half-brother to dual champion Ashado, held on by a nose to graduate first out
at Aqueduct on Saturday.
Photo: NYRA - Adam Coglianese
Purchased for $925,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Lauburu stumbled
slightly at the start, prompted the pace in second while racing outside of the
early leader, took the lead under a drive with a furlong to travel, and
out-nodded Break Up the Game at the wire.
Lauburu, the 9-5 favorite, was clocked at 1:24.50 for seven furlongs
under jockey John Velazquez.
“Lauburu’s a very physically imposing horse,” said
Jonathan Thomas, assistant to Todd Pletcher, who trains the 2-year-old son of
Unbridled’s Song on behalf of Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, James
Scatuorchio, and Derrick Smith. “He’s a horse we have high hopes
for, and he has impressed us in the morning. With any young horse you
don’t want them to get a lot of dirt in their face, and he was able to
get a nice stalking trip. Johnny was working on him, but he’s a big horse
and he’s maturing. He’s still growing a lot, in his head as well as
Pletcher also trained Ashado, who won the Grade 1 Spinaway as a juvenile
and earned the 2004 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly title after adding Grade 1
successes in the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, and
Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The following year she was named Champion Older
Filly after winning the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap, Grade 1 Go For Wand
Handicap, and Grade 1 Beldame.
Ashado – a full-sister to Sunriver, a Grade 1 winner on the turf
who was third in the 2006 Belmont Stakes, and Grade 3 victor Saint Stephen
– retired with a record of 12-4-3 from 21 starts and more than $3.93
million in earnings.