Shadwell Stable’s Jazil, the 2006 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, will make his first start since when he breaks from the outside post in a field of eight in Aqueduct’s eighth race on Friday, a $48,000 second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.
Jazil and Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) winning stablemate Invasor had been in Florida, but were shipped up to New York on Christmas Eve after an outbreak of equine herpesvirus in the Sunshine State. Shadwell and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin feared that the situation in Florida might create restrictions on horses being able to ship to Dubai for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 31.
On Saturday, Jazil worked four furlongs over Belmont’s training track in :48 3/5 and is now ready for his first race in over six months. After the Belmont Stakes, the son of Seeking the Gold was sidelined with a bruised hind cannon bone and could not be prepared in time to make the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
Jazil will be ridden by his regular rider, Fernando Jara, on Friday.
“We wanted to get him started,” McLaughlin said. “He’s doing very well, but I don’t know if he has to win. If he runs well, we’ll be happy.”
Jazil has already raced over Aqueduct’s inner track once, breaking his maiden on Dec. 7, 2005, rallying from last to win by a head.
“The only thing that worries me is that the inner track can be speed favoring,” McLaughlin said. “But at least he’s won over it already.”
Friday’s allowance will likely serve as a prep for either the Feb. 3 $300,000 Strub (gr. II) going nine furlongs at Santa Anita or the March 3 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), a $350,000 event at 1 3/16 miles.
“He could run in either of those races,” McLaughlin said. “Or he could be a backup for Invasor in the Donn Handicap (gr. I).”
The Donn is run Feb. 3 at Gulfstream with a $500,000 purse. It would likely be Invasor’s final start before the Dubai World Cup. McLaughlin said that he would not ship both horses to Dubai for the World Cup.