December 5, 2020

Preservationist romps to stakes debut win in Suburban

Preservationist and jockey Junior Alvarado romp in the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 6, 2019 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Susie Raisher

Yielding the lead to Catholic Boy after a quarter-mile, Preservationist sat chilly in second before re-engaging that favorite approaching the stretch and then drew off with authority to capture Saturday’s $700,000 Suburban (G2) at Belmont Park in his stakes debut for owner Centennial Farm and trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

Enduring various stoppages in his career, the now six-year-old son of Arch rewarded that patience with a 4 1/2-length victory under Junior Alvarado in just his eighth lifetime start. The final time for 1 1/4 miles over a fast track was 1:59.99.

“Jimmy is a hell of a trainer and a great horseman, so I knew he was going to get him ready for this race, and that’s what he did,” Alvarado said. “My horse broke good, and I let him find his rhythm. He took the lead during the first part of the race and then Catholic Boy came on the outside – a little keen. I wasn’t worried. I was trying to give a nice, confident ride to my horse. At the five-sixteenths pole, when it was time to pick it up, I asked him, and he was there for me. He gave me a nice run in the end.”

The second choice in a field of 11, Preservationist paid $9.90. Catholic Boy held second by three parts of a length over Pavel.

Second in his June 2016 debut at Belmont, Preservationist did not see action again until December 2017, when he finished third. He then won a maiden and an allowance at Aqueduct prior to being out of action from mid-February 2018 until January 5 of this year.

Third in his allowance sprint comeback, Preservationist rebounded to win a second-level allowance on February 2 and a third-level allowance on May 23 in his last two starts. His record now stands at 8-5-1-2, $572,300.

“He was so nice and relaxed coming off of a big race, so I thought he’d be fit enough,” Jerkens said. “He’s got a lot of talent but he’s got stamina too. He has a lot of quality all through his female family. Nice to see it all come together to pick up a graded stakes win here today.”

Bred in Kentucky by Emory Hamilton, Preservationist is out of Flying Dixie, a Dixieland Band half-sister to Grade 2 winner Hungry Island and Grade 3 winner Soaring Empire. Preservationist’s third dam, Grade 1 winner Chic Shirine, is also the ancestress of Grade 1 winners Verrazano, Keen Ice, and Somali Lemonade.