Regally Ready Wins Neartic Over Yielding Turf Course
Regally Ready, with Corey Nakatani aboard, went to the lead and stayed there to win the Grade I Nearctic Stakes by a diminishing neck over favored Bated Breath and Gypsy Ring. The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint looks to be next.
Twelve sprinters contested the six furlong turf event, a Breeders’ Cup "Win and You’re In" race.
Regally Ready went immediately to the front over the yielding turf course at Woodbine, taking the field through an opening quarter in :23.47, while being pressed early by Fiddlers Patriot. Gypsy Ring took up the chase after a half in :46.66 as the leaders swung into the stretch. But Regally Ready repulsed that challenge and held off a late charge from the 2-1 choice, Bated Breath, ridden by Garrett Gomez.
Regally Ready managed to hang on over Bated Breath, who in turn held a head advantage on Gypsy Ring. Grand Adventure ran fourth, just two lengths further back, as the six panels was timed in 1:11.35.
After the wire, Regally Ready ducked towards the rail before being straightened out by Nakatani.
Regally Ready, a Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready owned by Vinery Stables LLC, was campaigned at Woodbine for most of last year. He raced well in California over the winter, winning three turf sprints, then went to Churchill Downs and took the Grade III Turf Sprint Stakes in May.
After a freshening, the 4-year-old gelding finished third in the My Frenchman at Monmouth Park on Aug. 6, before a disappointing tenth place result in the Turf Monster Handicap at Parx on Sept. 5.
Regally Ready was sent postward the 9-1 fourth choice. He earned $300,000 for the win and paid $21.60, $9.10 and $5.90.
Corey Nakatani, winning rider: “The main thing with him is to get him relaxed. His first comeback race (at Monmouth Park), he got a little late but Steve said ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll be on track for the Breeders’ Cup.’ I think this was a great spot for him, and he did what he was supposed to do, going into the Breeders’ Cup.”
“His tendency is to drift to the right. When he saw the cones, I thought he was going to go to the right. So I shifted to the right and he went left. It’s one of those things. I was just thankful he got to the wire first, and he didn’t get hurt and I didn’t get hurt.”
Devron Leingang, assistant to Steve Asmussen. “He’s really done well. We had him last year, so it’s kind of nice to see him come back. He had the one clunker last year, then they tried him on grass (at Churchill Downs). He went to California and really flourished on the grass out there.
“They went back to Churchill and he won there. They gave him a break, brought him back for two races. Now he’s won here and he’s going back to Churchill, where he’s two for two.”
--Edited Woodbine release