Bravazo's back in training, with Lukas 'thinking big' race targets

September 22, 2019 09:32am
Bravazo's back in training, with Lukas 'thinking big' race targets
Photo: Bee Buck Photography

Away from the races since the Pegasus World Cup (G1), the popular 4-year-old colt Bravazo is back under tack at Churchill Downs.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas told Horse Racing Nation photographer Bee Buck that the son of Awesome Again underwent successful left knee surgery last spring and “had plenty of time to recover” before resuming galloping this weekend.

“We hope to get him back as good as we had him or even better,” said Lukas, who envisions some big targets for a Calumet Farm homebred known to show up in all the major spots — and often cash a check in the process.

“We’ll look at the Cigar Mile, the Pegasus, the Dubai race, the Saudi race,” Lukas said. “We’re thinking big ideas. If he were to come back in top form, I think he would merit consideration in those races.”

Bravazo was targeting the Dubai World Cup (G1) when forced to the sidelines in March. That “Saudi race” is the new $20 million Saudi Cup that adds to lucrative races for older horses beginning next year.

Gulfstream Park has scheduled the $9 million Pegasus for Jan. 25, with the Saudi Cup on Feb. 29 and $12 million Dubai World Cup on March 28.

“The one thing I like about it is that he has had a lot of time off, so if he does come back, he’ll be fresh,” Lukas said of Bravazo. “He’ll be a fresh horse in the handicap division, and that may help us.”

Bravazo, multiple Grade 1-placed, won the Risen Star (G2) before competing in all three legs of the 2018 Triple Crown series, emerging from the Pimlico fog just short of upsetting Justify in the Preakness Stakes. He was later a neck away from becoming a Grade 1 winner of Churchill Downs’ Clark Handicap (G1) when facing older horses last November.

Running in the slop, Bravazo finished fourth in the Pegasus, moving his career record to 3-4-3 in 17 starts with earnings of more than $2 million.

 

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