Farmington Road impresses in turf debut, eyes Virginia Derby

Farmington Road impresses in turf debut, eyes Virginia Derby

By: Marcus Hersh DRF Aug 03, 2020

You wouldn’t know it from the Beyer Speed Figure or margin of victory, but Farmington Road might have found a home on turf.

Following seven races on dirt, including solid second- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, in the Oaklawn Stakes and the Arkansas Derby, Farmington Road raced on grass in a first-level allowance race July 29 at Colonial Downs. Under a patient ride from Tyler Conner, Farmington Road finally found daylight in the last half-furlong after getting trapped along the inside and behind horses while full of run. He flashed home, showing an encouraging turn of foot, winning by a neck with a modest 79 Beyer. But the pace of the race was slow, making a high figure impossible, and Farmington Road barely got to run, suggesting there could be more to come in future turf endeavors.

Todd Pletcher, who trains Farmington Road, saw enough in the performance to aim Farmington Road toward the Grade 3, $200,000 Virginia Derby on Sept. 1.

“That’s definitely what we’re thinking after his win the other day,” Pletcher said Monday morning. “We’d worked him on the turf at Belmont and thought he handled it. With his natural style of running, which is to come from off the pace, we thought that might be a little more conducive to the grass. It was a drop down in class for him, but I thought it was a gutsy effort.”

Farmington Road has lagged near the back of the field in most of his races, but he was able to comfortably keep the leaders in touch Wednesday racing over 1 3/16 miles. Stamina seems like no issue for Farmington Road, who is by Elusive Quality out of Silver La Belle. Silver La Belle is a sister to Silverfoot, a three-time winner of the 1 1/2-mile Louisville Handicap.

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