February 24, 2024

King Fury finishes fast in Street Sense, Coach remains undefeated in Rags to Riches

King Fury winning the Street Sense S. - Coady Photography
King Fury winning the Street Sense S. (Coady Photography)

Sunday’s “Stars of Tomorrow” program at Churchill Downs was billed as a showcase of 2-year-olds with bright futures. The afternoon definitely lived up to expectations, with King Fury and Coach delivering impressive stakes victories befitting future stars.

Street Sense Stakes

King Fury was the first to strike, claiming the 1 1/16-mile Street Sense Stakes with a powerful homestretch charge. Reserved in midpack early on behind slow fractions of :24.60, :49.51, and 1:14.34, King Fury was full of run when it counted, gamely rallying past 9-10 favorite Super Stock to prevail by a half-length in 1:44.30. Oncoming Train, Arabian Prince, Franz Josef, and Crime Spree completed the order of finish, but none finished within 3 3/4 lengths of the top two.

Winning the Street Sense marked a significant turnaround for King Fury, who had previously finished eighth—behind Super Stock, among others—in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. A son of Curlin out of the Grade 1-winning mare Taris, King Fury produced a terrific turn of foot in the Street Sense, clocking the final five-sixteenths of a mile in less than 30 seconds under jockey Brian Hernandez.

#4 King Fury, a son of @HillnDaleFarm’s #Curlin, a furiously-determined winner of the Street Sense at @ChurchillDowns with @b_hernandezjr up for @KennyMcPeek pic.twitter.com/T73xDlvaBM

— TwinSpires 🏇 (@TwinSpires) October 25, 2020

Such a strong burst of acceleration hints King Fury has a bright future, with the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs surely looming as a long-term goal for the $950,000 yearling purchase.

“This is a Kentucky Derby-type horse,” said Kenny McPeek, who trains King Fury on behalf of Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm. “We may look at the (Nov. 6) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) but more than likely just wait for the (Nov. 28) Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). The future is very bright for a horse like this.”

Rags to Riches Stakes

Later in the afternoon, Coach brought her record to a perfect 3-for-3 with an eye-catching performance in the 1 1/16-mile Rags to Riches Stakes, emerging as a contender for the 2021 Kentucky Oaks (G1). Always in contention while tracking splits of :23.44, :47.98, and 1:12.98 from third place, Coach pounced to the front at the top of the stretch and drew off under jockey Florent Geroux to score by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:45.14.

😍 She’s perfect 😍


#8 Coach now a perfect 3-for-3 with a dominant win in the Rags to Riches at @ChurchillDowns with @flothejock up for @bradcoxracing pic.twitter.com/1aK085ziLT

— TwinSpires 🏇 (@TwinSpires) October 25, 2020

“We sat a really good trip all along. It was her first time at two turns and she really handled the extra distance well,” said Geroux. “We galloped out really strong, too.”

The stretch-running Lady Traveler tried to match strides with Coach down the lane, but weakened late to finish second over Oliviaofthedesert. Dash to the Top, Midnight Ballerina, Torsie’s Charm, Orsetto, Malibu Bird, and Salty as Can Be trailed the field.

Conditioned by two-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Brad Cox, Coach entered the Rags to Riches off easy maiden and allowance victories at Indiana Grand. Racing in the silks of Kueber Racing, the daughter of Commissioner has yet to be seriously challenged and has the pedigree to improve with maturity, stamping Coach as an exciting prospect for 2021.