By Jenny Kellner
Now 7, the son of Kitten’s Joy ended a 10-race winless streak on Nov. 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack, when he came charging from ninth to take the Red Smith (G3) on the turf, his first trip to the winner’s circle since the 2018 Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
In the interim, however, Sadler’s Joy hit the board in eight of 10 starts, including Grade 1 runner-up finishes in the Sword Dancer, Manhattan and Man o’ War (G1). Overall, the Woodslane Farm homebred has hit the board in 18 of 26 starts, with more than $2.7 million in purses earned.
“He actually had a really good campaign last year. We were just really beaten necks and heads again,” said trainer Tom Albertrani after Wednesday’s draw, where Sadler’s Joy drew the No. 4 post and was 8-1 on the morning line. “His only big defeat was in the Bowling Green his first start back where he encountered quite a bit of traffic when he made his late run and still didn’t get beat that far (1¼ lengths).
“But he came back and put up two good races in the Sword Dancer and Joe Hirsch and came back and won the Red Smith impressively. He’s absolutely strong, as strong as he’s been from what I can see from last year to now, so I’m anticipating another good season with him.”
Currently in training at Palm Meadows Training Center, Sadler’s Joy has posted four workouts, most recently on Jan. 29, going 5 furlongs in 1:03.40.
Albertrani was not sure about running in Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park, but he’s hoping to set up Sadler’s Joy for a career final race in the Dubai Sheema Classic on March 28.
Post position: No. 4
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Tom Albertrani
Owner: Woodslane Farm
Career record: 26-7-4-7
Career earnings: $2,471,360
Pedigree: Kitten’s Joy-Dynaire (Dynaformer)
Running style: Closer
“Classy closer always fires; better going farther.’’ – Ed McNamara
“Often-a-bridesmaid type when entered in top-level spots. His win in Red Smith probably more indicative of his abilities these days, but he can never be counted out of earning a slice.” – Noel Michaels
Notes: Sadler’s Joy has made four starts at Gulfstream Park, winning the 2017 Pan American (2017) and finishing fourth in the 2018 edition, with a second in the 2017 W. L. McKnight Handicap (G3) and winning the Mac Diarmida (G2) in 2018 … Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano has been aboard for three of Sadler’s Joy’s victories, including the Red Smith, a 2016 optional claimer and his 2016 maiden win at Saratoga Race Course in 2016 …Julien Leparoux also has a trio of victories on Sadler’s Joy: the 2018 Mac Diarmida, the 2017 Sword Dancer (G1) and the 2017 Pan American (G2) … Sadler’s Joy’s career wins have come at four different tracks – Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct, Saratoga, and Belmont Park.
|1||Zulu Alpha||Tyler Gaffalione||Michael Maker||12-1|
|2||Arklow||Luis Saez||Brad Cox||6-1|
|3||Without Parole||Frankie Dettori||Chad Brown||4-1|
|4||Sadler’s Joy||Javier Castellano||Tom Albertrani||8-1|
|5||Channel Cat||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||10-1|
|6||Instilled Regard||N/A||Chad Brown||10-1|
|7||Admission Office||Jose L. Ortiz||Brian Lynch||30-1|
|8||Henley’s Joy||Julien Leparoux||Michael Maker||30-1|
|9||Next Shares||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||Richard Baltas||30-1|
|10||Mo Forza||Joel Rosario||Pete Miller||5-1|
|11||Sacred Life||N/A||Chad Brown||12-1|
|12||Magic Wand||Ryan Moore||Aidan O’Brien||7-2|
Jenny Kellner is an award-winning journalist and proud owner of Toby, an 11-year-old prize-winning palomino quarter horse. Jenny was among the first female sports columnists in the United States, and has worked for the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and Newsday. Jenny also was a senior media director at the New York Racing Association, and has been an elementary school and middle-school teacher in New York, and currently in Colorado.