Wayne Potts is considering a tilt at the $200,000 Grade 3 Troy next month with American Sailor.
The trainer suggests his charge has a ‘huge heart’ and he’d love to get a maiden success for his own career at Saratoga.
Aged eight, American Sailor is seemingly as good, if not better, than at any stage in his career, hence his handler considering going back into graded-stakes competition.
He hasn’t run at that level since the 2016 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs for previous trainer Joe Sharp where he finished tenth.
Potts saw American Sailor return to action after a pandemic-delayed extended winter layoff with a smooth success at his local Laurel Park track last month.
Waiting until racing resumed in Maryland late in May was the right call, says Potts now.
“I think we did the right thing by finally letting him go out and drop his head and be a horse. We gave him the winter off and he came back, and I think he’s better now than when I previously had him, knock on wood, that’s for sure,” Potts said. “We’re very pleased with him.”
That was the 14th success of his career so far and American Sailor has since backed it up with a determined runner-up effort after setting the pace in the Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth this month.
Running in the Troy is one of a few options on the table for Potts and American Sailor next month.
“It was a very solid field. We were thrilled. It was a super effort, and he gave it everything he had,” Potts said of his Wolf Hill second.
“He came out of the race very good so I nominated him to the Troy. We’re going to look at the race at Saratoga, and I nominated him to the Da Hoss at Colonial [Downs, August 15th] as a backup plan.”
American Sailor has gained nearly $300,000 in prize-money since returning to Potts’ stable after being with owner-trainer David Nunn for just one start.
The gelded son of City Zip is the right sort of contender to have on his side in aiming to gain a breakthrough win at Saratoga, according to Potts.
“He has a huge heart, a huge heart. He just does everything you ask him to do,” Potts added. “When he hits the racetrack, he’s all business.
“I’ve never won a race at Saratoga, so it would be a stepping stone in the right direction. We might get a short field there, who knows. We have to see how it all plays out, but as long as he stays like he is right now, I plan on being there.”