Regally Ready was a close fourth in Kentucky Downs’ 2013 Turf Dash, won the More Than Ready Mile in 2014 and finished fifth in last year’s More Than Ready Mile at the southern Kentucky track. The winner of 20 of 46 starts and $ 1.8 million, the 9-year-old gelding is 2 for 2 this year, taking a pair of Oaklawn Park allowance races before being sidelined with a foot problem.
“That horse is some kind of cool,” jockey Florent Geroux said. “He can go short, long, turf, dirt. You don’t see that very often.”
Regally Ready, the only horse trainer Steve Asmussen has for Vinery Stables as it winds down its American operation, has been with the trainer so long that he spent most of his first season racing as a 3-year-old at Toronto’s Woodbine racetrack.
“We went to Woodbine when purses were considerably higher there than anywhere else,” Asmussen said. “His first turf race here was a 2X (second-level allowance); it was something special. He’s won from five-eighths to 1 1/16 miles, turf, dirt, synthetic.
“He’s as cool of a horse as anybody has ever been around. Anybody who’s ever been on him or rides him falls in love with him. He’s got a great personality. He’s a Breeders’ Cup winner, a multiple Grade 1 winner, 2 for 2 this year. His personality has not changed. It’s just his world and we’re living in it.”
Regally Ready has competed at 16 race tracks, including Meydan in Dubai.
He is this year’s 4-1 second choice in the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint behind 5-2 Undrafted, a mere kid at age 6. That $ 1.27 million-earner is a multiple graded-stakes winner, including his historic victory in Ascot’s Group 1 Diamond Jubilee last year (a race in which he finished sixth this year, losing by only 2 1/2 lengths) and nearly winning the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
Undrafted, owned by former NFL star Wes Welker, is still seeking his first win at Kentucky Downs, where a third in the 2014 Turf Sprint by a total of a half-length is one of his nine third-place finishes in a 25-race career (with six victories). He also was second to the highly-regarded Tourist in last year’s More Than Ready Mile.
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