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Cody’s Wish Likely to Return in Vosburgh at Aqueduct

As much as the connections of Godolphin’s Cody’s Wish  were disappointed by the 5-year-old’s loss in the Aug. 5 Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, there are no regrets about the move and an eagerness to get the son of Curlin   back to what he does best.

Michael Banahan, Godolphin USA’s director of bloodstock, said trainer Bill Mott’s multiple grade 1 winner would return to his preferred slate of shorter distances in his coming races, with the Sept. 30 seven-furlong Vosburgh Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct Racetrack serving as a stepping stone to the homebred’s bid for back-to-back wins in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

“He’s doing good and came out of the race fine. He’s taking it easy now, just cantering. The distance didn’t suit him or maybe he wasn’t feeling well. It was a good opportunity, though we will not do that again,” Banahan said about Cody’s Wish’s third in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney. “We’ll look at the Vosburgh and defending our title in the Breeders’ Cup Mile if all goes well.”

As part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, the winner of the Vosburgh will receive a free, guaranteed spot in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). Cody’s Wish already secured a “Win and You’re In” spot in the Dirt Mile through a decisive June 10 victory in the prestigious Metropolitan Handicap (G1).

While Cody’s Wish had yet to win beyond a mile, Banahan said the decision to run in the Whitney was based on a feeling that he could handle the additional furlong and a lack of suitable races at seven furlongs or a mile.

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“It looked like he had the pedigree that said he would handle it but maybe the pace of a mile worked in his favor,” Banahan said about the highly popular colt named after Cody Dorman, a teenager suffering from Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. “There was also nothing at that time of year that would have suited him, so we looked at the Whitney. It would have been nearly a three-month gap between the Met Mile and the Forego (G1) Aug. 26 at seven furlongs at Saratoga. The schedule didn’t work for the division he’s in, so it was worth taking a chance in the Whitney. He didn’t look like the same horse we saw in the Met Mile, but we’ll regroup. We lost the race but we had a sound horse go back to the barn and we are happy about that.”

Cody Wish, a $2.4 million earner and winner of nine of 14 career starts, was atop the NTRA Top 10 poll and a frontrunner for Horse of the Year honors until his 10-length loss to White Abbario in the Whitney. He was second in the most recent poll behind the Mott-trained Elite Power .


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