Preservationist, a 6-year-old son of Arch, took the Grade 1 $750,000 Woodward Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course for Centennial Farms and trainer Jimmy Jerkens, while runner-up Bal Harbour, by First Samurai, finished second for Red Oak Stable and conditioner Todd Pletcher.
Preservationist capitalized on an aggressive mid-stretch move from jockey Junior Alvarado, splitting rivals between Tom’s d’Etat and Bal Harbour before kicking on for a half-length score, completing the 1 1/8th-miles in a final time of 1:48.11.
Off at 3-1, Preservationist returned $8.10 on a $2 win wager. The 6-year-old son of Arch won for the fourth time in five starts, including a 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 6 at Belmont Park. Preservationist improved to 6-1-2 in 10 career starts and earned millionaire status with the victory, bringing his career bankroll to $1,037,300.
Jerkens left open the possibility of Preservationist running in the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28 at Belmont, but said the long-range goal remains the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park.
First Samurai’s Bal Harbour finished second for Red Oak Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher. It was the third consecutive runner-up effort in a graded stakes for the 4-year-old, who also earned blacktype in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup in July and the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin in June at Monmouth Park.
First Samurai stands at Claiborne Farm. The great stallion Arch passed away in January, 2016.