Unplaced in his first two graded starts, Bucchero orchestrated a big turnaround in Saturday’s $200,000 Woodford (G3) at Keeneland when posting a 26-1 upset. The 5-year-old horse had finished 11th of 12 runners in last year’s edition of the 5 ½-furlong turf test.
Bucchero brought good form into the race for trainer Tim Glyshaw but had been competing on the main track, making his first turf appearance since an 11th in the Bonapaw at Fair Grounds in mid-December. The Indiana-bred notched his first stakes victory over open rivals after taking a quartet of restricted events and pushed his earnings to $638,366 from a 22-9-6-1 record.
Owned by Ironhorse Racing Stable LLC, the son of Katharos is trained by Tim Glyshaw and regular rider Fernando De La Cruz was up.
Latent Revenge sprinted to a clear advantage after the break, leading by about five lengths through an opening quarter-mile in :22.13. Bucchero stalked the 15-1 pacesetter in second and began to reduce the deficit nearing the completion of the far turn. The chestnut reeled in Latent Revenge in midstretch and accelerated to a clear lead, winning easily by a 1 ¾-length margin.
Bucchero stopped the teletimer in 1:03.06 on the firm turf. He was sixth choice in the wagering among nine rivals.
Hogy, who missed by a half-length when second in the 2016 Woodford and most recently captured the September 9 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint, rallied belatedly to be a non-threatening second as the 5-1 second choice, edging 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) hero Mongolian Saturday by a half-length. It was another 1 ½ lengths back to Conquest Panthera in fourth. Commend, the slight 5-2 favorite, wound up sixth.
Bred in the Hoosier State by Southern Chase Farm Inc. and Karen Dodd, Bucchero doesn’t appear likely to proceed to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar on November 4. Glyshaw was happy they tried the turf again after racing primarily on dirt.
“(It was) mainly the timing between races, and he was doing really, really well,” the trainer said when asked why they opted for the Woodford. “(Bucchero ran in this race last year) and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed (finishing 11th). He drew the one (post) and had to go and had the lead until the top of the stretch. Today we made to a plan to sit off of Greg’s horse (Latent Revenge, trained by Greg Foley) and everything just worked.”
“My horse broke good, really good, and we stayed behind all the horses that were on the lead,” De La Cruz added. “In the stretch, he just took off and got to the wire.”