More Than Ready has warmed up for Breeders’ Cup weekend with old favourite Regally Ready at Santa Anita.
The 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner pounced on the pace to claim the LR Big Bear Stakes (1600m) on Thursday. He defeated Longacres Mile winner Stryker Phd by a half-length.
Regally Ready (7g More Than Ready – Kivi by King of Kings) was obliged to race on the eve of the championships after failing to make the field for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. “He’s such a cool horse,” regular rider Rosie Napravnik said. “He grabbed a hold at the half-mile and I had to say, ‘Easy buddy, we’re not ready yet.’ I had a ton of horse.”
The veteran of 16 wins and earnings of $1.65 million was winning his fourth black-type event this year following the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs, West Virginia Speaker’s Cup at Mountaineer Park and More Than Ready Mile at Kentucky Downs.
“He’s obviously had a great year,” owner-breeder Tom Ludt of Vinery Stables said. “It’s unfortunate that he didn’t make the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. I respect that decision, but he’s the real deal.”
Ludt is also president of Santa Anita.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who will send out heavily favoured Untapable in Friday’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, is understandably fond of his stable favourite. “This is just an amazing horse,” he said. “He’s having a great year and horses like this just make you love racing.”
Vinery champion More Than Ready has pre-post favourite Daredevil in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Saturday.
Veteran wins LR Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita