September 19, 2020

Red King holds off United in Del Mar ‘Cap to secure Breeders’ Cup berth

Red King
Red King and jockey Umberto Rispoli outleg United (Flavien Prat) to win the Del Mar Handicap (BENOIT PHOTO)

With a bold move into contention second time down the backside, Red King was able to get the jump over odds-on favorite United and held off that rival in the final strides to win Saturday’s $203,000 Del Mar H. (G2), earning an automatic bid to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Keeneland in November.

The second stakes winner of the afternoon for jockey Umberto Rispoli, Red King sat fourth from last through the first 7 furlongs or so when the 6-year-old son of English Channel was asked to make an early bid. Passing rivals swiftly while four wide, Red King got within a head of the lead around the far turn, began to edge away in upper stretch and found the wire just ahead of United, who conceded Red King six pounds.

“I didn’t like how slow they were going, so I decided to move earlier today,” Rispoli said. “It takes a really good horse to do that, but I knew he had the stamina. I did this when I was riding in Europe. It was close at the finish because he was trying to pull himself up.”

Owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Gordon Jacobsen, and Phillip Belmonte, Red King covered 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:15.75. He paid $10.60 as the second choice in a field of 11. United finished a half-length ahead of the rallying Originaire, who was followed by Proud Pedro, Oscar Dominguez, Another Mystery, North County Guy, Ward ‘n Jerry, Combatant, Big Buzz, and New Year.

This was the fourth consecutive win in the Del Mar H. and sixth overall for trainer Phil D’Amato, who previously won with Big John B (2014-15), Hunt (2017), Fashion Business (2018), and Acclimate (2019).

Claimed by his present connections for $35,000 in February 2019, Red King ran fourth in the All American (G3) and third in the San Juan Capistrano (G3) later in the season before becoming a long-time mainstay in the entry-level allowance ranks.

Passing that condition on May 24, Red King followed up with a dominating 4 1/4-length tally in the 2020 edition of the San Juan Capistrano over about 1 3/4 miles on June 21. This third straight tally boosted his career earnings to $398,115 from a line of 28-7-4-7.

Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, Red King is out of Youre Speeding Luv, by A.P. Indy. Red King’s third dam was Proud Delta, the champion older mare of 1976.

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Chaos Theory made a solid first impression on his new home circuit when a late surge in the final sixteenth propelled him to victory in the $101,000 Green Flash H. (G3).

Claimed for $62,500 by Hronis Racing and John Sadler at Churchill Downs on June 14, the 5-year-old gelded son of Curlin started as the 9-5 favorite in this, Del Mar’s top turf sprint, and won by a length after overtaking long-time leader Mikes Tiznow in the final yards. The latter missed a three-way photo second, with Baja Sur nosing out Torosay for the place.

“We’ve got a great grass sprint program in California and Santa Anita is actually adding a turf chute. So we have a variety of distances on the grass and this horse is kind of a specialist — 5, 5 1/2 furlongs so I thought he would be a great fit in California, that’s why we brought him out,” said Sadler.

Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Chaos Theory covered 5 furlongs on firm ground in :55.22 and paid $5.60.

Previously trained by Brendan Walsh, Chaos Theory captured the Colonel Power S. at Fair Grounds in early 2019 and went on to place in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) and in the 2020 edition of the Colonel Power before dropping into the claiming ranks.

Bred in Kentucky by Rainwater Sales and Mike Carpenter, Chaos Theory was produced by Chaotic Cat, by Tale of the Cat. His record now stands at 11-5-1-1. $260,554.