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LEXINGTON, KY – Lucky Seven Stable’s Rattle N Roll shook up the 2-year-old male division with a powerful performance to win Saturday’s $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland.
The Breeders’ Futurity is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar this November. The race is also part of the Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby prep race season that awards 10 points to the winner, 4 for second, 2 for third, and 1 for fourth.
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Trained by Kenny McPeek, Rattle N Roll broke from post 6 under Brian Hernandez Jr. at 8/1 odds and settled off the pace in the back half of the field of a dozen while saving ground along the inside.
The 9/5 favorite Classic Causeway was away quickly from the far outside and successfully cleared everyone to his inside before entering the clubhouse turn with sole command.
After posting opening fractions of :22.81, :46.74, and 1:11.90, Classic Causeway came under pressure from the stalking Stellar Tap, but both were soon engulfed by a sweeping Rattle N Roll, who tipped off the rail entering the far turn.
Taking command by the 1/4 pole, Rattle N Roll was long gone once straightened for home and won wrapped up by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:43.78.
“All the credit really goes to the horse, being only his fourth start, to be able to sit back there and read the race and let it develop in front of him,” Hernandez Jr. said. “When I got him outside, he showed what a good horse he is. He engulfed those horses pretty easily, and turning for home, he switched leads. He knows his job and he just kind of went on about it.”
Double Thunder, the 4/1 morning line favorite, was cold on the tote and fell to 7/1 but still finished second by a 1/2-length over Classic Causeway and jockey Jose Ortiz.
“We broke clean,” Ortiz said. “We knew he had speed, but we also know there were other horses who had speed. He made the lead and relaxed very well. When we got to the second turn, he got a little lost on me. With his first time going two turns, he was kind of wondering what was going on.”
American Sanctuary, Costa Terra, Mr. Bouma, Stellar Tap, Kevin’s Folly, Great Escape, Seal Beach, Mac’s Time, King Curlin, and Don’t Wait Up completed the order of finish.
Rattle N Roll’s win followed his maiden-breaking effort at third asking in a 1 1/16-mile Churchill Downs dirt route and improved his overall record to 4-2-0-1. The Connect colt, purchased for $210,000 as a yearling, has now banked $379,460.
“You can’t go into a race with 13 horses and be overconfident because so much can happen,” McPeek said. “I told my wife before the race, ‘If the 13 horse rolls out of there early, I think we’ve got a real chance,’ because that horse really needed to rate to win, and I think it set up well for us.”
Rattle N Roll returned $19.40 to win, $8.60 to place, and $5 to show. Double Thunder brought back $7.40 to place and $4.60 to show. Classic Causeway paid $3 to show.
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