ELMONT, N.Y. – Robert Cudney’s Hombre earned an 83 Beyer for an impressive 3 3/4-length maiden win Sunday over yielding Belmont turf in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, the 3-year-old Tourist colt was bred in Ontario by Joey Gee Thoroughbreds. Out of the Perfect Soul mare Classic Soul, Hombre is a half-brother to the graded stakes-placed Speedy Soul.
With Dylan Davis up in Sunday’s second-out maiden score, Hombre rallied three-wide through the turn and made his winning bid at the five-sixteenths marker before drawing clear.
“When they got to the pole and he started to move, I thought don’t move too soon now, but he was just so smooth,” said Tagg. “He wasn’t chasing after him, he just went right around the other horses. It’s a pleasure to watch that.”
Hombre ran fifth on debut in April at Belmont after experiencing some trouble at the break.
“We thought he’d run well yesterday, but you never know. He’d only had one race,” said Tagg. “It was pretty smooth. He was running the whole way and when the jockey asked him for more, he went on with it.”
Tagg said the connections would like to point Hombre to the 10-furlong Queen’s Plate, first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown slated for August 22 on the Tapeta at Woodbine Racetrack.
Hombre, who breezed over the Woodbine Tapeta last year when in the care of trainer Liz Elder, was sent to Tagg over the winter to prepare for a sophomore campaign.
Tagg said Hombre should be able to handle the surface change and stretch out in distance for the Queen’s Plate.
“We can send him up there a couple days ahead of time and let him gallop on it,” said Tagg regarding the Tapeta. “I don’t think he’d have any distance issues, but you don’t know until you try. He’s a nice looking horse. He’s well balanced, strong up front and strong behind.”
Tagg said Hombre came out of the race well and could make one start at the end of July at Saratoga before heading to Woodbine.
Hayward R. Pressman, Diamond M Stable, and Donna R. Pressman’s Step Dancer breezed on the Belmont inner turf Monday.
Tagg said the War Dancer sophomore, who rallied to finish second last out in the NYSSS Spectacular Bid on June 19 at Belmont, will target the NYSSS Cab Calloway, a one-mile turf test for eligible New York-sired sophomores on July 28 at Saratoga.
“That’s his first work since he ran. He went a half-mile on the turf and went well,” said Tagg. “We’ll probably run him back in the New York stallion race on July 28 at one mile on the inner turf.”
Step Dancer, bred in the Empire State by Sugar Plum Farm and Richard Pressman, finished third in the Grade 2 Pilgrim on October 3 at Belmont ahead of a score in Awad at 1 1/16-miles over yielding turf at the same track.
Tagg, who conditioned famous New York-breds Tiz the Law and Funny Cide, said Step Dancer has the talent to eventually return to graded stakes races.
“I think so,” said Tagg. “We’ve been pretty lucky with a couple New York-breds, but you never know where they’re going to come from. He’s not that big, but he’s put together well and moves well.”
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Hombre breaking his maiden at Belmont Park on July 4, 2021 (NYRA/Coglianese)