Photo: Hollywood Park
Neil Drysdale, who has had more than
his share of turf stakes winners through the years, might have another good one
on his hands in Chilean bred Omayad, who makes his American debut Friday night.
The 4-year-old displayed
freakish-type ability in his homeland, prompting the trackman to comment “much
the best” in four of his graded stakes victories.
Overall, Omayad won his
first seven starts, in distances ranging from 5 furlongs to 1 1-4 miles, all on
turf. His streak came to an end with a close second in the Chilean Derby
in November and he was shipped stateside to Drysdale shortly thereafter.
“I saw him on a visit to South
America last year and I was impressed,” said Drysdale. “I watched the
replay of all his races and it’s evident he’s a talented individual. He’s
trained very well, but you have to factor in the variables of his first start
in this country and racing at night for the first time.”
Joel Rosario, who rode the
Drysdale-trained Bourbon Bay to a nose victory in the San Juan Capistano
closing day at Santa Anita, has the assignment.