Hernandez Seeks Winner’s Circle With New Roo, Carribean Caper At Ellis Park

Colby Hernandez already has blown past his win total of three at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., last summer, his first riding at the Pea Patch. With seven victories heading into Saturday’s racing, the younger brother of Ellis Park-meet leading rider Brian Hernandez is making significant headway as a mainstay on the circuit his second year riding in Kentucky after 14 years in his native Louisiana.

The younger Hernandez has two shots in Sunday’s five stakes to make a productive meet even better. He is the regular rider of 3-for-3 Carribean Caper, the tepid 9-5 favorite in the $100,000 Audubon Oaks over 2-1 Magic Quest. Both 3-year-old fillies come into the seven-furlong race off impressive allowance victories over the track. Brian Hernandez rides Magic Quest.

Hernandez also rides New Roo, who is 10-1 in the $125,000 RUNHAPPY Groupie Doll for fillies and mares at a mile. Hernandez rode New Roo for the first time last year at Ellis Park when she won an allowance race by 12 lengths, followed by a runner-up finish in the Groupie Doll won by Lady Kate, who also is back in the stakes.

Carribean Caper, trained by Al Stall, has won her three starts by a combined 17 lengths.

“She does it impressive every time,” Hernandez said. “I think every race she gets better and better. Hopefully, everything works out Sunday and we get a good trip and get the money.”

Though she made it look easy with a 4 1/2-length victory over older fillies and mares last time, Carribean Caper didn’t have the smoothest of trips until she drew off.

“She had an awkward break, and the outside horses kind of wiped us about a little bit,” Hernandez said. “I had to check her. But after that, I was able to get her in stride. Middle of the turn, all I did was lean forward on her and she gave me whatever she had. It was push-button from there.

“I think she’s a really, really nice horse. I don’t think we’ve opened her up yet all the way. Hopefully, she turns into a great mare.”

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New Roo faces a capacity field of 12 in the Groupie Doll. Trainer Tommy Drury, seeking a confidence-builder in her 5-year-old debut after ending 2020 with a couple of disappointing efforts, dropped New Roo in for the $62,500 claiming option in an allowance race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. She won and wasn’t claimed.

“She ran a good race that day,” Hernandez said. “I think at the end she got a little tired because she’d been off. But I think we’re in a good spot here. She ran second in the same race last year. Hopefully we can get the money this time. I think she likes this track big-time.

“I feel great about both horses.”

The post Hernandez Seeks Winner’s Circle With New Roo, Carribean Caper At Ellis Park appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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