One of the most intriguing horses running on Saturday's showcase card at Indiana Grand is the Mexican-bred Kukulkan in the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial for older horses on dirt. The 4-year-old colt went 13 for 13 in his native country and is 15 for 16 overall.
Kukulkan won the $300,000 Caribbean Classic (or Clasico del Caribe) for Thoroughbreds from Latin America and the Caribbean at Gulfstream Park last December, then returned to Florida to run in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup. He only beat one horse that day, but regrouped to win a Churchill Downs allowance race on May 24.
Kukulkan has been training in Lexington under the care of trainer Ignacio Correas.
“I worked him the week before (race) at Keeneland, and he worked really well,” said jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. “'Nacho' had convinced them to run him in the allowance race just to build him up for the stakes here. That's kind of what the plan is for Saturday. They're going to run him at Indiana to see where he stacks up against stakes-quality horses here. He won 13 in a row — all Mexican-breds. And then he won the Clasico Caribbean.
“He showed he knows how to win. We were going down the backside and the whole way around there, he kind of threw his ears up. He has a lot of confidence in himself. I think they're doing the right thing by kind of building him into the better races. He's actually a really good-looking horse. I haven't been around too many Mexican-bred horses, but he looks like a racehorse.”
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