Last week it was the half brother who reached the winner’s circle at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Now, in a completely different setting, big brother will get his chance Nov. 21.
There were several reasons why Woodslane Farm’s homebred Wolfie’s Dynaghost went off at 33-1 odds Nov. 14 in the 2-year-old’s career debut for trainer Tom Albertrani.
The main one involved the maiden special weight race being seven furlongs on dirt, a distance and surface that seemed odd for him considering the son of Ghostzapper is a half brother to 7-year-old Sadler’s Joy, who is one of the sport’s best distance turf runners.
After what happened Saturday when Wolfie’s Dynaghost won by 1 1/2 lengths, Albertrani could be forgiven if he pondered running Sadler’s Joy in a two-turn dirt stakes like the Queens County Stakes. But he only chuckled at the suggestion and will let the veteran campaigner keep doing what he does best, entering him in the $100,000 Red Smith Stakes (G3T) at a 1 3/8-mile distance on turf that will return the top two finishers from last year’s race at the Big A.
“The younger brother is a lot different than the older brother, although the pedigree is there as well,” Albertrani said.
The Red Smith, New York’s final graded turf stakes of the year for males, will be the 34th start for Sadler’s Joy, with all of them coming on turf. He’s won seven of them, but the son of Kittens Joy‘s overall mark of 7-4-11 while racing against the nation’s top turfers explains why his sterling career earnings stand at $2,648,160 for owners Lauren and Rene Woolcott.
“He’s run with the best of them over the last four years, and he’s always been competitive with them,” Albertrani said. “He’s always right there at the end and gives it his best.”
The Red Smith brings Sadler’s Joy back to the place where he notched his most recent victory. The victor in the 2019 Red Smith is winless in seven starts this year, though six of them came in grade 1 or 2 stakes and there was also the sting of a disqualification from first to fourth in the Aug. 1 Bowling Green Stakes (G2T) at Saratoga Race Course.
“This race was a little bit of class relief last year, and we might see the same thing this weekend. It could be a good spot for him,” Albertrani said about his runner who was third in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) in his most recent start, finishing just 2 3/4 lengths behind after a wide trip. “He continues to train well, and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
As for what the future holds for the grade 1-winning son of the Dynaformer mare Dynaire—be it another year of racing or life as a stallion—Albertrani said a decision could be forthcoming after the race.
“Nothing’s been decided yet,” he said.
The presence of Trinity Farm’s Red Knight in the field of 11 could complicate matters for Sadler’s Joy as he bids for back-to-back wins. A 6-year-old New York-bred gelding by Pure Prize, Red Knight was second to Sadler’s Joy in the 2019 Red Smith and is coming off a sharp two-length win in the Oct. 15 Sycamore Stakes (G3T), a 1 1/2-mile turf test at Keeneland.
The Sycamore represents his lone victory in three 2020 starts.
The field also features Paradise Farms, David Staudacher, Hooties Racing, and Skychai Racing’s grade 1 winner Aquaphobia, who captured the United Nations Stakes (G1T) in July for trainer Mike Maker but was seventh in the Sycamore, as well as Postulation, Ziyad, and North Dakota, who were second through fourth, respectively, in the Sycamore.
Albertrani will also send out John M. B. O’Connor’s Tintoretto, a 4-year-old son of Maxios. New to Albertrani’s barn, he was fourth two starts back in the 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano Stakes (G3T) at Santa Anita Park while racing for trainer John Sadler. Prior to that he was a 17-length winner of a stakes on yielding turf in Germany last year and unplaced in his first four starts, all of them in the United States and three on firm turf.
“He’s interesting. He’ll have to step up a bit, but he loves soft ground,” Albertrani said. “If Sadler’s Joy doesn’t like the soft ground, we have another who might run well on it.”
So while his big brother will try to make it back-to-back Saturday wins for his connections, Wolfie’s Dynaghost will be resting at his Belmont Park barn in preparation to heading south to Gulfstream Park with Albertrani after Thanksgiving. All options are on the table for his next start, which will range from an allowance race to the Jan. 30 Holy Bull Stakes (G3).
“He looks like he could be a really nice horse going forward,” Albertrani said. “Given that I really don’t crank them up for their first start, he really has that talent you need to be a good one.”
Wolfie’s Dynaghost is the youngest of six foals to race from Dynaire, who is also the dam of Lunaire and Dyna Passer, both of whom are stakes-placed for Woodslane and Albertrani, to no one’s surprise, on turf. Lunaire is now trained by Jack Fisher.
Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, November 21, 2020, Race 9
- Grade IIIT
- 1 3/8m
- 3 yo’s & up
- 3:45 PM (local)