Sunday, September 28, 2014

Imperia breaks maiden in G3 Pilgrim

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Imperia breaks maiden in G3 Pilgrim


By Jon Forbes


ELMONT, N.Y. - Imperia, second in his lone previous start, closed from sixth to win the Grade 3 Pilgrim for 2-year-olds on the turf on Sunday at Belmont Park.


Comfortable racing off the pace through an opening half-mile in 48.98 seconds, Imperia came off the rail approaching the five-sixteenths pole and entered the stretch in fourth before he was put to a drive by jockey Javier Castellano. With each stride Imperia gained on Vision Perfect, taking the lead 50 yards from the wire en route to a one-length victory.


The final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:41.36. Imperia, off as the 5-1 third choice, paid $13.


Castellano replaced Rajiv Maragh, who was named to ride Imperia but was injured in a spill yesterday at Belmont.


"I got lucky today with the way everything unfolded," said Castellano. "I didn't have a horse in the race, and Kiaran asked me to ride him this morning. I had a beautiful trip. He broke well, much better than last time."


Offering Plan finished third and was followed by 1-2 favorite Startup Nation, Face the Music, Strong Coffee, All I Karabout, Nutty Futty, and Artie's Flight.


In his debut, Imperia was second, beaten a neck by Face the Music, on August 23 at Saratoga Race Course. Imperia raced with Lasix for the first time in the Pilgrim.


"We've only [run a maiden in a graded stakes] one other time that I can remember in the last 10 years, and it was Soldat [when he won the 2010 Grade 2 With Anticipation]," said McLaughlin. "You have to get graded earnings to get into the Breeders' Cup. We really liked him and thought, 'Why run him back in a maiden race? We can always break our maiden. Let's run in a stakes.' He had bled a little in his first start, so we signed him up for Lasix."


Imperia, a Godolphin Racing homebred, is by Medaglia d'Oro and out of Cocoa Beach, who won the Grade 1 Beldame on the dirt and Grade 1 Matriarch on the turf and was second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic on a synthetic surface.


"We saw [Imperia] work a little better [on the turf]," said McLaughlin. "He's pretty good on the dirt, also, but he wants the distance, so we ran him long on the turf at Saratoga. We're not saying we'll never go back to dirt, but we could."


Imperia has earned $139,600, including $120,000 for his Pilgrim victory.



Forward this email

This email was sent to by |  

The New York Racing Association, Inc. | NYRA | Press Office | P.O. Box 90 | Jamaica | NY | 11417