Sir Oscar Switches Stalls, Not Direction

Edited from a release

Fountain of Youth (gr. I) fifth-place finisher Sir Oscar has been transferred to trainer Marty Wolfson by owner Oscar Novo and will try to regain the form that sent him into last weekend's 3-year-old test with an undefeated record.

"I think they were going to make a change," said Wolfson. "Initially I pushed against it because I think (previous trainer) Manny (Azpurua) had done a great job with him, but they seemed committed to making a change so I agreed to take him on."

Azpurua conditioned Sir Oscar to six straight victories, including a sweep of the Florida Stallion Series at Calder Race Course. One of those races came at the expense of Wolfson's talented Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) winner Wynn Dot Comma. Now Wolfson will be controlling two of the brightest stars on the 3-year-old scene in South Florida with plans for Sir Oscar to point to the Florida Derby and Wynn Dot Comma to aim for the Swale Stakes (gr. III), both on Mar. 13.

Wolfson quickly discovered a reason for Sir Oscar's first loss, as post-race tests revealed the son of Halo's Image bled.

"I do think he had to be laboring because of the bleeding," said Wolfson. "He looks very good and he had been training well coming off a three-month layoff. I figured he would have been a fresh horse. For him to have had that much trouble has to be the bleeding and probably can't be blamed on the racetrack or anything like that. He's never been on Lasix, so we'll add that now."

While the move is a long way from the baseball trade that sent Alex Rodriguez to the New York Yankees this week, Wolfson does appreciate the fact that he's picked up an all-star in great shape. Like Yankees manager Joe Torre, Wolfson says he simply needs to keep things as smooth and as easy as possible for his new charge over the next month.

"He doesn't need a lot of work," said Wolfson. "He was already ready to run and very fit. I won't need to do a lot of training with him. Just keep him at this level over the next month waiting for the Florida Derby."

Wynn Dot Comma will now likely be kept off the Kentucky Derby trail despite his equally impressive record and early-season 3-year-old stakes win.

"I think races at a mile and under are going to be the races where he's most effective," said Wolfson. "His pedigree points to it (he is by Struggler), and it also points to the turf. That could be in his future after all of these important 3-year-old races are out of the way."

Wynn Dot Comma finished fourth last Saturday in the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II), 3 3/4-lengths behind Limehouse, after a troubled trip. Wolfson was happy with the effort despite the loss saying he thought the colt fell too far behind early and still managed to rally despite some tight spots along the way.

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