Matt King Coal On Course for Derby Prep After Allowance Win Sunday

Matt King Coal 615 X 400 Lady Sheila Stable
Photo: Lady Sheila Stable
Making his sophomore debut after breaking his maiden in this third career start in an Belmont special weight, where he received a 96 Beyer Speed Figure, the Linda Rice-trained Matt King Coal returned off a four month layoff and promptly placed himself on a potential course on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Breaking alertly from post 5 under jockey Jose Ortiz, Lady Shelia Stable's son of Cool Coal Man went wire-to-wire in his return the races completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.92 to best an impressive field of five fellow 3-year-olds in an optional-claiming allowance on Sunday at Aqueduct.

"I thought he might be a little short today and that he really might need this race, so we're delighted to get the win," said Rice. "He broke his maiden on October 29 [at Belmont] and we had pointed towards the Jerome and he had gotten sick he had to take some time off and we were kind of struggling getting him back going again but it's absolutely a step in the right direction towards facing graded stakes level competition."

Opting to enter in Sunday's allowance race instead of Saturday's Grade 3 Gotham, Rice was pleased enough with the performance to keep sights of a start versus graded stakes level competition and the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 9 a strong possibility.

"We're going to take it race by race but it's absolutely a step in the right direction towards facing graded stakes level competition," she said. "Obviously, the race right here at home the Wood Memorial is a big consideration but there are a lot of races around the same time to choose from [but] the Wood Memorial would be the most probable."
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Aqueduct Racetrack will host a live-money handicapping tournament on Saturday, April 2, when guests will be able to experience the thrill of tournament play and compete for prize money, two seats to the National Handicapping Challenge, and one seat to the Breeders' Cup Handicapping Challenge.
Taking place in the Manhattan Terrace lounge at the Big A, the breakdown of the $500 entry fee is as follows: $200 goes to the prize pool and the remaining $300 comprises the entrant's bankroll for the day. Participants are eligible to place win, place, show, and exacta and trifecta wagers.
For the first time, signup for the tournament is available online at with a major credit card deposit.

Source: NYRA Communications


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