Seattle Fitz To Skip Suburban and Point to Whitney
Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2004 2:58 PM
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 9:32 AM
West Point Thoroughbreds' Seattle Fitz, who posted impressive back-to-back victories in the (gr. III) Schaefer at Pimlico and the (gr. II) Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont, will skip the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) on July 3 and make his next start in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) on Aug. 7 at Saratoga.
"Seattle Fitz ran his best and gamest race yet in the Brooklyn, and while the Suburban is a tempting spot to run him back, the main goal is the Whitney and we think having a little break between starts will give Fitz his best shot in that Grade 1 field," said West Point Thoroughbreds president Terry Finley.
After equalling the stakes record of 1:46 1/5 for the 1 1/8-mile Brooklyn, earning a career-high 113 Beyer speed figure in beating Dynever by a half-length, Seattle Fitz will challenge grade I company for just the second time in his career.
Last February the 5-year-old son of Argentinian sire Fitzcarraldo finished second to Medaglia d'Oro in the (gr. 1) Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
"He clicked off very fast fractions on the front end in the Brooklyn and still was able to run strongly down the stretch," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "Coming off that performance in the Brooklyn I would rather take the safe route and go into the Whitney with the extra rest rather than putting him through three tough battles in an eight-week span."
Seattle Fitz will be ridden in the Whitney by Richard Migliore, who rode him to both victories in the Schaefer and Brooklyn.
For the season Seattle Fitz has banked $401,060 to push his career earnings to $590,621.
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