Hennig Confident In ‘Great-Minded’ Strike Power For Two-Turn Debut

Strike Power made such a splash in his career debut at Gulfstream Park Dec. 23, even trainer Mark Hennig didn’t know what the 3-year-old son of Speightstown would do for an encore in the $200,000 Swale Stakes (G3) on Feb. 3.

Courtlandt Farms’ brilliant colt came back from his eight-length romp in his 5 ½-furlong debut to win his seven-furlong stakes debut by 2 ¾ lengths. Although victorious, his performance somewhat lacked the sheer brilliance of his debut.

“He started sprinting five-and-a-half (furlongs) and then moving up to Grade 3 going seven-eighths. He had already run a 102 Beyer (speed figure) in his first start. Our biggest concern was not coming back too soon off of that,” Hennig said. “You could almost anticipate the horse would regress off of that. That’s pretty normal. The fact that he regressed and pretty much galloped in the Swale was fine with us. We’re not as enamored with the figures as we are with the purse money.”

Undefeated at sprint distances, Strike Power will face the challenge of two turns Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2).

“It’s a concern until they do it. I’ve let him settle behind a horse the last couple times he worked because that could arise at some point for him,” Hennig said. “He’s a great-minded horse. I never would have expected off of all of his training for his first race that he would be that quick. He seemed like he’s a nice horse, but he’s a different horse when he gets in the game and being competitive. Again, until they do it, you’ve got to have a little doubt in mind.”

Luis Saez has the return mount aboard Strike Power’s clash with Eclipse Award champion Good Magic and eight other 3-year-olds in the Fountain of Youth.

The post Hennig Confident In ‘Great-Minded’ Strike Power For Two-Turn Debut appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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