For a steeplechase trainer, it’s a pretty simple plan. Break a horse’smaiden in the spring, then plan the best path to Saratoga. Tom Vossdoes it better than most.
Left Unsaid, owned by The Fields Stable, broke his maiden in April, finished fourth at Penn National in July, finished second here opening week and then popped through with a comfortable win in the Mickey Walsh Novice Stakes Thursday.
Peter Buchanan guided the son of Dynaformer from the 11 slot to the inside and then sat and waited while Tricky Me cut out the fractions. On the final turn, Left Unsaid cruised into position, split horses and mowed down Tricky Me to win easily by 8 1/4 lengths. Tricky Me (Willie Dowling) hung tough for second with Nationbuilder (Danielle Hodsdon) third.
Voss explained the Saratoga plan.
“He’s that good, he won in a canter in his first start, then got a bad trip the second time and I don’t know what happened the last time, he was just green, looking around a little,” Voss said. “He was a little novicey the last time and he was a little novicey this time but (Buchanan) rode him with a lot of confidence and never let him do anything he didn’t want to do, just let him run to the last fence and he got it good, it was all over by then.”
Voss and Buchanan won their second jump race of the meet and second with a son of Dynaformer. Dynaski scored in a restricted stakes last week.
“He’s a little like the other horse, he gets in front and his ears come up,” Voss said. “The Dynaformers are like that, he shied at the fence after the wire, then galloped out like John’s Call.”
Buchanan, on a busman’s holiday from Britain, won his fourth race from seven tries since joining the Voss barn in time for the Open House.
“Tom told me the last time when I rode him that he got a bad trip the time before so he wanted me to take him wide and clear that day,” Buchanan said. “I just thought that he jumped a bit novice-like over his hurdles, he was still a bit green, he was even a bit green today as well, but the horses around him carried him a bit over the hurdles and that helped him learn a lot and it will help him when he has to step up next time against a better group of horses. I was really happy with him. He’s only 4 and he rides like it. But he’s going to be a lovely 5-year-old. There’s a lot more there.”
Bred in partnership by trainer Bobby Frankel, Left Unsaid lost nine consecutive California flat starts in 2007 and 2008 (including two at Del Mar a year ago) before crossing Voss’ radar screen as a jump prospect.