LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lucky Seven Stable’s Rattle N Roll made a sweeping move on the far turn and then rocketed by the field at the head of the stretch to draw off for a 4¼-length victory in the 108th running of the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds.
By virtue of the victory, Rattle N Roll earned a fees-paid berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to be run Nov. 5 at Del Mar.
Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Rattle N Roll covered the 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:43.78. The victory is the third in the race for McPeek, who also won in 1994 with Tejano Run and 2009 with Noble’s Promise.
“He made a start at Churchill in the spring, and it was more of a test drive than anything, trying to teach him to finish and everything. The race at Saratoga – we were miffed by that. His left eye was closed the next morning and the only thing we could figure is that he got hit in the eye with a rock or something. So, we were like, ‘OK, that was a head-scratcher, what was that about?’ and then we went back to work. He’s never done anything (like that) before or since,” said McPeek.
“I’m just real happy for the Mackin family. I love having the opportunity to be able to buy horses for people like them. You can’t go into a race with 13 horses and be overconfident, because so much can happen, and I told my wife before the race, ‘If the 13 horse rolls out of there early, I think we’ve got a real chance,’ because that horse really needed to rate to win, and I think it set up well for us,” he added.
Favored Classic Causeway was sent hard out of the gate from the outside No. 13 post and led the field through fractions of :22.81, :46.74 and 1:11.90 with Stellar Tap and Mr. Bouma in closest pursuit early on.
On the far turn, Hernandez angled to the outside and began picking off horses with a move that put him on even terms with Classic Causeway and Stellar Tap turning for home. With that momentum, Rattle N Roll quickly opened up and never was threatened in the run to the finish line.
“All the credit really goes to the horse, being only his fourth start, to be able to sit back there and read the race and let it develop in front of him. When I got him outside, he showed what a good horse he is. He engulfed those horses pretty easily, and turning for home he switched leads. He knows his job and he just kind of went on about it,” Hernandez Jr. commented.
A Keeneland sales graduate, Rattle N Roll is a Kentucky-bred son of Connect out of the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune. With Saturday’s $300,000 check, Rattle N Roll now has earnings of $379,460 with a record of 4-2-0-1.
Rattle N Roll returned $19.40, $8.60 and $5. Double Thunder rallied from far back under Paco Lopez to get second and return $7.40 and $4.60 with Classic Causeway finishing another half-length back in third under Jose Ortiz and paying $3 to show.
“The one hole again didn’t help us (third time in five starts). [Double Thunder] took too much time in the gate. I followed the winner all the way but had to work very hard. He’s a nice horse. He just got tired,” said Lopez, rider of runner-up Double Thunder.
It was another 1¼ lengths back to American Sanctuary in fourth with Costa Terra, Mr. Bouma, Stellar Tap, Kevin’s Folly, Great Escape, Seal Beach, Mac’s Time, King Curlin and Don’t Wait Up following in order.
Jose Ortiz (rider of third-place finisher and beaten favorite Classic Causeway) “We broke clean. We knew he had speed, but we also know there were other horses who had speed. He made the lead and relaxed very well. When we got to the second turn, he got a little lost on me. I mean with his first time going two turns he was kind of wondering what was going on. With 13 horses, if you want to win you have to run. We knew he was going to be a little hot, especially coming out of the 13 (post), but he broke very good and that was the point so I decided to go on.”
Brian Lynch (trainer of Classic Causeway) “We were committed from the outside post – we had to get across. First quarter and half were a little bit quick for a second-time starter going two turns, and it taxed him in the end. We learned a little more about him so we will regroup and go from there. We’ll let the dust settle and see how he comes back but I wouldn’t think (the Breeders’ Cup) is off the table.”
Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.
Racing continues Sunday with a 10-race program beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares highlights three “Win and You’re In” Challenge races for the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE
Keeneland Press Release