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Different Race, Same Result for First Dude

Dale Romans found himself telling the same story Sunday morning about First Dude, who ran virtually identical races in the Travers (third), Haskell (third), Belmont (third), Preakness (second) and Blue Grass (third).


First Dude, owned by Donald Dizney, battled for the lead, was passed in the lane by winner Afleet Express and runner-up Fly Down and held gamely for show. The colt has now run in six straight Grade 1 races and hit the board in five of them without winning.


Even the addition of half blinkers at the suggestion of jockey Ramon Dominguez couldn’t break First Dude’s role as bridesmaid to the top 3-year-olds.


“I’ve already said this six times this morning, it’s the same race over and over again,” Romans said. “They should have an Eclipse Award for most consistent horse.”

“At the quarter pole, he looks like he’s going to be sixth or seventh,” Romans added.


Romans said First Dude would head back to Kentucky and future plans would be picked out. The trainer said the colt would not be dropped in class but maybe another change of some kind is in order.


“Distance, maybe even a different surface,” he said. “He’s out of a Smart Strike mare, so maybe turf. We just have to discuss it. He will stay in top company.”



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