ELMONT, N.Y. – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Dakota Gold is set to make his return to action in Sunday’s $150,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for eligible state-sired sophomores going seven furlongs over the Widener turf at Belmont Park.
Trained by Danny Gargan, Dakota Gold enters off a seven-month hiatus, last racing as the post-time favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar. The open stakes-winning son of Freud showed tactical speed down the backstretch and finished fifth beaten 2 1/4 lengths behind purse-money only winner Modern Games.
“He lost a little bit of his kick he normally had, but he still ran well,” Gargan said of his Breeders’ Cup effort. “I thought he ran very well to only get beat three lengths by those good horses. We turned him out this winter to let him grow up. He’s not a very big horse and he filled out a lot, so the time really helped him. We’re looking for a good race and after that, we’ll springboard into something else.”
Prior to the Breeders’ Cup, Dakota Gold captured the one mile Nownownow on September 26 at Monmouth Park, just four weeks after winning at first asking in an off-the-turf Saratoga Race Course maiden event.
“He’s a lot better on the grass,” Gargan said. “He did run well that day, we were happy with him. He ran big and his second race was even better. He moved forward. He was off for a while and you’re always worried when they haven’t run in so long. But he’s doing really well. Hopefully we get a big performance. We got Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] riding him. That’s always a bonus when you have Irad on your horse in a stake at Belmont on the grass.”
Gargan said the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar is a long-term goal for Dakota Gold.
“There’s a race in California this winter that I’d like to make it to,” Gargan said. “We’d like to run here, get him to Saratoga and after that we’ll set him up in a 3-year-old race somewhere, but the end of the year goal is the Hollywood Derby.”
Bred in New York by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Ron Bowden, Dakota Gold is out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Dakota Kid, who is a half-brother to Grade 1-winning millionaire Dakota Phone. He was bought for $83,000 from the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall Sale.
Dakota Gold will emerge from post 2 under Ortiz, Jr.
Louis Lazzinnaro’s Marinara Sauced arrives off a deep-closing debut triumph over a yielding Widener turf on May 21. The Chad Brown-trained son of Laoban was 20 lengths back in last down the backstretch and catapulted from nine lengths back in seventh at the stretch call to mow down his rivals and win by a head.
Purchased for $35,000 from the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Select Yearlings Showcase Sale, Marinara Sauced is out of the Bodemeister mare Anna’s Angel – a half-sister to Grade 1-winners Daaher and Spun Sugar. He is bred in the Empire State by Southern Equine Stables.
Returning rider Manny Franco will have the call from post 5.
Trainer Linda Rice will saddle two contestants in pursuit of a second NYSSS Spectacular Bid coup.
Barry Schwartz’s homebred Maseta was a close fourth travelling one mile in a state-bred allowance event on May 13 in his second start this year. The bay son of Japan earned black type when third in the open company Central Park in November at Aqueduct.
Maseta, who adds blinkers, will be ridden by Eric Cancel from post 3.
Mo Dancin arrives off a fourth-place finish in his stakes debut in the NYSSS Times Square on April 23 at Aqueduct. The son of Laoban broke his maiden at first asking going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct in March for a $40,000 tag.
Breaking from post 6, Mo Dancin will be ridden by Jose Lezcano.
Completing the field are Buckortwo [post 1, Dylan Davis], One Time Willard [post 4, Luis Saez], Barrel of Quests [post 7, Jose Ortiz], and Surprise Boss [post 8, Kendrick Carmouche].
The NYSSS Spectacular Bid honors the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner who earned championship accolades for three straight years. He was named 1978 Champion 2-Year-Old, and 1979 Champion 3-Year-Old before having an undefeated 4-year-old season in 1980 which earned him Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse honors. Initially standing at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, Spectacular Bid moved to New York in 1992, where he stood at Milfer Farm.
The NYSSS Spectacular Bid is carded as Race 4 on Sunday’s 10-race program, which also features the $150,000 NYSSS Cupecoy’s Joy for 3-year-old fillies at the same distance and surface. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Belmont Park, and the best way to bet every race of the spring/summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
NYRA Press Office
Dakota Gold breaking his maiden on first asking at Saratoga Sept. 2, 2021, under Luis Saez. NYRA/Coglianese)