Ramblin’ Wreck wins Rick Violette via DQ

Thursday, August 17th, 2023

Ramblin’ Wreck (outside) comes up short at the finish in Rick Violette but gets put up with the disqualification of Let’s Go Big Blue. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Dean Reeves took one look at the stretch-run replay of Friday’s $125,000 Rick Violette Stakes from the television in the winner’s circle at Saratoga Race Course and let his take rip.

“We were going by,” Reeves said.

Ramblin’ Wreck, under Irad Ortiz Jr. in the white and dark green colors of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, did appear to be going by at the top of the stretch. The 3-year-old son of Redesdale circled the field around the far turn, set sail for the leader Let’s Go Big Blue in midstretch but came up a nose short at the wire.

Let’s Go Big Blue, running for Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, won the photo under Jose Lezcano but eventually lost in the stewards’ stand as the officials upstairs reversed the order of the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes. The latest controversial call, which came after Ortiz claimed foul against Lezcano, led to a hearty round of boos from the crowd throughout the track and especially near the winner’s circle.

Parcells, who endured the loss of his filly Maple Leaf Mel in the Grade 1 Test Stakes Aug. 5, made a quick exit from the winner’s circle along with George Weaver, who trains the son of Cairo Prince for the popular former coach of the New York Giants, disagreed with the call.

“I don’t see enough to take the horse down,” Weaver said. “The one-horse’s (Ramblin’ Wreck) momentum was never stopped.”

Reeves, who campaigns Ramblin’ Wreck with Peter and Patty Searles, and trainer Danny Gargan obviously disagreed.

“That’s what this is for,” Reeves said of the inquiry. “You can’t come over three lanes, bump a horse and he loses by a neck and say it wasn’t interference. That’s what it was.”

Ramblin’ Wreck, second last time out under Ortiz in the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Series after making a similar late run, won for the second time in three starts in 2023.

“It cost us the win,” Gargan said of the Violette. “When these colts and geldings get next to each other, they want to lay on each other. We lost half a stride and we didn’t even get beat a half-length. The stewards made the right call. That cost us the nose we lost by.”

Reeves celebrated the call with Ron Bowden, who bred Ramblin’ Wreck out of his Lemon Drop Kid mare Dakota Kid. Bowden also co-bred another stakes-winning Reeves colorbearer, $707,950-earner Dakota Gold, out of the same mare.

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing purchased both at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga auctions – Dakota Gold as a weanling for $83,000 at the 2019 fall mixed sale and Ramblin’ Wreck for $140,000 at the 2021 New York-bred yearling sale. The stakes-winning duo were also foaled at Lili Kobielski’s The New Hill Farm in Hoosick Falls and prepped and consigned for their sales by the same operation.

“She’s done a marvelous job. I’m so thankful,” Bowden said of Kobielski. “And thankful to Dean, too. He’s put a great program together. We’re both business guys and I’m impressed at what he’s done. … I said to him, ‘you’re carrying it, it’s all on your shoulders.’”

Reeves, who celebrated New York-bred stakes wins on consecutive days after Silver Skillet won Wednesday’s Suzie O’Cain, didn’t miss a beat.

“I’m only as good as what you give me,” Reeves said.

Dakota Kid is a half-sister to the 37-1 upset winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs, Dakota Phone. Bowden bred and raced Dakota Kid, a winner on the Southern California circuit in 2015 before heading to the breeding shed for the 2017 season.

Bowden said he sees similarities in Dakota Kid’s foals to her more accomplished sibling, who won six of 35 starts, earned $1,282,810 and made appearances in 19 graded stakes from 2008 to 2011.

“As Gary Stevens said after he rode the mare out in California, ‘she will go all day long, the longer the better,’” Bowden said. “He kept jumping off the horse and coming over to me telling me that. … Both Dakota Gold and Ramblin’ Wreck show that. Once you get them rolling they’re locomotives, not Ferraris. You can’t just step on the pedal. Like what happened last time (in the Cab Calloway). You can’t make it up in a hurry.

“Dakota Phone is a half-brother to Dakota Kid. … Go watch (the Dirt Mile). He dropped back to dead last and came running. Bottom line, they’ll finish the race for you.”

Ramblin’ Wreck earned $68,750 for the win, and improved to 3-for-8 with $339,460 in the bank.

He’s the third foal out of Dakota Kid, following the stakes-placed New York-bred Freud mare Dakota Dancer and recent Hudson Valley Stakes winner and Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes runner-up Dakota Gold. Bowden also bred Dakota Kid’s 2-year-old, the New York-bred Mucho Macho Man colt Dakota Country.

Dakota Kid, who is in foal to Triple Crown winner Justify, took a year off in 2021 and is the dam of a New York-bred weanling colt by Caravaggio that he might to sell later this year.

“He’s going to be in the Night of the Stars sale at Fasig-Tipton,” Bowden said, of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale Tuesday, Nov. 7 in Lexington.

Reeves, again, might have something to say about that.

“Maybe, maybe not,” he joked as he and Bowden headed to the Carmen Barrera Room for a champagne toast.

Willintoriskitall, fourth in the Cab Calloway, finished 5 1/2 lengths back of the first two and in third in the Rick Violette, with Cab Calloway winner Itsallcomintogetha fourth. King of Comedy and Vacation Dance completed the field.

Leave a Reply