Joey Freshwater Vies for More Stakes Success in $150K Gold Fever

May 10, 2023

Joey Freshwater becomes a graded stakes winner in the Bay Shore (G3) April 8 (Chelsea Durand)

By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y.— Winning Move Stable’s graded stakes-winner Joey Freshwater will vie for more stakes success in Friday’s $150,000 Gold Fever, a six-furlong sprint for sophomores, at Belmont Park.

Trained by Linda Rice, Joey Freshwater enters from a triumphant graded debut when taking the seven-furlong Grade 3 Bay Shore by 1 1/4 lengths on April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack. Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, Joey Freshwater stalked close to the pace set by fellow Gold Fever aspirant Prove Right and responded well when asked for more by Carmouche in the turn. He pounced to a one-length advantage at the stretch call and kept on well down the lane to score the victory in a final time of 1:24.91. He was awarded an 80 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

The son of Jimmy Creed has been a model of consistency for Rice since he was haltered for $50,000 out of a five-length second-out graduation in November at Churchill Downs. He won at first asking for new connections with a one-length optional claiming win on New Year’s Day at the Big A, and followed with a third-place effort in the Jimmy Winkfield on February 11 where he finished five lengths behind returning rival Drew’s Gold.

Joey Freshwater posted a five-furlong breeze on April 27 over the Belmont Park training track, covering the distance in 1:01.

“He’s been training very well,” said Rice. “This is what we hope we can do with every horse we claim.”

Carmouche rides again from the inside post.

Joey Freshwater 24 karat in the Jimmy Winkfield under Jose Gomez (Joe Labozzetta)

Trainer Jim Chapman and Stuart Tsujimoto’s stakes-winner Drew’s Gold [post 6, Jose Gomez] is one of two entrants that brings a perfect record to the Gold Fever. The dark bay son of Violence has not raced since a dominant 4 1/4-length victory in the six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield on February 11 at Aqueduct where he led at each point of call under Jose Gomez and drew off with ease in the stretch.

Drew’s Gold, whose perfect 3-for-3 record includes a debut maiden score last May at Churchill and an optional claiming score in January at Laurel Park, fell ill after the Jimmy Winkfield and missed some training as he recovered.

Chapman said the robust colt has shown no signs of regression since his last race, and breezed a sharp half-mile in 47.11 seconds yesterday in company with Prove Right.

“He’s doing good,” said Chapman. “He just got sick coming out of that race but everything is back on track. His breezes have been super and he worked scary good yesterday. He’s always been a good horse right from the beginning. He’s had his little things that come but, but they’re all behind him now.”

Chapman, who trained multiple graded stakes-winner Caller One, said Drew’s Gold could turn out to be a very special horse.

“It’s really exciting, and down the road I think he could be even better than Caller One,” said Chapman. “He’s a perfect horse.”

Drew’s Gold, out of the multiple stakes-winning mare Frolic’s Revenge, was a modest $25,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale where Chapman picked him out.

Prove Right cruises to a 9 ¾ allowance win March 31 at Laurel Park (Maryland Jockey Club)

Chapman and Tsujimoto’s other contender, the seasoned Prove Right [post 3, Jose Ortiz], will make the 16th start of his career off a sixth-place finish to Joey Freshwater in the Bay Shore. The Justify colt earned graded black type with a third-place effort in the Grade 3 Nashua last year and has made five starts this season, led by a March 31 optional claiming conquest at Laurel Park and a runner-up performance in the Rittenhouse Square on March 6 at Parx Racing.

“He’s always good and he’s a tough horse,” said Chapman. “He’ll do anything.”

Chapman added that he will also consider one of his entries, likely Prove Right, for the Grade 3, $200,000 Chick Lang for sophomores sprinting six furlongs on the May 20 Preakness Stakes undercard at Pimlico Race Course.

Squire Creek maintains his never headed, undefeated record April 8 at Keeneland (Coady Photography)

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox also enters an undefeated colt in WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Squire Creek. The son of Uncle Mo is a perfect 2-for-2 after breaking his maiden on debut in March at Fair Grounds Race Course and following with a first-level optional claiming coup on April 8 at Keeneland. Both wins came in frontrunning fashion sprinting six furlongs on the main track.

The royally-bred Squire Creek is out of the winning WinStar Farm homebred mare Covenant, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner and sire Commissioner, graded stakes-winner Laugh Track, graded stakes-placed Intrepid Heart, and the winning mare Mythical Bride, who produced 2019 Champion Older Dirt Male and multiple graded stakes-winner Vino Rosso.

Florent Geroux has the call from post 2.

Completing the field are Cash is King and LC Racing’s graded stakes-placed Tuskegee Airmen [post 4, Paco Lopez] for trainer John Servis; and Mr. Amore Stables’ graded stakes-placed New York homebred Andiamo a Firenze [post 5, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] for trainer Kelly Breen.

The Gold Fever is slated as Race 8 on Friday’s nine-race card. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern. 

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