By David Grening,
Haynesfield, the most accomplished horse stabled in New York this winter, is in light training with no immediate plans, assistant trainer Toby Sheets said Thursday.
“He’s doing very well and he’s happy about it,’’ said Sheets, who oversees trainer Steve Asmussen’s Belmont Park string.
In 2010, Haynesfield won the Grade 2 Suburban and Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, defeating Horse of the Year finalist Blame in the latter. After finishing 11th to Blame in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Haynesfield lost the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Nov. 27 by a head to Jersey Town. Overall, Haynesfield, a New York-bred son of Speightstown, is 9 for 15.
With minimal lucrative opportunities in New York this winter, it is unlikely Haynesfield would race before April, when there is the Grade 3, $100,000 Excelsior at 1 1/8 miles on April 2 or the Grade 1, $250,000 Carter Handicap on April 9.
Icabad Crane may try open company
Icabad Crane, half-length winner of the Alex M. Robb Handicap for New York-breds here on Dec. 31, could try open company for his next start, trainer Graham Motion said Thursday. One possible spot is the Grade 3, $125,000 Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19.
“I have in mind trying to run this horse in a nice race with a big purse,’’ Motion said by phone from his base at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
Motion has been pleased with the way Icabad Crane has run in his last three starts, which included a runner-up finish in the Empire Classic, in which he broke five lengths behind the field.
“I think his last three or four races have been quite good,’’ said Motion, who trains Icabad Crane for Earle Mack. “I’d like to see where he stacks up against open company and that might help us figure out where to go with him the rest of the year.’’
Icabad Crane is a 6-year-old son of Jump Start who has a record of 5-6-7 from 22 starts.