Jockey Richard Migliore is hoping that Redskin Warrior can provide him with another hot potential Visa Triple Crown Challenge runner. Last weekend Migliore guided Friends Lake to victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and this weekend he and Redskin Warrior will break from post six in Saturday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) , going a mile around one-turn at Aqueduct.
The Gotham will be the first test beyond six furlongs for the Jennifer Pedersen-trained Redskin Warrior.
Redskin warrior ended his juvenile campaign with a win but left the track via ambulance. His feet were bothering him and he tore skin from both fetlocks. The son of Indian Charlie
returned to win the Feb. 21st Best Turn by five lengths.
Being able to settle while stretching out two furlongs will be one of the keys to the race for Redskin Warrior.
"When I worked him before the first race last week (seven furlongs in 1:28 1/5 on March 10th) he relaxed very well," Migliore said. "I really liked the way he settled and finished. As long as he's comfortable, I'll be happy where we are."
Also trying a route for the first time are Deputy Storm and Saratoga County, the second and third-place finishers from the grade II Hutcheson at Gulfstream.
Deputy Storm is the speed of the speeds in the Gotham. He set blazing fractions of :21 3/5 and :43 3/5 in the Hutcheson, his first race since finishing second in the Aug. 9th Sapling. The son of Forestry
was passed by Limehouse in the stretch, but still ran a game effort to hold second.
After finishing second in the Spectacular Bid, Saratoga County had trouble at the start and found himself 10 lengths behind Deputy Storm in the Hutcheson, effectively giving him little chance to win. Saratoga County did not give up after the break, rallying to be third and 13/4 lengths behind Deputy Storm at the finish.
Riding a two-race win streak into the Gotham is Willmott Stables' Eddington, who has been impressive in victory going long since the addition of blinkers. While many others in the Gotham have yet to try a route, Eddington is the only one in the group with more than one win past seven furlongs.
"I don't think the blinkers have helped his early speed," trainer Mark Hennig said. "They have helped him focus more. In both his last races, he hasn't hit his best stride until the sixteenth-pole."
Being in full flight at the sixteenth-pole may prove a big edge for Eddington in the Gotham especially considering a likely fast pace and the presence of horses inexperienced in routes.
The field for Saturday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) includes:
1-- Deputy Storm (Jorge Chavez,116)
2 -- Eddington (Edgar Prado,116)
3-- War's Prospect (Daniel Santana,116)
4 -- Pomeroy (Mike Smith,116)
5-- Saratoga County (Javier Castellano,116)
6-- Redskin Warrior (Richard Migliore,120)
7 -- Rockhewn (Victor Molina, 116)
8--Quick Action (Shaun Bridgmohan,120)