Colonel John to Try Turf
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Colonel John and Well Armed are the two best horses in trainer Eoin Harty's barn. Both have been off for several months, but both are now ready to run. Harty nominated both to the Grade 2, $250,000 San Diego Handicap this Sunday at Del Mar, but didn't want to run them against one another.

He found an option. After Colonel John worked satisfactorily on the turf on Sunday morning, Harty entered him in the $85,000 Wickerr Handicap, a restricted stakes race for older horses at one mile on turf that will be run on Friday. Although Colonel John has won such major races as the Santa Anita Derby and the Travers Stakes, he was eligible to the Wickerr because he had not won a stakes race since May 1.

In fact, he hasn't even raced since Dec. 26. Colonel John, 4, finished fourth in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita, then was rested for the Santa Anita Handicap in March. But the morning of that race, he was running a temperature and was scratched.

"The groom was adamant something was wrong when I got there in the morning," Harty said. "He normally has a temperature of 99 to 100. It was 101. I didn't think it was that bad, but wanted to monitor him. A little bit later, it was 103. He had pleural pneumonia. I had never had a problem with him his whole career until the morning of the Big Cap. These guys, they know their horses. When Wayne Lukas left this circuit, I got a few grooms who had been with him for 15 or 20 years."

Colonel John worked five furlongs on turf on Sunday morning in 1:02 under jockey Garrett Gomez, who will ride him in the Wickerr.

"He's going to be fine on it," Gomez told Harty right after the workout. "He didn't really quicken, but he was comfortable on it, steady. And he covers so much ground."

Harty said he "would have preferred to run him on the main track, but there's no reason, judging by the way he worked, that he won't handle the grass.

"I didn't necessarily want to run the two of them against each other in the San Diego."
More Than Ready colt “great” for Kentucky Derby (G1) title=

More Than Ready colt “great” for Kentucky Derby (G1)

More Than Ready's 3-year-old colt Tom's Ready looks to make history in Saturday's $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) when the colt breaks from post 12...

[read more]

Post 3 for Creator in Kentucky Derby 142 title=

Post 3 for Creator in Kentucky Derby 142

WinStar Farm's Grade 1 winner Creator drew post 3 for Saturday's $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) when entries were drawn on Wednesday afternoon at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Exaggerator lands post 11 for Kentucky Derby (G1) title=

Exaggerator lands post 11 for Kentucky Derby (G1)

Future WinStar stallion Exaggerator is right in the middle of the field in the gate for Saturday's $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) getting post 11...

[read more]

Outside draw for Majesto in Kentucky Derby (G1) title=

Outside draw for Majesto in Kentucky Derby (G1)

Tiznow's Grade 1-placed Majesto drew post 18 of 20 for Saturday 142nd Kentucky Derby (G1) when entries were drawn Wednesday afternoon...

[read more]

Venus Valentine lands post 10 for Kentucky Oaks (G1) title=
Congrats

Venus Valentine lands post 10 for Kentucky Oaks (G1)

Congrats' graded stakes-winning filly Venus Valentine drew post 10 of 14 3-year-old fillies in Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1)...

[read more]

Exaggerator strong in final pre-Derby workout title=

Exaggerator strong in final pre-Derby workout

Exaggerator, one of the likely favorites for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby (G1), breezed five furlongs on Saturday at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Weekend Hideaway takes Affirmed Success S. in 2016 bow title=
Speightstown

Weekend Hideaway takes Affirmed Success S. in 2016 bow

Weekend Hideaway, already a five-time stakes-winning son of Speightstown, made it six black type wins on Friday at Belmont Park...

[read more]

Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Exaggerator to stand at WinStar upon retirement title=

Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Exaggerator to stand at WinStar upon retirement

WinStar Farm has entered into an agreement to acquire the breeding rights to recent Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner and 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Exaggerator...

[read more]

Gemologist tops all First-Crop sires at OBS April sale title=
Gemologist

Gemologist tops all First-Crop sires at OBS April sale

Led by a $550,000 colt, Gemologist topped all First-Crop sires at OBS April 19-22 Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in Training with an average price of $161,786...

[read more]

$375K Colonel John filly on closing day at OBS April Sale title=
Colonel John

$375K Colonel John filly on closing day at OBS April Sale

Colonel John had one of the top offerings during the final day of the OBS April 19-22 Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in Training...

[read more]