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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Inherit The Gold Seeks More Big A Success

Inherit The Gold Wins 2011 Excelsior
Photo: NYRA
New York-bred Inherit the Gold will return to open company for the first time since May on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack when he lines up against four rivals in the $65,000, 1 3/16-mile Queens County.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Gold Token, Inherit the Gold exits a victory in the seven-furlong New York Stallion Series Thunder Rumble Division, which was his second start off a five-month layoff. He finished seventh in the 1 1/8-mile Empire Classic on New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park in October, his first outing off the layoff.

"We really asked him to do the impossible [in the Empire Classic]," said Jim Hooper, who co-bred Inherit the Gold and trains him for his wife, Susanne Hooper, and Glas-Tipp Stable. "He got tightened up in his last race and he came out of it fabulous. He's ready to go dance."

Inherit the Gold has previously fared well in open company over the inner track, easily taking an optional claimer in January and running off to a 6 ¼-length victory in the Grade 3 Excelsior in April. Inherit the Gold is 5-for-6 lifetime over the inner with seven of his eight career victories coming at the Big A.

"I think the distance will hit him right in the wheelhouse," said Hooper. "He really likes two turns on the Aqueduct inner track and he just seems to love Aqueduct. When we walked him over for his last race and he came up the little hill and saw the track you could just see his ears prick right up. He loves to run at Aqueduct and he enjoys training here at Belmont. He's a happy horse right now, and happy horses usually perform well."

Cornelio Velasquez will ride Inherit the Gold, tabbed as the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, from post position 3.

While Inherit the Gold looks to continue his dominance over the inner track, favored Ron the Greek will make his first start over the surface in Saturday's race. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott for Brous Stable, Wachtel Stable and breeder Jack Hammer, Ron the Greek exits a five-length victory over a muddy main track here in the Sunny and Mild overnight stakes on November 17. The 1 1/8-mile race was the 4-year-old Full Mandate colt's first victory since taking the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds in January 2010 when trained by Tom Amoss. In his first start for Mott, Ron the Greek was runner up to Convocation in an allowance optional claimer at Saratoga in late July.

Junior Alvarado, leading the inner track standings through the conclusion of racing on Wednesday with 12 victories, has the call aboard Ron the Greek. The 6-5 morning-line favorite will leave from the rail.

Trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. has entered two geldings in the Queens County, the uncoupled pair of Arson Squad and Ea, a supplementary nomination to the race.

At 8 years old, Arson Squad is the elder statesmen in the field and returns to the races after being sidelined since a fifth-place finish in the Three Coins Up overnight stakes at Belmont on May 19. A multiple graded stakes winner, Arson Squad finished third in two stakes starts at Aqueduct last winter and was third in the 2010 renewal of the Queens County.

Fonda Ronda Won, victorious HBPA Governor's Cup Handicap at Charles Town Races on October 14, completes the field.

The field for the $65,000 Queens County:








Ron the Greek (FL)

J Alvarado


W I Mott



Fonda Ronda Won (KY)

A Garcia


M Shuman



Inherit the Gold (NY)

C H Velasquez


J Hooper



Arson Squad (PA)

R Curatolo


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Ea (KY)

R A Dominguez


R E Dutrow, Jr.




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