SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Godolphin’s Kentucky homebred Cody’s Wish garnered a career-best 112 Beyer Speed Figure for his 1 1/4-length score in Saturday’s seven-furlong Grade 1, $600,000 Forego for older horses at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and piloted by Junior Alvarado, Cody’s Wish settled in sixth position as reigning Champion Sprinter Jackie’s Warrior dueled with Pipeline through splits of 22.75 seconds and 45.10 before rallying wide down the lane to overtake his rivals and notch a 1 1/4-length score in a final time of 1:20.95, just .55 seconds off the track record. Fellow Mott-trainee Baby Yoda finished fourth for his first defeat at the Spa in four starts.
Cody’s Wish is named for teenager Cody Dorman, who suffers from the genetic disorder Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. Dorman met Cody’s Wish as a foal during a farm tour via the Make A Wish program and developed a special bond with the then four-month-old horse, inspiring the eventual name.
A six-time winner from 10 starts, Cody’s Wish entered the Forego from a neck score in the Hanshin on July 4 at Churchill Downs with Alvarado in the irons.
‘I’m very aware [about the backstory] and it makes it even more special,” Alvarado said. “Last time in Kentucky I got to meet Cody in person and you wouldn’t believe the way this horse acted towards him. It’s an unbelievable bond they have together and it gives me even more confidence to ride a horse like that because the horse is extra smart and knows what he’s doing.”
The victory was part of a solid stakes weekend for Mott, who sent out Art Collector for a successful title defense in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic and Frank’s Rockette to a six-length romp in the Pink Ribbon on Friday evening at the West Virginia track.
Godolphin’s Speaker’s Corner set the pace under Hall of Famer Mike Smith en route to a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien on Saturday at Del Mar, finishing 5 3/4-lengths back of the victorious Laurel River.
Mott’s other Spa stakes starters Saturday included Channel Maker [10th, Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer] and Gilded Age [5th, Grade 1 Runhappy Travers].
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Cody’s Wish wins the Grade 1 Forego under Junior Alvarado (Chris Rahayel)