Spendthrift Farm’s Uncle Mo colt Kingsbarns captures career debut under Luis Saez
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher saddled a pair of promising 3-year-old debut winners Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where he and jockey Luis Saez teamed with three sophomore winners on an 11-race program.
Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Kingsbarns, a son of Uncle Mo who brought $800,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Select 2-Year-Olds-in-Training Sale, where Tom McCrocklin consigned him, was particularly impressive while debuting at one mile, racing in traffic before splitting horses in the stretch to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
“I thought it was very professional for a debut. He broke OK but was kind of behind horses the whole way. He had to work his way through a seam. Plus, going a mile first time out, that was very impressive,” Pletcher said of the colt, who returned $8 for the victory.
Kingsbarns, bred in Kentucky by Dattt Farm LLC,was produced by the Tapit mare Lady Tapit.
Earlier on the card, MyRacehorse and Mathis Stables LLC’s Cuvier ($21.60) demonstrated a lot of courage while graduating at first asking in Race 5, an $84,000 maiden special weight event for 3-year-olds going six furlongs.
The Pletcher-trained son of Collected, who was purchased from consignor Thorostock for $140,000 at the 2022 June OBS Open sale, set the pace into the stretch while withstanding outside pressure from favored stablemate Sgt. Pepper and Practiko. After his closest early pursuer began to fade, Cuvier was met with a strong outside stretch challenge from Al Atlasi but held gamely to the wire to score a gutsy triumph by a half length.
“It was a determined effort the whole way. He was under the gun the whole way and kept finding a little more,” said Pletcher, whose race favorite Sgt. Pepper pressed the pace between horses and faded to sixth.
Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Cuvier is out of the Flower Alley mare Chasing the Moon.
Pletcher saddled Constitution for a debut victory at Gulfstream Jan. 11, 2014 and Materiality for a first-out victory at Gulfstream Jan. 11, 2015, before both late-developing colts went on to win the Florida Derby (G1) two starts later.
“The dream is alive, right?” quipped Pletcher, who also trains Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Forte, who currently occupies the top spot on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 40 qualifying points.
Pletcher and Saez also teamed with Team Valor International LLC’s Ok Boomer ($19.60), a Noble Mission colt who stayed undefeated with a late-rallying length score in an $86,000 optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds at 7 ½ furlongs on turf.