Instagrand, who won his first two races by a combined 20 1-4 lengths last summer, will make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 9, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Thursday.
Instagrand had been pointed to the Grade 2 San Felipe at Santa Anita that same day, but Hollendorfer, in concert with owner Larry Best, felt the one-turn mile configuration of the Gotham was a good starting point for Instagrand, who has not raced winning the Best Pal at Del Mar last August. The San Felipe is a two-turn, 1 1-16-mile race.
“After discussing with Larry the best possible path to take with our horse it was suggested and determined that the Gotham would be a better race for him than the San Felipe,” Hollendorfer said. “We’re planning on coming for the Gotham.”
Javier Castellano, who flew from Florida to California to work the horse on Monday at Santa Anita, will ride Instagrand in the Gotham.