‘Very Competitive’ Lone Sailor Will Add Blinkers For Suburban

Trainer Tom Amoss plans on sending graded stakes winner Lone Sailor to Belmont Park for the Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban, one of six graded events scheduled for the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival on July 6.

The G M B Racing-owned son of Majestic Warrior has placed in three of his four starts this year, all against graded stakes company. Following a third-place finish in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds, he ran a closing second to Quip in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap three weeks later before shipping to California to run a late-closing third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 27.

“His last two races were very competitive, so we have a good reason to come up there,” Amoss said.

The only graded stakes victory in Lone Sailor’s 19-race career was a narrow triumph in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby last September at Remington Park, where he sat well off the pace, came under strong urging around the far turn and made a five-wide move to get his nose on the wire first over stakes winner Believe in Royalty.

Amoss spoke highly of his efforts in the Oklahoma Derby and the Oaklawn Handicap two starts back, the latter of which registered a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

“It’s been a learning experience for me as well as for the horse,” Amoss said. “His races at Oaklawn and in the Oklahoma Derby were breakthrough races for him. Santa Anita is a hard track to close on, so we’re looking to try him again for sure.”

Lone Sailor is 0-for-4 at ten furlongs but Amoss noted that he has a tendency to be pace dependent and said there could be enough pace to set things up in his favor.

“We think the distance is within his wheelhouse,” Amoss said. “What he does in the race really depends on how it all sets up and judging by the list of probables, I think there’s a potential for some pace.”

Lone Sailor will be adding blinkers for the Suburban. He raced in the hood once before in last year’s Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds, finishing ninth.

“He will be wearing blinkers. We tried it with him once and it didn’t work out so well, but he’s an older horse now so he’s developed and he’s more mature,” Amoss said. “In the Lecomte we were hellbent on him being in a different spot. This time, hopefully you’ll see him in the same zip code as the rest as opposed to last time.”

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. piloted Lone Sailor to a close fifth-place finish in last year’s Grade 1 Preakness as well as a narrow runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Ohio Derby and will return for the Suburban.

Bred in Kentucky by Alexander-Groves-Matz, Lone Sailor is out of the unraced Mr. Greeley broodmare Ambitious. He was purchased for $120,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016.

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