WinStar Farm LLC's Revolutionary weaved his way through the field with a rousing stretch run to capture the $200,000 Withers S. (G3) on Saturday at Aqueduct, simultaneously thrusting the 3-year-old squarely into the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture.
Revolutionary, a son of War Pass, went to the rail soon after the Withers start, where he was last after a half-mile in :48.18. With no room to his outside and plenty of traffic in front of him, Javier Castellano was stuck waiting for room around the turn after getting shuffled back slightly. Soon after entering the stretch, Castellano, attempted to swing out around a tiring foe, but found his path blocked yet again, forcing him to go back to the rail.
Just inside the eighth pole, Castellano finally found a seam between horses, and Revolutionary responded with a huge burst of giant strides to accelerate past both Escapefromreality and Siete de Oros to win by a neck in 1:44.32.
“He didn’t break that sharp and I didn’t panic,” said Castellano. “I think the key with him is that you have to be patient. I could have gone around horses at the three-eighths pole because I had so much horse, but I just wanted to teach him something, have him learn something. I knew he could get it done; in my mind it was just waiting for the best opportunity to make a move. He’s a classy horse. He split horses, finished very strong, and galloped out great.”
Making his fifth start and first around two turns, Revolutionary bankrolled the $120,000 winner’s share of the Withers purse pushed his career earnings to $188,500.
Elliot Walden, WinStar Farm CEO, said the adversity Revolutionary encountered in the Withers could prove beneficial as he moves toward a possible start in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 4.
“When you’re looking at a race like the Derby, potentially down the road, to get that kind of experience, it’s invaluable,” said Walden. “Nice race. I felt pretty good around the turn because they were so bunched up. It’s not like he was 15 back, he was eight back, but he was in trouble, so you never knew if he was going to get through. You knew if he did get through he’d have some horse. It was nice to see him come running like that. He couldn’t blow out a match in the winner’s circle.”
Walden said WinStar and trainer Todd Pletcher will discuss numerous options for Revolutionary.
“We’ll talk with Todd and we’ll see,” said Walden. “I’d be inclined to take him to Florida and regroup until that last round of preps. Probably just one more race (before the Derby). This proved he’s worthy to keep on the (Derby) trail. This race was worth three in terms of education.”