It’s been a rather unique career for Reddam Racing’s 4-year-old colt Parsimony, who will jump to the Grade 1 level when making his first U.S. start of the season in Saturday’s Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, the Pennsylvania-bred son of Dominus made 16 starts a season ago -- 14 while still a maiden, which includes tries in the Rebel (G2), Blue Grass (G2) and a runner-up finish to Game Winner in the Los Alamitos Derby (G3).
It wasn’t until Oct. 5 at Santa Anita, following another stakes try in the grassy Del Mar Derby (G2), that Parsimony finally won a race going six furlongs on the main track. While he had just limited success in two subsequent starts in Southern California to close out the season, it was a successful winter spent in Dubai that has connections hopeful of a big 4-year-old season from Parsimony.
O’Neill has noted his horses seemed to thrive in Dubai, and Parsimony provided evidence of that when earning the biggest win of his career in the 1 ¼-mile Curlin Stakes at Meydan. It set him up for potential shot in the rich Dubai World Cup next, but those plans had to be scrapped when the card was canceled due to COVID-19.
The Curlin win was only the second in 22 starts for Parsimony, but with 10 other placings, the gray colt has managed to bank $305,974. O’Neill described the Parsimony as “one of those old-school types of horses. He is durable and tries every time.”
O'Neill believes a Grade 1 win for Parsimony such as the Hollywood Gold Cup is achievable.
“He’s danced every dance and doesn’t miss by much,” O’Neill said. “But I do think he has [a Grade 1] in him. You look at his form and he’s run with horses like Game Winner, Roadster. Omaha Beach is in the form lines. He’s a good-sized horse and I think he’s just finally coming into himself as far as maturity, both mentally and physically.”
In the Feb. 27 Curlin at Meydan, Parsimony was lapped on the pacesetter throughout and then ground away at that rival through the stretch before finally spurting clear late to win comfortably by about three lengths.
O’Neill said Parsimony hasn’t missed a beat in training since returning to his Santa Anita base from Dubai. The gray colt has worked nine times since back stateside, which includes three straight 3/4-mile drills leading into the race.
“My hope is that it just took him a while to fully come around,” O’Neil said. “He’s now run four straight very solid races. We’re looking to build on that starting Saturday.”
It won’t be an easy task. Parsimony will likely face in the Gold Cup three of the West’s top older dirt horses in Grade 1 winners Higher Power and Improbable and multiple graded stakes winner Midcourt.
Entries for the Hollywood Gold Cup and six other stakes set for Saturday at Santa Anita, which includes the Santa Anita Derby (G1), are set to be taken on Wednesday.
Parsimony is out of the Lil E. Tee mare Lil Cora Tee. He was a $400,000 auction purchase as a 2-year-old in training by agent Dennis O’Neill, who is Doug’s brother and a regular talent scout for Reddam Racing.
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