Jack Sisterson fires both High Cruise and Flap Jack at the target in the $100,000 Grade 3 Quick Call at Saratoga on Friday as he seeks to get one over on his mentor Doug O’Neill.
Sisterson cut his teeth when working under O’Neill’s watchful eye before going solo as a trainer in his own right.
His duo make up a quarter of the field for the 5½ -furlong turf contest at Saratoga and chief amongst their opposition will be Fore Left, representing O’Neill’s yard.
Fore Left won the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan in March on the dirt and was most recently sighted finishing a distant ninth behind Tiz The Law in the Belmont Stakes.
He’s only had one previous run no turf, at Del Mar last December over a mile in the Cecil DeMille. Fore Left has won four out of ten career starts, earning $355,902 in prize money and is the headline act for the Quick Call.
High Cruise and Flap Jack meanwhile impressed in workouts over the weekend just gone in Oklahoma. Of 52 recorded workouts on the training track, Sisterson’s pair recorded the fastest times.
Having made the running to win at Thistledown over six-furlongs on just his second start, Sisterson suggests pacesetting will be the order once more after a more patient approach failed to yield success at Churchill Downs in the interim.
“High Cruise will be up there. We added the blinkers at Thistle and he breezed in blinkers this morning, we’re keeping them on,” Sisterson said. “I expect him on the lead or be forwardly placed.
“We thought in his prior race at Churchill he would go to the front. In his works, he showed an abundance of speed. [Jockey] Julie [Burke] got off him when he broke his maiden and said, ‘Don’t be afraid to cut him back in distance,’ he was that quick.”
Flap Jack meanwhile already scored via the Arlington-Washington Futurity last September and gives Sisterson a strong hand to play in the Quick Call.
“He won the Arlington Futurity impressively last year when he was still sort of an immature colt and still learning,” Sisterson said.
“When we brought him back in the Gotham, he made a bold move turning for home and just flattened out. We put him in two turns starts and he showed to us in his running that we should cut him back. He was making middle moves and flattening out at the end. It’s a matter of the distance for him, not the surface.”
Both horses are set to wear blinkers in Friday’s race, with the trainer conceding that Flap Jack still has a tendency to look a bit green when he gets to the front. The headgear should allow Tyler Gaffalione’s mount to maintain his ‘focus’ according to Sisterson.