Friday, June 21, 2019 at 3:22 pm |
Bigger Picture | Sarah Andrew
The one-time claimer Bigger Picture (Badge of Silver) has certainly come up in the world since that time, and hopes to add another GI United Nations title to his resume following a victory in Monmouth’s 11-furlong contest in 2016. During his 5-year-old season, the chestnut collected his first graded victory for trainer Mike Maker in the GIII Red Smith H. before collecting another in the GII John B. Connally Turf Cup S. at six. The gelding added a win in Monmouth’s prestigious turf event later that season before finishing a close-up third in Saratoga’s GI Sword Dancer S. Successfully defending his title in the Connally early last term, he finished third while trying to do the same in the U.N. Beaten only a half length in second in the GIII Kentucky Turf Cup in September, he was third behind winning stablemate Zulu Alpha in the 12-furlong GIII Sycamore S. a month later. Bigger Picture found himself only a neck behind winner Chicago Style (Kitten’s Joy) in Del Mar’s GII Hollywood Turf Cup S. in November. Heavily favored to add a third consecutive Connally, he did just that when winning by 3 ½ lengths Jan. 27. Failing to transfer that form to Gulfstream when seventh behind Chad Brown runner Focus Group (Kitten’s Joy) for the Mar. 30 GII Pan American, he finished seventh before scoring in Keeneland’s GII Elkhorn S. Apr. 20. He receives the services of Jersey Joe Bravo while breaking from Post 1. Zulu Alpha has already enjoyed a productive 2019 season, having taken Gulfstream’s GIII W.L. McKnight S. and GII Mac Diarmida S. earlier this winter before finishing a solid third to Bigger Picture in the Elkhorn. Seventh in the May 11 GI Man O War S., the dark bay will be rejoined by Channing Hill, who was aboard for the gelding’s triumph in last season’s Sycamore. Channel Cat (English Channel), who won a pair of stakes last season, including Laurel’s Bald Eagle Derby in September, returned in his first start since with a credible fourth in Belmont’s May 4 Fort Marcy S. before a fifth in the 10-furlong GI Manhattan S. June 8. Luis Saez gets aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher.