The Christophe Clement-trained Therapist bids for further success when he targets Saturday’s $100,000 Artie Schiller on the turf at Aqueduct.
The New York-bred son of Freud has proved a consistent conveyance for Clement and his trainer is more than hopeful he’ll have a leading say again.
Therapist captured the open First Defence at Belmont in early June, his opening run of 2020, defeating eventual graded stakes-winner Majestic Dunhill and next-time-out scorer Flavius in the process.
On his most recent outing, Therapist was runner-up behind graded stakes-winner Somelikeithotbrown in the Mohawk at Belmont Park’s New York Showcase Day last month.
It’s a slightly quicker than ideal turnaround admits Clement, after a hard race there.
“His last race came up pretty tough,” Clement said. “He’s been training well, maybe a week earlier than I would like to run him back, but that’s the way it is.”
Therapist is drawn in stall ten for Saturday’s assignment with Javier Castellano set to ride for the first time.
The five-year-old has won five of his seven stakes victories against open company, pocketing $598,345 in prize money for his connections along the way since he debuted in the summer of 2017.
“He’s a very nice horse,” Clement said. “He’s been a lot of fun over the years and has stayed consistent.”
Graded stakes-winner Hawkish, without a win since taking the Cliff Hanger in May 2019 at Monmouth Park, will have Manny Franco on board from gate three in attempting to get on track for trainer Jimmy Toner.
He’s one of three contenders sired by Artie Schiller, after whom the race is named, in the mix.
Ninety One Assault finished second in the Henry Clark at Laurel Park in September on his most recent outing while Clear Vision, who arrives off an allowance victory over the Laurel Park turf, completes the threesome.
Jockey Dylan Davis partners Ninety One Assault and trainer Tom Morley, who co-owns the gelding with Paul Braverman, is hopeful of a decent showing.
“He’s a horse that’s out of conditions and he’s my horse so I would never want to run him for a tag,” Morley said. “It’s a steppingstone to the Louisiana-bred stakes program over the winter, but I expect him to run very well. He was a fantastic second at Laurel, and a repeat performance of that will put him right there.”
Chad Brown has Delaware and Valid Point while Ballagh Rocks, Rinaldi and Hembree complete the line-up for the $100,000 contest.