Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

John's Call, now 10, readies for another racing season

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - John's Call once again will get the opportunity to prove age is of no consequence. Now 10, he is nearing his first start of the year for trainer Tommy Voss and worked five furlongs Sunday at Colonial Downs over the turf in 1:00.80, breezing.

Last year, John's Call was one of the most compelling racing stories with his two Grade 1 wins, in the Sword Dancer and Turf Classic. By winning the Sword Dancer by 9 1/4 lengths, John's Call became the oldest horse to capture a Grade 1 flat race at Saratoga.

Voss said Wednesday that he would like to run John's Call in a 1 1/2-mile overnight turf handicap at Delaware Park on July 22, the same race Voss used last year to begin the gelding's season and to prepare him for the 1 1/2-mile Sword Dancer. This year's $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational will be run Aug. 11.

Voss said if the Delaware race doesn't fill, if he's unhappy with the weight assignment, or if the race is rained off the turf, John's Call could run in a flat race on the Saratoga open house card July 23 before the meet opens.

John's Call finished third in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf and after a ninth-place finish in the Japan Cup, was rested over the winter. He returned to light training April 1 at Voss's farm in Monkton, Md.

"He's coming along very well," Voss said. "I can't tell you if he's the same until we run him. It's going to be one step at time."

Dr Greenfield out of Lexington

Dr Greenfield will not run in Sunday's $150,000 Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park because of inflammation in one of his legs, trainer Bill Mott said Wednesday.

From his Saratoga barn, Mott said that he hasn't determined the cause of the inflammation.

"We're trying to sort that out now," said Mott, who began training Dr Greenfield after the Belmont Stakes. "It's not specific enough to determine what we have got."

Dr Greenfield made his first start in this country in the Belmont Stakes June 9 for Team Valor Stables. He was extremely reluctant to load into the gate and delayed the start for several minutes. Dr Greenfield was eased, finishing ninth and last.

It hasn't been a good summer for Team Valor, who had to retire the brilliant 3-year-old filly Golden Ballet because of injury in June.

Barry Irwin, the president of Team Valor, also revealed this week that Le Grande Danseur, a 3-year-old New York-bred, has been injured and his career as a racehorse is in jeopardy. Le Grande Danseur, second in the Withers in his last start, was the champion 2-year-old New York-bred male in 2000.

"More stuff has happened in the last three weeks than in a four- or five-year period," Irwin said. "Every time the phone rings, I want to cringe."

Kalu debuts at home base

Kalu is one of the top contenders for the Lexington.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Kalu won the Forerunner Stakes earlier this year and then followed with a win in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby. In his last start, Kalu finished fourth in the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/4-mile Lexington is Kalu's first start at Belmont Park, the colt's home base. Corey Nakatani, in from California, will ride Kalu.

Also expected to run in the Lexington are Package Store, Perfect Stranger, Pinky Pizwaanski, Sharp Performance, Strategic Partner, Volponi, and Whitmore's Conn. Reduit is a possibility.

Colstar opts for easier Colonial race

The connections of Grade 1 winner Colstar, the 121-pound highweight for Saturday's $250,000 New York Handicap, said the mare will run instead at Colonial Downs in the $150,000 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes the same day.

Jim Jackson, an assistant to Colstar's trainer, Paul Fout, said, "Colonial looks like the easier spot. We carry the same weight in both races, but the All Along is under allowance conditions and at most, we're giving away few pounds."

Jackson said that after the All Along, Colstar may run back in the $500,000 Diana Handicap at Saratoga Sept. 3. Last year, Colstar finished fourth in the Diana, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by the winner, Perfect Sting.