01/23/2013 4:13PM

Aqueduct: Clawback will get shot at two turns, Kentucky Derby trail

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Clawback will likely make his two-turn debut in his next start.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Clawback, the authoritative winner of Monday’s Jimmy Winkfield Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters at Aqueduct, will be given the opportunity to stretch out in distance for his next start, trainer Rick Violette said Wednesday.

Though Violette had yet to pick out a spot for Clawback’s two-turn debut, he believes the horse has shown him enough to take a shot in a distance race in hopes of joining the Triple Crown trail. Clawback, a son of Put It Back, has yet to run beyond 6 1/2 furlongs in four career starts.

“I think his brain and his adaptability will let him stretch out,” Violette said by phone from south Florida. “He’s out of a Dixieland Band mare – there’s probably turf in his future – so I got to give him a shot to stretch out at some point.”

Clawback won Monday’s Jimmy Winkfield by five lengths. After stalking a quick early pace, Clawback took over at the top of the stretch and drew clear while running six furlongs in 1:09.75. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96.

“He basically prompted a fast pace and drew off. It was very professional,” said Violette, who trains Clawback for Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. “If there’s no pace, he’s fine; if there’s a lot of pace, he can stalk. If there were two or three in front of him, he would have been okay with that, too.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Violette noted that when Clawback won a maiden race at Aqueduct, he went his opening quarter in 24.05 seconds “without being thrown down. I can’t see him doing that and not be able to go two turns.”

Violette wasn’t sure where Clawback would make his first start around two turns. Violette’s not one to wheel back in 12 days for a race like the Grade 3 Withers on Feb. 2, but he doesn’t necessarily want to wait six weeks for the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham here March 2.

There are still plenty of options, including the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest at Oaklawn going a mile and a sixteenth Feb. 18, the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream, or the Risen Star at Fair Grounds. The Fountain of Youth and Risen Star are both Grade 2, $400,000 races run at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 23.

Violette said that Clawback came out of the race “quite good.”

In Florida on Wednesday, Carried Interest, another Violette-trained 3-year-old, worked a half-mile in 49.05 seconds at Palm Meadows, his third breeze and first half-mile this year. Carried Interest was a debut winner at Belmont last summer and finished second to Overanalyze in the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont on Sept. 30 before being sidelined by nagging shins.

Violette said he would look to run Carried Interest in a first-level allowance race in mid-to-late February.

Violette said Opus A, the New York-bred filly who was vanned off following her second-place finish in the Swirlaway Stakes here Jan. 13, has been retired after tweaking a previous injury.

Opus A, a daughter of Read the Footnotes, had a record of 6-6-3 from 20 starts and earned $364,194. She won four listed stakes.