"He spiked a fever about six weeks ago, and I missed two weeks of training with him," said conditioner David Donk.
Though Sharp Performance has trained well for his return, Donk is aware of the difficulty in taking on stakes caliber competition solely off of workouts. "I wish he had a race in him," said Donk, whose main goal is the Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) on June 8th at Belmont Park. "It's the old adage, 'He could win, but he doesn't have to,'" added the trainer.
Lisa Lewis will send out Gold Spur Stable's Capsized in the Fort Marcy. The six-year-old son of Summer Squall, who has been ambitiously placed throughout his career, finished second his last time out in The Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, after the event came off the grass.
"He always puts in a good race. He runs hard, and has done pretty well," said Lewis, who is optimistic about finally making a sustained campaign with Capsized.
"He's been plagued with quarter cracks," noted Lewis. "I've always had to back off. I'd like to run him every two or three weeks." Dr. Kashnikow will return off of a November layoff when he took the River City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs in his first start for trainer John Fisher. Megantic, who finished fourth behind Sharp Performance in the Lawrence Realization, will start for trainer Bill Mott and Brushwood Stable. Proud Man, who has made eight straight graded stakes
starts, will be sent out by trainer Harry Benson. Shadow Caster, the likely pace setter, comes in off a number of turf sprints at various tracks for John Terranova II.
The Fort Marcy is named for Rokeby Stable's 1970 Horse of the Year, and grass Champion. The Elliot Burch- trained gelding won 21 of 75 starts, including 16 stakes events. Fort Marcy was the first full-time turf runner to be named Horse of the Year.The field for the Fort Marcy Handicap, in post position order with jockeys and weights:
1) Proud Man (Jose Santos, 115)
2) Strategic Partner (Richard Migliore, 115)
3) Pyrus (Edgar Prado, 113)
4) Count de Hesse (Shaun Bridgmohan, 111)
5) Capsized (Norberto Arroyo Jr., 113)
6) Justification (Jose Espinoza, 111)
7) I'm All Yours (Javier Castellano, 114)
8) Shadow Caster (Mike Luzzi, 112)
9) Dr. Kashnikow (Jean-Luc Samyn, 117)
10) Sharp Performance (John Velzquez, 117)
AE Country Be Gold (No rider)
AE Reef Chief (No rider)