Team Valor International said its recent private purchase Mexikoma, who rallied well to finish a close-up sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2, is headed to Florida to prepare for his 3-year-old season.
Mexikoma, purchased after a commanding maiden victory at one mile at Delaware Park Sept. 13 in his second start for Michael Dilger, overcame some traffic and a troubled start to pass all but five foes in the Juvenile. The comment line in the official Equibase chart said the 2-year-old colt finished with "good energy."
Team Valor said it opted for the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile rather than the Nov. 3 Nashua Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park because the latter, at one mile, was run around one turn. Team Valor said Mexikoma, by Birdstone out of the Toccet mare Toccet Over, was training like a two-turn horse.
"We have a Triple Crown candidate," Team Valor president Barry Irwin said Nov. 4. "He not only showed his class in the Breeders' Cup, but, as expected, demonstrated that he will need at least nine furlongs."
Trained by Rick Mettee, Mexikoma will spend a week or so at GoldMark Farm in Ocala, Fla., and then be shipped to Palm Meadows Training Center, where Mettee will be based this winter. The colt will be pointed to stakes at Gulfstream Park, Team Valor said.