Drafted readies for $135K Gravesend

December 10, 2022

Snicket back on short rest for $120K Garland of Roses

Drafted rallied from last to victory in the Runhappy at Belmont. (Joe Labozzetta) 

NYRA Press Office/Edited

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Dublin Fjord Stables, Racepoint Stables, Kevin D. Hilbert and Thomas E. O’Keefe’s multiple graded-stakes winner Drafted breezed three-eighths in 35.60 Tuesday over the Belmont dirt training track in his first work since finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler on October 29 at Belmont at the Big A.

“He worked good the other day,” Duggan said. “He never really stopped training. He just ran a few hard races and he’s older and it takes a little longer to recover. We let him get his feet back underneath him and go from there.”

The 8-year-old Field Commission gelding, who boasts career earnings of $1,083,193, has posted a record of 8-3-1-1 this year led by Grade 3 wins in the Toboggan in February at the Big A and the Runhappy in May at Belmont.

He has kept impressive company in his last three outings, finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Forego in August at the Spa won by Cody’s Wish, who exited that effort to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Drafted was then third in the Grade 1 Vosburgh in October here won by next-out Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint victor Elite Power; and a close fifth last out in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, captured by Runninsonofagun, who finished a neck shy of victory in the next-out Grade 3 Fall Highweight here in November.

Duggan said Drafted will follow a familiar path, targeting the six-furlong $135,000 Gravesend on December 30 with an eye towards the seven-furlong Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan on January 28. The popular grey has competed in both those events the past two years.

“It seems a logical idea right now. He’s going to be 9-years-old and if he can compete at this level, great,” Duggan said. “But I know the ownership won’t run him for a tag. So, if he can’t compete at the stakes level, we’ll consider taking a back seat. He won’t go down to the claiming rank again.”

Win or lose, Duggan said he has appreciated his time with the veteran sprinter, competing in some of the biggest sprint races in the country.

“It’s fantastic,” Duggan said. “It’s like putting pure adrenaline in your vein. You just enjoy the ride.”

Highland Yard’s stakes-placed New York-bred Snicket will wheel back on short notice in Saturday’s $120,000 Garland of Roses, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by David Duggan, the 5-year-old Lemon Drop Kid mare tracked in second throughout in a six-furlong open optional-claiming sprint last out on December 2 at the Big A won, by a neck, by stakes-winner Secret Love. That effort came on the heels of a gate-to-wire open allowance win on October 20 at Belmont at the Big A.

Duggan said he is hopeful Snicket can pick up the pieces behind a well-regarded pair of sophomore rivals entering off a series of unfortunate events in graded-stakes winner Hot Peppers, who scratched out of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint; and Grade 2-placed Smash Ticket, who finished a distant sixth after being clipped by a rival in the Grade 2 Raven Run.

“The last two races have been pretty good. We dabbled with some shoe changes on her that seem to have worked,” Duggan said. “We’re dipping into deep waters with these 3-year-old fillies that had questionable runs the last time and had a bit of a breather, but they’re good fillies and we’re just hoping we can get a piece of it.”

Snicket has made two previous stakes starts, both in state-bred company, finishing fifth in the Dancin Renee in June at Belmont Park and second in the Union Avenue in August at Saratoga Race Course.

“She’s probably going to be retired in the New Year, so some open-company black type is the main goal,” Duggan said. “She bounced out of the race in good shape and to add value to fillies at this time of year is a key goal.”

Snicket will exit post 3 under Luis Rodriguez Castro with a 15-1 morning-line assessment. Duggan said she is likely to chase the pace of her younger rivals.

“They’ve got more speed than us and we like to sit just off the pace and hope there’s a glitch in their giddy-up,” Duggan said. “It’s coming back a shade quicker than you’d like, but she’s trained well and come out of that last race in good shape.”

Bred in the Empire State by Stonewall Farm, Snicket boasts a record of 27-4-11-2 for purse earnings of $379,810. Snicket is out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Ever So Pretty, who is a full-sister to multiple graded-stakes winner Stormello and graded-stakes winner My Best Brother and is a half-sister to graded-stakes winner Gala Award.

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