Upon seeing the former Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint runner-up Richard’s Boy up for a claim for the first time in his career, the team of Clark Brewster and trainer Steve Asmussen went to work, reviewing the 7-year-old gelding’s recent races.
They saw a second in a Santa Anita Park stakes race to open his campaign, then two off-the-board finishes in Kentucky. The first, in Keeneland’s April 6 Shakertown (G3), followed a cross-country ship, and in the second, on May 12, Richard’s Boy caught yielding turf, “which past performance-wise he showed wasn’t to his liking,” Brewster said.
Connections of Rockingham Ranch and trainer Peter Miller entered Richard’s Boy once more a week later, on May 18, this time with a $40,000 tag.
“The horse looked great on the walkover and was calm and poised in the paddock,” Brewster said.
So Asmussen put in for the claim.
In the race itself, Richard’s Boy set the pace through a half mile in 44.18 seconds but stopped, finishing last seven after contact with a rival.
“He came out of the race sound in wind and body with the exception of the abrasion from being stepped on, or grabbed, causing the cut on the ankle,” Brewster said.
Richard’s Boy was sent to Kesmarc, a renowned equine physical rehabilitation center in Versailles, Ky., to recuperate.
“After a nice rest we will evaluate his future,” said Brewster who, along with serving as an owner and breeder, is an attorney by trade based in Tulsa, Okla. "You can rest assured and let all others interested in his wellbeing know he will receive the very best in care and consideration.”
The California-bred Richard’s Boy, a gray son of Idiot Proof, has now made 39 starts with nine of those wins. His last victory came on May 19, 2017, in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on Preakness Stakes day. But he has run competitively in a number of top races in the division since then, including when he was second by a head to former Rockingham Racnh/Miller stablemate Stormy Liberal in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.