The Wine Steward Back in Action in G3 Lexington

April 12, 2024

The Wine Steward wins the Funny Cide Aug. 27 at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese)

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NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Grade 1-placed New York-bred The Wine Steward makes his return from a six-month layoff in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Grade 3, $400,000 Lexington on Saturday at Keeneland.

Trained by Mike Maker, the sophomore son of Vino Rosso was last seen finishing a hard-fought second to Locked in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity on October 7 at Keeneland where he rallied from 2 1/2 lengths off the pace to finish a half-length back in a final time of 1:44.62. The effort was awarded a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure, and was enough to propel him towards a start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but the talented colt was subsequently scratched from the prestigious test in November at Santa Anita Park.

Staudacher said he is pleased with how The Wine Steward has progressed from two to three.

“He’s been doing great, hasn’t missed a work, and we’re excited to get him back,” said Staudacher. “He’s gotten more aggressive and has really grown. I think the time off really did him some good.”

Staudacher added the Lexington is a good starting point for a sophomore campaign that he hopes to see conducted mainly in New York.

“We’re excited about this year, and we’re excited to get him back to New York,” said Staudacher. “We’re hoping he does good tomorrow.”

Bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Mark Toothaker, The Wine Steward graduated impressively against fellow state-breds on debut in May at Belmont Park and followed with another strong performance when capturing the Bashford Manor against open company in July at Ellis Park. He then won the state-bred Funny Cide presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital by a head over the subsequent multiple graded stakes-placed El Grande O in August at Saratoga Race Course en route to the Breeders’ Futurity.

The $340,000 purchase at the OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training is out of the To Honor and Serve mare Call to Service, a half-sister to graded stakes-winners Isotherm and Giant Game. He was been tabbed the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Lexington, where he will emerge from post 2 in rein to Luis Saez.

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