Mott Likely To Hit the Road With Rocket Can and Shadow Dragon

March 16, 2023

Rocket Can ahead of his Holy Bull score (Lauren King)

Gulfstream News & Notes

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.— Trainer Bill Mott has had a rewarding winter during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. The Hall of Fame conditioner won the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) with Art Collector, finished first and second in the Holy Bull (G3) with winner Rocket Can and runner-up Shadow Dragon, and he won the Hurricane Bertie (G3) and Sugar Swirl (G3) with Frank’s Rockette.

Mott, who leads all trainers in earnings ($3.052 million) and is fourth in wins with 17, may hit the road with the 3-year-olds Rocket Can, owned by Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc., and Shadow Dragon, owned by Peachtree Stable.

“We have to decide where we’re going,” said Mott of Rocket Can, who followed up his Holy Bull victory with a second-place finish behind Eclipse champion Forte in the Fountain of Youth (G2), trained by Todd Pletcher. “We’re not, we’re no more than 50-50 to run in the Florida Derby (G1). We assume Todd’s probably running that horse back. The owner [of Rocket Can] is from Arkansas so that’s an option. He’s let me run all these horses in Florida all winter, but he’d like to see them at his home track, and I get that…I think Rocket Can will go to Arkansas [Derby April 1) or the Blue Grass (G1).

Mott said Shadow Dragon, a New York bred by Army Mule, will likely go to the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8 at Aqueduct.

“He’s going to go to New York and run in the Wood Memorial,” he said. “The owner wants to take one more shot and see where we’re at and we’ll try the Wood. If it doesn’t work, he’s there, he’s a New York bred, and I get it.”

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