Lucky Claim

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James Bredin admits he wasn’t a proponent of claiming Extravagant Kid; he simply didn’t see value in the gelded turf sprinter. But as the longtime racing manager for David Ross’s DARRS Inc., Bredin filled out the claim slip for $75,000 when the 5-year-old ran at Gulfstream Park Jan. 18. Extravagant Kid won the optional claimer that day and Ross had a new horse.

 “Very astute claim by David Ross,” Bredin said. “He was 26-1 at Gulfstream the day we took him. I certainly didn’t see it, but he said drop the slip, so that’s how we acquired him. I thought it was kind of an odd spot, but he said, ‘I see it.’ ”

Although Extravagant Kid finished eighth and 10 1/2 lengths back in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes in his first outing for Ross and trainer Brendan Walsh, he rebounded with a second to Pink Lloyd at Woodbine April 21. He later posted another runner-up finish in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint Stakes at Ellis Park Aug. 5. 

Extravagant Kid finally delivered for his connections Friday, winning the $100,000 Lucky Coin Stakes in gate-to-wire style under Jose Ortiz. The victory gave Walsh his first at the meet in nine starts. 

“I was surprised he made the lead. I saw a little more speed in there, but he broke real good. He battled really tenaciously down the lane,” Bredin said. “He’s a game little horse for a 5-year-old. He dug in really, really gamely. He’s a fun horse.”

Although Extravagant Kid proved unassailable on the front end, going to the lead wasn’t Ortiz’s plan. The rider expected speed to his inside from Rocket Heat, who posted a blowout victory in an optional claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf July 29. The 6-year-old gelding led in the first quarter-mile in his last 10 starts.

To read the rest of the Lucky Coin recap, download Saturday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by EasyFix Stable Solutions.