Competitive against the likes of Classic Empire and Gunnevera as a two-year-old last summer, Recruiting Ready has found his niche sprinting. He showed as much in stakes company at Oaklawn last month and again on Saturday with an impressive 3 3/4-length tally in the $200,000 Chick Lang at Pimlico.
Under Horacio Karamanos, Recruiting Ready led all the way and covered six furlongs in 1:10.35 over a good main track. The second choice in the wagering, he paid $7.40. Aquamarine, a 10-1 chance finished second by three parts of a length over 13-10 favorite Three Rules.
Owned by Sagamore Farm and trained by Horacio DePaz, Recruiting Ready finished second by less than a length to Classic Empire in the Bashford Manor (G3) and was demoted from second to fourth in the Saratoga Special (G2) when finishing only a length behind Gunnevera. However, his own classic aspirations declined when he was well beaten in the Iroquois (G3) and, later, in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man.
After a brief rest following the January 7 Mucho Macho Man, Recruiting Ready reappeared in a March 10 allowance at Laurel, which he won by a length, and then blitzed six rivals in the $150,000 Bachelor at Oaklawn by more than five lengths.
“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,” De Paz said. “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.”
Bred by Claiborne Farm and by Algorithms, Recruiting Ready has now earned $308,765 from a line of 9-4-1-2.
Another rising star in his three-year-old division, the grass horse Yoshida, recovered from a pinch at the break to knock out 11 rivals in the $100,000 James W. Murphy over a mile on a course rated good.
Under Joel Rosario, Yoshida was last after a quarter-mile. Advancing into contention around the far turn, the Japanese-bred colt seized control inside the eighth pole and won for fun by four lengths under hand encouragement.
“That was very impressive. He broke but he was relaxed, and Joel said he was very responsive, whenever he needed him, he could put him wherever he wanted. I thought it was a very professional race,” trainer Bill Mott said.
“Just a really nice horse. He’s a serious horse — serious,” said Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, which co-owns the colt with China Horse Club and SF Racing Group.
Yoshida covered the distance in 1:36.83. He paid $7.60 as the second choice. Chubby Star, the only filly in the field, rallied to finish second by a head over pacesetter Mo Maverick, with a nose back to Caribou Club.
Yoshida finished second by a half-length in his debut last November at Aqueduct. He preceded this victory with a four-length maiden score at Keeneland on April 9. He’s now earned $104,100.
Bred by Northern Farm, Yoshida is by Heart’s Cry and out of the Grade 1-winning U.S. sprinter Hilda’s Passion.
No Mo Dough didn’t have a particularly strong pace to run at but finished full of run down the stretch in the $100,000 Sir Barton, eliminating an 11-length deficit and winning going away by 2 3/4 lengths under Jose Ortiz.
A 1 1/16-mile stakes restricted to non stakes-winning three-year-olds, the Sir Barton has been used in the past as a prep for the Belmont S. (G1) by the likes of Sarava (2002) and Da’ Tara (2008), but trainer Graham Motion is seemingly hesitant about wheeling the son of Uncle Mo back for the grueling mile and a half in three weeks.
“To come back in three weeks [in the Belmont] would be a lot,” Motion said. “I want to look after him now. He’s a really cool horse.”
No Mo Dough looked cool indeed registering the 9-1 upset under Jose Ortiz for breeder Alex G. Campbell Jr. Thoroughbreds. He paid $20 after completing the trip in 1:44.13. Time to Travel nosed out True Timber for second, while even-money favorite Hedge Fund finished fourth, but was disqualified and placed sixth due to stretch interference.
Making a belated debut at Laurel on March 12, No Mo Dough won by 2 3/4 lengths going six furlongs. Fourth in a Keeneland allowance after a slow start, No Mo Dough rebounded to take a 1 1/16-mile allowance in the slop on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill. He’s now earned $126,600.
“I really liked this horse today. Jose rides him with such confidence. He showed a lot of ability as a baby and then we gave him the time. He had a minor issue we had to the time,” Motion said.
“Jose told me the other day at Churchill the horse didn’t even know what he was doing and he still won. He just came out of the race so well. Today he galloped really strongly. I think he won kind easily. He’s a very nice colt.”
Everything Lovely kicked off the stakes action Saturday with a wire-to-wire victory in the $100,000 The Very One for fillies and mares. Last but one in the 2016 renewal, the Kathleen DeMasi trainee was on task this time under Javier Castellano, winning by a length in a time of :57.93 for five furlongs on the turf.
The favorite in a field of nine, Everything Lovely paid $7.80. Sunnysammi edged Elusive Joni by a head for the place, with Pretty Perfection a nose farther back in fourth.
Owned by Pewter Stable and Armand Delaperriere, Everything Lovely was stakes-placed five times in the past year, most notably to Lady Shipman in the $200,000 Turf Amazon at Parx Racing in September. Second to Pretty Perfection in the $125,000 Ladies Turf Sprint at Gulfstream in her most recent start on January 28, she’s now earned $321,536 from a line of 20-6-6-4.