by TERESA GENARO
On March 3, 2012, the day of the Gotham S. (G3) at Aqueduct, a four-year-old bay filly named It’s Tricky won the Top Flight H. (G2). Of her eight lifetime wins, five of them came at Aqueduct, three on the late inner dirt track, two on the main track.
Six years later on Gotham day, on a surface that didn’t exist when his dam was running, racing at Aqueduct for the first time, It’s Tricky’s son Enticed re-asserted himself as a Kentucky Derby (G1) horse with a 2 3/4-length win in the Gotham, earning 50 points, likely more than enough to earn a spot in the Derby starting gate.
Coming off a head-scratching fourth-place finish in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream, Enticed broke from the far outside post 9 under Junior Alvarado, who kept the dark bay colt out of traffic, racing wide throughout the mile distance of the Gotham. Longshot Old Time Revival (35-1) had set the pace and opened a multi-length lead coming into the stretch, but Alvarado had begun to ask Enticed coming into the far turn, and the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee responded immediately and enthusiastically, lengthening his stride while taking dead aim on the leader to run him down.
“I wanted to make sure I kept him clear on the outside,” said Alvarado. “I didn’t want him to get in trouble at all because he’s a horse that takes a while to get going. As soon as he started moving along again, he was much the best horse today.”
Old Time Revival held on for second, with favored Free Drop Billy in third. Firenze Fire completed the superfecta. They earned 20, 10, and 5 points respectively.
Enticed is the first foal from It’s Tricky, who died last year. She also has a two-year-old filly by Ghostzapper.
“She was a phenomenal race mare,” said Jimmy Bell, president of Godolphin USA, which owned It’s Tricky and owns Enticed. “He’s a homebred, and that’s important and special for Sheikh Mohammed.”
Enticed is by Medaglia d’Oro, who stands at Darley.
“We’ve got the sire and the dam,” said Bell. “This is what breeders dream about, replicating the sire or the dam. It’s very unfortunate about It’s Tricky, and Enticed will carry on the line for us.”
Beyond saying that Enticed “certainly enjoys New York,” Bell was non-committal about whether the colt would stay in New York to train or return to Florida, or whether he’d run in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct on April 8.
Prior to the Holy Bull, Enticed had two wins and a third in three lifetime starts, including a win in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs. He didn’t make his first start until September, winning on debut, and Bell acknowledged that the big colt was “still learning,” even as he expressed satisfaction about how well he rebounded on Saturday afternoon.
“That’s the Enticed we thought we had,” said Bell. “We came out of the Holy Bull with more questions than answers. He really needed to show us something today and he did, with flying colors.”
The Godolphin colors were flying in major races all over the world Saturday, from Kementari’s victory in the Randwick Guineas (G1) in Australia to the three wins at Meydan, where Blair House, Hawkbill (a half-brother to Free Drop Billy), and Jungle Cat captured their respective preps for Dubai World Cup night.