10/06/2009 11:00PM

Landry likes two turns for Bridgetown

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Journeyman rider Robert Landry seemingly reached the pinnacle of his career when he captured the $1 million Queen's Plate, Canada's most prestigious race, aboard Niigon in 2004. But Landry, a 47-year-old Toronto native, is in the midst of what could end up being his most lucrative year ever, thanks mainly to Careless Jewel, whom he guided to victories in the Grade 1 Alabama and the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks during the summer.

Careless Jewel's authoritative score in last Saturday's Grade 2 Cotillion Stakes at Philadelphia Park solidified her status as one of the favorites for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. She could be one of two live BC mounts for Landry, who is also scheduled to ride Bridgetown in the Grade 2 BC Juvenile Turf.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Landry. "I've been very fortunate throughout my career to ride a lot of really nice horses, and to ride in a lot of big races.

"I find I perform better in those types of races. They get you up. To have the career that I've had, and then at this point, it's quite nice to get some really top-quality horses."

Bridgetown graduated second time out in a turf sprint at Saratoga. Trainer Ken McPeek sent him to Woodbine last month for the one-mile Summer Stakes, a Win and You're In event, and the son of Speightstown came from just off the pace to beat a good field under Landry.

"I only sat on him that one time," said Landry. "Kenny told me what he was going to be like, and my job was to try and nurse him along the best I could. He was able to sit off that other horse, and kick strong. He's a tremendous horse, for sure."

Landry believes a two-turn mile in the BC Juvenile Turf could work in Bridgetown's favor. "That may help him to settle a little bit," Landry explained. "I think he can get the trip."

McPeek said the goal all along with Bridgetown was to teach him to relax in the early stages of a race, so that he would stay a mile.

"We were really curious about whether he would go that far," said McPeek. "We had to spend a lot of time concentrating on getting him to extend himself. He had to relax in his workouts. I was able to work him on the turf course at Saratoga repeatedly behind other horses, to teach him to settle. He took his lessons well."

McPeek said owner Eugene Melnyk's Florida farm manager, Phil Hronec, indicated that Bridgetown preferred the turf over the dirt when he sent the colt to him in the spring.

"He was exactly right," McPeek recalled. "The horse has not worked well on the dirt at any point. It's not that he can't, but he struggles with it. He's done much better when we worked him on the turf and the Polytrack."

McPeek said Bridgetown came out of the Grade 3 Summer well, and won't have another start before the BC Juvenile Turf.

"We took him back to Kentucky," said McPeek. "He's going to be stabled between Keeneland and my farm for the remainder of the fall."