Bradester Takes Next Step in Sunday Allowance
While much of the attention on Tuesday’s New Year Day program at Gulfstream Park will focus on the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby and $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes for 3-year-olds, the seventh race ‘a other than’ allowance test at 1 1/16 miles may also yield a top prospect for one of the track’s major stakes events leading to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1).
One of the likely choices in the race is Joseph Sutton’s Bradester with jockey Jose Lezcano. Bradester will be making his third career start for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
A son of Lion Heart purchased for $195,000 at the Fasig-Tipton March sale of 2-year-olds, Bradester finished second in his career debut going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs on Oct. 28 before a stunning score to break his maiden by 3 ¼ lengths going 1 1/16 miles there on Nov. 24.
“We wanted to keep him going two turns,” said Kenneally Saturday morning from Palm Meadows. “It also gives him a chance to get a little more experience before he steps up to the big stakes races later on. He ran a big race last time on that big day for (all) 2-year-olds at Churchill. His time was faster than they ran the same distance in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.”
Bradester was timed in 1:44:56 while the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), won by Uncaptured over Frac Daddy with Dewey Square third, went in 1:44:97 about a half-hour later that afternoon. “The timing and distance of this race are ideal. We’ll take things one race at a time with him,” said Kenneally.
Bradester’s rivals include others with high-profile connections and hopes for their prospects for the New Year, including Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx, Fox Hill Farm’s Rienzi, Robert LaPenta’s Wild Billum, Conquest Stables LLC’s Gunderman and Team Valor International’s Cerro.
Black Onyx comes into the race on a similar schedule to Bradester, but his two races were in New York for trainer Carl Domino. The son of Rock Hard Ten finished second in his debut going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park on Oct. 11 and came back to break his maiden by 2 ¼ lengths going one mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 11, both races contested around one turn.
Rienzi is a son of Majestic Warrior purchased for $350,000 at the Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old sales, the same auction held at Palm Meadows as Bradester went through, and he has made two starts for trainer Chad Brown. Fourth sprinting in his debut at Belmont on Oct. 6, Rienzi came back to break his maiden by 1 ¼ lengths going one mile and 70 yards at Parx on Nov. 2.