Trainer Bret Calhoun said Tom Durant's Digital, a sharp maiden sprint winner at second asking at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La., on December 28, will be asked to tackle a route of ground in his next assignment.
“We're going to point him towards a two-turn allowance race at Fair Grounds on January 17,” Calhoun said of a race he will enter for on Friday. “If that race doesn't 'go' we'll think about going in the Lecomte (G3 the following day). I don't necessarily want to go in the Lecomte just because he's never been two turns. I don't want to have that (tough race) be his first (two-turn) experience. It is a possibility though.”
A “buzz” horse on the Churchill backstretch before he had ever competed in the afternoon, the 3-year-old son of Into Mischief was bet all the way down to 6-5 favoritism against 11 rivals on debut, but he settled for second behind his 24-1 longshot stablemate Mailman Money.
“We expected him to win that race first time out (at Churchill),” Calhoun said. “He just broke slow and got left on a sloppy and speed biased track and the winner ran a really good race.”
Odds-on in his follow-up start four weeks later at Fair Grounds, Digital was not to be denied. Sitting fourth of nine early on behind hot fractions on a muddy track, he made a bold move in the stretch and ran by Brilliant Racing, LLC & J S Stables, LLC's Steely Danza to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
“I thought his (maiden) win was impressive,” Calhoun said. “He has always been a very forward type horse, so we were actually a little surprised (with the way he did it). It was really professional it looked like he did it easily within himself. He sat just off them and cruised down the lane.
“I like what Brian [jockey Hernandez, Jr.] told me when he got back,” Calhoun said. “He said this horse can and wants to go farther. That's always the hope with a talented, young horse like this, but until they do it you just don't know. Brian's a good judge of horse flesh and has a pretty good idea of their distance capabilities.”
In his first work back off the maiden win, Digital breezed an easy half mile in :50 4/5 on Thursday morning at Fair Grounds.
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