Vaquero, who finished sixth in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, returns to action Dec. 6 in $150,000 Display Stakes at Woodbine. The son of Orientate will face 11 juveniles on the Polytrack.
Vaquero finished five lengths back of Donavitum in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park. Prior to that, he was fourth by less than two lengths to Bittel Road in the Bourbon Stakes (gr. IIIT) in his turf debut at Keeneland. Now, the dark bay colt returns to Polytrack, the surface on which he broke his maiden at third asking going a mile at Turfway Park Sept. 6.
“He came out of the race in great shape,” said trainer Michael Leahy, of the Breeders’ Cup, in which Vaquero earned career-best 82 Beyer. “It wasn’t the run we had hoped for. He got bunched up going into the first turn, but he was flying at the end. He raced well.”
Bred and owned by Roger Braugh Jr., Vaquero is out of the Storm Cat mare Sambra. Richard Dos Ramos was named to ride the colt for the first time. The 1 1/16-mile Display will be Vaquero’s first race at Woodbine, but he has been to the Toronto oval before.
“I ran another horse (Freedom Alert) earlier in the year at Woodbine and we brought Vaquero along in the van to see how he handled the trip,” said Leahy. “He proved to be a good shipper. We even let him test the track and he liked it.”
Morning-line favoritism in the Display went to Patena (3-1), who broke his maiden last out by 5 1/4 lengths at Woodbine. Patena is a well-bred son of Seeking the Gold, out of the A.P. Indy mare Handpainted. The $250,000 yearling purchase is trained by Josie Carroll. He will break from the rail under Robert Landry.
The second choice is Shafted (4-1), one of two starters for trainer Mark Casse. Owned by Woodford Racing, Shafted has raced just once, taking a maiden special weight on the Woodbine Polytrack Oct. 16. The Mineshaft colt was a $150,000 yearling purchase. Patrick Husbands will ride.
Casse’s other colt is Darley Stable’s Oconee (12-1), who has won once in five starts. He broke his maiden at second asking going six furlongs at Woodbine. Last out, the son of Congaree missed by three parts of a length in a first-level allowance event on the Polytrack Oct. 24.
Saint Reade, a Maryland-bred son of Pulpit trained by Reade Baker, also broke his maiden impressively last out at Woodbine. He will break from post two under Eurico Da Silva.
$150,000 Display Stakes (Race 6, 3:03 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Patena (KY), 117, Robert Landry
2. Saint Reade (MD), 117, Eurico Da Silva
3. Bear's Rocket (KY), 117, Tyler Pizarro
4. Flying Brigade (ON), 117, Jono Jones
5. Hooh Why (FL), 114, Justin Stein
6. Oconee (KY), 117, Corey Fraser
7. Shafted (KY), 117, Patrick Husbands
8. Kennisis River (KY), 115, Steven Blum
9. Vaquero (KY), 117, Richard Dos Ramos
10. Red Leader (FL), 115, James Mcleney
11. Unbridle's Dream, 117, Emile Ramsammy
12. D'Artagnan, 115, Emma-Jayne Wilson