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Hillwood Stable’s 3-year-old colt Post Time, undefeated winner of his comeback race last month at historic Pimlico Race Course, will put his perfect record to the test next weekend in the first race outside his native Maryland.
In the barn of Maryland’s leading trainer Brittany Russell, whose main string is based at Laurel Park, Post Time is entered to make his next start in the $250,000 Perryville for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs Oct. 21 at Keeneland.
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The gray or roan son of Grade 1-winning multi-millionaire Frosted made a triumphant return Sept. 22 at Pimlico, overcoming a slow start to rally for a popular and professional 4 ½-length optional claiming allowance score over older horses in 1:11.64 for six furlongs – his first start in 295 days.
“We got the run under his belt, and it was a positive run,” Russell said. “He’s going to have to do a lot more in this next spot, but as long as he shows he can run with those types we can start thinking what’s next. There’s always races at home, but if he’s the talent we think he is we need to try something like this.”
Bred by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Brooke Bowman and Milton Higgins III, Post Time was purchased by Hillwood’s Ellen Charles for $85,000 as a yearling in October 2021. He raced three times at 2, all at Laurel, starting with a two-length debut triumph in a 5 ½-furlong off-the-turf maiden special weight last Oct. 7 despite acting and racing greenly.
Post Time wheeled back 20 days later to beat winners in his first try by 6 ¾ lengths, sprinting seven furlongs in 1:25.30. Unraced in November, he came from off the pace again for a 3 ¾-length victory in the Maryland Juvenile, going seven-eighths in 1:23.98 to beata field that included stakes winners Johnyz From Albany and Coffeewithchris.
Pointed to Laurel’s Spectacular Bid in January, Maryland’s first stakes of the year for sophomores, Post Time went to the sidelines and didn’t return to the work tab until July. He posted eight breezes with Russell’s string at Delaware Park leading up to his return, which saw him racing on the inside and within traffic for the first time against six opponents that had combined for 33 wins from 190 starts.
“You’re not always going to have the outside post and be able to just loop them. You’re going to have to have to be able to run through horses, take dirt and be a man,” Russell said. “He sure acts like he’s a man.”
Post Time drew Post 3 in a field of six for the Perryville that includes Indiana Derby (G3) winner and twice Grade 1-placed Verifying, trained by Russell’s former mentor, Brad Cox; Rebel (G2) winner Confidence Game, 10th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in his last start; and Gotham (G3) winner Raise Cain, most recently second in the Indiana Derby. Russell’s husband, champion jockey Sheldon Russell, is named to ride.
“We’re taking him there. He’s earned his way,” Brittany Russell said. “We need to test him eventually and it just seems like a good spot – 3-year-olds, seven-eighths. It worked out that it’s a short field. I want to take him out of town and I want to give it a try. He’s really talented. He looks really good at home, but he’s going to have to step up out of town so it seems like a good time to do it.”
Also entered at Keeneland for Russell is Michael Dubb homebred Apple Picker in the seven-furlong Raven Run (G2) for 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Grade 1-winning millionaire Connect exits a 4 ½-length upset at odds of 8-1 in the six-furlong Weather Vane Sept. 16 at Pimlico.
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