‘Pretty Fancy’ Breeze Puts Diversify Back In Whitney Conversation

Ralph and Laura Evans’ Diversify zipped through a five-furlong work in 59 seconds over Saratoga’s main track Sunday morning, prompting trainer Rick Violette to reconsider an earlier plan to skip the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney August 4.

Regular exercise rider Roddi Aly was up for the breeze, which was the first work for Diversify, a gelded 5-year-old son of Bellamy Road, since his front running 6 ½-length rout in the 1 ¼-mile Suburban July 7 at Belmont Park.

“I wanted him to chirp a little bit at the eighth pole, which he did. I’ve got him on walkie talkie and I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s enough,’” Violette said. “He sprinted for an eighth of a mile and still went [a half-mile] in 47 [seconds] and [five furlongs] in 59, and that was kind of eased up. It was a pretty fancy work.”

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for the 1 1/8-mile Whitney Tuesday evening, July 31 at Sperry’s Restaurant in downtown Saratoga Springs. It is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Violette had initially intended to wait for the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward, also for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles, to give Diversify more time off his breakout Suburban effort. The Woodward will be run September 1.

The trainer’s decision will hinge on Diversify’s health and condition coming out of Sunday’s work.

“We’ll do all the one-on-one stuff. We’ll take bloods [Monday], and that’s kind of critical with him. He can kind of go up and down on how good his blood is. We’ll see how he comes out of it and how he eats up. I’m not saying no yet,” Violette said. “I’m leaving the door open for the Whitney; other than that we’ll just go for the Woodward.

“For all intents and purposes I was just going to pass the Whitney, and it’s a tough race to pass. It’s [$1.2 million] and ‘Win and You’re In,’ historic race, but so is the Woodward, as far as historic relevance,” he added. “It’s a fairly appealing race. There’s one other speed horse in there with the horse from Del Mar [Dalmore]. We’re going to give it some serious consideration.”

Diversify became a millionaire in the Suburban, his second straight victory following the one-mile Commentator against fellow state-breds May 28 at Belmont. He won his only previous start at Saratoga, a gate-to-wire 11 ½-length romp in the 1 1/8-mile Evan Shipman last August, also facing New York-breds.

Sunday’s work was not unlike Diversify’s final breeze prior to the Suburban – a half-mile in 46.85 seconds over Belmont’s main track June 30 that ranked first of 68 horses.

“I just got off the phone with Mr. Evans to let him know that we complicated things by going so well today,” Violette said. “But, that’s a good thing. It is. His last race was spectacular. We’ll see what happens.”

The post ‘Pretty Fancy’ Breeze Puts Diversify Back In Whitney Conversation appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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