After First Graded Stakes Win As Owner, Egan Sees Big Things Ahead For Red Knight

Tom Egan of Trinity Farm said he was delighted to score his first graded stakes victory as an owner when watching Red Knight capture the Grade 3 Sycamore at Keeneland last month. On Saturday, Egan hopes to see his New York homebred double up in the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Smith going 1 3/8-miles over the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.

Conditioned by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Red Knight received a well-executed ride by jockey James Graham, sitting in eighth and weaving his way through traffic around the far turn to roll home a two-length winner over pacesetter and fellow Red Smith aspirant Postulation.

Affectionately known as “Red,” the 6-year-old Pure Prize chestnut is out of Isabel Away, a gray daughter of Skip Away purchased by Egan for $60,000 at the recommendation of his late wife Jaye at the 2003 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

“My wife saw the mare and said that we just had to have her, so she was really the genesis of all that,” Egan recalled. “I think the first thing she liked was the color, but upon closer examination, she really liked her an awful lot. When I saw her in the back walking ring before she went out to the sales ring, she was just very classy and composed. At that point I said, ‘Yeah, sounds good.’”

While Isabel Away was unplaced in both of her starts against graded stakes company and found the winner circle only once in 11 lifetime starts, her progeny have found success at a high level.

In addition to Red Knight, who has earned $732,158 from a career record of 21-8-6-1, Isabel Away has produced three-time stakes winner Macagone and Birchwood Road, a full-brother to Red Knight, who amassed over a quarter-million dollars in a 46-race career.

But Red Knight has proven to be the most superior of her offspring. In addition to his last out win in the Sycamore, Red Knight won the two-mile H. Allen Jerkens Memorial in December 2018 at Gulfstream Park and the Point of Entry last October at Belmont Park.

Additionally, Red Knight has placed three other times against graded stakes company, including a runner-up effort in last year’s Red Smith to Sadler’s Joy and a second to Arklow in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup under Luis Saez one start prior to his Sycamore triumph. Last April, he was second to Bigger Picture, winner of the 2016 Red Smith, in the Grade 2 Elkhorn at Keeneland.

“Red ran very well last April in the Elkhorn,” Egan said. “We put away Zulu Alpha but couldn’t quite hold off Bigger Picture. Almost every time he’s been beaten in a graded stakes race, it’s been by a Grade 1 winner. I liked the way Luis rode him at Kentucky Downs. He had him a little closer to the pace that day, but Red is versatile. He doesn’t need to be too far back. He’ll close ground readily. I think the field came up tougher this year than it did last year.”

Red Knight will be ridden by Jose Ortiz on Saturday from post 10.

“I’m glad that we got Jose aboard the horse. I think he’s a terrific person and a really good rider,” Egan said

Egan said he has high hopes heading into 2021 for Red Knight, listing the Grade 1 Man o’ War at Belmont Park and Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga Race Course as long-term targets.

While the Grade 1 Pegasus Turf Cup on January 26 at Gulfstream Park could be an option, Egan said the Grade 3 W.L. McKnight at the South Florida oval on the same day would be a more logical spot.

“Those are races we would be interested in,” Egan said. “The W.L McKnight is the same day. The Pegasus is a mile and three-sixteenths, which is a little short for him. It would be better for him to face tough horses going a longer distance.”

Egan described Red Knight as a high-energy, good-feeling horse and said that not a whole lot has changed in terms of temperament since he was a yearling.

“I don’t think he’s calmed down much,” Egan said.

The post After First Graded Stakes Win As Owner, Egan Sees Big Things Ahead For Red Knight appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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