Prove Right breaks his maiden at second asking June 26, 2022 at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Graded-stakes placed Prove Right will stretch out to nine furlongs for the second time in Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Withers, a Kentucky Derby qualifier offering 20-8-6-4-2 points to the top-five finishers.
The Withers was originally scheduled for February 4 but was re-scheduled after racing at Aqueduct was canceled Friday and Saturday due to extreme cold and sustained high winds. The Withers will be re-drawn on Wednesday and could include a couple more horses in addition to the initial field of six that included Prove Right along with Ninetyprcentmaddie, General Banker, Arctic Arrogance, Andiamo a Firenze and Hit Show. Possible Withers additions include Classic Catch, Jungfrau and Thirsty John.
Trained and co-owned by James Chapman with S Tsujimoto, Prove Right boasts a record of 11-2-1-2 with starts at distances ranging from 4-to-9 furlongs, including a strong third in the one-mile Grade 3 Nashua here in November.
The $15,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, who has already banked nearly 10 times his auction price, followed the Nashua with a distant off-the-board effort in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Remsen here on December 3 over a sloppy and sealed track before wheeling back on eight day’s rest to win an optional-claiming sprint at Laurel Park.
“He’s always a really good-feeling hose, so we’ve taken different shots with him,” Chapman said. “He ran a really good race in the one-turn mile and the next race it was muddy and he was looking at the grandstand when they broke. If he gets shut off or in a little trap, he just throws his head up and throws a fit. But that [the Remsen] was a tough race, and he came right back and won real easy going short.”
The Justify bay exited his Laurel score to finish a distant last-of-5 in the Turfway Prevue on January 7, sprinting 6 1/2-furlongs over the synthetic.
“He had a little mucus,” Chapman said. “But I just don’t think he liked it [Tapeta]. He just pinned his ears and didn’t like it. He likes a deep racetrack.”
Chapman said he expects the well-bred bay should handle the added ground being out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Joe’sgoldenholiday, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winner Goldencents.
“He’s supposed to run further than six furlongs. He has decent pedigree behind him,” Chapman said.
Chapman and Tsujimoto will look to complete a Saturday stakes sweep here with the undefeated Drew’s Gold, who is expected to enter the $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield, a six-furlong sprint for sophomores.
The Violence bay graduated on debut in May at Churchill Downs sprinting five furlongs in a key restricted maiden tilt that saw the runner-up, Undalay, and third-place finisher, Top of My Game, win at next asking.
Drew’s Gold returned to action on January 28 at Laurel Park and registered an 83 Beyer with a 3 3/4-length score in a 5 1/2-furlong optional claimer.
“He’s a really nice horse,” Chapman said. “He had a little setback after his first race – it was just baby stuff, but I gave him more time than he actually needed.”
Chapman indicated a good effort Saturday could propel Drew’s Gold to the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham, a one-turn mile for sophomores on March 4 which offers 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
“I don’t want to stretch him out second time back and if he’s what I think he is, there’s that mile race in March,” Chapman said.
The $25,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, out of the multiple stakes-winning Vindication mare Frolic’s Revenge, is a half-sibling to stakes-winner American Frolic.