News & Barn notes

Give It A Whirl, 2-For-2 Lifetime, Set To Tackle Next Challenge For Trainer Cal Lynch In Saturday’s $200,000 Sapling Stakes

August 24, 2023

With Give It A Whirl winning his first two career starts by a combined 11½ lengths, trainer Cal Lynch said the son of Hard Spun is practically begging him for a bigger challenge.

Give It A Whirl will get just that in Saturday’s $200,000 Sapling Stakes, the one-mile feature race for 2-year-olds on Monmouth Park’s 10-race program.

“He absolutely deserves this chance,” said Lynch. “He’s done nothing wrong. Numbers-wise he is right there with anybody in the race. So he deserves this. He’s the only multiple winner in the field.”

Give It A Whirl will face nine other freshman runners in the 89th edition of the Sapling, with his stakes debut also marking his first try around two turns.

But after winning in maiden special weight company by 7½ lengths in his career debut at 4½ furlongs at Delaware Park on June 15, following that up with a 4½-length romp in a first-level optional claimer at Laurel at five furlongs on July 14, Lynch says Give It A Whirl needs this test.

A homebred for owners Greg and Caroline Bentley (Runnymoore Racing LLC), Give It A Whirl drew the rail for the Sapling. Charlie Marquez, his regular rider, will be in from Laurel for the mount.

“We figure he wants to go longer, maybe even turf being by Hard Spun,” said Lynch. “But he has done nothing wrong on dirt, so why change now? He’s worked very well for this and Mr. Bentley is always game for taking a shot. So we figured why not?

“We’ve worked him long at Fair Hill (Md.) a couple of times, and with his pedigree, being out of Smart Strike mare (Chic Thrill), it shouldn’t be an issue for him going long.”

Lynch said the promise that Give It A Whirl is showing now is something he hinted at almost from the outset.

“Dr. (Barry) Eisaman (of Eisaman Equine in Willston, Fla.) had him and broke him in Ocala for us and thought very highly of him,” said Lynch. “Joe Cassidy (Runnymoore’s racing manager) liked him as a yearling as well. When I went to the farm to look at 12 or 13 yearlings he was one of their favorites as a yearling. So he’s one of those horses where the expectations have been there from the start.”