AMSTERDAM STAKES | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 2 | 6 1/2 FURLONGS
Fox Hill Farms' Coup de Grace closed with gusto in the $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga Race Course July 26, taking advantage after a quick early pace set-up in the 6 ½-furlong sprint for his late-running style.
The 3-year-old son of Tapit, ridden by jockey Rosie Napravnik, will target the $500,000 Ketel One King's Bishop Aug. 23, owner Rick Porter said.
"I don't know all the best 3-year-old sprinters in the country, but our numbers are good," Porter remarked after the victory by the Larry Jones trainee. "We've got to keep him healthy and bring him back in four weeks, hopefully. We'll find out how good he is."
Settled well back off the pace, 9-5 shot Coup de Grace benefited from a duel that developed between C. Zee and Big Guy Ian, who contested a quarter in :21.87 seconds and a half in :44.45 seconds. Urged along while three wide on the turn, he rolled up from off the pace and passed 6-5 favorite Captain Serious, who had been chasing along in third.
C. Zee fought on gamely but could not turn back the late roll of the winner, who finished with a three-length victory in a final time of 1:15.32.
"He's a very nice horse," Napravnik said. "I spoke to Larry this morning and rode him with a lot of confidence. He did it easily today."
Coup de Grace came off a victory in the July 5 Oh Say Stakes at Delaware Park, won in similar late-closing style.
"In his last two races he's found his style, coming from off the pace and making one big run," Porter said. "Rosie rode him perfectly today."
Jockey Jose Ortiz, who rode Captain Serious, said the quick pace was tough on his runner.
"It was a good spot," Ortiz said. "I came up a little empty by the three-sixteenths pole. My horse tried, but the winner -- the horses that finished first and second -- they ran extremely fast. He kept fighting and ran good."
Coup de Grace, the 123-pound highweight, returned $5.70, $3.50, $2.40 as the second choice in the field of seven sophomores. C. Zee paid $5.70 and $3, while Captain Serious brought $2.40. John's Island, Casiguapo, Big Guy Ian, and Tiznowforamerica completed the order of finish. Noble Moon and Rock Fall scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by AGS Thoroughbreds out of the Storm Cat mare Home Court, Coup de Grace was a $300,000 purchase from the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by VanMeter Sales. He was bought on behalf of Fox Hill Farm by Tom McGreevy. In 2011 he sold as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall mixed sale for $215,000 to M. W. Miller III, agent. Gainesway consigned on behalf of his breeder.
The Amsterdam victory improved the chestnut colt's record to five wins from seven starts and earnings of $408,100.