Ponti) were both ridden for speed from barriers 11 and 14, respectively. The pace was honest enough for the distance-the half was up in :47.69-and that duo took the field past the three-eighths, but the come-from-behinders were getting underway. Yoshida came away from the fence midway on the turn and began to pick up ground underneath favored Gunnevera (Dialed In) and both were coming, but were also forced to circle nine and 10 deep, respectively, into the lane. Leofric and Rally Cry were still locked in pitched battle passing the eighth pole, but Rosario had Yoshida in full gear and the duo flashed home to become a Grade I winner on multiple surfaces. Gunnevera was up on the line for second–a subsequent claim of foul by trainer Antonio Sano against the winner for interference in upper stretch was quickly denied.

“My horse ran good but, if you look, in the last turn, that horse [Yoshida] bumped us and pushed us wide–10 wide–and it was just impossible to win [from there],” Sano pleaded. “It was a good race, but that [made the difference].”

As for the winner, connections are inclined to aim high when seeking out a next engagement.

“There’s a lot of people involved to say where he might run next,” Mott said. “He’s a Grade I winner on the dirt and he’s a Grade I winner on the turf. We’ll definitely talk about our options, after seeing this, the Breeders’ Cup Classic would have to be on the table you’d think.”

Pedigree Notes:

Bred by Northern Farm, who acquired 2011 GI Ballerina S. winner Hilda’s Passion for $1.225 million at Fasig-Tipton November in 2011, Yoshida was purchased by John McCormack on behalf of WinStar for ¥94 million (about US$765,000) as a yearling at the 2015 JRHA Select Sale on the island of Hokkaido. Yoshida’s year-older half-brother Sieg Kaiser (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) is a winner of three of 12 lifetime starts and also raced Saturday, finishing eighth in allowance company at Niigata. Yoshida’s 3-year-old half-brother Weltherrschaft (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) has won two of his five career starts. Hilda’s Passion is the dam of the 2-year-old colt Chef d’Oeuvre (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), a yearling filly by Deep Impact (Jpn) and a filly foal by dual Japanese Classic winner King Kamehameha (Jpn).

Saturday, Saratoga
WOODWARD S. PRESENTED BY NYRA BETS-GI, $750,000, Saratoga, 9-1, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:48.94, ft.
1–YOSHIDA (JPN), 122, c, 4, by Heart’s Cry (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Hilda’s Passion (GISW, $739,493),
                                by Canadian Frontier
                2nd Dam: Executricker, by El Prado (Ire)
                3rd Dam: Trick Trick, by Clever Trick
‘TDN Rising Star’ (¥94,000,000 Ylg ’15 JRASAL). O-WinStar
Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd., SF Racing LLC,
Head of Plains Partners LLC; B-Northern Farm (JPN); T-William
Mott; J-Joel Rosario. $400,000. Lifetime Record: 11-5-3-0,
$1,289,770. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk
Nick Rating: C+. 2–Gunnevera, 118, c, 4, Dialed In–Unbridled Rage, by Unbridled. ($16,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Margoth;
B-Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch (KY); T-Antonio Sano.
$140,000.3–Leofric, 120, h, 5, Candy Ride (Arg)–Lady Godiva, by Unbridled’s Song. ($330,000 Ylg ’14 KEESEP; $100,000 3yo ’16
KEENOV). O-Steve Landers; B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds,
LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $75,000.Margins: 2, NO, 1. Odds: 6.20, 3.45, 19.20.
Also Ran: Rally Cry, Patch, Term of Art, Hence, Tapwrit, Sunny Ridge, Zanotti, Kurilov (Chi), Discreet Lover, Seeking the Soul, Imperative. Click for the Equineline.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


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