Theory in his July 30 maiden win at Saratoga Race Course

Theory in his July 30 maiden win at Saratoga Race Course

Coglianese Photos

Theory Makes Sense in Futurity

Gemologist colt beat two of his rivals when breaking his maiden at Saratoga in July.

Only five passed the entry box for Belmont Park’s $200,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. III), with impressive first-out maiden winner Theory figuring to be the one to beat.

Theory, from the first crop of WinStar stallion Gemologist , broke his maiden July 30 at Saratoga Race Course with authority, running six furlongs in 1:09.80 and winning by 5 1/2 lengths under a hand ride. In his wake were two juveniles he’ll face again in Reckling and The Walk, who both came back to break their maidens next time out.

Theory, bred in Kentucky by Fred Hertrich III and Ronald Kirk, was a $120,000 Keeneland September sale yearling and was a $335,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. April sale purchase by China Horse Club from Mayberry Farm. He races for China Horse Club and WinStar Farm.

He is the fourth foal out of stakes-placed Gem Sleuth, by Officer. Her first foal, by Roman Ruler, is stakes winner Roman Officer. Gemologist already has eight winners, including Yellow Agate, winner of last weekend’s Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at a mile at Belmont.

Theory’s last two works have been bullet moves, including a five-furlong drill in 1:00.50 over the Belmont training track Oct. 10.

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s Reckling finished second to Theory at first asking, then broke his maiden Aug. 27 at the Spa going the Futurity’s six panels under Ricardo Santana Jr. From the first crop of Dialed In , Reckling is out of the Distorted Humor  mare Cash Reserve, who is out of Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) winner Private Treasure. Reckling was a $75,000 2-year-old purchase out of the OBS sale.

West Point Thoroughbreds’ The Walk, by another first-crop sire in Hansen, faded to sixth behind Theory and Reckling, but came back to win at the maiden special weight level Sept. 17 at Belmont. Bringing $200,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, he was the second-highest yearling by his sire.

On the rail in the Futurity is Loooch Racing Stables and Imaginary Stables’ Moves Like Ali, a bay colt by first-year stallion Maclean's Music , who went wire to wire Sept. 4 at Saratoga. Luis Saez will replace Irad Ortiz Jr. for trainer Jeremiah Englehart and Ortiz will stick with Reckling.

On the outside is British-bred Star Empire, the lone multiple winner in the cast. A 6 1/2-length winner May 19 at Belmont, Belinda Bateman’s colt won an allowance/optional claiming race over the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs Aug. 9 and then finished third in the Arlington Washington Futurity Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 10.

The Futurity is one of those races that has slipped in prestige since the advent of the Breeders’ Cup, with its Juvenile race being run at 1 1/16 miles for $2 million. First run in 1888 and once a grade I event, the Futurity was run at 6 1/2 furlongs for decades, then fluctuated between seven and eight furlongs before moving to six in 2011. The last juvenile male champion to run in the Futurity was Maria's Mon in 1995.

Entries: Futurity S. (G3)

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 15, 2016, Race 3

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo
  • 2:01 PM (local)
11Moves Like Ali (OH)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez118Jeremiah C. Englehart2/1
22Theory (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano118Todd A. Pletcher7/5
33The Walk (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKendrick Carmouche118Thomas Albertrani12/1
44Reckling (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118Steven M. Asmussen4/1
55Star Empire (GB)Tyler Gaffalione120Wesley A. Ward6/1