Sadler’s Joy, a Grade 1 board hitter in his last two tries, took advantage of class relief Saturday in winning Aqueduct’s Grade 3, $200,000 Red Smith.
The 6-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy broke a 10-race winless streak, crossing first for the first time since the 2018 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) last March at Gulfstream Park.
Sadler’s Joy went off the 6-5 favorite under jockey Javier Castellano and settled near the back of the 11-horse field. Pace setters Glorious Empire and Red Right Hand moved in tandem to set fractions of :24.43, :48.59 and 1:13.95 in the 1 3/8-mile turf race.
Sadler’s Joy pushed forward during the field’s second trip through the far turn. The Woodslane Farm homebred tilted to the far outside, entering the stretch seven-wide, and then flew home under mild urging from Castellano.
The Tom Albertrani trainee Sadler’s Joy returned $4.70 in earning his seventh career win over 26 lifetime starts. He entered the Red Smith off a third-place effort last out Oct. 5 in Belmont’s Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) and a second Aug. 24 at Saratoga in the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1).
"That's really the way he likes to be ridden," Albertrani said. "He likes to be farther back and make a big swinging run and close. That's his best style of running and he had a lot of horse to do it today. He came with a lot of determination down the lane. He wasn't waiting on anyone today."
Albertrani mentioned the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) next spring at Meydan Racecourse as a 2020 race goal for Sadler's Joy.