Chapman Seeks Saturday Stakes Sweep With Prove Right, Drew’s Gold

February 5, 2023

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.

Drew’s Gold strong on the comeback, remains undefeated (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

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.

@jonathanstettin the win train keeps rolling down the tracks!

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