Godolphin Stable’s Regal Ransom will likely return to graded stakes competition after winning a nine-furlong optional claimer by 3 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion Sept. 1 at Saratoga.
Winner of the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-II) and Super Derby (gr. II) in 2009, Regal Ransom went on the shelf after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) and was fourth in his return effort, the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park July 3.
“We thought the comeback spot was a good place to run, but the one turn mile and an eighth clearly makes it tough on a horse like him,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “In a race like (this) you can steal away a length or two just on the turn.”
Mettee was pleased with the way the way Regal Ransom settled on the lead and easily put away runner-up Cool Coal Man. He added that the colt could make his next start in the Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on the main track at Belmont on Oct. 3.
“He had his ears pricked out of the gate, and I thought he relaxed a lot better than he did first time out,” said Mettee. “He’s a fast little horse, so he’s always going to take a little bit of a pull. It was good that he was able to get in a small field without a lot of pace in there because he’s been in some tough spots, so it’s good for him to win a race again.”
The race was marred by a fatal injury to 2007 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) winner Timber Reserve, who broke down in the early part of the race. The 6-year-old son of Forest Camp suffered multiple fractures to his right front leg and had to be euthanized. Timber Reserve, owned by Circle E Racing and Philip Solondz, and trained by John Kimmel, won five of 20 starts and earned $772,197.