Chance It Faces Strong Field in $100,000 Dr. Fager
Thursday, August 1, 2019
HALLANDALE BEACH - Shooting Star Thoroughbreds rising star, Chance It, a dazzling winner in his most recent start, is scheduled to make his highly-anticipated return to action in Saturday’s $100,000 Dr. Fager division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream.
The Dr. Fager, a six-furlong race for 2-year-olds sired by qualifying stallions standing in Florida, will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Desert Vixen. First race post time is 12:15 p.m.
Chance It broke his maiden in his second career start in brilliant fashion on June 29, scoring by 9 ¼ lengths in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special. The son of Currency Swap won under wraps while earning a 92 Beyer Speed Figure, which was the highest of any 2-year-old in the country this year until Dennis’ Moment was credited with a 97 after winning at Ellis Park last Saturday. Genghis, who finished second behind Chance It, returned to graduate by nearly three lengths.
“Horses that he beat have justified his race,” trainer Saffie Joseph said. “I’m a big believer in ‘it’s who you beat’ and he beat horses that have come back and run good.”
“This is the kind of horse you dream about when you’re in bed or in the shower," Joseph said. "You dream like getting a horse like him. To see him do it . . . now he has to continue to build on it. If he does the future really looks bright.”
Chance It was produced by a broodmare who was adopted for $250 before being given away to his breeder, Bett Usher. “Physically, if you look at him, he’s a good-looking horse," Joseph said. "The only way you could knock him is if you look at his pedigree, because he doesn’t have the strongest pedigree. Other than that, physically, he looks like an athlete that could be a very nice horse.”
After Chance It opened a lot of eyes while dropping as many jaws with his spectacular maiden score, a lot will be expected from the Florida-bred colt when he faces six rivals in the Dr. Fager.
“It definitely adds pressure, but it’s the pressure you want," Joseph said. "If you could choose, you’d choose this kind of pressure. It doesn’t happen with a slow horse. The talent he has, when you have the kind of talent he has, it also kind of takes the pressure off, because you know he can overcome things when it doesn’t go his way.” Edgard Zayas has the return mount aboard Chance It.
Trainer Michael Yates holds the distinction of saddling the horse that defeated runner-up Chance It in a maiden special on June 1, but Smash Factor will sit out the Dr. Fager with bucked shins. Yates has entered Stonehedge Farm’s Turn on the Magic, who set a pressured paced and fought back after being headed in the stretch to win his debut by a half-length pn June 9.
“I expected he would run well," Yates said. "He trained well. He actually showed more speed than I expected, but I wasn’t surprised he ran that way. He kind of worked that way.” Despite winning at first asking, Turn on the Magic will return to action as a gelding.
“He was a little bit on the nervous side," Yates said. "We gelded him right after the race. He’s been training well since. He breezed well the other day, worked well out of the gate.” Yates won the race last year with Cajun Firecracker.
Like Smash Factor, Turn on the Magic is by Journeyman Stud's Khozan, who is the leading first-crop sire in the country with eight winners, and second behind American Pharoah in money earnings, but Saturday's race could change the latter.
“They’re runners,” Yates said. “I have four. The ones I have - they’re all different shapes - but they act like they want to run on. I think as the races go further, they’ll do well.”
Diego Gomez has the return mount aboard Turn on the Magic.
Trainer Ralph Nicks will also saddle a Stonehedge son of Khozan, Liam’s Lucky Charm, who followed up a third-place finish in his debut with a dominating 6 ¾-length triumph on June 9.
Nicks, who saddled Garter and Tie for a victory in last year’s $400,000 In Reality, has named Reylu Gutierrez to ride for the first time.
Karl and Kathy Glassman’s Absolute Grit brings stakes experience into the Dr. Fager, having finished second behind undefeated Positively Awesome in the June 30 Kodiak Island. The son of Kantharos debuted on April 26 with an off-the-pace triumph at 4 ½ furlongs.
Leading apprentice jockey Cristian Torres, who won his first stakes aboard Ms Meshak in last Saturday’s Added Elegance Stakes, has the call aboard the Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained colt.
Jose Pinchin is scheduled to saddle a pair of colts – David Hunt’s Man With a Plan, who finished third in the Kodiak Island, and Tracy Pinchin’s Northbrook, who broke his maiden for a $50,000 claiming price in his third career start. Emisael Jaramillo and Samy Camacho have been named to ride Man With a Plan and Northbrook, respectively.
Owner/trainer Steve Dwoskin’s One Turn Johnny, who finished third in his recent debut, rounds out the field. Jose Batista has the call.
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