Calhoun Readies By My Standards For Whitney, Mr. Wireless for West Virginia Derby

Trainer Bret Calhoun is poised for an action-packed weekend with Allied Racing and Spendthrift Farm‘s By My Standards lined up to start in the $1 million Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The four-time graded stakes winner has accumulated earnings in excess of $2.2 million with two Grade 1-placings on the NYRA circuit, including a runner-up effort in last year’s Whitney to Improbable. He was a late-closing second to fellow Whitney contestant Silver State last out in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 5 at Belmont Park.

By My Standards has posted all four of his graded stakes victories over two turns, capturing the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course during his 3-year-old year following a third-out maiden score. As a 4-year-old, the son of Goldencents captured the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds, the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, and the Grade 2 Alysheba at Churchill Downs.

Prior to the Met Mile, By My Standards made a triumphant 5-year-old debut in the Oaklawn Mile at Oaklwan Park in Hot Spring, Ark., on April 10. The Whitney will be By My Standards’ first start this year going nine furlongs, which Calhoun says is the horse’s best distance.

“That’s one of the things that impressed me about his last race, he ran so well and it wasn’t his ideal distance,” Calhoun said. “A one-turn mile is a little shorter for him, but he definitely can move forward off that race. He ran a nice race in the Met Mile. He got ran over at the gate a little bit, but he bounced back and trained very well since. I like the good spacing between his races. He’ll go an easy half-mile Sunday at Colonial and will arrive at Saratoga Wednesday morning. Hopefully, everything goes well between now and then.”

Gabriel Saez, who has piloted By My Standards in 14 of his 16 starts, will return to the irons.

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Calhoun could also garner prosperity in West Virginia on Saturday with Mr. Wireless in the $750,000 Grade 3 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park in New Cumberland, W.Va. The Jon Lapczenski and JIL Stable-owned sophomore son of Dialed On won the Grade 3 Indiana Derby on July 10 at Indiana Grand Race Course in Shelbyville, Ind. last out over Sermononthemount and graded stakes winner Fulsome.

Calhoun also could have Tom Durant’s graded stakes-winning veteran Silver Dust target the $200,000 Grade 3 West Virginia Governor’s Cup. The four-time graded stakes-winning son of Tapit won the Governor’s Cup in 2019 and captured the Grade 2 Ben Ali on April 10 at Keeneland two starts ago.

Calhoun said Silver Dust would prefer a cooler climate.

“It’s under consideration,” Calhoun said of the nine-furlong event. “He’s a lot better in the cooler weather. He just seems to thrive in cooler weather. His energy level isn’t near as high in heat. We’ll watch the weather and see what happens.”

Calhoun saddled Ain’t No Elmers to a second placing at graded stakes level in Wednesday’s Grade 2 Honorable Miss at the Spa, where she set the pace and held on gamely for third behind graded stakes-winners Bell’s the One and Lake Avenue.

“I thought she ran great. She battled all the way down the lane and never gave up,” Calhoun said. “She was outrun by two very high-quality fillies, so kudos to them. Elmers bounced back good and hopefully, there’s a graded stakes with her name on it in the future.”

The post Calhoun Readies By My Standards For Whitney, Mr. Wireless for West Virginia Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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