February 21, 2024

Drew’s Gold faces five in Amsterdam

Ryvit sped to his fifth straight win in the Maxfield Overnight S. (Photo by Coady Photography)

After sustaining his first career setback, a runner-up in the Woody Stephens (G1) on the Belmont Stakes undercard, multiple stakes victor Drew’s Gold will try to get back into the win column in Friday’s $200,000 Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga. The speedy son of Violence tops six three-year-olds in the 6 1/2-furlong test.

Drew’s Gold earned his first stakes triumph when easily capturing the Jimmy Winkfield at Aqueduct in mid-February. Following a three-month freshening, the James Chapman trainee came back to win the Gold Fever S. by nearly five lengths at Belmont Park. He loomed a serious threat before winding up second to Arabian Lion in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens, and Jose Ortiz will pick up the mount on the dark bay.

Ryvit is a top rival. A confirmed frontrunner, the bay son of Competitive Edge invades with a five-race win streak for Steve Asmussen, most recently posting a three-length tally in the Maxfield Overnight S. at Ellis Park. He’s recorded convincing stakes wins in the last three starts, including the Chick Lang (G3) at Pimlico, and Ryvit promises to show speed from the break with new jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.

Gilmore will seek to break through with his first stakes victory. Third in the Woody Stephens, the Brendan Walsh-trained gray colt has also recorded a second in the Bay Shore (G3) and a third in the Pat Day Mile (G2) in his last three starts. The son of Twirling Candy will be running late with Irad Ortiz Jr.

Grade 3 winner Joey Freshwater, second in the off-the-turf Quick Call on July 16, will add blinkers for Linda Rice. Jose Lezcano will be up. Woodbine stakes winner New York Thunder, unbeaten from three starts, will try the main track for Jorge Delgado, and Tyler Gaffalione takes over the reins.

A two-time stakes runner-up on turf as a juvenile, Deer District will make his first dirt stakes attempt following a 9 1/2-length romp over allowance rivals at Churchill Downs in late May. Martin Garcia rides for Dale Romans.