Well-traveled Dugout upsets Steel Valley Sprint at Mahoning Valley

Monday, November 25th, 2019

By Sarah Mace

Visiting his eighth racetrack in nine starts on Monday afternoon, Richard Ravin, Patricia`s Hope LLC and Larry Rivelli’s Dugout posted an upset when he captured the $250,000 Steel Valley Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds at Mahoning Valley Racecourse in Youngstown, Ohio at odds of 9-1. The well-traveled grey gelding by Adios Charlie tracked a speedy pace in third and rallied in the stretch to capture the marquee race on Mahoning Valley’s racing calendar.

Co-owner and trainer Rivelli has spotted Dugout expertly through his two seasons of racing, giving him the chance to finish in the exacta in seven of eight prior starts. The grey opened his account last year by reeling off three straight wins. He followed a 7 1/4-length debut victory at Saratoga in July with back-to-back stakes wins in the Funny Cide Stakes at the Spa and the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes. Dugout completed his juvenile campaign with his only career off-the-board finish as the beaten favorite in the Sleepy Hollow following an awkward start.

Dugout did not return this year until August, but coming into the Steel Valley Sprint had traveled far and wide to pick up two wins and two seconds in four sprints. Romping by seven lengths over the synthetic at Arlington Park on August 17, he finished second in the Decathlon at Monmouth in September. Since then, he faced allowance foes at Churchill Downs and Hawthorne resulting in a second and a nose win.

Speed is Dugout’s calling card, but with so much other zip in the full field of 12 in the Steel Valley Sprint, he had company up front. First out of the gate from post 11 as the 9-1 sixth choice, he deferred to Dare Day and 4-5 favorite Call Paul to his inside along the back stretch run.

Traveling comfortably in third three-wide and staying within 1 1/2 lengths of the leaders through splits of 21.53 and 44.56, Dugout was shaken up by jockey Jareth Loveberry as he straightened away at the head of the stretch.

Asked for a little more midway home, Dugout gobbled up the deficit with big strides and struck the front with a sixteenth to go. His good momentum held him safe from a pair of late charges from Manny Wah to his inside who finished a neck behind in second and Olympic Village on the outside who completed the trifecta another 1 1/4 lengths back. Dare Day and Call Paul finished next in order. The final time for six furlongs over the fast going was 1:11.19.

“He’s a real nice horse and we always thought he was this kind,” said Rivelli. “He can run on the lead, he can come from off the pace and is just a real nice horse. One more jump and we might have gotten beat, but the rider rode him good and we got lucky.”

A first homebred for Ravin and Rivelli and foaled at Sequel Stallions in Hudson, Dugout is out of Rooney Doodle, an unplaced California-bred daughter of Lit de Justice who has produced six winners from six foals to start. Dugout’s full-sister Jean Elizabeth is a stakes winner at Hawthorne, and half-sister Hollarforadollar is stakes placed. Rooney Doodle produced a full-brother to Dugout this year and has been bred back to Laoban.

From six wins in nine starts with two seconds, Dugout has earned $476,155.


Leave a Reply