Though Ready for Rye will make his graded stakes debut Saturday in the Fasig-Tipton Swale, the gelded son of City Zip is no stranger to good competition.
Ready for Rye was second in his debut last summer at Saratoga to Carpe Diem, who went on to win the Breeders’ Futurity and run second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He graduated next time out with a seven-length romp over well-regarded Mawthooq and Furyofthenorsemen, each of whom came back winners.
In his most effort, Ready for Rye was second in the Spectacular Bid to Barbados, who went on to take the Hutcheson Stakes, and he was 4 1/2 lengths ahead of It’s Not Me, winner of the OBS Sprint Stakes in his subsequent start.
“He has faced some very, very nice horses. We’re just going to take one race at a time and see what happens,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “Even his first race at Saratoga, he was working like a horse that had a good future and looked like a talented 2-year-old back then. He was very impressive his second start. We always kind of had high hopes for him. Whether or not he’ll be limited to sprinting or if we can stretch him a little further, I guess we’ll learn a little more about him on Saturday.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Ready for Rye for the first time from post 3 in place of Javier Castellano, who is committed aboard Daredevil.
Favored in the Spectacular Bid while making his first start in three months, Ready for Rye pressed the pace and took a short lead at the head of the stretch, but he couldn’t hold off Barbados.
“I thought he ran well,” Albertrani said. “The winner was much better than us that day, and we were second-best by a long way. It was his first race coming off the layoff, so I think he needed that race under his belt. It’ll be interesting to see how far he’ll carry his speed and if he can get the trip. But, he’s been training good, and he’s really made a step forward from the Spectacular Bid.”
Edited Gulfstream Park release