Klaravich Stables' Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro) added to a big Saturday afternoon for his leading sire, who just minutes earlier had been represented by promising GIII Las Virgenes S. winner Moonlight d'Oro, in Aqueduct's GIII Withers S.
Tracking from a midpack sixth as Jerome S. winner Capo Kane (Street Sense) showed the way through fractions of :24.02 and :48.71, the 9-5 favorite made his move on the outside along the home turn beneath Eric Cancel and blew away the frontrunner by midstretch to kick away an impressive 3 3/4-length winner.
Million-dollar KEESEP yearling Overtook (Curlin) did just that to Capo Kane late to grab second.
The Withers is a GI Kentucky Derby prep race awarding 10-4-2-1 points to the top-four finishers.
Risk Taking added blinkers and took a major step forward for a good-looking last out maiden victory at third asking over track and trip Dec. 13.
He finished seventh at 4-1 odds behind subsequent Pasco S. winner and GIII Sam F. Davis S. runner-up Nova Rags (Union Rags) sprinting in his Belmont debut Oct. 10, then switched to grass with an equally disappointing sixth-place finish going 1 1/16 miles over yielding going at Aqueduct Nov. 14.
“It's exciting to have a horse that can run a route of ground like this,” winning trainer Chad Brown said.
“He's always been one we thought highly of and even when Barry Eisaman had him in Ocala, he's always liked him. Everyone that's touched the horse has commented about how classy he was, the ability that he has and how he will get better with time and distance.”
On a potential next start in the GII Wood Memorial S. Apr. 3, Brown added, “We'll nominate him to everything, but my first reaction would be not to take him out of New York. He's thriving there right now, so leave it be. I would not cut the horse back in distance from here to the Derby under any circumstances. The most logical spot would be to train him up to the Wood, but I won't make that decision until we observe the horse and I have a chance to over it with the owner, Seth Klarman.”
Leading sire list stalwart Medaglia d'Oro secured his second new graded winner in approximately 30 minutes when Risk Taking and Moonlight d'Oro scored on opposite coasts to bring his lifetime total to 76. They are two of their sire's five black-type winners of 2021 and 148 in his career. The nick of Medaglia d'Oro over a Distorted Humor mare has been nothing short of sensational, as the two have paired for a remarkable seven graded winners, including current Hong Kong star Golden Sixty (Aus), MGISW Elate, Breeders' Cup winner New Money Honey, MGSW Mrs McDougal, and now Risk Taking. The latter is the first stakes winner for his dam, who produced a colt and filly, respectively, the last two years by Gun Runner and who was bred back to Arrogate. A 2021 foal by the late Arrogate, one of Distorted Humor's best runners out of his daughters, would be inbred 3×2 to that veteran WinStar stallion. Run a Risk is a half-sister to three black-type winners (two graded) from the immediate family of MGSW & MGISP King Cugat (Kingmambo), but even more notable is her exceptional third dam, the great Phipps mare Con Game (Buckpasser). Con Game produced MGISW and leading sire Seeking the Gold (Mr. Prospector), GISW and sire Fast Play (Seattle Slew), and GSW & MGISP Stacked Pack (Majestic Light). Con Game herself was a half-sister to champion Queen of the Stage (Bold Ruler) and to Reviewer (Bold Ruler), sire of the immortal Ruffian.
Saturday, AqueductWITHERS S.-GIII, $250,000, Aqueduct, 2-6, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:51.91, ft.1–RISK TAKING, 118, c, 3, by Medaglia d'Oro1st Dam: Run a Risk (MSP, $205,744), by Distorted Humor2nd Dam: Commodities, by Private Account3rd Dam: Tricky Game, by Majestic Light1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($240,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables Inc; B-G Watts Humphrey (KY); T-Chad C Brown; J-Eric Cancel. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 4-2-0-0, $182,530. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Overtook, 118, c, 3, Curlin–Got Lucky, by A.P. Indy. ($1,000,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, Michael B Tabor, Mrs John Magnier & Derrick Smith; B-Hill 'N' Dale Equine Holdings Inc & Philip J Steinberg (KY); T-Todd A Pletcher. $50,000.3–Capo Kane, 120, c, 3, Street Sense–Twirl Me, by Hard Spun. ($35,000 Ylg '19 KEEJAN; $75,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP; $87,000 RNA 2yo '20 OBSMAR; $26,000 2yo '20 EASMAY). O-Bing Cherry Racing Inc & Leonard Liberto; B-Rising Star Farm LLC (CA); T-Harold Wyner. $30,000.Margins: 3 3/4, 1 1/4, 4 3/4. Odds: 1.90, 9.40, 3.10.Also Ran: Royal Number, Eagle Orb, Civil War, Donegal Bay, Shackqueenking, Mr. Doda.Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.