Live Oak Plantation's Holding Gold makes his seasonal bow in Saturday's $50,000 Colonel Power Overnight Stakes. Should the son of Lonhro (Aus.) put up a solid effort in the five-and-a-half furlong event over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, trainer Mark Casse will likely send him overseas next out in the Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-I) at Meydan Racecourse on Mar. 31.
“My hope is to take him to Dubai,” Casse said. “I was a little concerned with the (Breeders' Cup) Turf Sprint being at Churchill Downs that it might be five furlongs but now it's five-and-a-half.”
Holding Gold will be making his first start since a close seventh in the Gr. I Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, where he was beaten 1¾ lengths. He was beaten by the same amount in his two starts prior, which took place in the Gr. II Turf Monster Stakes at Parx Racing where he finished sixth and Saratoga's Troy Stakes on Aug. 6. Last spring he took the Gr. III Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland over graded stakes winners Green Mask and Hogy.
“He's really good and runs well off the layoff,” Casse said. “If you watch the Breeders' Cup, he galloped out in front after the race about twenty yards past the wire. I think five-eighths is just a touch short for him so that's why we sent him to New Orleans from Florida.”
Holding Gold will break from post five as the 8-5 morning line favorite under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
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