Nick and Jaqui de Meric will have a special rooting interest in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Recapturetheglory, who will be running for the roses May 3 at Churchill Downs after capturing the Illinois Derby (gr. II) by four lengths, is a graduate of the couple’s Florida-based pinhooking program.
The de Merics purchased Recapturetheglory for $160,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction from The Acorn, agent for White Oaks. They resold the son of Cherokee Runfor $215,000 to Louie Roussel at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
As a yearling, Recapturetheglory “was a flashy, well-made colt with a lot of pizzazz and sparkle,” Nick de Meric said. “He looked like he still had some maturing to do, but he had the frame and skeleton of a really nice horse.”
When Recpaturetheglory was with the de Merics, they called him “Cold Awakening” because that was the name of his dam. The “Cold Awakening” moniker also fit because when the temperatures were low, Recapturetheglory would perk up.
“On a cold morning, he would definitely have a cold awakening,” Nick de Meric said. “The rider better be tied on because he (Recapturetheglory) would come out with a bit of a hump in his back and be ready to play. The rider had better be ready or he (Recapturetheglory) would catch him napping. He was a good feeling, happy kind of colt that was a pleasure to have in the barn, but he wasn’t a horse that you could fall asleep around.”
When Recapturetheglory was galloping or breezing, “he was all business,” de Meric said. ‘He never had a bad day.”
The bay colt also was very athletic. “When he got up on his hind legs he could stand there like a statue because he was so well-balanced,” de Meric remembered.
The difference between Recapturetheglory’s yearling purchase price and juvenile resale price was $55,000, which didn’t provide the de Merics with a huge profit, but they still remember him fondly.
“He wasn’t a big moneymaker, and I think, to some degree, it was for the same reason that he didn’t cost more as a yearling,” Nick de Meric said. “He was still a little immature, but all the parts fit, and he was a lovely mover. It was just that you could tell that he wasn’t all the way there. He was at an early 2-year-old sale, and it’s a polarized market. He wasn’t as much of a ‘right now’ colt as some of the ones that attracted all the attention.”
The de Merics are excited that one of the horses they worked with will make it to the Triple Crown’s first leg.
“We’ve been talking about it and making plans to watch the Derby on a big screen TV,” Nick de Meric said. “We decided not to go because we’ve got a number of things going on at home, but we won’t miss a moment of it. Louie Roussel – and to some degree Ronnie Lamarque – has been a loyal customer over the years, and we’re delighted to see him with such a promising 3-year-old.”
The de Merics also will be cheering for Awesome Chic in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The couple, on behalf of her breeder, Westbury Stables, sold the Awesome Again filly for $100,000 at the 2007 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Awesome Chic won this year’s Florida Oaks (gr. III) and Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
“She was small and athletic, and she toed out very significantly in both forelimbs,” Nick de Meric said. “But she was a beautiful, beautiful mover wioh a lovely shoulder and good balance. She covered tons of ground at a gallop or a beeeze. She’s still small, but she’s a tough little nut, and we wish the best of luck to her and her connections.”