Multiple stakes winner Gidu turned in a solid performance last out at Royal Ascot, finishing a close sixth in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) as a 40-1 chance. On Friday, the son of Frankel starts as the likely favorite in the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga.
Prior to his sojourn to England, Gidu had won three times and placed second twice. He rebounded from a narrow defeat in the Dania Beach (G3) in February to take the $75,000 Columbia at Tampa Bay Downs and the $98,000 Paradise Creek at Belmont Park while close to a strong pace both times.
At Ascot, Gidu led the division racing closer to the stands side rail, but weakened late. However, he was beaten only 2 1/4 lengths by Eqtidaar.
“I thought he ran well [at Royal Ascot],” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He’s won at a mile and it’s kind of that time of year where there’s not a ton of options for three-year-olds on the turf going six to seven furlongs, so we’re going to try to stretch him out to a mile and a sixteenth and see how he handles that.”
Pletcher also saddles the inconsistent Maraud, hero of the American Turf (G2) and Palm Beach (G3) this term but also unplaced in three other graded attempts
Chad Brown will be represented by Raging Bull, who suffered his first career defeat in three outings last time when second in the $100,000 Manila at Belmont.
“Raging Bull is doing really well, I’m excited to get him in there,” Brown said. “He’s a lightly raced horse but he has a ton of talent.”
Have At It was up the track versus Raging Bull in an allowance on June 8 in his first start since October, but rebounded to win over nine furlongs in a swift time of 1:46 1/5.
“He worked very well over softer turf the other day and I think the conditions will suit him even better,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “His last race was impressive. It was a strong work here and he galloped out strongly. With rain forecast, we’ll go from there.”
Combatant was a familiar face on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, placing in the Springboard Mile, Smarty Jones, Southwest (G3), and Rebel (G2). Fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1), he was well beaten in the Kentucky Derby itself and the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill. The son of the prolific Scat Daddy tries turf for the first time and is a half-brother to English Group 3 winner Long Lashes.
Gemonteer, winner of the $100,000 Not Surprising at Gulfstream last out, has done little wrong in his brief career. Ride a Comet, meanwhile, is three-for-three on the grass with a score in the Charlie Barley at Woodbine last out for Mark Casse.