Dornoch after his maiden-breaking score Oct. 14 at Keeneland (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Trainer Danny Gargan will be represented by a pair of promising 2-year-olds in Grade 2, $250,000 nine-furlong routes on Saturday’s Cigar Mile Day card at the Big A in Dornoch and Ringy Dingy, who will take on the Remsen and Demoiselle, respectively.
Dornoch, by Good Magic and out of the graded stakes-placed Big Brown mare Puca, is a full-brother to Grade 1 Kentucky Derby-winner Mage.
Owned by West Paces Racing, R. A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing Stables, the $325,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase was a game second on debut in July at Saratoga Race Course ahead of a deceptively strong runner-up effort one month later in the one-mile Sapling at Monmouth Park.
Dornoch put in an eye-opening effort last out, drawing off to graduate by 6 1/2-lengths in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on October 14 at Keeneland.
With returning pilot Luis Saez up, Dornoch put away the pace pressing Lat Long and widened down the lane to win in 1:45 flat despite racing on his left lead in the stretch until late. The impressive score garnered a 90 Beyer Speed Figure.
“He switched [leads] maybe 20 yards before the wire. He heard the crowd and was looking over at them,” Gargan said. “Once he got separated from the other horse, Saez said he was wanting to look over at the crowd. He cocked his head to see them and when he yanked him back over, he thought he would switch but he was just goofing off. He switched in all his other races. He was just playing around.”
Dornoch worked a half-mile in company Saturday over Big Sandy in 49.43 seconds in his final serious work for the Remsen, which offers 10-5-3-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
“Dornoch always works pretty fast. He’s a big, strong horse,” Gargan said. “He was the fifth fastest work of the day and I was trying to slow him down. We just wanted to get a nice, easy work in him. He galloped out in 1:01 and change and is doing really well.”
Gargan won the Remsen last year with Dubyuhnell but said Dornoch is a superior talent.
“I think he has a lot more left in him that we haven’t seen yet, which is the exciting thing. I think he has a big future,” Gargan said. “I won the Remsen last year and I wouldn’t compare them – this horse is in a different atmosphere in my mind.”
Peter Callahan and James Reiley McDonald’s Ringy Dingy worked a half-mile in company in 51.34 Saturday over Big Sandy in her final work for the Demoiselle which offers 10-5-3-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
“Ringy Dingy went easier – she’s a smaller, lighter filly,” Gargan said.
The $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale purchase, a distant fifth in her July debut at the Spa, graduated at second asking in September traveling 6 1/2-furlongs at Belmont at the Big A with Katie Davis aboard for the first time.
Ringy Dingy settled in fourth position in that event and made a three-wide bid to take command at the stretch call en route to a 1 3/4-length score. The heavily favored third-place finisher, Catherine Wheel, exited that event to graduate nicely here and will be a returning rival for trainer Chad Brown.
Gargan credited Davis with helping Ringy Dingy to settle and use her strong turn-of-foot at the right time.
“We’ve always liked the filly and thought she had a lot of talent,” Gargan said. “Katie breezed her – and she’s a little bit of a nervous horse and Katie gets along with her – so we decided to let Katie ride her and she rode her perfect that day.”
Last out, Ringy Dingy overcame a difficult start to rally from last-of-6 and post a ground-saving 6 1/4-length score under Davis on October 13 in the one-mile White Clay Creek traveling two turns at Delaware Park.
The Dialed In chestnut, out of the multiple stakes-placed Touch Gold mare Wind Caper, is a full-sister to dual Grade 1-winner Defunded.