World Approval and Pure Silver starred at Saratoga on Saturday when taking the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) and Adirondack Stakes (G2), respectively, and the duo’s connections indicated they both came out of the races in good order.
Assistant trainer Norman Casse reported that World Approval looked “really good” Sunday morning, one day after the five-year-old gelding captured the Fourstardave by 2 1/4 lengths to go 4-3-0-0 in 2017.
“He looks really good this morning. I’m just happy to get another Grade 1 win with him and probably more importantly, winning at a mile,” Casse said. “Yesterday, it was a big question about what he would do at a mile distance, and he obviously loved it and now that opens up a lot of different avenues for us.”
Prior to Saturday’s Fourstardave, World Approval had won at distances ranging from 1 1/16 miles to 1 3/8 miles.
The gray son of Northern Afleet kicked off his 2017 campaign with wins in the Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs on April 2 and Dixie Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on May 20. World Approval entered the Fourstardave off a close fifth, beaten just 1 3/4 lengths, in the 1 1/4-mile Manhattan Stakes (G1) on June 10.
“He was doing really well before the Manhattan, but the Manhattan is just too far for him against those type of quality horses,” Casse said. “Then you go back and you see that he won a Grade 1 going a mile and three-eighths (in last year’s United Nations Stakes [G1]), but it wasn’t that tough for him and he had everything go his way.
“I always thought that a mile was going to be his best distance, because he’s tactical enough to sit relatively close and he’s fast, so he can finish with a big kick and that’s what you need. I’m glad we got the opportunity to see that and we have a lot to look forward to.”
Casse indicated World Approval is under consideration for the September 16 Woodbine Mile (Can-G1), which the Mark Casse stable won in 2016 with champion Tepin. The Woodbine Mile is also a “Win & You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Del Mar on November 4.
“We would love the opportunity to go back to Woodbine and attempt to win the Woodbine Mile again,” Casse said. “It’s our home track and that’s their marquee race. (We will) probably just try to figure out the best way to get him into the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“Like I said, the most important thing that came out of yesterday is knowing what to do with him from here on out, and that’s keeping him at the mile.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Pure Silver “came back very well” from her 9 1/2-length romp in Saturday’s Adirondack, which moved the Mission Impazible filly to a perfect three-for-three.
The conditioner indicated the $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) on September 2 at Saratoga was next up for the gray juvenile.
“Pure Silver came back very well. She seemed bright, alert and happy,” Pletcher said. “We’ll evaluate how she trains and I think based on how well she ran yesterday, we’ll have to give the Spinaway some serious consideration.”
Pletcher’s other entrant in the Adirondack, the Flatter filly Stainless, stumbled badly at the start and fell well behind the field before rallying to be fourth on the wire.
“Overall, she’s in good shape except for a few scratches, scrapes and grabs, but they’re all pretty superficial,” Pletcher reported. “She is fine; it’s just what you would expect when she got off to a start like she did. I thought that despite that she ran very well.”
Pletcher also said that American Patriot, a well-beaten sixth in the Fourstardave, was doing well on Sunday. The horseman blamed the yielding inner turf for the his charge’s poor performance.
“He came back fine; unfortunately, he hated the ground and he slipped behind leaving there and just couldn’t get on track,” Pletcher said. “The whole thing went awry when the skies opened.”