Trainer Gary Contessa issued an upbeat bulletin on Sunday following
Rydilluc’s seven-furlong turf breeze.
Working in company with stablemate Which Market, Rydilluc, a two-time stakes winner, traveled the distance in 1:27.60.
“Beautiful work. Seven furlongs, 1:27 and change, looked great
doing it,” said Contessa, who trains Rydilluc for a partnership headed
by Leonard Green. “I wanted him
to have some company, so I worked him with another nice turf horse
named Which Market, a horse that we just claimed recently. So it was
good for both of them, and the perfect work.”
In his three most recent starts, Rydilluc won the Grade 3 Palm
Beach Stakes in March at Gulfstream Park, was fourth in the Grade 1 Blue
Grass in April at Keeneland,
and captured the inaugural running of the of the Penn Mile Stakes on
June 1. Rydilluc will make his next start in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby
on July 13. How the colt performs in the 1 ¼-mile race will help
determine the rest of his summer campaign, the trainer
“The Virginia Derby is kind of the middle of a ‘Y’ and if he can
handle a mile and a quarter, maybe he heads to Arlington for the
Secretariat [Grade 1, 1 ¼ miles, August
17], but if the mile and quarter doesn’t turn out to be his forte, we
have two beautiful races at Saratoga, the Hall of Fame [Grade 2, 1 1/16
miles, August 9] and the Saranac [Grade 3, 1 1/8 miles, September 1],”
said Contessa. “So, I would say that we could
go in either direction, we don’t know, but the next step is going to be
Virginia, unless he stumbles or something happens.
“And since we’re kind of at a cross roads on whether he’s going
to be a true mile and a quarter horse or not, it’s good to have the
options,” the trainer continued.
“I love having the options. Having the Saratoga
option, the Hall of Fame Stakes, is wonderful. The Virginia Derby will
point him in the direction we need to go in. It’s the perfect next