Lone Rock looking for Birdstone repeat

July 19, 2022

Dream Lith to resume training, next race undecided

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—Flying P Stable, R. A. Hill Stable and Flying Partners’ Lone Rock is hoping to defend his title in the $200,000 Birdstone, a one-and-three-quarter mile dirt marathon for older horses on July 28 at Saratoga Race Course. 

Last year, Lone Rock established himself as one of the best marathon horses in the country, posting a 9-7-2-0 record and becoming a multiple graded stakes-winner when he captured the Grade 2 Brooklyn at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day and the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance at Del Mar on the Breeders’ Cup undercard. 

He finished third in this year’s Brooklyn, but conditioner Robertino Diodoro believes his horse is in great shape.

“His last two works have been his best two works he’s had in probably the last 8 months,” Diodoro said, “Just like most horses, how can you not like it up here where this is more horse-friendly compared to some racetracks?”

The 7-year-old millionaire gelding by Majestic Warrior is likely to have one more breeze on Thursday over the main track, though Diodoro said it will be a much more relaxing prep after two stiff breezes already at the Spa. 

Dream Lith (outside #1) finished a game third in the Acorn on June 11, 2022. (Dom Napolitano)

Cypress Creek Equine and Arnold Bennewith’s Dream Lith, last seen finishing third in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 10 at Belmont Park, remains at Churchill Downs after receiving a few weeks off.

“We gave her a short break at the farm for a couple weeks,” said Diodoro, “She got a little skin disease and just gave her a little freshener. She’s doing well but we’re going to take our time.”

Diodoro said she will likely arrive in Saratoga in the next couple of weeks, with a possible race at the end of August.

The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro instantly made a name for herself last summer at Saratoga when she dazzled in her debut and lit up the tote board, returning $75 to win when defeating seven other rivals. 

She finished fifth in her next start, the Grade 1 Spinaway, but ended her 2-year-old season as a graded stakes-winner when she came from off the pace to win the Grade 2 Golden Rod in November at Churchill, defeating a field that included this year’s Kentucky Oaks victor and Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks probable Secret Oath. 

NYRA Press Office
Photo: Lone Rock with Ramon Vazquez up about to win the 2021 edition of the Birdstone. (Dom Napolitano)

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