A year ago, Good Samaritan transferred his turf graded-stakes-winning form to dirt when he upset Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes.
On Saturday, the Grade 1-winning turf horse Yoshida – like Good Samaritan owned by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club and trained by Bill Mott – will make his dirt debut in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga.
Yoshida was one of 14 horses entered Wednesday in the Woodward, which tops a four-stakes program on the final Saturday of the Saratoga summer.
Yoshida is a grandson of Sunday Silence out of the dam Hilda’s Passion, who won the Grade 1 Ballerina here on dirt by 9 1/4 lengths.
Mott said he doesn’t know what to expect from Yoshida in the Woodward. He just hopes to leave the race knowing one way or the other whether he can handle dirt.
“I just hope it’s black and white, there’s no in-between,” Mott said Wednesday. “I’m not going to say he’s been an exceptional work horse on the dirt. He’s certainly put in some good, solid works.”
Yoshida is coming off a fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 1 Fourstardave on Aug. 11. Mott said Yoshida took a clod of turf in the eye that may have impacted his performance.
“He had an eye completely closed,” Mott said. “The jockey said he threw his head up leaving the three-eighths pole, and he never jumped back into the bridle after that. Clods were coming up like soccer balls.”
Yoshida, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, drew the rail in the Woodward. Outside of him, in post order, are Imperative, Patch, Tapwrit, Hence, Term of Art, Kurilov, Discreet Lover, Gunnevera, Seeking the Soul, Leofric, Sunny Ridge, Zanotti, and Rally Cry.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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