January 22, 2020
Belmont Stakes winner may resurface in Jazil Stakes
By New York Hot List Staff
Seeing a Belmont Stakes winner at Aqueduct in January is a rare treat and it just might happen Saturday.
Among the eight entrants in the $100,000 Jazil Stakes at the Big A is Sir Winston, who is best remembered for winning the Belmont Stakes this past June for trainer Mark Casse.
Though Sir Winston has a tender hoof from a dislodged horseshoe during a workout, Casse put glue-on shoes on Sir Winston on Monday and entered his 4-year-old in the Jazil later that day with hopes of running the Triple Crown race winner on Saturday.
Running in the 1 1/8-mile Jazil is an important step for Sir Winston in his preparation for racing in the Dubai World Cup on March 28. Sir Winston has only raced once since the Belmont and got little out of it as he finished 12th and last in a Dec. 28 turf stakes, the Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds.
“We’re entering pretty far out, so as long as he trains well the rest of the week, we’ll run. We added glue-on shoes and those have seemed to help him,” Casse said. “Right now we’re trying to make the Dubai World Cup, but he likes New York and likes to run long,” Casse said.
If he runs, Sir Winston will be tested by seven rivals, including one very formidable foe in Mr. Buff. A speedy New York State-bred, Mr. Buff won last year’s Jazil, leading at every call, and he should be tough to catch in this year’s edition as well after drawing the ground-saving rail spot.
He is coming off a decisive 7 ½-length victory in the Alex M. Robb Stakes for state-breds, and three starts ago won the year’s richest race for New York-breds, the Empire Classic at Belmont Park.
In between those two wins, the gelding faced some of the nation’s best milers in the Cigar Mile and finished 10th behind Maximum Security.
The field will also include a foursome who raced in the Queens County Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile test at the Big A in December.
The two leading threats from that race are Stan the Man, who returned from a 6 ½-month layoff to prevail by a neck, and Adventist, who finished a fast-closing second.
The Queens County contingent also features Backsideofthemoon who was fourth, 1 ¾ lengths behind Stan the Man. In his last five starts, Backsideofthemoon was claimed twice, for prices of $100,000 and $62,500.
Also on hand will be Roaming Union, who checked in fifth in the Queens County.
Speaking of claims, trainer Jason Servis made a rather astute pick up last June, when he took Leitone out of a winning effort in a $12,500 claiming race.
He comes in into the Jazil off a rich victory in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Small Bear, third in an Aqueduct allowance race on Jan. 5, rounds out the field of eight in the nine-furlong stakes.