Instant Coffee Remains Piping Hot In Lecomte

Al Gold had a few things to look forward to Saturday at the Fair Grounds.

Earlier Saturday morning, his multiple Grade I winner Cyberknife (Gun Runner) turned in the final work of his career ahead of next Saturday’s GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S., while his Instant Coffee (Bolt d’Oro) was looking to further cement his status as a leading light for this year’s GI Kentucky Derby in the GIII Lecomte S. Cyberknife confirmed that he is on song for his career finale next weekend, and Instant Coffee followed suit with a convincing defeat of Two Phil’s (Hard Spun) in the day’s feature. Confidence Game (Candy Ride {Arg}) was a non-threatening third.

Drawn one from the outside in a field reduced to six by the scratches of Itzos (Bolt d’Oro) and Tapit‘s Conquest (Tapit), Instant Coffee was outrun through the early stages and caboosed the field into the first turn, as ‘TDN Rising Star’ Echo Again (Gun Runner) set a reasonable pace inside of Bromley (Mastery) and Confidence Game three out. Detached from the leading quintet down the backstretch, Instant Coffee was asked to improve at the 3 1/2-furlong pole and was poised to pounce after following the three-wide move of Two Phil’s into the stretch. Produced five off the fence by Luis Saez entering the final quarter-mile, Instant Coffee raced up to Two Phil’s at the eighth pole and pulled away late to score comfortably. The final time was fractionally faster than that recorded by older males in the GIII Louisiana S. one race prior, albeit with an entirely different race shape. Echo Again was eased in upper stretch, but was reported to be ‘fine’ according to a tweet from Winchell Racing Manager David Fiske.

“I really liked the way [Instant Coffee] picked them up at the three-eighths,” Cox said. “He’s a really sound horse with a good mind. Hopefully we can keep him happy and healthy. You have to be able to put them on a van, ship them around. That’s what good horses are going to have to do. You can’t have any excuses. This horse has been able to do that, but right now I’m pretty content with keeping him right here.”

A $200,000 Keeneland September yearling, Instant Coffee turned in a 14-1 surprise on seven-furlong debut at Saratoga Sept. 3 and held his own when making his first start around two turns in Keeneland’s GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Oct. 8, just missing third when seven lengths adrift of champion-elect ‘TDN Rising Star’ Forte (Violence). The 3-2 chalk in Churchill’s GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Nov. 26, the dark bay rallied from the latter third of the field and overcame a wide trip to take it by a little more than a length.

Pedigree Notes:

Sagamore Farm purchased Follow No One for $100,000 at the 2016 OBS April Sale and raced her to a pair of victories and a third-place effort in the Alma North S. at three. Offered at the 2018 Keeneland November Sale, Follow No One was bought back on a bid of $95,000 and visited this stallion as a maiden mare in early 2019.

Instant Coffee’s second dam was one of eight winners from the first crop of Empire Maker and became his first black-type winner when taking out the 2007 Anna M. Fischer Debutante S. at Ellis Park for KatieRich Stables and Christopher Connors. The dam of GSW Nootka Sound (Lonhro {Aus}), Miss Red Delicious is a half-sister to four-time Grade III winner and GI Kentucky Oaks third Lady Apple (Curlin); SW & GSP Dr. Diamonds Prize (Pure Prize); last year’s GIII Matron S. victress American Apple (American Pharoah); and to the dam of Korean MSW & GSP Raon the Fighter (Kor) (Bayern).

Follow No One is the dam of a 2-year-old filly by Frosted and is due to Maclean’s Music for her 2023 foal.

Saturday, Fair Grounds
LECOMTE S.-GIII, $194,000, Fair Grounds, 1-21, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.12, ft.
1–INSTANT COFFEE, 122, c, 3, by Bolt d’Oro
                1st Dam: Follow No One (SP), by Uncle Mo
                2nd Dam: Miss Red Delicious, by Empire Maker
                3rd Dam: Miss Mary Apples, by Clever Trick
($200,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP). O-Gold Square LLC; B-Sagamore
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Luis Saez. $120,000. Lifetime
Record: 4-3-0-0, $442,815. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Two Phil’s, 122, c, 3, Hard Spun–Mia Torri,
by General Quarters. ($150,000 RNA Ylg ’21 KEESEP).
O-Patricia’s Hope LLC & Phillip Sagan; B-Phillip Sagan (KY);
T-Larry Rivelli. $40,000.
3–Confidence Game, 122, c, 3, Candy Ride (Arg)–Eblouissante,
($25,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP). O-Don’t Tell My Wife Stables;
B-Summer Wind Equine LLC (KY); T-J. Keith Desormeaux.
Margins: 2HF, 5 1/4, 3. Odds: 1.30, 4.20, 6.10.
Also Ran: Denington, Bromley, Echo Again. Scratched: Itzos, Tapit‘s Conquest.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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