Dakota Gold Returns in Danger’s Hour

April 17, 2024

Dakota Gold captures the Hudson Valley July 3, 2023, at Belmont Park (NYRA/Coglianese)

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By Christian Abdo – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s New York-bred Dakota Gold will make his seasonal debut versus open-company in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 Danger’s Hour, a one-mile inner turf test for older horses, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Danger’s Hour kicks off turf stakes action on the NYRA circuit for the calendar year and will see Reeves Thoroughbred Racing attempt their third consecutive win in this event after co-owning Big Everest [2023] and City Man [2022].

Trained by Danny Gargan, Dakota Gold enters off a near six-month respite dating to an off-the-board finish in the local state-bred Mohawk traveling 1 1/16-miles over yielding turf, beaten 3 1/2-lengths by returning rival Spirit of St Louis.

The 5-year-old Freud first time gelding had previously run over yielding footing when second beaten a neck in the restricted Fasig-Tipton Lure before a fourth in the state-bred West Point presented by Trustco Bank over good turf, both 1 1/16-miles at Saratoga Race Course.

“We just have to hope it’s firm because that’s what he likes. Last year [on softer footing] was a little bit tough on him, he did OK, he did good,” said Gargan. “But he’s a lot better on a firm turf course, and it rained all year last year, so we’re hoping the sun is out for him.”

Dakota Gold’s last effort over firm ground was a three-length score four starts back in the state-bred Hudson Valley on July 3 at Belmont Park. The victory made him 3-for-4 at one-mile, also capturing the 2022 NYSSS Cab Calloway versus New York-sired sophomores at Saratoga and the 2021 Nownownow versus open-company at Monmouth Park.

“I definitely think that’s his best distance. He’s run well at a mile,” said Gargan. “We just don’t want it to be soft. We need a firm turf course and some pace in front of us.”

Dakota Gold, out of the winning Lemon Drop Kid mare Dakota Kid, is a half-brother to dual stakes-winner Ramblin’ Wreck. Bred in the Empire State by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Ronald L. Bowden Living Trust, Dakota Gold boasts a lifetime record of 14-5-2-2 with $727,950 in earnings.

Dylan Davis will be aboard from post 7.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown holds a strong trio of graded-stakes winner Masen, dual stakes-winner Spirit of St Louis, and the promising Equitize.

Juddmonte’s British homebred Masen [post 1, Trevor McCarthy] has made 7-of-8 efforts stateside traveling one-mile over the grass, winning the Grade 3 Poker and Seek Again in 2022 at Belmont Park, in addition to a runner-up finish in the that year’s Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland and a third in the Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

The 6-year-old Kingman gelding arrives from a fourth in an optional claimer at Saturday’s distance on January 27 at Gulfstream Park, following a third in the Listed Artie Schiller in November at the Big A.

Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Richard Schermerhorn’s New York-bred Spirit of St Louis [post 3, Manny Franco] returns to the site of October victories versus fellow state-breds in the Mohawk and nine-furlong Ashley T. Cole. The 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro gelding boasts an impressive lifetime record of 7-5-2-0 with $370,650 in earnings, with a second in the West Point in August at Saratoga.

Bred by Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman, Spirit of St Louis, out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Khancord Kid, is a full-brother to Grade 1-winner Bar of Gold, who upset the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at 66-1.

Klaravich Stables’ Equitize [post 5, Javier Castellano] was entered for the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile on April 12 at Keeneland before being scratched and re-routed to the Danger’s Hour. The 4-year-old Kingman bay has won 2-of-3 lifetime outings, both over the Tampa Bay Downs’ green, including a last out allowance score on February 3.

Equitize’s recent allowance coup set a Tampa Bay Downs’ track-record of 1:32.91 traveling one-mile on the turf. The impressive 3 1/2-length score was off a respite dating to a distant seventh in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Hill Prince in November at the Big A.

Tidal Forces captures a starter optional claimer Feb. 25 at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese)

Owner/trainer Fernando Abreu’s Tidal Forces [post 2, Kendrick Carmouche] seeks his first stakes score after a last-out third beaten a neck by graded stakes-winner Smokin’ T in the one-mile Appleton on March 30 over the Gulfstream turf.

The 6-year-old Malibu Moon gelding, a $10,000 claim out of a win in January at Gulfstream, rallied from 2 1/2-lengths back in the Appleton to take the lead at the stretch call and nearly hung on at odds of 60-1.

Abreu said Tidal Forces, who won first off-the-claim in a February starter optional claimer on the Gulfstream Tapeta, has trained forwardly including a half-mile breeze in 48.55 seconds on March 22 over the Hallandale Beach oval’s dirt.

“In the morning, when you train him on the dirt, he doesn’t give any indication that he is not a dirt horse. He works really, really good in the morning,” said Abreu. “He is a workhorse. I don’t know why we wouldn’t try him on the dirt one day if it does come off, but right now, if it is not broken, don’t fix it.”

Abreu said Tidal Forces may prefer 1 1/16-miles, but his current form warranted a trip up from Florida.

“A mile and a sixteenth seems like his best distance, but just after that Appleton – going one mile in 1:33 and change – he made it [the decision] for me,” said Abreu.

Bred in Ontario by Sam-Son Farm, Tidal Forces, out of the Dynaformer-mare Ain’t No Tellin’, is 18-6-0-3 lifetime with off-the-board stakes efforts in Woodbine Racetrack’s Grade 3 Marine and Queen’s Plate in addition to Fort Erie Race Track’s Prince of Wales, all in 2021.

Rounding out the field is Grade 1-placed Pioneering Spirit [post 6, Jose Lezcano] for conditioner Linda Rice; stakes-winner Heaven Street [post 4, Jose Gomez] for trainer Mike Maker; and stakes-placed Bring Me a Check [post 8, Isaac Castillo] prepared by Patrick Reynolds. Ouster is entered for the main-track only.

The Danger’s Hour is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern

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