Anneau d'Or has choice of two Kentucky Derby 2020 preps

By Jonathan Lintner
November 13, 2019 10:30am

A season after his Anothertwistafate came up just short of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby on points, trainer Blaine Wright said he’s happy to have 2-year-old Anneau d’Or off to an earlier start on the Triple Crown trail.

The longshot Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up, who battled Storm the Court to a head loss on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park, earned 8 points for that effort toward the bigger May 2, 2020, race at Churchill Downs.

Wright's looking to give Anneau d’Or, a son of Medaglia d’Oro campaigned by Peter Redekop, one more start before the end of the year.

“We’ll see if we can’t accumulate a few more points,” the trainer said. “He probably needs it for seasoning as well, and we’ll probably back off after that and try to have a fresh horse for the spring.”

Options include the Dec. Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) or Dec. 15 Springboard Mile at Remington Park. They pay out points to the Top 4 finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis. Wright expects to nominate to both, but will lean toward the shorter ship from his Golden Gate Fields base to downstate Los Al.

The Breeders’ Cup wasn’t originally in the plans for Anneau d’Or, a $480,000 purchase as a 2-year-old in training, Then he debuted Sept. 29 going a mile on Golden Gate’s turf, winning by eight lengths.

“We were like, ‘Whoa,’” Wright said.

Given the victory awarded $32,220 in purse money to the winner, there wasn’t much of a chance Anneau d’Or would make the body of an oversubscribed Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf field. Wright also cross-entered in the Juvenile.

After favored Dennis’ Moment stumbled leaving the gate, Anneau d’Or stalked the pace and nearly upset fellow longshot Storm the Court at 28-1 in his dirt debut.

“I’ve read the articles that we didn’t see the Derby winner from what came out of the Juvenile,” Wright said. “What I can tell you is, I have a very mentally sound horse, and I’m looking forward to seeing where he tops out.”

Beyond a final start this year, Wright envisions campaigning Anneau d’Or similarly to Anothertwistafate in the spring, with Golden Gate’s Feb. 15 El Camino Real Derby on the calendar. It’s at Redekop’s home track, and a victory is expected to award a fees-paid trip to the Preakness Stakes.

Anothertwistafate also ran second in the Sunland Derby (G3) and Keeneland’s Lexington Stakes (G3). At that point in the season, given Anneau d’Or’s performance there already, he said Santa Anita’s final preps will also go under consideration.

 

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