Queen’s Plate-winner Safe Conduct targets $150K Gio Ponti

October 25, 2021

ELMONT, N.Y. – Safe Conduct wrote his name into the history books in August with a game head score in the $1 million Queen’s Plate, first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at 10 furlongs over Tapeta at Woodbine Racetrack.

Trained by Phil Serpe, the Bodemeister sophomore followed with a fading eighth in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders’, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown contested over a yielding E. P. Taylor Turf Course.

“He just doesn’t want any part of soft ground,” Serpe said. “It had rained a lot up there and he just wasn’t getting a hold of the track.”

Safe Conduct has kept good company through his sophomore season, winning a 1 1/16-mile optional-claimer over firm Belmont turf in May by 2 1/2-lengths over Public Sector, who has won his last three starts in graded company including Saturday’s Grade 2 Hill Prince.

Safe Conduct exited that effort to finish fourth in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Pennine Ridge in May and faded to eighth in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational in July over good going.

Serpe said he is hopeful Safe Conduct will find firm footing in the $150,000 Gio Ponti, a 1 1/16-mile test for sophomores on November 26 at the Big A.

“If you look back at his last race on a firm turf, it was an impressive race. He flew home. That’s the type of race we’re looking forward to seeing him running on the grass,” Serpe said. “We were very happy to win Canada’s biggest race. There’s a lot of prestige behind it. I’d love to see him come back now and get his turf races sorted out.”

Safe Conduct worked a half-mile in 51.69 Sunday over the Belmont inner turf.

“He went a nice easy half, but he did it well,” Serpe said.

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NYRA Press Office

Photo: Safe Conduct breaking his maiden at Saratoga on Aug. 30 2020, under Jose Lezcano. (NYRA/Coglianese)

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