BALTIMORE, MD – Sagamore Farm’s Recruiting Ready extended his win streak to three with his second straight stakes victory, leading from gate to wire to capture the eighth running of Saturday’s $200,000 Maker’s Mark Chick Lang for 3-year-olds at Pimlico Race Course.
Recruiting Ready ran six furlongs in 1:10.35 over a muddy main track. It was 3 3/4 lengths back to Aquamarine in second, 3/4 of a length ahead of Three Rules.
The Horacio DePaz-trained colt improved to 2-0 lifetime at Pimlico, where he romped in his unveiling last May by 10 1/4 lengths. In his two subsequent starts, he ran second to Classic Empire and was placed fourth after finishing second behind Gunnevera, two Preakness contenders.
“It’s a big significance for myself because I just started training,” said DePaz. “The horse does best when he’s on the lead. We kind of let him free run a little bit. If you take too much hold of him, he really isn’t going to settle. He’s a strong horse. I was surprised those other horses went with him, but I was comfortable with where he was at the whole way around.”
The Chick Lang was the third win of the afternoon for jockey Horacio Karamanos, who sent Recruiting Ready to the front from Post 7 and raced through fractions of :22.98 seconds :45.96 while chased by Bobby Abu Dhabi. Recruiting Ready turned for home in front and steadily expanded his lead down the stretch while Aquamarine and Three Rules each rallied late.
“He gave me a nice kick at the top of the stretch and was very strong today,” Karamanos said. “He’s a really good horse who ran against some of the best in the country last year. We are 3-for-3 together, so I think we’re a good match.”
Following a 10th-place finish in the 1-mile Mucho Macho Man in January at Gulfstream Park to open his 3-year-old campaign, Recruiting Ready got a short break and was cut back to sprint distances, where he has reeled off three consecutive wins, including the Bachelor Stakes on April 13 at Oaklawn Park last time out.
Sagamore Farm in Reisterstown, MD, just a 20-minute drive from Pimlico, dates back to 1933 when the late Alfred G. Vanderbilt was given the 530-acre property by his mother on his 21st birthday. It served as the home of multiple champions, most notably Hall of Famer Native Dancer, a winner of 21 of 22 career starts, including the 1953 Preakness. Sagamore was purchased by Under Armor founder Kevin Plank in 2007.
Recruiting Ready returned $7.40, $4.40, and $3. Aquamarine brought back $8.60 and $4.40, while Three Rules paid $2.60 to show.
Additional Race Quotes
Trainer Horacio DePaz, Recruiting Ready: “He’s learning to run now. He settles a little bit and he’s making that run at the end. We will definitely keep him sprinting for now.
“We’ll see how he comes back off of this. He’s also been campaigned pretty hard, so I want to take care of him and maybe focus on Saratoga or something. But we’ll see, everything is open.”
Pimlico Race Course