Red Knight has coming out party in Gulfstream’s H. Allen Jerkens Stakes

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

By Sarah Mace

Red Knight, a homebred for Tom Egan’s Trinity Farm, officially staked out his territory as a turf marathoner to be reckoned with Saturday when he came out on top of a 13-horse field in Gulfstream Park’s $100,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes, a two-mile tilt run twice around the turf course. In the process of winning his first stakes victory, the massive son of Pure Prize, who is also a half-brother to Trinity homebred Macagone, put his name in the record books by establishing a course record time of 3:19.87 for the distance.

A relatively lightly-raced 4-year-old gelding with 10 prior starts, Red Knight had already compiled a strong record in shorter turf routes, winning five of eight tries on grass. A maiden-breaker second out on July 15, 2017 going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park, Red Knight won four of his next five races, winning through his New York-bred allowance conditions, missing a win by just a nose in an initial try against open company, then winning a pair of open allowance races. Graduating to the state-bred stakes ranks, Red Knight finished fifth by two lengths in the Ashley T. Cole and collected third in the Mohawk. Last out on November 17, in the off-the-turf Red Smith Handicap, the gelding started poorly before finishing fifth.

Red Knight (5-1 third choice) spent the early stages of Saturday’s marathon in midpack, still in ninth after a full circuit of the track and only beginning to pick up steam with four furlongs left to go. The early splits were fairly aggressive for the distance (24.22, 48.40, 1:13.02, 1:39.05).

Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin

Rounding the fourth and final turn, Red Knight made a powerful five-wide move under jockey Luis Saez and swept to the lead. In command in the stretch, he still one more challenge to face, when odds-on favorite Soglio under Jose Ortiz came calling.

Digging down deep in the final strides, Red Knight held off the interloper to secure the victory by a head. Finishing third as the 9-2 second choice was Nessy under Julien Leparoux.

“It was a long race and they went pretty fast at first. I just tried to hold my horse, because he wanted to run off also in the first turn,” Saez said. “I just tried to stay patient all the way and in the last turn at the five eighths pole I came out and let him pick it up a little. When we came to the three eighths pole, he was ready to take off.”

“Luis made a tactical move leaving the backstretch,” said Ken McCarthy, trainer Bill Mott’s longtime assistant. “He got the jump on the favorite, who looked like he had a little trouble. It worked out well for our horse.”

Red Knight’s first stakes victory improves his record to six wins, two seconds and a third from 11 career starts and increases his earning’s bankroll to $340,440.

Red Knight, who was foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, is one of four winners and the second foal to earn black type out of Isabel Away, a winning daughter of Skip Away. Her third foal is Macagone by Artie Schiller, a New York-bred three-time stakes winner, including his sire’s namesake race in 2016 and back-to-back editions of the Danger’s Hour Stakes in 2016 and 2017. Macagone has started 35 times and earned $558,731, while Isabel Away’s full brother to Red Knight Birchwood Road, another iron horse, made 46 lifetime starts.

Isabel Away has a weanling colt by Magician and was bred in 2018 to Twirling Candy.

2 Responses to “Red Knight has coming out party in Gulfstream’s H. Allen Jerkens Stakes”

  1. Tom Egan says:

    A well written article Sarah. a fine pace or flow to your writing . Isabel Away was a “gift from the Gods”. Perhaps her best son wasJaye Jaye who was unbeaten as a 2 year old. Jose Ortiz was over the moon about him. He died 12 months ago. Isabel died on October 9, 2018 at Darby Dan Farm.

  2. Sarah Mace says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Tom. I am truly sorry to hear about Jaye Jaye and Isabel. Sarah

Leave a Reply