Mr. Fantasy Scores in Withers
Colt Scores First Graded Stakes Win
Perhaps the time off was exactly what he needed. In his first start since the Gotham Stakes seven weeks ago, Mr. Fantasy took control at the top of the stretch and went on to a two-length win in the G3 $150,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. The win, his first in graded stakes company, was the third of his career in just his fourth start.
Following his third-place finish in the Gotham, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and West Point Thoroughbreds President Terry Finley sat down and decided to take him off the Kentucky Derby trail, and give him some time to regroup and develop mentally and physically. "A lot of people would have gone on with him," said McLaughlin, "but Terry and I wanted to do what was right for the horse and I think it paid off today."
Mr. Fantasy broke in a tangle but was quickly put close to the lead under the direction of jockey Richard Migliore. He would track a headstrong Supreme Summit through a quick opening half of :45.4, and then was given his cue by Migliore. "When I pushed the button, he just accelerated. He moves so nicely, when I asked him, he just took over and never looked back." Mr. Fantasy took the lead with three furlongs left and would never look back. Favored This One's For Phil, coming off a win in the G2 Swale Stakes, closed late for second but was no match for the winner.
"He's a very nice horse, and we're glad he showed his true ability today. We're obviously excited about him going forward, we have some good options, that's for sure," said McLaughlin. Those options include the G1 $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes on May 15th and the G1 $600,000 Met Mile on May 25th.
For the win, Mr. Fantasy earned $90,000 and has now earned $166,000 in his four lifetime starts.