Less than a week after the retirement of Skye Diamonds, trainer Bill Spawr did it again.
Like the multiple graded winner Skye Diamonds, who was a pickup from a claiming race before she reached stakes glory for Spawr, Risky Proposition completed the transformation Nov. 10 at Del Mar with a come-from-behind upset victory in the $75,000 Let It Ride Stakes.
For a similar ownership group to Skye Diamonds (who sold for $500,000 to Katsumi Yoshida at The November Sale)—Tom Acker, Barry Becker, Judith Becker, Michael Bloom, Jon Lindo, and Thomas Wafer Jr.—Risky Proposition still had four horses to pass with a furlong to run in the one-mile grass race, but surged by on the outside to win by three-quarters of a length under jockey Joe Talamo at odds of 22-1. The final time for the restricted stakes for 3-year-olds was 1:34.61.
"He was traveling so well under Joe," Spawr said. "I could see him reaching out and really (running) with a lot of balance. I thought, 'This horse is going to run good,' and he did."
In a blanket finish for second, Choo Choo headed Calexman for the place spot with a closing bid on the rail. Odds-on favorite Prince Earl, who stalked Calexman through fractions of :23.42, :47.37, and 1:10.78, was another head back in fourth.
Spawr, who has pulled off this feat multiple times before (most notably with claimer turned multiple grade 1 winner Exchange in the 1990s), credited Risky Proposition's ownership for the idea to put up $50,000 to claim the 3-year-old Bodemeister gelding out of a July 22 dirt race at Del Mar.
"The (owners) found the horse, and (they) asked us what we thought. We said, 'Our markings are good on him. He might be all right,'" Spawr said. "I was disappointed he ran so badly (sixth of seven) the day we took him, but he was on the rail on the dirt, so he had some excuses."
Moved to the turf for his first start with Spawr, Risky Proposition came in fourth in an optional-claiming allowance at Del Mar Sept. 1, improved in his second start for a second-place finish at the same level Oct. 5 at Santa Anita Park, and continued his improvement Saturday.
Bred in Kentucky by Glencrest Farm out of the Wavering Monarch mare Risk, Risky Proposition now has a 3-1-1 record from nine starts and $109,770 in earnings. He was a $60,000 purchase in 2016 out of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. In his debut for trainer Peter Miller in January, he was claimed for $40,000 by Mark Glatt.