SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Its All Relevant, co-owned by Michael Imperio, Theresa Cotrone and trainer Rudy Rodriguez, breezed a sharp five furlongs Thursday morning over Saratoga’s main track ahead of his next scheduled assignment in the $85,000 Alydar on August 9.
Two-time defending Eclipse Award champion Irad Ortiz, Jr. was up for the work, which went in 1:00.03, second-fastest of 10 horses. Rodriguez said Its All Relevant galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40.
“Irad breezed him and he really was very, very happy the way he breezed,” Rodriguez said. “It was a very good work. He’s training very, very good.”
The 1 1/8-mile Alydar for 4-year-olds and up, restricted to non-winners of a sweepstakes other than state-bred in 2020, marks the third change of plans for Its All Relevant, a 7-year-old Hard Spun gelding that has won his last two starts and 12 of 27 overall.
Rodriguez said the connections initially considered Its All Relevant for Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney, which drew a field of five including fellow front-running types Mr. Buff and Improbable, then gave thought to Sunday’s $100,000 Birdstone at 1 ¾ miles.
“We were thinking of running in the Whitney when there was no Mr. Buff and [Improbable] was not coming, but those two horses have speed and my horse wants to be on the lead,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to wait for the Alydar. He fits perfect in that race. We’ll take a look and see what the race looks like and take it from there.”
Its All Relevant won the seven-furlong Dads Caps last March at Aqueduct in his first start after being claimed by Rodriguez for $12,500 four weeks earlier. Trainer Linda Rice claimed him back in his subsequent start for $32,000, but Rodriguez and Imperio pounced again when Its All Relevant returned from a break to win a one-mile claimer just before Christmas, also for $32,000.
In his career, Its All Relevant has earned $417,337 in purses, also finishing second twice and third twice to go along with his dozen wins. As a 3-year-old, he finished third behind Mind Your Biscuits, a multiple Group 1 winner of nearly $4.3 million in purse earnings, in the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga for trainer Dominick Schettino.
“He ran a couple times for Linda and they sent him to the farm. When he came back I told Michael, “We’ve got to take the horse back,’” Rodriguez said. “He ran a big race for Linda and we took him back. He’s a winning machine. He likes to win, Michael likes horses that win and we like horses that win. He’s a tough horse to handle, but he always tries every time.”
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Its All Relevant wins the 2019 Dad Cap Stakes at Aqueduct. Credit: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand