Drew’s Gold Points to G3 Bay Shore After $100K Jimmy Winkfield Win

February 12, 2023

Drew’s Gold remains undefeated and becomes a stakes winner in the $100K Jimmy Winkfield (Joe Labozzetta)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Drew’s Gold, trained and co-owned by James Chapman with Stuart Tsujimoto, remained undefeated through three career starts with a 4 1/4-length score in Saturday’s $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield, a six-furlong sprint for sophomores, at the Big A.

The Kentucky-bred Violence colt overcame slow starts in his first two outings, but was away alertly under Jose Gomez and disputed the pace on Saturday, leading through splits of 23.47 seconds and 47.81 over the fast main track.

The $25,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase opened up by 2 1/2 lengths at the stretch call and stopped the clock in a final time of 1:13.09. The emphatic score matched a career-best 83 Beyer Speed Figure.

Chapman said a trip to the starting gate the day before the race was beneficial for the improving dark bay.

“Instead of just taking off, he’d watch the doors and they’d spook him,” explained Chapman. “But the gate crew is so good in New York, they let us take him to the gate the day before and instead of backing him out, we opened up the doors by hand and let him walk out the front to take a breath and chill out. It really helped him relax. With racing, he’s only going to get better.”

Drew’s Gold also benefitted from reuniting with Gomez, who had worked the horse multiple times at Belmont Park in advance of his prior scores. Drew’s Gold ultimately shipped to Churchill Downs in May to win his debut sprinting five furlongs after breaking a step slow under Ricardo Santana, Jr.; and returned to action on January 28 at Laurel Park to defeat winners going 5 1/2-furlongs despite leaping in the air at the start with Jeiron Barbosa up.

“Jose’s known the horse from way back,” Chapman said. “He breezed the horse the work before he won at Churchill when he was supposed to run at Belmont. We had that horse schooled and ready to go in behind horses. And then he worked him here once before he went to Laurel when the race didn’t go here.

Drew’s Gold could step up to graded company next out with an eye towards the seven-furlong Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore on April 8, which Chapman said is preferable to trying the one-turn mile Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham on March 4, which awards 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

“I’d rather just keep taking it step-by-step with him and run him in the seven-eighths race,” Chapman said. “He’s doing super. He came out of the race like he didn’t even run.”

Chapman didn’t rule out stretching Drew’s Gold out in distance down the road.

“Who knows until you run around two turns, but it doesn’t seem like the distance has affected him. The further that he goes, he just wins by more,” Chapman said.

Chapman and Tsujimoto attempted to complete a Saturday stakes sweep at the Big A in the Grade 3 Withers, but their 80-1 longshot Prove Right settled for a distant fifth after attending the early pace with Gomez aboard.

The Justify bay, a $15,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, was a strong third in the one-turn mile Grade 3 Nashua here in November ahead of an off-the-board effort in the nine-furlong Remsen on December 3 which was contested over a sloppy and sealed Aqueduct main track.

He would capture an optional-claiming tilt at 5 1/2 furlongs just eight days later at Laurel Park before finishing last-of-5 in the Turfway Prevue sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on synthetic on January 7.

Prove Right was initially under consideration for the Jimmy Winkfield but when Drew’s Gold exited his Laurel win in good order and was able to wheel back on two weeks’ rest, Chapman decided to give Prove Right one more shot at nine furlongs.

“I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something and that maybe the horse didn’t like the mud,” said Chapman. “Obviously, he’s better sprinting than routing, but I wanted to take a chance with a short field. I thought he ran OK. He had a little mucus and snot coming out of the race. He just missed finishing fourth and picking up $15,000.”

Chapman credited Tsujimoto for his patience in campaigning young horses.

“We own the horses together and he’s the best guy you could have as a partner,” Chapman said. “It’s the reason we’re able to do so well with the horses we buy because there’s no heat with him on anything. If I tell him we need to give a horse 30 days, he’s fine.”

Chapman said Prove Right will turn back in distance next out and could come under consideration for the Grade 3 Gotham if the field comes up light, but will keep all his options open.

Kavod (Coady Photography)

Chapman has enjoyed tremendous success in New York with bargain buys from yearling sales, including Kavod, a $3,500 Keeneland Yearling Sale purchase in 2020 that graduated in April 2021 at Belmont ahead of a runner-up effort in that year’s Tremont. He would lose Kavod via claim for $50,000 in November 2021 and the horse went on to win the Advent at Oaklawn Park and has now banked $540,240 through 20 starts.

Saucy Lady T, who brought $5,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, graduated in April 2021 at Belmont and completed the trifecta in a trio of Saratoga stakes that summer in the Grade 3 Schuylerville, Grade 2 Adirondack and Grade 1 Spinaway. The Tonalist bay then sold for $425,000 at the Keeneland Horses of All Ages Sale in January 2022.

“It’s just a matter of spotting them right and always having a bit of pedigree when you buy,” said Chapman. “Whatever faults they have that caused the price, once they show they can run, you don’t have to be a genius to make some money on them.”

The Chapman family is arguably best known for campaigning the multiple graded-stakes winner Caller One, who, in 2000, captured the Grade 3 Lafayette at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway Park. He would finish fourth in that year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint [won by Kona Gold], marking the quarter-mile in 20.82 seconds and the half in 43.56 despite a troubled start.

The Phone Trick bay added the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park to his ledger in 2001, just two starts before finishing third to the victorious Squirtle Squirt in that year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont Park.

His overseas ventures included back-to-back wins in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2001-02, the first victory as a Group 3 and the second as a Group 1. He completed his career at the age of 10 with a win in the 2007 Rocket Man, a two-furlong sprint in the slop at Calder Race Course.

Chapman said the now 26-year-old Caller One is enjoying his retirement years in Florida.

“He’s at my dad’s place in Florida. He’s a little long in the tooth, but they spoil him,” Chapman said. “He’s lived a good life. He’s out in the big field with a couple other horses and doing fine.”

Chapman said he has many fond memories of Caller One, including his tremendous Breeders’ Cup efforts.

“In 2001, it was the year Tiznow won the Classic and the year that Frankel won his first Breeders’ Cup with Squirtle Squirt. I remember it like it was yesterday,” Chapman said. “The year before at Churchill, he stumbled leaving the gate and he took off and went 20 and change. He’s such a nice horse.”

Caller One banked more than $3.2 million in purse earnings through a record of 29-11-5-3.

Have to give out Props to @jonathanstettin for yesterday winners sure did help me have a big day 👌🏻$

Mike @tout1horse View testimonials