Weaver Leaning Toward Sprint With Vekoma, Hoping For Hot Distaff Pace For Point Of Honor

Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables’ multiple Grade 1-winner Vekoma worked five furlongs in 1:01.28 Sunday on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in preparation for a start in either the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint or Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

The 4-year-old Candy Ride chestnut is perfect in three starts this campaign, including a pair of G1 scores at Belmont in the Carter Handicap on June 6 and the Met Mile last out on July 4.

Weaver said Vekoma worked well in tandem with graded-stakes placed older horse Majestic Dunhill.

“He went in company with Majestic Dunhill, who has been a frequent workmate of his the past couple years. They worked together the whole way,” said Weaver.

A six-time winner from eight starts with more than $1.2 million in purse earnings, Vekoma has won at distances ranging from six furlongs on debut in September 2018 at Belmont up to 1 1/8-miles when capturing the 2019 G2 Blue Grass at Keeneland.

Weaver said both the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile are still on the table for the versatile Vekoma.

“I’m leaning towards the Sprint, but the final decision will be made closer to the day,” said Weaver. “I think this horse would handle any track. He’s a racehorse.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, aboard for both G1 scores this season, is confirmed to ride.

Weaver also said Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing’s Point of Honor, a 4-year-old Curlin chestnut, will make her next start in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

Point of Honor captured the G2 Black-Eyed Susan in a productive sophomore season that included runner-up efforts in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks and G1 Alabama at Saratoga.

Point of Honor has hit the board in all five starts this season [5-0-3-2], finishing second in the both the G1 Ogden Phipps on June 13 at Belmont and last out in the G2 Beldame Invitational on Oct. 4 on Big Sandy in a compact four-horse field.

“I thought she ran well last time,” said Weaver. “She’s been running well all year, we just haven’t got her to the winner’s circle. She hasn’t dodged any competition and she’s been running in tough races all year and she’s always right there in the mix of it.

“We are planning on going to the Breeders’ Cup with her,” added Weaver. “We think it will benefit her to have a fuller field and going back to a two-turn configuration at Keeneland.”

The late-running Point of Honor has faced short fields in all but one start this season when she rallied for third, after breaking last-of-14, in the G1 Apple Blossom Handicap in April at Oaklawn Park.

Weaver said a larger field in the Distaff should present Point of Honor with a more favorable pace scenario.

“I think a bigger field would help her. There’s been quite a few races this year that came up with short fields and she’s really not able to adjust and adapt to slow paces and different scenarios,” said Weaver. “Truly, her best race comes when she can leave the gate and get in a comfortable rhythm and come running. She’s really not one that you can try to place closer to the pace. There’s only so much tinkering you can do with her. There’s a certain style of running that she likes, so a fuller field with an honest pace around two turns will give her the best chance to win.”

Weaver said both Vekoma and Point of Honor will train up to the Breeders’ Cup at Saratoga and ship in to Keeneland on Nov. 2.

The post Weaver Leaning Toward Sprint With Vekoma, Hoping For Hot Distaff Pace For Point Of Honor appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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