Jessica Morgan / Eclipse Sportswire
“We just think that it’s a good spot for him coming out of the Pegasus, timing-wise,” trainer Michal Stidham told Horse Racing Nation on Thursday. “And we want to get the mile-and-a-quarter distance, so the race makes a lot of sense.”
The decision was reported earlier by Daily Racing Form.
After winning the Clark (G1) in November, Proxy was fifth in the Pegasus World Cup, a loss that neither surprised nor discouraged Stidham.
“It was the 1 hole on a speed-biased racetrack where he got shuffled back, which we were worried about going into the race. If that happened, that was going to really put us behind the eight ball, and it did,” Stidham said. “And then not until he turned for home and got clear of the kickback was when he was able to actually be running it on at the end, making up ground. And he was about the only horse making ground.”
Proxy has continued working at Fair Grounds, most recently going four furlongs in 48.2 seconds Sunday.
The 5-year-old son of Tapit will have his first West Coast start in the Big ‘Cap.
“I’m not exactly sure who’s running yet,” Stidham said, “but the plan would hopefully be to break well and be in somewhat of a stalking type of position like he was in the Clark.”