Doug O’Neill’s enthusiasm, which was clearly evident as he watched
Richard’s Kid in a five-furlong workout on July 18, hadn’t diminished a
week later, Thursday morning, on the eve of the two-time TVG Pacific
Classic winner’s start in Friday’s Cougar II Handicap.
“He loves it here and he’s ready to roll,” O’Neill said. “He’s such a professional and we’re blessed to have him.”
Richard’s Kid came to the O’Neill barn after being purchased shortly
before the 2012 TVG Pacific Classic. He was third in the race when
saddled by assistant Leandro Mora while O’Neill was serving a
suspension. The 8-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, whose Classic
victories came in 2009 and 2010, has yet to win in 10 starts for
Richard’s Kid made two starts in Kentucky and one in Maryland in
April and May. His most recent effort was a third in the Pimlico Special
on May 17. The Cougar II will be his 46th career start. Of his $2,362,284 career earnings, $1,425,000 have come racing over Del Mar’s polytrack surface.
Richard’s Kid will be ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo, who
was aboard for the 5-furlong work in 1:00.40 on July 18. “They got along
real well and we’re excited about (the Cougar) and a chance to get him
back in the winner’s circle,” O’Neill said.