Sadler’s Joy Attempts A Fourth Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

September 23, 2020

Woodslane Farm’s Sadler’s Joy worked a half-mile in 50.03 seconds Wednesday on the Belmont Park main track in preparation for his fourth appearance in the Grade 1, $250,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic; a 12-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up on October 3 on Belmont’s Widener turf course.

Trained by Tom Albertrani, the 7-year-old Kitten’s Joy chestnut finished fourth in 2017 and third in the past two editions of the Joe Hirsch. A veteran of 32 career starts, the late-running horse boasts a record of 7-4-10 with purse earnings in excess of $2.6 million.

“He’s doing really well. He came out of his last race fine and continues to train well,” said Albertrani. “We’ll be looking at the Joe Hirsch next weekend for him.”

Sadler’s Joy closed for third in a pair of starts at the Belmont Park spring/summer meet, completing the trifecta in the 11-furlong Tiller on June 4 and the 10-furlong Grade 1 Manhattan on July 4.

After crossing the wire first in the 11-furlong Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga, Sadler’s Joy was disqualified and placed fourth for lugging in and impeding Cross Border and Channel Maker.

Last out, Sadler’s Joy failed to fire his usual strong stretch rally when fourth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer traveling 12 furlongs over soft Saratoga turf.

“I think you just throw out his last race over soft going,” said Albertrani. “His two races prior to that, he won the Bowling Green and unfortunately got disqualified. He ran well that day and he ran well in the Manhattan. For him, it’s a matter of getting the right trip and saving some ground. With his big move, winning or losing with him is all about the ground he loses or saves.

“If you look at his Trakus numbers, in most of his races he usually covered the most ground and runs the fastest last quarter,” added Albertrani. “It gets a little frustrating.”

Albertrani said both Mark T. Anderson’s Beau Belle and Elizabeth Mateo’s Lovely Lucky will target the Grade 1 Flower Bowl, a 10-furlong test on October 10 offering a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on November 7 at Keeneland.

“They’re both doing well and we’ll probably aim for the Flower Bowl with both of them,” said Albertrani.

Last out, Beau Belle, with Luis Saez up, set a moderate pace in the 11-furlong Glens Falls reaching the half-mile in 53.22 on a firm inner turf while leading to the stretch call with Lovely Lucky tracking in second under Jose Lezcano. Beau Belle stayed on to finish third, a length back of the victorious Civil Union while missing the exacta by a nose to My Sister Nat, with Lovely Lucky settling for fourth.

“Lovely Lucky was being hard held the first part of the race and I don’t think it helped her any to be held up quite like that,” said Albertrani. “I think the distance of her winning or losing, or even getting a little closer, would have been beneficial if Jose had let her use a little more of her stride.

“I think going 53 for the half certainly didn’t help her,” he added. “It may have helped Beau Belle being on an easy lead, but it made the other filly not want to settle and it hurt her in that respect. If it comes up the same scenario, I don’t think we’ll hold up Lovely Lucky and just let her go to the front because Beau Belle is better at settling.”

NYRA Press- Sadlers Joy the Sword Dancer credit Adam Mooshian

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