Ironhorse Racing's Bucchero had not found the winner's circle since last year's running of the G2 Woodford, but still managed to repeat his triumph over the Keeneland lawn this Saturday. The 6-year-old son of Kantharos, favored at 3-1 in the wagering, had to go three-wide on the turn, hit the lead at the sixteenth pole and held off a late rush from Will Call to win by about a half-length on the wire. Ridden by Fernando de la Cruz for trainer Tim Glyshaw, Bucchero completed 5 1/2 furlongs over the “good” turf in 1:04.04. The horse will represent his connections in next month's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint; he finished fourth in the 2017 edition.
“He's just an iron horse,” said Glyshaw. “He's very special to us. To have an Indiana-bred come in here for the second year in a row and win on the national stage, that's something we are very proud of. He just became the all-time money-earning (leader) in Indiana history – something that's important to me as well. I just can't thank (owner) Ironhorse (Racing Stable) for allowing me the opportunity to train him.”
Bucchero broke with the field, but Rocket Heat was very sharp out of the gate to take a one-length lead down the backstretch. The first quarter time flashed in :21.80, with Rocket Heat leading Extravagant Kid and Done Deal into the far turn. De la Cruz kept Bucchero at the rail until mid-way through the turn, when he angled the horse out to the three-path to launch his bid.
With four lengths to make up at the head of the stretch, Bucchero had a lot to do to catch runaway leader Rocket Heat. As usual, Bucchero did not change leads all the way down the lane, but he managed to hit the lead at the sixteenth pole and keep on fighting to the wire to hold off the late bid from Will Call. Bucchero crossed the wire a half-length ahead of Will Call, while Extravagant Kid held on to finish third. Angaston finished fourth.
“Things worked out good,” de la Cruz said. “I just put him behind the speed, let him get comfortable in the stretch and just pick it up last sixteenth to get to the wire. I was thinking (more horses would show early speed), but he was in a great position and it worked out good for me.”
Bred in Indiana by Southern Chase Farm and Karen Dodd, Bucchero was a $43,000 juvenile at the OBS April sale. Earlier this year, the horse finished a very good fifth at Royal Ascot, but was a bit flat in his comeback race at Parx in early September. Bucchero seems to have regained his form with the Woodford repeat, and will be a big threat in the Turf Sprint with a good trip. Overall, the horse has won 11 of his 30 career starts to become the leading Indiana-bred money earner in history with a total of over $930,000 in the bank.
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