When trainer Amy Tarrant saddles her pair of runners in
Saturday’s $100,000 Restoration Stakes, she knows she’s going in with a proven
winner and a horse that has something to prove.
Leading the charge of the “provens” is The Cognac Kid, who left handicappers
scratching their heads after paying $208.20 to win in breaking his maiden on
May 31 here, his first start on turf. He hasn’t left the turf course since,
finishing third in an entry level allowance on July 3 and then sixth in the
Jersey Derby on Aug. 1.
“He lost all chance at the start that day,” said Tarrant, referring to the
Jersey Derby. “He got hit from both sides coming out of the gate. He’s come
back from that in fine shape and he’s feeling real good. I think he’s going to
run a big race.”
The Restoration, at a mile and an eighth on turf, is restricted to 3-year-olds.
The Cognac Kid, a $155,000 2-year-old purchase last March, is by Hennessy from
the Allen’s Alydar mare Irish Daisy.
Looking to make a name for himself is the Tarrant-trained Key to the Empire,
who will be looking to break his maiden in the Restoration.
“I know it’s a tough race, but he doing great,” Tarrant said. “He’s got the
talent, the ability and the mile and an eighth should be perfect for him. We’re
taking a shot here, but I think he deserves it.”
Key to the Empire was purchased for $100,000 from the same sale as The Cognac
Kid. With eight career starts, Key to the Empire sports a place and two shows.
The colt by Empire Maker will be making his third start of the meet and fourth
on turf lifetime.
A field of nine have entered in the Restoration Stakes, which goes as race 10
on the 12-race Saturday program.