Good horses frequently bring out-of-town trainers to Saratoga Race Course. Kentucky-based Michael Tomlinson has trained plenty of good horses, but a Saratoga winner has eluded him from limited attempts.
Former claimer Candip brings Tomlinson to town for today’s $100,000 Tale Of The Cat Stakes going 6 furlongs on the main track.
Tomlinson has enjoyed a career resurgence in the past few years, topping the $1-million earning mark for the first time since 2007, the only other year he achieved that plateau.
“This is the first time I’ve ever brought a string, but I’ve shipped horses up and ran and taken them back to Churchill,” Tomlinson said Wednesday morning while standing outside of his end of the shedrow he shares with Gary Contessa on the Oklahoma Training Track side. “I’ve got 50 at Churchill so it’s hard to enjoy when you’re bouncing back and forth but I love being up here.
“Over the last few years, the quality of my horses has just been getting a little better all the time, so it was time to make that move. Hopefully I may bring more up next year.”
Tomlinson claimed Candip off Brad Cox for $32,000 in May 2015 and has made $330,250 with the 6-year-old Candy Ride gelding since.
“We claimed him for 32 and just been playing with him,” he said. “He just got better and better and better. We were fortunate, a lot of it was just taking our time with him and giving him time in the morning and taking him out and letting him stand and relax and he’s really responded.”
The Tomlinson crew took their time with Candip Friday morning, having to back him out of the shedrow to make his way to the track to train.
To read the rest of the Tale Of The Cat preview, download Friday's digital edition of The Saratoga Special.