OZONE PARK, NY – Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and James D. Spry’s Courvoisier worked five-eighths in 1:02.41 Friday over the Belmont dirt training track in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Withers, a nine-furlong test offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
“He’s doing well,” trainer Kelly Breen said. “He breezed Friday by himself. It was a maintenance workout and he’s good to go.”
The regally-bred Tapit chestnut is out of Grade 1 winning 2014 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Take Charge Brandi, who is a half-sibling to multiple Grade 1-winner Omaha Beach. Courvoisier graduated at fourth asking traveling nine-furlongs in December at the Big A ahead of a 1 1/4-length score in the one-turn mile Jerome contested over a sloppy and sealed main track on New Year’s Day, garnering 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Breen said he is taking a cautiously optimistic approach on contesting the Kentucky Derby. “We nominated him, but one race at a time,” Breen said.
Breen said a decision on a jockey for Courvoisier will be made in the next few days.
Robert G. Hahn’s multiple stakes-placed New York-homebred Daufuskie Island worked five-eighths in 1:02.65 Friday over the Belmont dirt training track.
The Goldencents sophomore graduated impressively by five lengths at first asking sprinting six furlongs in a state-bred maiden special weight in August at Saratoga Race Course.
Daufuskie Island picked up state-bred stakes placings in the six-furlong Aspirant [2nd] at Finger Lakes in September; six-furlong New York Breeders’ Futurity [3rd] in October at Finger Lakes; six-furlong Notebook [3rd] in November at Aqueduct; and the 6 1/2-furlong Rego Park last out on January 9 at the Big A.
Breen said the one-mile $100,000 Gander for state-bred sophomores on February 12 is a possible target, but he is also considering other options for Daufuskie Island.
“There’s an allowance race right before it and if it goes, we’ll probably run in the allowance,” Breen said.
Aqueduct Barn Notes/NYRA
Photo: Courvoisier wins the 2022 Jerome/NYRA