Laurel Futurity Winner Congruent Breeders’ Cup Decision Pending

October 14, 2022

Juvenile, Juvenile Turf Remain Under Consideration for 2YO Tapit Colt

LAUREL, Md. – A decision is still looming on which Breeders’ Cup race is up next for Tami Bobo and Lugamo Racing Stable’s Congruent, impressive winner of the Oct. 1 Laurel Futurity at Laurel Park.

The connections are considering both the $2 million Juvenile (G1) on dirt and the $1 million Juvenile Turf (G1) Nov. 4 at Keeneland for Congruent, a juvenile son of 2003 Laurel Futurity winner Tapit out of the Grade 2-winning mare Part the Seas.

Lugamo’s Luis Gavignano said Friday that Congruent is scheduled to breeze Saturday at Parx, where the colt has been since last month and prepped with his final work before the Laurel Futurity, and leave early Sunday with Antonio Sano-trained stablemate Simplification on a van bound for Keeneland.

Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup close Monday, Oct. 24 with final entries closing Monday, Oct. 31.

“The plan is for him to breeze this weekend at Parx then the horse is going to be shipping to Keeneland and we’re going to try to breeze him on the grass just to make the final decision,” Gavignano said. “We’ll pre-enter the horse to both races and we’ll make that decision probably next week.”

The Juvenile is contested at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, while the Juvenile Turf travels one mile. The Laurel Futurity was originally scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass until remnants of Hurricane Ian caused it to be moved to a sloppy and sealed main track and run at one mile.

“The horse is doing good, very good,” Sano said. “He ran well the last race. He loved the sloppy track.”

Sano purchased Congruent for $350,000 on behalf of Bobo and Gavignano at OBS’ March sale of 2-year-olds in training after the horse fetched $200,000 as a yearling last July. His mare won the 2013 Bessarabian (G2) on Woodbine’s all-weather surface, while grandsire Stormy Atlantic was a two-time stakes winner on dirt. Tapit was a Grade 1 winner that has become one of the most influential sires of his generation.

All four of Congruent’s races have come on dirt. He ran fifth in debut July 16 before graduating in a seven-furlong maiden special weight Aug. 13, both at Gulfstream. He stretched out to a mile in a Sept. 10 optional claiming allowance at Delaware Park, finishing third, prior to the Laurel Futurity.

“These 2-year-olds, they develop almost overnight sometimes, so we want to see his breeze on the dirt tomorrow. If the breeze is normal the same way he has breezed before, we’re going to breeze on the turf and we’re going to decide which race,” Gavignano said. “If he breezes really well on the dirt, then perhaps we’ll keep him on the dirt for that race. There’s a lot of moving pieces right now.”

Jeiron Barbosa. Maryland Jockey Club Photo

Sano, based at Gulfstream Park in South Florida, has been to the Breeders’ Cup with Bon Accord, fourth in the 2013 Juvenile Turf, and Gunnevera in the 2017 and 2018 Classic, respectively running fifth and second. Bobo and Gavignano have never owned a Breeders’ Cup starter.

“We’re very excited. That’s the dream for any owner, any trainer, any breeder,” Gavignano said. “It’s a dream, really. Whatever race you are running is a dream.”

Notes: Five-pound apprentice Jeiron Barbosa, who rode four winners on Thursday’s card, continued his hot streak with a Friday double aboard Shinelikeadiamond ($7.80) in Race 1 and Dialing Dixie ($11.20) in Race 5 … The Elkstone Group’s Maryland homebred Order ofthe Kettle ($3.60)  powered to popular 8 ¼-length victory in Race 7, a waiver maiden claimer for  2-year-olds. In his second start, the Constitution gelding ran six furlongs in 1:11.72.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo by Jim McCue/MJC

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