January 23, 2021

Sadler’s Joy enters Red Smith with class edge

Sadler's Joy and jockey Julien Leparoux win the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, August 26, 2017 (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

With an abbreviated campaign of just three starts, two of which were narrow losses in the Sword Dancer (G1) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1), Sadler’s Joy will seemingly enters Saturday’s $200,000 Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct with strong edge on class and form.

Although winless since taking the Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream in March 2018, Sadler’s Joy has rarely been out of the mix while facing more accomplished rivals. He’s also one-for-one over the Aqueduct inner turf the Red Smith will be run on, at 1 3/8 miles.

“He’s very strong into this race; we gave him a little bit of time since the last race took a bit out of him,” said trainer Tom Albertrani, referring to his half-length third in the Turf Classic to Arklow on October 5. “We didn’t want to go to California [for the Breeders’ Cup] unless he was 100 percent, but these extra couple of weeks have been good. He’s coming into the race really well.”

Tiz a Slam and Glorious Empire bring both class and some early foot to the Red Smith. Tiz a Slam, who plies his trade primarily in Canada, is a three-time graded winner over a mile and a half this term, while Grade 1 veteran Glorious Empire looks to rebound from a couple disappointing runs following an extended layoff.

The top three finishers from the October 17 Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland — Marzo, Nakamura, and Postulation — meet again here, while Red Knight looks to double up after taking the $100,000 Point of Entry at Belmont in his most recent start. Petit Fils is a newcomer to this country from France, where he captured a Group 3 at Longchamp in May and ran fourth in the Prix Gladiateur (G3) in early September following a three-month spell.

“He’s a stayer, without a doubt,” said trainer Christophe Clement of Petit Fils, who races for West Point Thoroughbreds.