Iris Smith’s Seymourdini is doing well after his impressive victory in Monday’s State Dinner at Belmont Park, trainer Linda Rice said.
The son of Bernardini, who was purchased at auction as a 2-year-old for $ 900,000, won by an impressive 10 ½ lengths to improve to 3-for-3 in his 4-year-old campaign, including back-to-back wins against allowance company at Laurel Park.
“He was coming off two big efforts in Maryland and I had been pointing him towards the [Grade 3] Westchester on Derby Day, but when I found that Connect would be making his first start of the year, I opted out of that spot and took him back to Maryland to get him more seasoning and get him on track,” Rice said. “The [State Dinner] was a naturally good spot for him. But the race had a lot of speed, so I was nervous about that. But he certainly performed well.”
Seymourdini won two straight races after finishing as the runner-up in his first two career starts, leading to a spot in the 2016 Grade 2 Woody Stephens in which he finished seventh. Rice said he spiked a temperature coming out of that race and was given the summer off to recover from pneumonia. She said the six-month break helped Seymourdini’s maturation process.
“He’s shown talent for a long time,” Rice said. “There’s been a lot of starts and stops getting him to where he is now. I think he’s matured physically and mentally into a pretty good horse. He has always had a lot of raw talent, but between his physical issues that came up, we had a few hurdles to get past. But as a 4-year-old, he’s ready for bigger and better things.”
Rice said there is a strong possibility Seymourdini could next race in Saratoga with the Grade 1, $ 600,000 Forego on August 26 a likely landing spot. Due to her preference for one-turns, Rice said the seven-furlong Forego could help set up a future start in the Grade 2, $ 300,000 Kelso on September 23 when racing returns to Belmont Park.
“If we can figure out how to get to the [Grade 1] Cigar Mile [on December 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack] unscathed, it would be nice in a perfect world,” Rice said.
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