Back from an educational trip stateside, the locally campaigned Mr Havercamp will be looking to ace his next test this Saturday, Sept. 23 as Ontario-sired three-year-olds compete in the $125,000 Vice Regent Stakes.
Trained by Catherine Day Phillips and owned by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry, the homebred Court Vision-Tennessee Lamb gelding will face eight other sophomores in the afternoon’s one-mile feature on home turf.
Mr Havercamp went unraced at two, but some turnout time in the fall allowed him to mature physically and mentally. This summer, he won back-to-back races going seven furlongs on the Tapeta and then 1-1/16 miles on the turf, winning by a combined 12 lengths in rein to Eurico Rosa da Silva.
“As a three-year-old, he’s been quite uncomplicated,” said Day Phillips. “This year, we’ve taken our time with him and developed him and he’s been in very good condition all year. We expected him to run well in his first race. He raced well and won his first start. We looked forward to trying him on the turf. His second start was on the turf and he seemed to really love the turf.”
With a break in his schedule before the Vice Regent, Mr Havercamp headed to Saratoga for the Saranac Stakes (Grade 3) and finished fifth in the 1-1/8 mile turf event.
“He ran quite a good race, maybe a little bit green in the race. We had a different jockey on him who didn’t know him as well as Eurico knows him so we look forward to Eurico getting back on him for the Vice Regent Stakes.”
The trek to Saratoga was a learning experience for the gelding, who handled the journey well.
“He did a great job. I was very, very proud of him,” said Day Phillips. “He handled the shipping and his trip to Saratoga has made him all the wiser and smarter for it.”
Mr Havercamp enters the Vice Regent off an easy maintenance breeze in :48.80 over four furlongs last Friday on the all-weather track.
Among the contenders he will face for the first time on Saturday is the Mark Casse-trained King and His Court, the reigning Sovereign Award divisional champion who will be cutting back to a mile after a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Stakes last time out on August 20.
The field also includes Katalox, a turf stakes winner going six furlongs to earn the Bold Ruckus title two starts ago on June 25, and Dragon’s Cry, who came up a head short in that turf test before scoring a victory in his July 26 follow up. Silent Jimmie also enters the Vice Regent in winning form after ending his four-race runner-up streak with a maiden-breaking one-mile victory in his turf debut last time out on August 13.
Other contenders include Signature Data, Buttermilk Pike, Sterling Silence and Silent Empire.
First race post time on Saturday is 1 p.m., with the $125,000 Vice Regent Stakes scheduled at race eight.
$125,000 Vice Regent Stakes
PP – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1. Katalox – David Moran – Ricky Griffith 2. Mr Havercamp – Eurico Rosa da Silva – Catherine Day Phillips 3. Signature Data – Alan Garcia – John Mattine 4. Buttermilk Pike – Rafael Hernandez – Daniel Vella 5. Sterling Silence – Omar Moreno – Laurie Silvera 6. King and His Court – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse 7. Silent Empire – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Peter Berringer 8. Silent Jimmie – Jesse Campbell – Paul Buttigieg 9. Dragon’s Cry – Luis Contreras – Robert Tiller