Prove Right a Viable Alternative in G3 Bay Shore

April 5, 2023

Prove Right breaks his maiden at Churchill Downs June 25, 2022 (Coady Photography)

By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Prove Right, a 9 1/4-length winner on Friday at Laurel Park, will return on short rest for Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomores, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Justify bay, trained and co-owned by Jim Chapman with Stuart Tsujimoto, is a last-minute stand in for undefeated stablemate Drew’s Gold, who exited the Jimmy Winkfield on February 11 here with a virus and has yet to breeze back.

“I won’t rush him into Saturday’s race. He got sick and needed the time. He’ll work Friday or Saturday,” said Chapman, noting that Drew’s Gold could target a pair of starts at Belmont Park with the six-furlong $150,000 Gold Fever on May 12 serving as a bridge to the seven-furlong Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun on June 10.

Prove Right, who boasts a record of 14-3-2-2 for field-best purse earnings of $211,870, has raced at distances ranging from four furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. He was a rallying second under Ricardo Santana, Jr. on October 8 at Keeneland after exiting the inside post in a six-furlong optional-claiming sprint ahead of a pacesetting third under Jose Ortiz from post 4-of-5 in the one-turn mile Grade 3 Nashua one month later at the Big A.

Chapman said the ornery Prove Right puts in his best efforts when not battling with his rider or fellow competitors.

“He likes to fight with other horses, but if he can break and everyone leaves him alone then he really runs good,” Chapman said. “When he ran at Keeneland, I told the jockey not to ask him – just let him break and do whatever he’s going to do, whether it’s in front or way back. Just don’t rattle him up until he’s in the turn and ready to run. He was way back that day and came flying to finish second. He’ll do anything. It’s just a matter of him thinking he’s doing it on his own rather than a horse pushing him into a spot, because then he just gets mad and would rather lay on the horse the whole time.

“He’s been a pain in the ass his whole life,” added Chapman, with a laugh. “He’s a bully. When I turned him out with other horses that I bought at the sale, he was trying to beat the crap out of them. When he’s walking out to the track and there’s horses walking next to him, he’ll cock his head and start giving them the eye.”

Prove Right tried his luck in a pair of nine-furlong Kentucky Derby preps here, finishing last-of-7 in the Grade 2 Remsen in December and a distant fifth in the Grade 3 Withers on February 11.

However, Prove Right, like his undefeated stablemate, came out of the Withers Day effort with an excuse and was a pacesetting second in the 6 1/2-furlong Rittenhouse Square on March 6 at Parx ahead of last week’s frontrunning romp in Maryland that garnered a career-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He came back sick out of the Withers. When he came back at Parx, he only had one work and needed that race,” Chapman said. 

So, while Chapman has entered his backup choice for Saturday’s test, he said he feels confident that Prove Right is ready to prove his naysayers wrong.

“It’s back quick, but he’s done that a couple times and run a good race. One thing for sure, we’ll know that he’s fit,” said Chapman, with a laugh. “He looks like a little Ferrari. He’s muscle-bound, tough and real athletic.”

A $15,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Prove Right is out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Joe’sgoldenholiday, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winner Goldencents.

Chapman said the modest purchase, currently the third-leading money earner sired by the 2018 Triple Crown-winner, is as game as they come.

“He’s run double the races of any of them and won more than double than most of them because he’s really won four,” said Chapman, noting an August effort at Timonium where he crossed the wire first but was demoted to third. “He’s an overachiever for all that he’s done. I’ve hauled him up and down the road in my trailer, and when he gets his own way, he’s tough.”

Jeiron Barbosa retains the mount from the outermost post 7.

Winning Move Stable’s Joey Freshwater [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche] boasts a perfect in-the-money record of 1-1-1 in three starts since being haltered by trainer Linda Rice for $50,000 out of a winning effort at second asking over a sloppy and sealed main track on November 27 at Churchill Downs.

Joey Freshwater won at first asking for his current connections on New Year’s Day at the Big A in a six-furlong optional-claimer over muddy and sealed going with Kendrick Carmouche in the irons. He followed with a good third in the six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield, closing to finish less than a length back of runner-up Clubhouse in a tilt won by the aforementioned Drew’s Gold.

Last out, Joey Freshwater took on older company in a six-furlong allowance and registered a field-best 92 Beyer when second, by a neck, to graded-stakes placed Surprise Boss with stablemate Majority Partner a head back in third. There, Joey Freshwater broke outward under Jose Lezcano before tracking in fifth position through a swift quarter mile in 22.70 seconds over the fast main track. He advanced to third by the stretch call and rallied widest of the trio of contenders to narrowly miss in a final time of 1:12.82.

The $35,000 OBS June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale purchase is out of the More Than Ready mare Lake Turkana, who is a half-sister to graded-stakes winner Crewman.

Pam and Martin Wygod’s Kentucky homebred Victory Way [post 3, Jose Lezcano] will make his stakes debut out of an impressive maiden score on March 4 here for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

The City of Light bay is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Sweet Way – a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winner Sweet Catomine, who won the 2004 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies en route to Champion 2-Year-Old Filly honors; and multiple Grade 1-winner Life Is Sweet, who won the 2009 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.

Victory Way exited post 1-of-7 on debut traveling seven furlongs over a muddy and sealed main track. He tracked in fourth position under returning rider Jose Lezcano before taking command at the top of the lane en route to a 2 1/4-length score that garnered a 76 Beyer.

He has breezed back three times, including a half-mile in 48.48 Friday over the Belmont dirt training track.

Gilmore [post 2, Jose Ortiz] cuts back to one turn as he makes his New York debut for trainer Brendan Walsh and owners SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan.

The Twirling Candy colt made his first three starts for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, graduating around two turns in a one-mile maiden special weight in December at Los Alamitos Race Course. He followed with a pair of synthetic starts, finishing second in the nine-furlong El Camino Real Derby in February at Golden Gate Fields before transferring to Walsh and running sixth in the 1 1/16-mile John Battaglia Memorial on March 4 at Turfway Park.

The $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, out of the Henny Hughes mare My Surfer Girl, breezed a half-mile in 49.40 on March 27 over the Keeneland dirt.

Rounding out the field are the stakes-placed Daydreaming Boy [post 4, Dexter Haddock] for conditioner Louis Linder, Jr.; along with maiden winners Expected Value [post 6, Manny Franco] for conditioner Chad Brown and Arrebato [post 1, Jose Gomez] for trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul.

The Bay Shore is slated as Race 6 on Saturday’s lucrative 11-race program which is headlined by the Grade 2, $750,000, Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino in Race 11, a nine-furlong test for sophomores offering 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers. The blockbuster day of racing includes the seven-furlong Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets for 4-year-olds and up in Race 8: and the Grade 3, $250,000 Gazelle in Race 3, a nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies offering 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers. First post is 12:15 p.m. Eastern.

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