Dubai: Enticed, who Godolphin believe has the credentials to be a Breeders’ Cup contender, can justify that confidence with a good effort in Saturday’s Grade 1 $500,000 Champagne at Belmont Park, USA.
The race is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, which offers the winner a direct invitation to America racing’s grand finale on November 4.
A well-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro races out of former UAE champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s yard in New York, Enticed won his debut at six furlongs on September 4 at Saratoga Race Course where he finished his race well to win by 1 ¾-lengths.
Enticed was cross-entered in both the Champagne and the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Saturday, but McLaughlin decided to run him in the Breeders’ Cup qualifier instead.
Enticed drew post 13 in the Futurity and post 4 in a 12-horse Champagne field.
Explaining the logic behind the option to go to Belmonth Park, McLaughlin said: “We’re going to run here, we drew post 13 down there, which is very difficult.
“They are both tough spots, moving up from just breaking a maiden to a Grade 1, but we’ll find out where we stand. We think he’s a nice colt.
“Going one turn was favourable and drawing a decent post, we’re [excited] to see how good he is. He wants to go as far as they’ll ride him. He’s a great, big colt. We were surprised he won going six furlongs first time out. The distance won’t be an issue. The competition might be; it’s only his second start and we hope all goes well.”
Enticed will have the services of jockey Junior Alvarado.
McLaughlin will also saddle another Godolphi trainer, Lucullan in the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince for 3-year-olds.
After break his maiden at the third attempt, the Hard Spun colt has scored twice, with both victories coming on Belmont’s main track.
“He won impressively in an allowance race, so this is a big step up for him,” McLaughlin said. “He won here on this track and he’s a 3-year-old who is improving all the time.”
Lucullan drew post 5 in the nine-horse field and is 8-1 on the morning line. Kendrick Carmouche, aboard for four of his five career starts, will have the return call.