Stonestreet Stables and Gulf Coast Farms’ Kensei, who powered home to a 2 1/4-length victory over Warrior's Reward in the Aug. 1 Jim Dandy (gr. II) came out of the race in good shape, according to trainer Steven Asmussen’s assistant Larry Ulrich.
In his first start around two turns, Kensei stalked Warrior’s Reward through six furlongs in 1:11.55 and then surged away from the field in the stretch.
“He’ll have a couple of walk days, and Steve will come back here and figure out where to go with him,” Ulrich said. Among the options is the $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) on Aug. 29.
Trainer Ian Wilkes is looking toward the Travers for Steven Miles Jr.’s Warrior’s Reward after the colt exited the Jim Dandy in good shape with his determined second-place finish to Kensei.
“He ran hard and fast – 1:47 4/5. That’s a tough run. Kensei was just too tough yesterday,” Wilkes said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge when we meet him. One thing that can be said about this game – there’s always another race. Hopefully, we can do better the next time against him.”
The plans for third-place finisher Charitable Man are up in the air, said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The William Warren-owned colt raced wide for most of the race and was beaten by a neck for second.
“He ran well and came of the race in good shape,” McLaughlin said. “I thought Kensei was the logical favorite to me. We were hung wide and there was a little bit of bumping going down the backstretch. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. We’ll see how things are going and who’s going into the race. We have to look at our options.”
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard said that champion mare Forever Together came out of her repeat victory in the Diana (gr. I) in good shape.
In winning the Diana for the second straight year, Forever Together became only the sixth horse to accomplish that feat, joining Glowing Honor (1988-89), Hush Dear (1982-83), Shuvee (1970-71), Tempted (1959-60) and Miss Grillo (1946-47).
Following last year’s Diana, Forever Together went on to finish third in the grade II Canadian at Woodbine, then won the First Lady (gr. IT) at Keeneland and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT). Sheppard said this year he is inclined to skip the race at Woodbine and may pencil her in for the Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) on Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Trainer Christophe Clement reported Carribean Sunset and Rutherienne (second and third behind Forever Together) both came out of the race in good order.
“They ran very well,” Clement said. “Perhaps Mr. Sheppard will go to Europe with his filly next time though.”