Godolphin's homebred Enticed has emerged from his 2 ¾-length victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham for 3-year-olds at a mile at Aqueduct Racetrack in good order, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Sunday morning.
“All is well,” McLaughlin said by phone. “He came out of the race in great shape.”
Currently ranked second on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 63 qualifying points, Enticed earned 50 points for his win in the Gotham to secure the sophomore Medaglia d'Oro colt a berth in the Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Enticed is scheduled to fly back to South Florida on Monday to rejoin his trainer's main winter string at Palm Meadows, where he'll train for a likely bid in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 7 at the Big A.
“He'll come back here and train in Florida just because it worked well,” said McLaughlin. “The main goal, obviously, is the first Saturday in May, but the Wood would make the most sense. We've still got to talk more about it, but we will look at the Wood Memorial.”
In the Gotham, Enticed broke from the outside post in the field of nine and settled in an outside stalking position under jockey Junior Alvarado. He easily overtook the pacesetting Old Time Revival in the stretch and was geared down by Alvarado in the final yards.
The Gotham was the second race of the year for Enticed, who won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club by a head in November. In his seasonal debut, he finished a well-beaten fourth in the Grade 2 Holy Bull at 1 1/16 miles on February 3 at Gulfstream Park, where he raced along the rail in the middle of the pack and failed to menace, finishing 14 ¾ lengths behind Audible.
“I said before this race that it really wasn't a comfortable race for him last time down on the inside,” said McLaughlin. “So, I drew a line through the Holy Bull. We had confidence yesterday and I'm happy Tex Sutton got us there.
“I loved the post position being on the outside for a clean trip and Junior rode him great,” he added. “He answered questions for us for sure, in that he needed to run a big race to stay on course for the Derby. He did that yesterday, so we'll keep going. He's a big sound horse with a great mind. We just want to keep him the way he is. We should be in good shape.”
Fred J. Brei's Old Time Revival returned to his home base at Laurel Park a day after his front-running performance notched himself a second-place finish behind Enticed in Saturday's Grade 3 Gotham. His next start could come in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial on April 7 at Aqueduct, according to trainer Kenneth Decker.
“He ran a rally nice race yesterday,” Decker said Sunday morning. “We're super pleased with how he ran and how he came out of the race. For now, we'll take it day to day. We're going to try and stretch him out, and we've got our eye on the Wood. If everything is good with the way he comes back, we're pretty serious on coming to the Wood. I would say it's a pretty good chance. We'll stretch him out and see how it goes.”
The Gotham was the first graded stakes for the Florida-bred son of Brethren, and the second straight runner-up finish after he was nipped at the wire in the one-mile $100,000 Miracle Wood at Laurel in his last start.
The Gotham was the first time the colt raced outside of Laurel and also the first time he was ridden by Jeremy Rose, the fourth rider to sit aboard the colt after Steve Hamilton, who was aboard for Old Time Revival's last two starts couldn't get to New York.
“Steve couldn't make the trip,” said Decker. “I just got the call from the jock's room, and we put Jeremy on him. He's a veteran rider, and we were pleased with how he rode him. He really likes the colt. He said he drifted out a bit in the last part, but the colt is learning and improving so we're happy right now.”
Old Time Revival now has one win, two seconds and a third finish from six career starts with earnings of $108,400.
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