Hold Me Back 2nd in Bluegrass Stakes
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The connections of favored Hold Me Back were gracious in defeat following the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 11 and looking forward to running their colt next in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) in three weeks. The 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway finished second, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winning longshot, General Quarters, while carrying the colors of Bill Casner's and Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm, which bred the colt in partnership with Haras Santa Maria de Araras.

“I’m pleased with the way my horse ran,” said Hold Me Back’s trainer, Hall of Famer Bill Mott “He ran a good race for a horse coming back off of a tough race three weeks ago first out (in 2009). A lot of times, they’ll regress a little bit. Maybe this wasn’t his best race, and maybe it doesn’t need to be, so I think we’ve got to look at the upside. The good thing is that he ran a good, honest, hard race. He’ll have a little more pace down the road, which won’t hurt him at all.”

Hold Me Back ran near the back of the 11-horse Blue Grass field early and had to run on the outside much of the way in the 1 1/8-mile race. As he charged down the stretch, he cut into the winner’s lead but never really threatened. Hold Me Back, which scored in the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) in his 2009 debut March 21, is Derby bound, according to Mott as long as the colt is healthy following the Blue Grass.

“I think that’s what everybody’s thinking,” the trainer said. “The camp is anxious to go to Churchill Downs.”

Mott used to train horses for General Quarters’ owner and trainer, Tom McCarthy, who has only the Blue Grass winner in his stable.

“It’s wonderful,” said Mott of McCarthy’s Blue Grass victory. “He’s got a little farm outside of Louisville, and when I realized it was him that won the race at Tampa, the Sam F. Davis (gr. III, with General Quarters), I was ecstatic. He’s a great guy.”

Elliott Walden, WinStar’s vice president and racing manager, also was pleased with Hold Me Back’s effort and expressed excitement about McCarthy’s success, which was a little bit like David slaying Goliath because WinStar is a large Thoroughbred operation that plays a major role in the industry.

“I’m happy for the little guy,” Walden said. “If we couldn’t win, it’s great he did. It’s a great story, and that’s what racing needs. And WinStar needs it just as much as anybody because it’s not just all about the big guys (if the Thoroughbred industry is to succeed as a sport and a business).

Hold Me Back “ran well,” Walden said. “The pace was slow, so they (the other runners in the field) didn’t really spread out like they do when they go a little quicker, so when he made his move, he had to come around all those horses. I thought he finished good. That’s what I asked Kent (Desormeaux), ‘Did he finish all the way to the wire?’ and he said he did. It was an exciting race. We’re disappointed we didn’t win it, but I was very pleased with his (Hold Me Back’s) effort.“

Desormeaux, who has ridden Hold Me Back in three of his five career races, was excited about the colt’s prospects as a Triple Crown competitor.

“I wanted to make sure he got tired,” the jockey told Walden. “I wanted to use this effort to make him blow. I galloped out, but I couldn’t make him tired. He was too fit. He’s most likely to win the Belmont (gr. I), but you’re going to win the Derby.”

Said Walden: “I’m glad he’s enthused.”
 
WinStar News
Speightstown’s 2yo colt Bayerd now a two-time stakes winner
Speightstown

Speightstown’s 2yo colt Bayerd now a two-time stakes winner

Bayerd battled to a game victory in the $250,000 Springboard Mile S. to give the 2-year-old Speightstown colt his second stakes victory...

[read more]

Dominating MdSpWt victory for Super Saver filly
Super Saver

Dominating MdSpWt victory for Super Saver filly

Embellish the Lace appears a filly with a very bright future after the 2-year-old Super Saver filly rocketed to a 10 ¼-length maiden special weight...

[read more]

Tiznow filly earns G2 honors in Argentina
Tiznow

Tiznow filly earns G2 honors in Argentina

Carinosa (ARG) charged to a three-length victory in the Premio Clasico Marcos Levalle (G2) at Argentina’s Hippodromo de La Plata to become Tiznow’s 13th stakes winner of 2014.

[read more]

More Than Ready filly cashes in with Wait a While S. win
More Than Ready

More Than Ready filly cashes in with Wait a While S. win

Stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first time, Consumer Credit scored a decisive 3 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Wait a While S. Saturday at Gulfstream Park...

[read more]

Distorted Humor “Rising Star” crushes at Aqueduct
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor “Rising Star” crushes at Aqueduct

Mawthooq’s eye-opening, 10-plus length maiden special weight win Nov. 26 at Aqueduct made the “TDN Rising Star” tag seem like a foregone designation...

[read more]

Congrats’ Skywarn a “Star” at Churchill Downs
Congrats

Congrats’ Skywarn a “Star” at Churchill Downs

The well-bred 2-year-old filly Skywarn’s impressive maiden special weight victory Sunday at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Distorted Humor filly comes up big in Grade 2 Bessarabian S.
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor filly comes up big in Grade 2 Bessarabian S.

Distorted Humor’s talented 4-year-old filly Hillaby registered a decisive victory in Sunday's $232,000 Grade 2 Bessarabian S. at Woodbine...

[read more]

Super Saver’s first-crop winners now number a dozen
Super Saver

Super Saver’s first-crop winners now number a dozen

Back Flip scored a wire-to-wire maiden special weight victory Sunday at Gulfstream Park to give Super Saver his 12th winner from his first crop...

[read more]

Who's in Town is 17th SW of year for Speightstown
Speightstown

Who's in Town is 17th SW of year for Speightstown

Who’s in Town garnered the first stakes win of her career Saturday at Laurel Park, when she came out on top in a field of 14 3-year-old fillies...

[read more]

Strong MdSpWt victory for Super Saver colt at Churchill Downs
Super Saver

Strong MdSpWt victory for Super Saver colt at Churchill Downs

Bo Talon cleared off late against a solid group of 2-year-olds Saturday at Churchill Downs to give the Super Saver colt a victory in his second career start...

[read more]