Not This Time’s incomparable marathoner Next strutted to an 11 ¾-length win in the $150,000 Birdstone S. July 27 at Saratoga, the fourth stakes win in the last five starts for the near-white 5-year-old.
Next was the heavy favorite in the Birdstone after dominating the June 10 Brooklyn S (G2) at Belmont Park, and he delivered a knockout performance in Tuesday’s 1 ¾-mile race. Sea Foam set a moderate pace, with Next biding his time in second for the first mile. He easily took command with three furlongs to go and then ran up the score with a powerful stretch run.
“We’ve claimed a lot of horses and had a lot of success,” winning owner Michael Foster said. “It’s not our first stakes horse that we’ve claimed, but this guy’s a claim of the century. [Trainer] Doug [Cowans] figured him out early. He’s just a dream come true, I tell you. We have more fun with this horse than we ever dreamed of.”
Next, who won last year’s Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance S. (G2), is 8-0-1 in 18 lifetime starts and has earned $801,672. He was bred in Kentucky by Silverton Hill.
Not This Time was the champion Third-Crop sire of 2022 and currently leads this year’s Fouth-Crop list with eight stakes winners and over $6.8 million in progeny earnings.