OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Three Diamonds Farm’s Fire At Will eyes a return to grass for his next start with the intention on making an eventual appearance in the Turf Triple series.
Trained by Mike Maker, the son of Declaration of War capped a stellar 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland. Last out, Fire At Will switched to dirt in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on February 27 at Gulfstream Park but finished a distant eighth.
Jordan Wycoff, who manages Three Diamonds with his father Kirk Wycoff, said the Grade 2, $500,000 American Turf on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs could be his next start with the intention of spring boarding into the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational on July 10 – the first leg of the Turf Triple series.
“He will be back on the grass and we’re looking at some of these grass races, but we’re thinking the American Turf on Derby weekend would be a logical spot to then jump into the Turf Triple series,” Wycoff said. “We wanted him to try the dirt again and that question was answered and now we want to get him to the path that was the goal for him.”
Implemented by NYRA in 2019 as the turf equivalent of the Triple Crown series, with all the legs contested at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, the Belmont Derby Invitational will again launch the male division of the Turf Triple series that encompasses the Saratoga Derby this summer and the Jockey Club Derby during the Belmont fall meet.
Fire At Will has been back to work since his last start, recording two breezes over the Gulfstream Park main track. Last Saturday, he went five-eighths in 1:00.17 over the South Florida oval, the third fastest of 47 recorded works at the distance.
“All is well. It was a big ask especially off the layoff, but we clearly know that he will be a grass horse going forward,” Wycoff said.
Through a record of 5-3-0-0, Fire At Will broke his maiden in an off-the-turf edition of the With Anticipation on September 2 at Saratoga before winning the Grade 3 Pilgrim over the inner turf at Belmont Park, where he beat next-out stakes winner Step Dancer.
Bred in Kentucky by Troy Rankin, Fire At Will is out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Flirt making him a close relative to Grade 1-winner Decorated Invader. He was bought for $97,000 from the Select Sales consignment at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Aqueduct Press Release
Photo: Fire At Will winning the Pilgrim October 3, 2020. (Janet Garaguso)