Tyson a wire-to-wire winner of the Seagram Cup (G2) July 29 at Woodbine (Michael Burns)
NYRA Press Office
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Trainer Josie Carroll, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2019, will send out a pair of strong contenders in Tyson and Duke of Love in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup. The 10-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park.
Carroll teamed up with Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame jockey Robert Landry to win the 2009 Grade 1 Alabama here with the flashy grey Careless Jewel, who entered on a trio of frontrunning wins topped by a score in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks.
“It was one of the most exciting races I’ve been a part of – what sticks out in my mind is her dumping the rider twice before the race and that fear that we were even going to get to run,” recalled Carroll, with a laugh. “She stumbled leaving there and didn’t assume her usual position which just worked out fortuitously for her. She was brilliant that day.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Stretch Run Ventures’ Kentucky homebred Tyson has raced exclusively on synthetic surfaces, entering from a pair of wins over Tapeta at Woodbine Racetrack with a rallying effort in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Dominion Day on July 1 and a prominent score in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Seagram Cup on July 29.
“He came out of his last race really well. It didn’t take a lot out of him and he’s had plenty of time in between. I’m happy to be here with him,” said Carroll, who also enjoyed NYRA-circuit success with Springside, who captured the 2008 Grade 2 Demoiselle in rein to the late Hall of Famer Garrett Gomez at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Tyson has won 4-of-5 starts, graduating in March 2022 over the Gulfstream Park synthetic while in the care of Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The 4-year-old Tapit colt then transferred to Carroll and captured an optional-claiming route in May at Woodbine while racing from a more than one-year layoff. His lone non-winning effort came when third in June in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Eclipse at Woodbine.
Tyson has breezed on dirt over the winter in Florida, but has worked exclusively over Woodbine’s Tapeta surface in preparation for the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He trained over dirt here this morning under exercise rider Tyler Gaskin.
“He breezed all winter on dirt at Payson Park and he handled it well,” Carroll said. “I’m pretty comfortable with the way he gets across it, but you don’t know until you run. He trained here this morning and my exercise rider said he dragged him around there.”
Tyson is out of the Smart Strike mare Honouring – a full-sister to Grade 1-winner Streaming as well as being a half-sister to Modeling, whose fifth offspring Arcangelo captured this year’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets and Grade 1 Travers. His third dam, Better Than Honour, produced Hall of Famer Rags to Riches and Belmont Stakes-winner Jazil.
It’s a family Carroll is familiar with having trained Tyson’s second dam, Teeming.
“I probably go back three generations with the family and they’ve all been incredibly talented horses. It’s really exciting to have one in a Grade 1,” Carroll said.
Manny Franco has the call from post 6 aboard Tyson, who is listed at 5-1 on the morning line.
“Manny has been incredibly strong at this meet,” Carroll said. “Tyson is a very kind horse to ride and he’ll do whatever the rider asks. It’s a nice position to be in with an outside post where he can see how the race unfolds and judge from there.”
My Racehorse’s Duke of Love, bred in Ontario by Caldara Farm, Patrick Costello, David Whitford and Tom Zwiesler, was purchased for $85,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
The 4-year-old Cupid colt boasts a record of 12-4-1-0 for purse earnings of $443,817 and is a perfect 2-for-2 on dirt with wins over a muddy and sealed main track in last year’s 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales – the middle leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Fort Erie – and a last-out score in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 West Virginia Governor’s over a good main track on August 6 at Mountaineer.
Duke of Love entered his Mountaineer score from a fading seventh in the Dominion Day after attending a swift early pace.
“He had run well in the Dominion Day but maybe got a little tired – he was forwardly placed. We saw the Governor’s and thought it was a good spot to try him on the dirt again, and he was tenacious. He really impressed me, so if ever there was a time to take a shot it’s now. He’s on his game,” Carroll said.
Luis Contreras, who captured the 2017 Grade 3 Schuylerville here with Dream It Is, will guide Duke of Love from post 7 with a 15-1 morning line assessment. The multiple Sovereign Award-winning jockey has ridden Duke of Love through each of his past two outings.
“Luis seems to get along really well with Duke of Love,” Carroll said. “He runs with his head a little high, a little cocked. Luis throws his head away and the horse seems really comfortable running for him.”