Tracy Farmer's homebred Sir Winston will make his Triple Crown debut in Saturday's $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1). The son of Awesome Again punched his ticket following a runner-up performance in the Peter Pan (G3) last time out.
Sir Winston was unplaced in his first pair of assignments as a juvenile before breaking through at Woodbine in his third try, defeating maiden special weight foes on the all-weather surface. Trained by Mark Casse, the chestnut jumped into the stakes ranks in his first try against winners and finished a creditable third in the Grey (G3). Sir Winston concluded his 2018 season with a victory in the Display Stakes at Woodbine.
The Kentucky-bred is winless in 2019. He began his three-year-old campaign in the Empire State and rallied to be fourth in the Withers (G3). Unplaced efforts followed in both the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Blue Grass (G2) prior to his late-running second in the Peter Pan under Joel Rosario.
The Belmont contender was produced from the three-time stakes-winning Afleet Alex mare La Gran Bailadora. He is the first stakes winner out of the dam, who is also responsible for the unraced two-year-old filly named La Isadora. The third dam of the colt is two-time Canadian champion Woolloomooloo.
Sir Winston has not been especially consistent to this point, but his most recent performance makes him an interesting contender on Saturday. The chestnut earned a lifetime best 101 BRIS Speed figure, which was accompanied by a hefty 114 BRIS Late Pace number.
His ability to finish races at shorter distances indicates that he could prosper going the demanding 1 1/2 miles over Big Sandy. The sophomore is bred for stamina and his conditioner surely knows how to ready a horse for a classic race.
Sir Winston should not be dismissed in the Belmont. His local prep was very good and could be a sign of a horse finding his best stride. While I have mixed feelings about his class and consistency, Sir Winston will be a factor with any kind of improvement off of his latest venture.
Find more information on the Belmont Stakes at TwinSpires.com!