Castle Gandolfo Wins Possible Derby Prep by 2 1/2 Lengths

Mrs. John Magnier's Castle Gandolfo raced four-wide while in fifth heading into the stretch before rallying under Michael Kinane to win the Fosters-International Trial Stakes on the all-weather course at Lingfield Saturday. He completed the mile on the polytrack surface listed as standard in 1:36.52.

"It went the way you'd hope," Kinane told Racing Post. "I got a little bit behind early so I just let him sit in and coast around them. He's a very high-class colt."

Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum's Aramram (Danzig--Felawnah, by Mr. Prospector) finished second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Castle Gandolfo. Dupont finished another length back in third, with Tumbleweed Charm fourth of 10 3-year-olds.

Castle Gandolfo (Gone West--Golden Oriole, by Northern Dancer) is trained by Aidan O'Brien and may next race in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) along with stablemate Johannesburg. Orpendale bred the winner in Kentucky.

Castle Gandolfo is a half-brother of Manhattan (gr. IT) and Lawrence Realization (gr. IIIT) Handicap runner-up Devonwood (by Woodman). His second dam, Sex Appeal (by Buckpasser), produced Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner and Epsom Derby (Eng-I) runner-up El Gran Senor (by Northern Dancer) and group I winner Try My Best (also by Northern Dancer).

The win improves the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Ire-III) winner's career record to three wins from five starts, with two second-place finishes, both in group I events.

"He was a bit unfortunate twice last year due to lack of pace," Kinane told Racing Post. "He took it up early at Doncaster and just got chinned close home and I rode in France over a mile and a quarter on heavy ground. He pulled a bit hard that day because of lack of pace."

Castle Gandolfo was sent off as the 2-5 favorite and ran to his odds in the stretch run Saturday, making the lead with over a furlong to go and coasting home the easy winner. Aramram (10-1) was last early, then made second after seven furlongs, but was no match for the winner approaching the wire while holding second-place over 14-1 Dupont.

After two days of wagering in round three of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby future wager, Castle Gandolfo is available at 50-1.

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