December 6, 2022

Tagg optimistic about Confrontation in Forego

Last updated: 8/29/14 1:57 PM


Trainer Barclay Tagg issued an upbeat bulletin in the lead up to the Grade 1,
$500,000 Forego at
Saratoga
on Saturday, in which his protégé, Confrontation, will make his
graded stakes debut. A four-year-old gelding, Confrontation has won two straight
and is unbeaten in three starts at Saratoga.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong and he’s won every race he’s run at Saratoga,
so he likes the track,” Tagg said. “He’s in tip-top shape, and I want to move
him up to at least seven furlongs or a mile. This is a good step to go a mile
later on. If he doesn’t have to go too fast, he doesn’t go too fast, but he
wins. And if he has to go faster, he goes faster and he wins.”

Confrontation, purchased for $35,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic
Two-Year-Olds in Training sale in Timonium, Maryland, opened his career with
three straight wins, including a 7 1/4-length debut score in a $50,000 maiden
claiming race last year at Saratoga. His first start was the only time he has
been dangled for a claiming price.

Following a third-place finish in March at Gulfstream Park and a second in
May at Belmont Park, Confrontation cleared the second allowance condition by
three-quarters of a length going six furlongs on July 5 at Belmont. Most
recently, he cleared the third level with a 2 3/4-length victory going seven
furlongs on August 8 at the Spa. The Forego also will be contested at seven
furlongs.

“He’s going from kindergarten to college,” Tagg said of the rise in class
from allowance company to the Forego. “Not even as a freshman — he’s starting
his sophomore year.”

Tagg, however, decided against running Confrontation in a softer spot, the
restricted $100,000 Left Bank at one mile on September 5 at Belmont Park.

“I would have preferred maybe a Grade 3 or maybe a regular stakes first,”
Tagg said. “There is one on opening day at Belmont, but he’s doing so well right
now. He’s just jumping out of his skin. He’s dappled all over, he’s feeling
good, he’s nice and sound. Sometimes you put something off like that, and the
next thing you know you’re not getting there. If there is ever a chance to try a
Grade 1, now is it.”

Confrontation has demonstrated versatility in his past two starts, rallying
from eight lengths off the lead in sixth in his July win and setting the pace in
his most recent outing. With that in mind, Tagg drew up the setup he’d like to
see in the Forego.

“If he went to the front and won by 20, that would be the ideal trip,” said
Tagg. “That’d be really nice. Nobody complained about Secretariat winning by 31
lengths.”



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