New York born step dancer stretches out in the Million Dollar Jockey Club Derby Invitational
ELMONT, NY – Hayward Pressman, Diamond M Stable and Donna R. Pressman’s New York-sed Step dancer will debut in elite company at Saturday’s million dollar Jockey Club Derby Invitational, a 12-stage test on the Widener turf at Belmont Park.
The Jockey Club Derby, which offers a ‘Win and You’re In’ place at Grade 1, $ 4 million Longines Turf in November in Del Mar, is the final stop in NYRA’s Turf Triple series for men that has started with Grade 1, $ 1 million Belmont Derby [won by Bolshoi Ballet] in July and continued with the $ 1 million Saratoga Derby [won by State of Rest] in August at the historic Saratoga Racecourse.
The Jockey Club Derby is slated for race 10 on Saturday’s lucrative 11-race map which will also feature the $ 700,000 1 3/8 mile Jockey Club Oaks, the final stop in the Turf Triple series for 3-year-old fillies. , in race 9; and the $ 300,000 American Jockey Club Invitational Grand Prix of 1 5/8 mile in Race 4.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, Step Dancer showed promise as a youngster posting a first 24-1 victory by covering 1 1/16 miles on Saratoga turf last September before finishing third in the Grade 2 Pilgrim in October. at Belmont Park. The Bay of War Dancer finished a strong campaign with a three-quarter score against an open company in the 1 1/16 mile Awad on the yielding turf of Belmont on October 31.
Tagg said he appreciates Step Dancer’s willingness to compete.
“I have observed a lot of horses over the years. Everything you see of him in the morning gives you confidence. He’s an athlete, ”Tagg said.
Raised in the Empire State by Sugar Plum Farm and Richard Pressman, Step Dancer kicked off his second campaign in March with a standout effort in Cutler Bay at Gulfstream Park before a close third in a new 1 1/16-mile Seeker optional York breed allowance on May 13 at Belmont Park.
Step Dancer finished second in the spectacular NYSSS seven-stadium offering on June 19 at Belmont and will enter Saturday’s test on a high note after overcoming a tough start in the one-mile NYSSS Cab Calloway on July 28 at the Spa , rallying four wide on the way to defeat eligible New York rivals.
Tagg said he was not surprised by the effort of the game.
“He’s a horse that runs hard. He likes to do it, ”Tagg said. “I don’t know if he’s a great horse or not, but I have a lot of confidence in him. He tries every time.
Tagg said Step Dancer should appreciate the significant increase in distance.
“I never felt like he couldn’t run for long. I might change my mind next Sunday, but not yet, ”Tagg said with a laugh. “It always seemed like he could go a long way. Whatever you ask him to do, he does. He loves his sport. Some horses are like that.
Jockey Dylan Davis has never finished the table in five starts at the helm of Step Dancer and will retain the mount of post 5 in an area dominated by European raiders Bolshoi Ballet and Yibir.
The veteran conditioner has said he will let Davis organize a reasonable trip.
“It all depends on the pace of the race as you go. You can finish fifth and it might be like bringing him back in another race, ”Tagg said. “Dylan is a good rider. He is smart and fearless. He rode very well for me.
Tagg has enjoyed great success with New York bred horses during his career, winning two-thirds of the 2003 Triple Crown [Kentucky Derby and Preakness] with Funny Cide, and completing the set last year with the popular Tiz the Law score in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.
Step Dancer, who will be looking to add another New York-born moment to Tagg’s impressive ledger, posted an easy five-stadium breeze clocking 1: 01.85 on Sunday on Belmont’s indoor turf during his final test preparation. of Saturday.
“It went well. I don’t think they have to go out and show up every time they break up. He did everything we asked him to do, ”Tagg said.
Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, Tagg said he appreciates Step Dancer’s winning spirit.
“He’s a very honest horse. Tried and true, ”Tagg said. “They are [good horses] hard to find but he is and no matter how he runs on Saturday he is fine with me.
Magic Attitude winning the 2020 Belmont Oaks (Janet Garaguso)
Magic Attitude could target G3 Fasig-Tipton Waya
Coach Arnaud Delacour said Magical attitude, the winner of last year’s Belmont Oaks Invitational Grade 1, is possible for the Grade 3 Fasig-Tipton Waya, $ 300,000, an 11-stage turf test for older fillies and mares on October 3rd.
Owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables, the late Galileo’s 4-year-old daughter last raced when she was sixth in Class 1 Diana over nine turf stadiums on July 17th in Saratoga. In addition to the Belmont Oaks, she also won grade 3 Sheepshead Bay on May 1 on Belmont Indoor Turf.
“Magic Attitude is doing well,” said Delacour. “She wants a firm lawn. This is where it performs best. Good to soft, she’s not that kind of filly. Unfortunately, in Saratoga, the terrain was not quite to his liking. We have tried in the Diana, but we will probably try to find a firmer turf. We look in the Waya or go west to Santa Anita for the [Grade 1] Rodeo route [on October 2]. “
Bred in Great Britain by Katsumi Yoshida, Magic Attitude is bred from Group 1 winning Exceed and Excel mare Margot Did, who also produced Group 2 winner Mission Impassible – a full brother of Magic Attitude.
Delacour added that Princess Koala, who won the 6 1/2-furlong Ainsworth on September 12 at Kentucky Downs, is a possible candidate for the Grade 2, $ 200,000 Miss Grillo, a 1 1/16 mile turf test for juvenile fillies on 2 October at Belmont Park.
Runnymede Farm, Peter Callahan and Chris Zinkhan smashed their young daughter at Monmouth Park going through 5 ½ furlongs on August 21 before stretching an extra eighth of a mile for her final stake.
“We’ll see how she comes out of her last race,” said Delacour.
Japan (GB) (away, purple cap) finished second behind Gufo (on the rail) by a neckline in the Sword Dancer in Saratoga on August 28, 2021. (NYRA / Coglianese)
Japan possible for G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
TJ Comerford, travel assistant to coach Aidan O’Brien, has declared several Group 1 winners Japan is possible to return to North America for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Grade 1, $ 500,000, 12-stage turf test for children ages 3 and up on October 9th.
Owned by Coolmore partners Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith, in partnership with Masaaki Matsushima, Japan finished second in the match at the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational on August 28, rallying to finish second, one neck behind Gufo .
With revenues of over $ 2.3 million, Japan, a 5-year-old son of Galileo, won the Paris Group 1 Grand Prix at Longchamp and the Juddmonte International Group 1 in York in his second campaign. Winless in five starts last year, he kicked off his 5-year campaign with vigor, clinching Group 3 Ormonde on May 13 in Chester. He won the Group 3 Green Room Meld on July 15 at Leopardstown ahead of the Sword Dancer.
“He ran well in Saratoga. He was a little unlucky not to be out, but he had a really good race, ”said Comerford. “He stays well. In fact, he seems to be getting better. He seems to be going back to his old self, which is good. He’s a winner of Juddmonte in York and it was his last Group 1. ”
O’Brien won the 2011 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic with Cape Blanco, which also belonged to the Coolmore conglomerate.
Bred in Great Britain by Newsells Park Stud, Japan is descended from mare Danehill Shastye, making him a full brother to Mogul, winner of last year’s Paris Grand Prix Group 1 and Vase Group 1 Hong Kong. He is also the full brother of Secret Gesture, Group 2 winner and Epsom Oaks 2013 finalist.
Belmont Park week 2 probable stakes
Friday September 24
$ 150,000 Joseph A. Gimma
Likely: Adversity (Mark Casse), Classy Edition (Todd Pletcher), November Rein (Kelly Breen), Shesawildjoker (David Donk), Velvet Sister (Steve Asmussen)
Possible: Moam (Horacio DePaz)
$ 125,000 Ashley T. Cole
Likely: City Man (Christophe Clement), Graded On A Curve (Chad Brown), Sanctuary City (James Ferraro), Therapist (Clement)
Possible: Cross-border (Mike Maker)
saturday 25 september
Likely: Life is Beautiful (Todd Pletcher), Mo Mosa (Maker)
Sunday September 26
G2 Gallant Bloom
Likely: Bella Sofia (Rudy Rodriguez), Don’t Call Me Mary (Todd Pletcher), Lake Avenue (Bill Mott)
Possible: Estilo Talentoso (Juan Arriagada), Victim of Love (Todd Beattie)
$ 150,000 Bertram F. Bongard
Likely: Ava K’s Boy (Carlos Martin), Senbei (Clement), Shipsational (Edward Baker), Surprise Boss (Juan Vazquez), Whittington Park (Brad Cox)
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Step Dancer stretching on the turf in the New York Stallion Series Stakes on July 28 in Saratoga. (NYRA / Coglianese)