Drain the Clock turned back Jackie’s Warrior to win the Woody Stephens.
Drain the Clock, the winner of the Grade 1 Woody Stephens and the last-out runner-up in the Grade 2 Amsterdam, recorded his final work on Saturday ahead of the $600,000 Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens on Runhappy Travers Day on August 28 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Maclean’s Music colt registered a four-furlong breeze in :47:47 in company with 2020 Grade 1 Haskell runner-up Ny Traffic over the Saratoga main for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr.
Owned by Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Michael Nentwig, Drain the Clock finished second behind top divisional contender Jackie’s Warrior in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam on a sloppy and sealed track August 1.
The ultra-consistent Drain the Clock enters the seven-furlong H. Allen Jerkens with momentum, posting four wins and a pair of second-place finishes through the first six starts of his 3-year-old campaign. He won the Grade 3 Swale, contested at the Jerkens distance, by 6 1/4 lengths in January at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., and tallied consecutive wins on the NYRA circuit with a 1 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Bay Shore in April at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y., before edging Jackie’s Warrior by a neck in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., June 5.
“He had a good work going in company with Ny Traffic and galloped out pretty strong,” Joseph, Jr. said. “Obviously, last time he was well-beaten fair and square by Jackie’s Warrior. Now, you have Life Is Good in this race, so, hopefully, we can get outside this time. I think the draw will have a lot to do with it. But we’re willing to give it another chance.”
Joseph, Jr. also saw two contenders for the $600,000 Grade 1 Forego work Saturday at Saratoga, with Chance It and Mischevious Alex logging four furlongs in :48.12 and :48.48, respectively, on the main track.
The Forego, for 4-year-olds and up sprinting seven furlongs, will give four-time graded stakes-winner Mischevious Alex a chance to add to that total, with the Into Mischief colt posting wins in last year’s Grade 3 Swale and Grade 3 Gotham as a sophomore before continuing to improve as a 4-year-old, winning the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint in February and romping by 5 1/2 lengths in the Grade 1 Carter in April at the Big A.
After running third in the Grade 1 Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, Mischevious Alex [owned by Cash is King and LC Racing] ran eighth in the six-furlong Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on July 31 at Saratoga. Joseph, Jr. said his charge has continued to work well as he readies to stretch back out to seven furlongs next week.
Shooting Star Thoroughbreds’ Chance It, second last out in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint going six furlongs on July 3 at Gulfstream, has compiled a 4-4-0 record in nine starts entering his Saratoga debut. The 4-year-old son of Currency Swap is looking for his first graded stakes victory.
“They worked by themselves and they seem to be coming into the race in good order,” Joseph, Jr. said.
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