Peter Redekop’s Comedero looks to continue his push towards the head of the class for 3-year-old sprinters when he takes on six others in $400,000 Red Legend Stakes June 19 at Charles Town.
The seven-furlong Red Legend, now the richest 3-year-old sprint in the country, is the featured event on the track’s third annual Charles Town Sprint Festival card.
Comedero comes into the Red Legend after his first start in graded stakes company, which resulted in a win in the Chick Lang (gr. III) at Pimlico in May. It also won’t be the first time he’s stepped foot on the Charles Town surface, having won the Blue & Gold Stakes on the Charles Town Classic card in April.
“We went there for the (Blue & Gold) back in April to see if he’d handle the turns and the track,” explained Comedero’s trainer Mike Stidham. “When we saw that he could, the Red Legend was an obvious spot to send him back to.”
Robby Albarado has the mount on the Arkansas-bred son of Posse.
The main competition for Comedero figures to come from multiple graded stakes winner Backtalk, who gets back to sprinting following three races at a mile or longer in 2010.
Winner of the Bashford Manor (gr. III) and Sanford (gr. II) as a 2-year-old, the Tom Amoss trainee has been off since his last place finish in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in May.
“The Kentucky Derby, being a mile and a quarter, probably isn’t his game,” said Amoss. “We’re fully aware of how good Comedero is, but we freshened him after the Derby and hope he’ll be sharp enough on Saturday.”
Another horse cutting back in distance will be Westrock Stable’s Northern Giant, for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Northern Giant showed promise early this year finishing second in the Lanes End (gr. II) and third in the Risen Star (gr. II) prior to disappointing efforts in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I). The cutback to seven furlongs will be Northern Giant’s first start under a mile since October of his juvenile season.
The west coast contingent will be represented by Working Capital, who looks to step up off a recent optional claiming score at Hollywood Park on May 27. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Working Capital shows only one prior start in stakes company, that resulting in a second place finish in the restricted Snow Chief Stakes, also at Hollywood.
While the west coast contingent is represented, the Charles Town contingent is as well. Baer’s Racing Stable’s Son of a Bear looks to translate the form that’s made him successful in West Virginia-bred stakes to open company. Trained by Lee Couchenour, Son of a Bear made his mark as a 2-year-old at Charles Town, with his signature win coming in the juvenile division of last year’s West Virginia Breeders’ Classics.
Kens Cape, fourth against Comedero in the Chick Lang, and Mylilsecret complete the field.
$400,000 Red Legend (Race 10, 10:30 p.m. EST p.m.), 3YO, 7 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Working Capital (CA), T L Dunkelberger, 121, D F O'Neill
2. Mylilsecret (FL), O Castillo, 121, J J Robb
3. Son of a Bear (WV), J Sanchez, 118, L Couchenour
4. Comedero (AR), R Albarado, 124, M Stidham
5. Northern Giant (KY), J Theriot, 115, D W Lukas
6. Kens Cape (KY), J D Acosta, 118, K T Leatherbury
7. Backtalk (FL), M Mena, 124, T M Amoss