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Aqueduct: Went the Day Well returning for Motion
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Saturday’s card at Aqueduct featured 12 horses in the Gotham Stakes hoping to earn their way to this year’s Kentucky Derby. Sunday’s card features a graduate of the 2012 Derby hoping to jump-start his once promising career.
Went the Day Well, who was beaten only 2 1/2 lengths when fourth to I’ll Have Another in last year’s Kentucky Derby, returns from a 10-month layoff in a second-level allowance race for New York-breds going a mile and 70 yards at Aqueduct.
Junior Alvarado will ride Went the Day Well from post 6 in what has been carded as the second race on the program. The competition is modest but includes seven-time winners Star of New York and Most Happy Fella, both of whom are being offered for the $25,000 optional claiming price.
This will be the first race for Went the Day Well since he finished 10th as the 5-1 third choice in the Preakness last May 19.
Went the Day Well did breeze two more times after the Preakness, but was eventually found to have bone bruising and was turned out for several months, according to Graham Motion, who trains the son of Proud Citizen for Team Valor International and Mark Ford.
Went the Day Well, who won the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park last March, returned to training last fall. He shows 10 breezes – including two on turf – at Palm Meadows leading up to his return.
“We’ve done a little bit of everything. I think he’s a horse that can do a little bit of everything,” Motion said. “We used the grass just to do something different. He’s never been a super work horse, to be honest, but it seems like we got plenty of miles into him.”
Motion didn’t like the options for Went the Day Well at Gulfstream but Sunday’s race – restricted to New York-breds and run around two turns – was an ideal spot for the colt’s return.
“There wasn’t a good race down there,” Motion said. “I didn’t want to run him one turn. I think he needs two turns – that’s when this became a logical option.”
Motion said that he hasn’t looked beyond this race for Went the Day Well, but did say that he would like to run the horse 1 1/4 miles again at some point. In looking back at last year’s Derby, Motion – who won the 2011 Derby with Animal Kingdom – believes with a better trip Went the Day Well could possibly have won the race. Went the Day Well had to rally seven wide in the stretch.
“It’s amazing to me to think that with a cleaner trip we could have won the Derby two years in a row,” Motion said. “I think the mile and a quarter will be big for him. He needs distance.”
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