• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America
108 Channel Maker
Saratoga (August 29): Sword Dancer Stakes G1 $500,000, 1m4f, turf, 4yo+
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Manny Franco
Owner: Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber et al
Pedigree: 6yo ch g English Channel – In Return (Horse Chestnut)
With five seasons on the track, all of them featuring G1 action (and plenty of it in recent years), it is fair to say Channel Maker was probably hiding few secrets ahead of his appearance in the Sword Dancer.
Ignore him at your peril in turf marathons, however, because the six-year-old gelding remains more than capable when the stars align and he duly recorded his annual G1 victory on the New York turf circuit.
Left alone on the lead on favourable soft turf at Saratoga, he drew away to score by nearly six lengths in the stretch over favourite Cross Border for a Beyer figure of 108 – equalling his career-best, and the second highest of any horse on turf in 2020.
“He does appreciate the soft ground without a doubt,” said trainer Bill Mott. “He gets over it pretty well, but it might help him more than some of the others.”
Channel Maker won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in 2018, and that 1m4f contest on October 3 is likely to provide his next target with the Breeders’ Cup Turf a possibility, though he has never thrived in that particular race. But you never know – it might rain at Keeneland.
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