No Nay Mets Sprints to Royal Palm Juvenile Upset
Off to Royal Ascot for Astros’ Alex Bregman’s 2YO Colt
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bregman Family Racing LLC’s No Nay Mets got the jump on his nine rivals out of the starting gate and never looked back to register a 10-1 upset victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile at Gulfstream Park.
The Royal Palm Juvenile, a five-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-olds co-headlined Saturday’s 10-program with the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies, a five-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Each race provides its winner with an automatic berth into one of six stakes during the June 20-24 Royal Ascot meeting, as well as a $25,000 equine travel stipend for shipping from the U.S. to England, in addition to the winner’s share of the purse.
Steve Cauthen’s Holding the Line, the 3-5 favorite trained by 12-time Royal Ascot winner Wesley Ward, raced forwardly before fading to seventh.
Making his career debut, No Nay Mets held a narrow lead on the backstretch before clearing his pace disputers on the far turn under jockey Luca Panici. The George Weaver-trained Irish-bred colt shook off a strong outside challenge by Mattingly on the turn into the homestretch and drew off to a 3 ½-length victory.
No Nay Mets is a son of No Nay Never, whom Ward saddled for a victory in the Norfolk (G2) during the 2013 Royal Ascot meeting. His son will be given the chance to follow in his footsteps to Royal Ascot glory.
“He’s a pretty nifty colt. He was on a rushed schedule for this. There’s no reason not to go over there,” Weaver said. “It’s a lot of fun, and he’s got as good a chance as anybody.”
Alex Bregman, the Houston Astros All Star third baseman, heads Bregman Family Racing LLC.
“I met him last year down here. He’s a really, really, cool dude. He’s down to earth and has a lot of fun with the game,” Weaver said. “I love working for him and have something for him.”
No Nay Mets ran five furlongs on a firm turf in 57.50 after setting fractions of 22.98 and 45.44 seconds for the first half mile.
When No Nay Mets failed to meet his $335,000 RNA at the recent OBS April 2-year-olds-in-training sale, consigner Ciaran Dunne asked Weaver if he’d like to take over the colt’s training.
“He worked 20-and-2 [seconds for a quarter mile] and galloped out [three furlongs] in 36 at the 2yo sale in April. I just needed to get a gate work into him. It was kind of a crunched schedule to get him here,” Weaver said. “He was fit. It was just a matter of letting him spin his legs a couple of times. He was a No Nay Never, so it made sense he would handle the turf.” times.”
Mattingly, named for Yankees great Don Mattingly, held second under Edgar Perez in his debut. Zaino, a 70-1 longshot ridden by Angel Morales, finished third, three-quarters of a length back.