The $500,000 Kettle One King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) pits front-running speedster Wildcat Red against proven closer Coup de Grace, both carrying 121 pounds in the seven-furlong dash for 3-year-olds Aug. 23 at Saratoga Race Course.
Coup de Grace, winner of the July 26 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at the Spa for trainer Larry Jones and Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm, closed with gusto in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint after a quick pace duel developed involving King's Bishop rival C. Zee. The Tapit colt strung together back-to-back victories while picking up his first graded score, having taken the July 5 Oh Say Stakes at Delaware Park. With Rosie Napravnik in the irons, he departs the outside in a field of eight 3-year-old sprinters.
Wildcat Red cuts back to the seven-furlong distance for the first time since winning the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in February for trainer Jose Garoffalo and owner Salvatore Delfino. The son of D'wildcat was ambitiously placed in top-level competition after winning the 1 1/16-mile Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II). Despite running 18th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) he gave a good account of himself both before and after that event.
Earlier in the season Wildcat Red was second by a neck in the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) at the 1 1/8-mile distance, and in the June 28 Quality Road Stakes going 1 1/16 miles, he romped by 10 lengths, his first start since the Derby. Last time out in the July 27 William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I), he was third after pressing the pace throughout.
Luis Saez gets the mount from post 2 on Wildcat Red.
Not only was C. Zee runner-up to Coup de Grace in the Amsterdam, but the son of Elusive Bluff also finished second in the Hutcheson at the beginning of the season. Racing for Fred Brei and Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, he won two minor stakes at Gulfstream, including the July 5 Cherokee Run going 6 1/2 furlongs in late-closing fashion.
Another of interest is Treadway Racing Stable's Virginia-bred Noble Moon, who won the Jan. 4 Jerome Stakes (gr. II) and comes back off the bench for trainer Leah Gyarmati having not started since a sixth in the April 5 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I).
Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 23, 2014, Race 10
- 3 yo
- 4:33 PM (local)
|1||1C. Zee (FL)||Joel Rosario||117||Nicholas P. Zito||-|
|2||2Wildcat Red (FL)||Luis Saez||121||Jose Garoffalo||-|
|3||3Myositis Dan (KY)||Jose Lezcano||117||Thomas F. Proctor||-|
|4||4Noble Cornerstone (NY)||Jose L. Ortiz||117||Thomas Morley||-|
|5||5Noble Moon (VA)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||121||Leah Gyarmati||-|
|6||6Fast Anna (KY)||John R. Velazquez||117||Katherine Ritvo||-|
|7||7The Big Beast (MD)||Javier Castellano||117||Anthony W. Dutrow||-|
|8||8Coup de Grace (KY)||Rosie Napravnik||121||J. Larry Jones||-|