The summer has arrived and the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners stable is poised to provide its partners with some serious, big race action in Week 1 of the 2 marquee race meets on the American racing calendar at Saratoga and Del Mar.
The appetizer for the stable comes on Friday on the twilight card Where The Turf Meets The Surf at Del Mar when Press Baron will attempt to live up to his ability in a $71,000 Allowance race going to 1 1/16-miles on the lawn at the seaside venue. The handsome red son of King’s Best is conditioned by Paddy Gallagher and will be accompanied by Victor Espinoza, who will launch Press Baron from post 4 of 10 sophomore runners. Post time is 6:30pm PT.
The 2-tiered main course for Eclipse comes on Saturday in upstate New York. Holden On, a $165,000 OBS March 2 year-old-in-training acquisition, will kick off his career in a Maiden Special Weight affair at Saratoga Racecourse. The heat, which carries a hefty $80,000 pot and will be contested over 5 ½-furlongs, has drawn the who’s-who of racing owners, trainers and pedigrees. Holden On, a son of Dehere, is trained by the phenom conditioner, Chad Brown, and will have Ramon Dominguez in the saddle. Post time for the 2nd on the card is 1:30pm ET.
The headline event of the weekend will be the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks where the company’s franchise filly, In Lingerie, will tackle 5 other rivals at 1 1/8-miles around the historic Saratoga oval. With In Lingerie’s regular rider, John Velazquez, on the mend recovering from injuries sustained in a spill last month, Todd Pletcher has doled out the riding assignment to his other main-man, Javier Castellano. In Lingerie has drawn post 6 of 6 as she seeks to add to her mantle of trophies, which includes the Grade 2, $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan as well and the Grade 3, $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks. Post time for the day’s featured 10thrace at The Spa is 5:45pm ET.
Dessert will be served on Sunday when Eclipse’s flagship filly, Byrama, essays the Grade 2, $150,000 San Clemente Handicap going 1 mile on the turf at Del Mar. A Stakes winner and multiple Graded-placed filly, Byrama will have the services of jockey Garrett Gomez, who will receive a leg up from another training prodigy, Simon Callaghan. Post time for the Sunday afternoon main event is 5:30 pm PT.
“When Lee (Midkiff) and I formed this company less than a year ago, this is exactly the type of bi-coastal weekend we set out to provide for our racing partners,” Eclipse President, Aron Wellman explained. “We have 4 runners in real races at the premier racetracks in the world. We’ve got a promising baby to cut loose and 2 proven Graded caliber fillies with legitimate shots to win major races.
“Just a quick glance at the trainers we’ve aligned ourselves with and the jockeys who will don our colors and it’s incredibly humbling to see how far we’ve come in such a short window of time,” Wellman acknowledged. “Add the fact that we have bona fide Graded and Stakes winning horses who are considered well-fancied runners for lucrative and prestigious fixtures at the most important racetracks in the country and we believe we’ve created a solid foundation to be able to expand and improve upon as Eclipse continues to grow.
“Our mission is to treat our partners right and provide them with the best lifestyle and racing experience possible. We’re really excited for what is destined to be a fun and successful weekend,” Wellman concluded.