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Country House Likely to Kentucky Derby Prep Next

Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Country House, who stamped himself as an intriguing prospect for the 2019 Triple Crown Thursday while graduating in spectacular fashion at Gulfstream Park Thursday, will likely start next in a graded Kentucky Derby prep race.

“He’s had three races. I think at this juncture, with a horse like him, we might want to do that,” trainer Bill Mott said Friday. “You have the mile and a sixteenth races. The mile and an eighth races are probably the ones you want to be pointing for. We could go back in allowance company, but I’m not sure we want to do that.”

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Country House broke very slowly from the starting gate and immediately veered toward the inside rail from his No. 1 post position for Thursday’s 1 1/16-mile maiden race. Allowed to settle into a rhythm by Luis Saez, Country House made up several lengths to join the field while still trailing midway along the backstretch. On the far turn, the long-striding colt launched a wide sweep on his way to gaining the lead entering the stretch. The Kentucky-bred colt drew off to a comfortable 3 ½-length victory.

“It was very exciting. It was his third race. He was a little bit of a slow learner but it looked like he started to get it yesterday after what I would say was a difficult start. It was of his own doing. He came out of the gate slow and took a left-hand turn into the rail. He spotted the field eight or 10 lengths by the time they made the first turn. When he made his move, it was quite impressive. It looked like Luis Saez turned his whip down, his him once, and he drew off from the field,” Mott said. “Time will tell how good he is. He looks like a horse that’s get the distance.”

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