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Zandon Adds Woodward Victory to His Resume

When you look at Zandon  ‘s career record of three wins in 13 starts it is definitely misleading.

Dig deeper into his past performances and you’ll understand why trainer Chad Brown was filled with so much pride Oct. 1 when the 4-year-old son of Upstart   posted that third victory by a wide 4 1/4-length margin in the $400,000 Woodward Stakes (G2) at Belmont at the Big A.

“I’m really proud of this horse and I’m just so happy for him,” Brown said. “He’s showed up every week for us. He’s traveled around a lot. He has a well-traveled history. This horse has taken us to a lot of great races…and he’s always showed us a lot of heart and battled to the wire when he lost.”

While the Woodward joined a short list of wins for owner Jeff Drown’s colt that also includes the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and a maiden win, his 13 starts also include six seconds and three thirds with earnings of $2,140,000 while competing in some of the sport’s most famous races.

His seconds include the Whitney Stakes (G1), Metropolitan Handicap (G1), Pennsylvania Derby (G1), and Jim Dandy Stakes (G2). His thirds are topped by the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1). The only time he was unplaced it came in his final start at 3 when he was fourth in the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1).

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“I felt bad for him because he ran such fast numbers in defeat that would have been good enough to win those races in other years. He’s faced some top horses along the way and has beaten a pile of good horses,” Brown said.

Brown said the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park will be next for Zandon and it is scheduled to be his final start before heading to stud.

It will surely be a tough challenge, but at least Zandon will head into the 1 1/4-mile race with the momentum of a victory.

“The Breeders’ Cup Classic is going to be a much, much tougher race than today but at least we are going in off a decisive victory,” Brown said. “The horse has had a very consistent year and you can’t ask anything more from him. Hopefully he can go out on the highest note of them all.”

Though it wound up being a lopsided victory, there were some moments of concern for Zandon around the first turn of the two-turn 1 1/8-mile stakes when he was carried five wide and then taken up after bumping with a rival.

“On the first turn I was not feeling well,” Brown said. “I thought it might discourage him but his consistency really came through.”

Sixth under Flavien Prat after a half-mile in :46.66 as Pipeline , who is also trained by Brown, and Film Star  were 1-2, the even-money favorite ($4) rallied wide into the stretch and flew past Film Star in the final eighth of a mile to cover the nine furlongs in 1:48.48.

Ronald Stewart’s Film Star, a son of Flatter trained by Linda Rice, was second by a neck over Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Law Professor , a Constitution   gelding trained by Rob Atras.

Zandon, a son of the Creative Cause   mare Memories Prevail bred by Brereton Jones, was purchased for $170,000 from the Jones/Airdrie Stud consignment at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The half brother to stakes winner Sol Principe Gris is the second of six foals from his dam and one of three winners. Memories Prevail also has a Cairo Prince   yearling filly and 2023 Tapit   filly.

Upstart was the fifth-leading third-crop sire in 2022.

The Woodward was originally scheduled to be run Sept. 30 but was moved to Sunday when that card was canceled after the Big A was soaked with more than eight inches of rain in recent days.

Video: Woodward S. (G2)

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