Speed Dominates First Jimmy Winkfield Line-up

(from Aqueduct report)
Six 3-year-old sprinters vie in the first running of the $75,000-added Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, named for one of the greatest African-American jockeys of all time, highlighting Aqueduct's Martin Luther King Jr. Day program Monday.

Gold Joy, upset winner of Belmont's Tremont in late June, ships north from Maryland for trainer Timothy Salzman to take part in the six-furlong event previously known as the Best Turn.

A colt by Joyeux Danseur, Gold Joy is making his second start off a near five-month layoff Monday after finishing fourth in Charles Towns' Saint Nick Dec. 26. The seven-furlong Saint Nick was Gold Joy's first start around two turns. Salzman said the colt had trouble adjusting to the configuration of the track.

"He's such a big, long-striding horse that the second turn was just too sharp for him, but the race served its purposes," Salzman said. "I needed to get a race into him. He should improve off it."

Gold Joy, a closer who races in blinkers, should get a favorable pace scenario in the Winkfield due to the presence of More Smoke, Maddy's Lion, Primal Storm, and Lieutenant Danz. Aqueduct's inner track has favored inside speed horses over the last 10 days or so.

Maddy's Lion is the only horse in the race that owns an inner track victory, thanks to his entry-level allowance win here on January 5th. Trained by John Pregman Jr., Maddy's Lion drew the rail.

Maddy's Lion finished third in his only start in stakes company thus far, Pimlico's Rollicking. Pregman says he had the best horse that day.

"He had a brutal trip," Pregman said. "He got shuffled back on the turn, circled the field six wide and finished full of run. With any kind of trip, he wins easy."

$75,000-added Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, 3-year-olds, 6 furlongs
1. Maddy's Lion, John Pregman Jr., Pablo Fragoso, 116
2. Lieutenant Danz, Sharon Huston, Shaun Bridgmohan, 116
3. Gold Joy, Timothy Salzman, Mike Luzzi, 122
4. Primal Storm, Steve Asmussen, Stewart Elliott, 122
5. More Smoke, John Zimmerman, Rafael Bejarano, 120
6. Smokin Forest, Todd Pletcher, Richard Migliore, 120