Purple Egg made quite a name for himself at Monmouth Park
during the 2012 meet and now the undefeated 2-year-old is going to be tested in
the graded stakes ranks.
“He’s going to run in the Nashua next,” said leading trainer
Jane Cibelli, while looking at him tucked safely in his stall after he had
breezed four furlongs in a fleet :48.20 on a muddy Monmouth track. “He worked
really well and he continues to be doing very well. Everything is right on
schedule with him.”
Cibelli, who became the first woman to win leading trainer
honors at Monmouth in 2011 and had the title virtually wrapped up again with
two days of racing remaining in the 2012 meet, had considered two graded stakes
for Purple Egg’s next start. She and the ownership group of Goodwood Racing LLC
had in mind the Grade 3 Iroquois, to be run at one mile at Churchill Downs on
October 28, or the Grade 2 Nashua, also to be run at a flat mile, at Belmont Park on November 4.
“All of the big boys will have run the day before (in the Grade
1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita),” said Cibelli. “This is
the right spot for him.”
Purple Egg’s tale is well documented, as he became an
internet and social media sensation after two failed first starts at Monmouth.
Twice he was led to the gate, and twice he behaved so terribly that he had to
scratched, and ultimately, gelded. Once Cibelli got him to the races, he has
lived up to lofty expectations. He won by 4 ¾ lengths at first asking at
Monmouth in August and then last month aced his second test by 6 ¾ lengths at
Parx Racing without even being asked.
Meanwhile, as Cibelli continues to prepare Purple Egg for his
next start, her phone keeps ringing with offers from far and wide to buy the
dark bay son of Lion Heart out of the Prized mare Luminous Prize.
“He’s still here,” she said with a coy smile as she gave
Purple Egg an affectionate rub on his neck. “He’s the big man.”