Coinage looks to cash in during stakes debut in Rick Violette

July 16, 2021

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Coinage drew away to an impressive maiden-breaking win with a 7 3/4-length score last out and will look to carry that effort into his first stakes appearance in headlining a five-horse field of New York-bred juveniles in Wednesday’s $100,000 Rick Violette going six furlongs on the Saratoga Race Course main track.

The Rick Violette, previously named the Rockville Centre, was renamed for the longtime NYRA-based trainer and former president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association who passed away in October 2018. Violette served more than 25 years on the NYTHA board, including nine as its president from 2008-2017, and trained many talented horses, including the New York-bred Diversify, who captured the 2017 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, as well as the 2018 Grade 2 Suburban and Grade 1 Whitney.

A new crop of state-bred 2-year-olds will look to take their first steps towards that type of lofty success, with Coinage ready for his first start at Saratoga after training on its main track for the first time on Thursday, breezing four furlongs in 49.06 seconds. 

After running third in his debut going five furlongs on Belmont Park’s Big Sandy on May 21, the Tapit colt stalked in second position before easily handling a six-horse field going 5 1/2 furlongs over the same track on June 17 for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.

“He’s doing great. He’s a horse we’ve liked a lot from the beginning, and he seems to have matured and gotten better and better,” Casse said. “He’s come a long way.”

Owned by D.J. Stable and Chester and Mary Broman – who also bred the horse – Coinage started his career with high expectations after being purchased for $450,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Out of New York-bred and 2017 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-winner Bar of Gold, Coinage boasts impressive lineage as he looks to live up to his bloodline.

“He’s got a tremendous pedigree to be a good horse, but that doesn’t always mean they are,” Casse said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed. In all honesty, we were expecting that [win last out] from him. We’d like to win first time, but its never a goal. I thought it was a nice move forward for him. He did everything well and we’re looking forward to him moving forward again.”

Junior Alvarado, aboard for the first two starts, will have the return call from post 3.

West Point Thoroughbreds and Jimmy Kahig’s Ready A.P. won her debut impressively, posting an 8 1/4-length score going 5 1/2 furlongs on July 1 at Belmont for trainer Christophe Clement. The More Than Ready filly will now compete against males, taking the step up in class with Luis Saez aboard from the outermost post.

With the $100,000 Stillwater, slated for July 22, for state-bred juvenile fillies coming up light, Clement said he decided to enter Ready A.P. against the boys.

“It was a very impressive win last time. I would have liked to have run her where she belongs, but it’s the way it is,” Clement said. 

The $125,000 purchase at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Sale, who is also bred by the Bromans, will look to be the first filly to win this race.

Trainer Mike Maker will saddle a pair of debut winners in Barese and Run Curtis Run. Barese, owned by Paradise Farms and David Staudacher, was a $150,000 purchase at the Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

The Laoban colt, bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Lakland Farm, was a half-length victor on May 21 at Belmont going five furlongs. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride from post 2.

His stablemate, Run Curtis Run, earned a 65 Beyer Speed Figure to tie for a field high in his win by a neck over Rick Violette-rival Surprise Boss in race moved off the turf going five furlongs over a sloppy and sealed Belmont track on July 2.

Owned by Michael Dubb and Michael Caruso, Run Curtis Run was bred by Larry Goichman. The son of Summer Front will have Jose Ortiz in the irons from the inside post.

Richie’s World Stables’ Surprise Boss, who also netted a 65 Beyer, will get another chance against Run Curtis Run after the duo were 1-2 through every point of call last out. The Juan Vazquez trainee finished third in his debut on June 17 at Belmont competing at 5 1/2 furlongs before that effort and will have the services of Jose Lezcano out of post 4.

The Rick Violette will be contested as Race 4 on the 10-race card. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. 

Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the 40-day summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at

NYRA Press Release

Photo: Coinage breaks his maiden at Belmont June 17, 2021 (NYRA/Chelsea Durand)

@jonathanstettin major bias play, thanks j man!!!! Lol

Darren Rybka (@RybkaDarren) View testimonials