On any given morning, if Joe Sharp isn't at the barn he's probably on the track galloping one of the nearly 40 horses in his string at Saratoga Race Course. That was the case earlier in the meeting when The Saratoga Special's Annise Montplaisir caught up with him for a stable tour. Sharp was just heading to the track on Dolphus, a 2-year-old half-brother to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
Sharp is stabled at Saratoga for the first time on his own after working as an assistant to Mike Maker. Also a former assistant to Mike Stidham, Sharp won 20 races from 56 starts last year, his first as a licensed trainer, and has already tripled that number in 2015.
Back at the barn on the Oklahoma Training Track, the former jockey talked casually about his string from his office and even allowed a bystander to take a Snapchat of the interview for her Snap Story. Before the stable tour was finished, Sharp hopped aboard Troy Stakes entrant and Breeder's Cup Turf Sprint hopeful Shore Runner bareback for a photo op.
Shore Runner: "Obviously he won last time out in the Lucky Coin Stakes (July 27) with a rough trip, but a pretty resilient horse. He's pointed towards the Troy, which is $100,000, same distance going 5 ½ on the turf. He's been training excellent. We're starting to talk Breeders' Cup with him, as are other people, so it's not like we're off in left field, so that's pretty exciting. (Shore Runner won the Troy Stakes Aug. 22)
Pink Freud Live: "She won a maiden special weight first off the claim here last time out at Saratoga (Aug. 9). She'll be just coming back in a first-level allowance race at Saratoga. We feel she's a horse that could probably win back a second time at the meet.
Young Anna Lee: "She is a New York-bred 2-year-old filly by Posse She was second in a stake at Belmont last time out as a maiden (July 19).
Doc Almon: "He's a horse that we claimed for $62,500 here at Saratoga at the beginning of the meet (July 24). He had kind of a troubled trip last time. We're looking to run him back in a similar spot to the one we claimed him out of and hope we get a win. (The son of Any Given Saturday is entered for the main track only in the second race Monday).
Abraham: "We claimed him here for $50,000 (from trainer Bill Mott Aug. 10) He ran second to a horse of mine. We won the race, and the horse that ran second we claimed, which was Abraham. He has some back class to make us think there's a shot we could return him to being a stakes horse. So we'll either look for a little more ambitious spot here at this meet, or wait for a stake race, or a little higher race when we go south."
Dolphus: "He's a half-brother to Rachel Alexandra, by Lookin At Lucky. Had his first breeze (Aug. 15), went one-eighth of a mile in hand, nice. Seems like he has a ton of talent."
Aztec Brave: "He is doing fantastic after his win at Mountaineer in the (West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup Stakes Aug. 1). A couple spots we're looking at locally, and if not, no matter where he runs next out we're pretty positive that he'll run well. The best of his year is yet to run.
Blarp: "He won impressively (for Mott and owner James Karp, Aug. 13). We claimed him for $35,000, so hopefully we're going to run him back in a first-level allowance race here before the end of the meet, and expect him to move forward as well based on the way he ran the day we claimed him."
C d'Cat: "She's a filly that broke her maiden first time out at Belmont, and was second in a first-level allowance race (July 17 at Belmont and again Aug. 16 at Saratoga). She's a New York-bred and we think that she's a filly moving forward and can compete in New York-bred stakes level.
Magnificent Margo: "She's a filly that won first time out here last year as a 2-year-old at Saratoga (for Maker). She's going to make her first start back off the layoff (in the seventh race Sunday, 5 ½-furlong allowance race on the turf). We're looking as good if not better than she was before."
Abtaal: "He's a horse we claimed for Brad Grady for $50,000 (from Shadwell and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Aug. 5). He won the day we claimed him. We're looking to hopefully raise him a little bit. Either win a race here or we'll go to Kentucky Downs and run in a stakes the beginning of the meet down there."