Bobby Zen

Michael Foster’s Next (Not This Time) has earned a host of fans with five straight wins in races 1 1/2 miles and over, most recently storming to a 9 3/4-length victory in the GII Brooklyn S. last Friday. Fans may be hoping to see the 6-year-old gelding cut back in distance for a chance to earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup in a race like the ‘Win and You’re In’ GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, but trainer Doug Cowans plans to stick with what is working and will aim his charge at the 1 3/4-mile Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 4. Next won that race by 11 3/4 lengths last year.

“That is the plan today: the Birdstone,” Cowans confirmed. “It is hard for me to take him away from something that he really likes to do. Maybe somewhere along the line I will be forced to. I don’t see that many horses out there looking at the Birdstone, maybe if somehow the race doesn’t go, we would look at the Jockey Club Gold Cup.”

Next earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure with his second straight win in the Brooklyn Friday.

“That is a big number. You think the horse can’t get any better and he just keeps on improving, showing up and getting bigger numbers every time,” said Cowans.

The post Next to Stick to Marathons; Eyes Birdstone Repeat appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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