Judge Davis tries stakes company in G3 Nashua
by Ryan Martin
Courtlandt Farms’ Judge Davis will take on five other juveniles in Sunday’s 45th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Nashua going a one-turn mile at Belmont Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who saddled 1997 Nashua victor Coronado’s Quest, Judge Davis arrives off a three-quarter length maiden triumph at second asking. The bay son of Distorted Humor made amends from a distant fourth going 6 ½ furlongs on debut when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles on September 24 over a muddy main track at Belmont Park.
“I think stretching him out in distance and getting that experience helped him,” McGaughey said. “I’d like to see how he does here and then start thinking about two turns.”
Purchased for $280,000 from the 2020 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale, Judge Davis is the second offspring out of the Sky Mesa mare Mylitta.
Jose Ortiz will ride Judge Davis from post 2.
Cairama will attempt to parlay a first out winning effort into stakes company for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Owned by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Mishal Al Saud, the dark bay or brown son of 2013 Nashua winner Cairo Prince led through every point of call, and held off a late confrontation to win by a head.
Breaking from post 6, Cairama will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher will saddle Repole Stable’s Midnight Worker who returns to the main track after trying the turf when fourth in the Grade 3 Futurity last out. The son of Outwork was a 10-1 winner of his July 24 debut at Saratoga ahead of a third in the Sapling on September 5 at Monmouth Park.
Pletcher will attempt his fourth Nashua score, previously saddling Bluegrass Cat , Violence , Blofeld .
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Midnight Worker from post 4.
Rockefeller will take a drop in class and cut back to one turn after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 American Pharoah five weeks ago at Santa Anita for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The blue-blooded son of Medaglia d’Oro is out of the Grade 1-winning Speightstown mare Dance to Bristol, and was bought for $750,000 out of the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He dazzled on debut going wire-to-wire in a six-furlong maiden special weight on August 28 at Del Mar.
Rockefeller is owned by Goldconda Stable, Madaket Stables, SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Siena Farm, Stonestreet Stables, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, Robert Masterson, and Jay Schoenfarber. He will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from post 1.
Completing the field are Holly Crest Farm homebred Speaking [post 3, Gerardo Corrales] and Cheyenne Stables’ Cooke Creek [post 5, Manny Franco] who are both stakes-winners that are unbeaten in a pair of lifetime starts.
The Nashua pays homage to Belair Stud’s winner of the 1955 Preakness and Belmont Stakes trained by the great Sunny “Jim” Fitzsimmons. Notching two American Classic triumphs in addition to victories in the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial and Jockey Club Gold Cup earned him Horse of the Year honors that year and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1965. He parlayed his talent to some of his offspring including Hall of Fame distaffers Shuvee as well as Gold Digger – the dam of prolific sire-of-sires Mr. Prospector.
The Nashua is carded as Race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race program, which also includes the $150,000 Zagora for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going 12 furlongs over the turf. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
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