Dakota Gold returns with NYSS victory

Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Dakota Gold edges past Surprise Boss late to win the Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Series Sunday at Belmont Park. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Dakota Gold, last seen finishing fifth and just 2 1/4 lengths behind Modern Games in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November at Del Mar, returned to the winner’s circle for the third time in four starts Sunday with a victory in the $150,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes at Belmont Park.

Bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Ron Bowden, the 3-year-old son of Freud was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in his sophomore debut, but the 7-furlong restricted turf stakes wasn’t going to be an easy effort.

Dakota Gold broke a step behind the leaders but quickly caught up to take his spot just off Surprise Boss’ flank. Surprise Boss raced on the lead through fractions of :23.66 and :48.40 for the opening half-mile, not looking like he was feeling any pressure from the eventual winner until Dakota Gold started to make his challenge in the stretch.

Dakota Gold ranged up the outside of the leader but Surprise Boss wasn’t going to lay down and dug in gamely for the stretch duel. Dakota Gold finally got his nose in front inside the final sixteenth. Surprise Boss grudgingly finished three-quarters of a length back with Marinara Sauced another 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Dakota Gold won in 1:21.50 over the firm Widener Turf under Irad Ortiz Jr.

“Irad said he had a lot of horse and he was just playing with the others,” said Danny Gargan, who trains the winner for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. “I was hoping (Buckortwo) would get out at some point, but he got stuck down in there. I wanted two of them in front of us. I thought they’d go 1:09 and change. They came home in 11. I’ve only had two or three horses in my life run that fast.”

Gargan said a return to Saratoga Race Course – where Dakota Gold prepped for his 2022 debut on the Oklahoma Training Track – for the Cab Calloway division of the NYSS is likely next for the winner.  A victory there would give him three stakes victories in four starts at that level.

An $83,000 purchase by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale, Dakota Gold boosted his earnings to $467,5000 with Sunday’s victory. He earned back nearly his whole purchase price in the Spectacular Bid – taking home a $82,500 first-place check.

Dakota Gold was foaled at The New Hill Farm in Hoosick Falls and consigned by that operation when he sold at Saratoga. He is the second stakes winner of the month for his sire, who also saw I’m Listening winning the Smart N Classy Handicap June 5 at Monmouth Park. Freud’s son Freudian Sip also placed third in a stakes at Chippewa Downs in North Dakota Saturday.

Dakota Gold is one of two foals to run out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Dakota Kid, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Dakota Phone and stakes-placed Black Hills Goldie. Each of Dakota Gold’s first five dams are stakes producers with his third dam also winning four career stakes races.

Dakota Kid has a New York-bred juvenile colt by Redesdale named Ramblin’ Wreck, who was purchased by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing for $140,0000 from The New Hill Farm at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She foaled a New York-bred Mucho Macho Man colt in May 2021 and wasn’t bred in 2022.

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