Stonestreet Homebred Wins Third In a Row by 17 ¾ Lengths
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Employing his long, fluid stride, undefeated Atreides took another giant step forward Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where he captured the $75,000 Monarchos Stakes by 17 ¾ lengths to register his third consecutive dominant victory.
Stonestreet Stables’ burgeoning 3-year-old star, who went to post as the 1-5 favorite in a field of six, was saddled by trainer Marty Wolfson.
“It’s fun. I’ve never had a 3-year-old this good. Chaposa Springs, filly-wise, was great, but I never had a colt this good,” said Wolfson, who saddled Chaposa Springs to multiple graded-stakes wins, including the 1995 Test (G1).
Atreides made an auspicious career debut at Gulfstream on July 12, when he ran six furlongs in 1:08.69, just .57 off the track record set by Eclipse champion Big Drama in 2011. The Kentucky-bred 3-year-old followed up that 5 ¼-length victory with a front-running allowance triumph on Aug. 10, when he beat older rivals for the second time by three lengths while running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15 2/5.
Saturday, Atreides successfully and impressively stretched out to a mile in the Monarchos, in which he recovered from early bumping to settle into a rhythmic stride behind pacesetter Pontos and Black Label on the backstretch. The Kentucky-bred colt advanced on the leader leaving the backstretch without much encouragement from jockey Edgard Zayas before sweeping to the lead on the turn and drawing away in the stretch. Atreides completed the mile under a motionless Zayas in 1:36.47.
“He was easing him up at the sixteenth-pole, so it’s hard to say how fast he would have run, but I’m really not concerned with time. I’m just concerned about the way he did it,” Wolfson said.
General Sham’mah finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of the Wolfson-trained Tiz Marvelous. But the Monarchos was all about Atreides.
The Stonestreet Stables’ homebred colt was certainly bred to be a stakes winner, being out of the multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning Dream Rush, who captured the 2007 Test and Prioress Stakes. His sire, Medaglia d’Oro won several Grade 1 stakes, including the 2004 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, while earning more than $5.7 million. Atreides is a half-brother to Dreaming of Julia, who won the 2013 Gulfstream Oaks by 21 ¾ lengths.
Atreides was in training with 12-time Gulfstream Park champion trainer Todd Pletcher at Palm Meadows last year but didn’t make it to the races as a juvenile.
Zayas, who won four races on Saturday’s program and has won 22 races over the last seven racing days at Gulfstream, has been aboard Atreides for all three victories that were accomplished by a combined 26 lengths.
“He's just a different class of horse. He has speed, but at the same time you can rate him. That's pretty good, because he can go to the lead the same way he can come from behind,” the 21-year-old jockey said. “It paid off good, because I knew the 3-horse had a lot of speed, so I just sat behind him and passed him whenever [Atreides] was ready to go.”
Wolfson said no decision would be made about Atreides’ next start until he talks with Barbara Banke of Stonestreet.