He'll Get the 'Call' Again at Age 10

John's Call, the venerable gelding who won two grade I turf stakes last year at age 9, will race again at 10, trainer Tom Voss said. A chestnut gelding by Lord at War, John's Call has won 15 of 36 career starts for earnings of $1,534,207.

As usual, John's Call has spent the winter at Voss's farm located north of Baltimore, Md. He spends the days in a large field with other horses and the nights in his stall "when we can catch him," Voss said with a laugh. "Sometimes it takes about an hour, but we always get him."

Voss said John's Call has spent so much time galloping on his own that he's about 50% fit. "I'm going to stick my neck out and say he's in better shape this year than he was last year," Voss said.

In 2000, John's Call, owned by Trillium Stable, won the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga, and the Turf Classic Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park, both grade I turf races. He later finished a good third in the grade I Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, and ninth in the group I Japan Cup, his final race of the year.

Voss said he would start training John's Call at the beginning of April, first by jogging him with a rider and then by galloping him. He will look for a race in July as a prep for the Sword Dancer in August.

Voss said he was on horseback a couple of weeks ago and watched as John's Call enticed three or four horses to run with him. He started by playing with them, and then they'd run off through the field.

"The other ones looked like they were taking two strides to his one, and he was just galloping," Voss said. "He's an amazing horse."

John's Call began his career in 1994 in New York. He has competed in hurdle races, and as recently as 1998 competed in claiming races.