That's what happens when things don't go ideal for a 1-9 favorite.
But Out of Gwedda quickly turn anxiety into enthusiasm as he waltzed to the lead under a hand ride and went on to a 2 1/4-length victory over Gonzo Bonzo Beans in the 5 1/2-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds. Pride of Seattle and Superstar Lebo completed the order of finish.
Now unbeaten in two starts, Out of Gwedda will likely run in the grade II, $200,000 Saratoga Special Breeders' Cup for 2-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs on Thursday, Aug. 17 at Saratoga Race Course. Todd Pletcher, who has won the last four consecutive Saratoga trainer titles, has a powerful stable once again, and will likely run Scat Daddy in Saratoga's grade II, $150,000 Sanford for 2-year-olds at six furlongs on Thursday, July 27. On that day, Saratoga fans will receive a free Todd Pletcher bobblehead doll with each paid admission.
Such is the price of fame.
"When you're a big favorite like that, you always fear something going wrong at the start," Pletcher said of Out of Gwedda's Tremont. "Luckily, he was good enough to overcome it. He's a pretty quick colt and with a cleaner break, probably would have been right on the lead."
The stumbled start took care of longshot Superstar Lebo, but Out of Gwedda, treated it as a minor inconvenience. As Gonzo Bonzo Beans, pressed by Pride of Seattle, set a pace of :22.70 and :46.46, jockey John Velazquez got Out of Gwedda to right himself, took him outside and let the colt do the rest. He cruised to the win in 1:06.66.
It was an effort with no effort and Out of Gwedda, a son of Out of Place, stamped himself as a major player in the juvenile division.
"He broke and the second jump, he just disappeared," Velazquez said. "He got up, I gave him a little slap and he just started running. I just sat against him and he responded. I didn't have to beat him up or anything."
Out of Gwedda, who was bred in Kentucky by James H. Heyward, returned $2.40 to win. Sold for $100,000 at this year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-year-olds in training sale, the colt races for Pegasus Dream Stable.(Chart, Equibase)
Most Popular Stories
- California Chrome 'Wait and See' for SA Derby
- Rebel Rematch Expected in Arkansas Derby
- Likely Entrants for World Cup Card Released
- Stormy Lucy Ends Graded Drought in Santa Ana
- Hoppertunity Stays Up in Roughshod Rebel
- KY-Bred Lideris Wins Latinoamericana in Peru
- Apprentice Courtney Hernandez Gets First Win
- Featured Horse Profile: Close Hatches
- Onlyforyou Euthanized After Training Accident
- Arkansas Derby Preview Day Preview Blog