Battle Station upsets Lucky Coin

Monday, September 7th, 2020

Battle Station upset Sunday’s Lucky Coin off nine days’ rest. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

New York-bred Battle Station may have been the longest shot on the board but he was the first to the line in Sunday’s $85,000 Lucky Coin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Looking for his third stakes victory, the 5-year-old Warrior’s Reward gelding briefly dueled for the lead right out of the gate in the 5 ½-furlong restricted turf stakes but settled for third when the field organized itself. Racing on the rail just behind a dueling pair of leaders, Battle Station had plenty to do entering the final furlong with Pulsate and Readyforprimetime still locked in a match race a length in front.

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche saw the opportunity for a rail opening slipping by with every stride and made the choice to swing his mount to the outside of the leaders for a final run. Battle Station took advantage with just a little urging to gallop by and win by 1 1/4 lengths with Pulsate just edging out Readyforprimetime for the win.

“Kendrick knows the horse and I knew that,” winning trainer Rob Atras said. “He gave me a lot of confidence when I legged him up, he said that he was going to put him in a real forward position. He said, ‘This is my boy, we’re going to do it.’ Kendrick made the right move. It worked out well, it was perfect.”

Consistent and on the board six times in 10 starts this year, Battle Station was coming off a fifth nine days ago in an optional claimer going the same 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Atras believed that was an uncharacteristic run for him and was willing to take a chance in this race when he was full of energy after the run.

“You have to throw out his last race, he had a bit of a troubled trip,” he said. “He was coming back off short rest. He bounced out of the last race really well. We had him nominated and it was kind of in the back of our minds. We thought he had it in him, we always did.”

The winner of six of 28 starts with five second and nine thirds for $425,815 in earnings, the gelding currently races for RB Racing.

A $50,000 weanling purchase in 2015 from the Kearney Park consignment, Battle Station is out of the Unbridled mare Uriel who has six winners from seven runners.

A half-sister to Grade 3 winner and Grade 2 placed Vestrey Lady, the 19-year-old mare is out of a half-sister to successful sire Mr. Greeley and from the family of champion and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and this year’s dual Grade 1 winner Vekoma.

Going through the Keeneland September yearling sale ring in 2002, Uriel was purchased for $135,000. The filly never made it to the races and visited the auction ring twice more as a broodmare, last selling for $17,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale when carrying this gelding.

Uriel’s final registered foal is an unraced 3-year-old filly by Amira’s Prince named Baby Uriel.

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