Dubyuhnell wins the G2 Remsen (Walter Wlodarczyk)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— West Paces Racing and Stonestreet Stables’ Dubyuhnell began his journey down the road to the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on a high note with a hard-fought victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen at Aqueduct Racetrack for trainer Danny Gargan.
Dubyuhnell earned the winner’s share of the 10-4-3-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points awarded to the top-five finishers, placing him in fifth on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
“He’s a really talented horse and I know yesterday they gave him a big number,” said Gargan. “He’s a horse who is going to get better with time. He’s developing and maturing and he’s still playing around out there. He was flickering his ears back and forth and he’s still got a lot left in there; with time he’ll give more and more. If he gets much faster, he’ll be really fast.”
The Good Magic bay was fourth on debut in a seven-furlong sprint in September at Saratoga Race Course and arrived at the nine-furlong Remsen from a maiden win going one-mile over a sloppy and sealed Big A on October 2, the same track condition he faced in the Remsen when stretching out to two turns for the first time.
“It’s a progression. We ran him seven-eighths and then a mile and now a mile and an eighth,” said Gargan. “We were looking for a route race when we ran him seven-eighths but it’s limited with what races go. We were lucky enough we got a race in him and then he came back and broke his maiden. Things sometimes work out and it all fell into place for him.”
That experience helped Dubyuhnell come out on the winning end of a dramatic stretch duel with the New York-bred Arctic Arrogance yesterday, stalking just behind the Linda Rice trainee before the pair opened up seven lengths on the field at the stretch call and went stride for stride until Dubyuhnell inched clear under left-handed encouragement from Jose Ortiz. A determined Dubyuhnell scored the half-length victory in a final time of 1:50.88.
“They went three-quarters in 1:12 and when you’re going a mile and an eighth at Aqueduct, that’s a pretty fast pace,” said Gargan. “I was pretty confident down the stretch because you could tell when Jose hits him left-handed, he takes off more. I said to Jose, ‘You really weren’t going after him much.’ He said, ‘There was no one coming and I knew I could beat the horse on the inside.’ He rode him with a lot of confidence and that was good to see for a 2-year-old.
“He’ll get a mile and a quarter,” added Gargan. “He doesn’t have to go much further to get the mile and a quarter. Going a mile and an eighth and at the end of it having more than the other horses is pretty exciting to see.”
Gargan said Dubyuhnell will head to Florida to continue his training with his eye on a potential return to Aqueduct for a start in the Grade 3 Withers in February and/or the Grade 2 Wood Memorial in April.
“We’ll see how things go this winter and then map out a plan for him for the spring,” said Gargan. “We’ll probably run two or three times this winter and maybe come back for the Withers and if not, the Wood, because we know he likes the track. Those are definitely options, and he could also run at Gulfstream one time. Mo Donegal ran once at Gulfstream and came back for the Wood, so he could do something like that.”
Dubyuhnell is out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Forest Wildcat mare Wild Gams, who was named the 2008 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year and was purchased for $1 million by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings that same year. In addition to Dubyuhnell, she has produced multiple graded stakes-winner Cazadero, graded stakes-placed Almost Famous and stakes-winner Mt. Brave.