Give a good horse the tactical advantage, and he will beat you every time, and Rydilluc is a very good horse. Taking full advantage of a picture-perfect ride by Edgar Prado, Rydilluc sprinted home down the Penn National stretch to score his fourth impressive turf win in as many tries. This time it was for the big time purse of $500,000 put together by Penn National. The large Penn Mile purse was built in hopes of creating a race with real star appeal. Mission accomplished, for there is not a bigger young turf star in the United States than Rydilluc.
Sent off as the 8-5 choice in the field of eight, the strapping bay son of Medaglia d’Oro gained an ideal stalking position behind the 100-1, Yougotthatgoinforu. As the huge long shot carved out moderate early fractions, Rydilluc and Prado were more than happy to track in second, while all his main competitors stayed farther behind early. As the field came careening off the far turn, Rydilluc had effortlessly wrestled the lead from the overmatched pacesetter. A pair of talented Todd Pletcher colts, Charming Kitten and Jack Milton, had kicked in their rallies to menace at the head of the stretch, but from there, it was simply a sprint to the wire, and no one was going to catch Rydilluc.
Turning a close race into a rather suspense-less affair, the Gary Contessa charge uncoiled his impressive large stride down the lane to surge to an insurmountable advantage at the sixteenth pole. Coasting to the wire, Rydilluc kept the two Pletcher colts at bay by an easier than the winning margin would suggest ¾ of a length victory. Final time for the flat mile in the inaugural edition of the Penn Mile was a sharp 1:33.99, meaning Rydilluc had decided things with a racehorse final quarter of :22 and change.
In winning for the fourth time in six lifetime starts, Rydilluc rebounded from a good but ultimately fourth place performance in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes. That result took him off the Kentucky Derby trail, and likely returned him to a career on his best surface. Before the Blue Grass, Rydilluc had dominated three consecutive grass races, including a big win over Charming Kitten in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes. His second stakes victory, earned today, came at the expense of the same foe, as that one edged his stablemate, Jack Milton for the place.
Back on turf, it would be hard to say just how good Rydilluc may become. In its first-ever running, the Penn Mile was not eligible to be graded, but the field it attracted was likely the best of any three-year-old race run on the grass so far this year, and Rydilluc handled it like a pro. With the division heating up this summer in places like Colonial Downs and Arlington Park, Rydilluc has moved to the head of the division, and looms the one to beat in several other lucrative turf races coming up. Whether or not he stretches out to longer distances is yet to be determined, but at this point, he certainly looks like a real candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Mile this fall. It would appear the future is wide open for Rydilluc.