Saffie Joseph Jr. Sets Focus on Breeders’ Cup with Chance It, Math Wizard
Sep 29, 2019
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– After saddling Chance It to a dazzling victory in Saturday’s $400,000 In Reality Division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park merely a week after sending out Math Wizard for an upset score in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx, up-and-coming trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.’s future would seem very bright.
The 32-year-old Gulfstream Park-based trainer certainly has a lot to look forward to in attaining his long-range goal of reaching the top of his profession, but the Barbados native’s sights are currently set on the short term, specifically Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita.
Chance It became a candidate for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 1 with his thoroughly dominating triumph in his first trip around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality.
“It’s definitely a possibility. If he’s doing well, we’ll consider it,” said Joseph, who trains the son of Currency Swap for Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC. “He earned his chance to go, but we’re going to see how he is and decide in a couple weeks.”
The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov.2 is “on the radar” for Math Wizard, a $25,000 claim in January who went on to become multiple graded stakes-placed before breaking through with his 31-1 upset at Parx.
“We’re going to train towards it and then decide whether to go,” said Joseph, noting that Math Wizard and/or Chance It would likely ship to Santa Anita after breezing at Gulfstream a week before the Breeders’ Cup.
Chance It passed the two-turn test with flying colors in the In Reality, pressing the pace set by Smash Factor into the far turn before taking over and pulling away to a 6 ¼-length victory under wraps. It proved a happy homecoming for jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who traveled from Kentucky to ride Chance It for the first time.
Chance It, who finished second to Smash Factor in his June 1 debut, broke his maiden by 9 ¼ lengths, captured the $100,000 FSS Dr. Fager by 3 ¼ lengths at six furlongs, and fell a head short of holding off Liam’s Lucky Charm in the $200,000 FSS Affirmed at seven furlongs.
“There was pressure because he got beat last time and I know how good he is. You want to prove it. It was special to see him win. There was a lot of pressure and he delivered,” Joseph said. “Visually, he did it the way you’d want him to do it. He was near the lead and on the bridle and when he asked him to go, he ran away. He put his ears up, like there’s more there.”
Math Wizard shipped back to Gulfstream Park last Wednesday and has resumed training.
“He’s been to the track twice and galloped a mile and an eighth,” Joseph said. “He came out of the race good.”