Kool Kathmandu Set for Stakes Debut in $100K Jimmy Winkfield

February 8, 2023

By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Happy Face Racing Stable’s Kool Kathmandu will look to build upon his impressive maiden score in Saturday’s $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield, a six-furlong sprint for sophomores at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Jimmy Winkfield is named in honor of the last Black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. Winkfield, a Hall of Famer, won the Run for the Roses back-to-back with His Eminence in 1901 and with Alan-a-Dale in 1902. The Jimmy Winkfield was previously known as the Best Turn from 1985 to 2004.

Trained by Charlton Baker, Kool Kathmandu graduated last out at second asking with a gate-to-wire score in a six-furlong maiden sprint contested over a sloppy and sealed main track on December 16 at the Big A.

With returning rider Dylan Davis up, Kool Kathmandu set splits of 22.83 seconds and 46.97, opening up comfortably at the stretch call and winning by an eased-up 5 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:12.76. That victory, which earned a 75 Beyer Speed Figure, demonstrated a marked improvement on his third-place finish in his November 6 debut here on a fast track.

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Baker said the $25,000 purchase from the 2020 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale is a potential late-bloomer.

“He got to me early last year in April or May and it took me a while to get him to the races,” Baker said. “He was OK, but mentally, he needed to get better. So, we gelded him [in July] and he’s been good since. It just took him a bit to get there.”

The Frosted grey has breezed back five times, including a half-mile in 49.95 Friday over the Belmont Park dirt training track.

Kool Kathmandu, out of the stakes-winning Weigelia mare Fat Kat, will look to add to the solid stakes-winning ledger of his immediate family. His second dam, Katarica Disco, produced seven six-figure earners and three stakes winners, including his dam and the multiple stakes winners Disco Ebo and Smooth B.

Davis retains the mount from post 3.

Drew’s Gold makes his Jan. 28 return to the races a winning one (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Drew’s Gold [post 4, Jose Gomez] brings a perfect 2-for-2 record into his stakes debut for trainer James Chapman and owner Stuart Tsujimoto.

The Violence dark bay overcame trouble at the gate in both outings, including his May 12 graduation sprinting five furlongs at Churchill Downs and his victorious return to action traveling 5 1/2-furlongs on January 28 at Laurel Park.

Last out, Drew’s Gold broke in the air and settled in fourth position before being steadied at the half-mile and eventually angled outside for clear racing room en route to a 3 3/4-length score that garnered a field-best 83 Beyer.

“He always breaks a little slow. He’s still scared of the doors,” Chapman said. “He doesn’t break through them, he watches them a second and gets himself left. But then he gets in the race and does what he does.”

The $25,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, out of the multiple stakes-winning Vindication mare Frolic’s Revenge, is a half-sibling to stakes-winner American Frolic.

Winning Move Stable’s Joey Freshwater [post 1, Jose Lezcano] has won 2-of-3 starts and will make his stakes debut for trainer Linda Rice.

The Jimmy Creed colt was haltered for $50,000 out of a winning effort at second asking over a sloppy and sealed main track on November 27 at Churchill Downs.

Rice said she was impressed with Joey Freshwater’s fourth-place finish on debut in a November 6 maiden tilt at Churchill after attending a swift early pace.

“He had shown a lot of speed in his first race and backed up out of it a little bit. That was at a tougher level, and I thought with that race under his belt he could improve,” Rice said. “I was impressed with the effort despite the fact that he didn’t hit the board. I like his pedigree and wanted to take a shot on this horse. What’s the downside?”

Joey Freshwater, who sold for $35,000 at the OBS June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, is out of the More Than Ready mare Lake Turkana, who is a half-sister to graded-stakes winner Crewman.

Joey Freshwater paid immediate dividends by winning first out for his current connections here on New Year’s Day in a six-furlong optional claimer over muddy and sealed going.

With Kendrick Carmouche in the irons, he stalked four-wide from three lengths off the pace as Swifty Devil marked the half-mile in 46.13. Joey Freshwater launched a bid at the top of the lane and took over in mid-stretch en route to a one-length score.

“I thought it was a very good effort. I was happy he rated nicely on the outside,” Rice said. “He’s very ratable and I think the distance is in his range. He’s doing well and we’re really excited about running him.”

Harrell Ventures and Starlight Racing’s Clubhouse is the richest sales purchase in the field having been hammered down for $425,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, the Speightstown chestnut is out of the Tapit mare Wild Ridge, who is a half-sibling to multiple graded-stakes winner Cazadero, last year’s Grade 2 Remsen-winner Dubyuhnell, graded-stakes placed Almost Famous and stakes-winner Mt. Brave.

Clubhouse is also the most experienced horse in the field with a record of 6-1-0-3, and enters from a 6 1/2-length maiden score in a seven-furlong sprint over a good main track on January 14 at the Big A.

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He was a distant fifth here as the favorite in Kool Kathmandu’s maiden win, but made amends last out by attending the early pace through a quarter-mile in 24.15 and taking over through a half-mile in 48.94. Clubhouse opened up by eight lengths at the stretch call and was geared down to the wire for a 6 1/2-length score under Carmouche, stopping the clock in 1:27.05 and registering a 73 Beyer.

Hall of Famer John Velazquez takes over from the injured Carmouche from the outermost post 5.

Bran Jam Stable and David W. Clark’s stakes-placed Daydreaming Boy [post 2, Dexter Haddock] will make his third consecutive stakes start for trainer Louis Linder, Jr.

The Goldencents chestnut made his first four starts at Parx, graduating at second asking with a gate-to-wire score to defeat next-out winner Blue Royal by 7 1/2 lengths over a muddy and sealed main track. He followed with a troubled second after stumbling at the start in the six-furlong Future Stars on December 5 ahead of an even fourth in the seven-furlong Parx Juvenile which was contested over a sloppy and sealed main track.

Bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms, Daydreaming Boy, out of the Corinthian mare Denali Dreamscape, is a half-brother to stakes-winner New Boss.

The Jimmy Winkfield is slated as Race 3 on Saturday’s 10-race card, which also features the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers in Race 9, offering 20-8-6-4-2 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.

“For the best in horse racing, I read Past the Wire, and you should read it too.” Tommy Massis, Racehorse owner, Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Champion  

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