Dare to Dream Stable's Embolden
put up a game fight to finish second to Jack and Noah in Saturday’s Atlantic Beach Stakes, a six-furlong contest for 2-year-olds on Aqueduct’s outer turf course. The Michael Stidham trainee was making his first start since running third in the Futurity (G3) in October at Belmont.
"Watching the race I thought he gave a good effort," Stidham told the NYRA Press Office. "He had to encounter some traffic coming for home getting off the rail. If he could have stayed closer it might have been a little closer, but we'll look to move forward with him off that performance."
Purchased for $95,000 in April at the Ocala Breeders' 2-year-olds in training sale, the son of The Factor began his career on the dirt, where he ran second in his debut at Monmouth Park in July. He then won back-to-back turf starts, including a 3 ¾-length win in the Jamestown at Colonial Downs on Sept. 7., prior to running third in the Futurity.
Exiting Saturday's race in good order, Stidham said a return to dirt may be next on the horizon for Embolden.
"We're looking to possibly bring him back on the dirt in a race like the Springboard Mile [Dec. 15] at Remington Park," said Stidham.
The $400,000 race also awards 2020 Kentucky Derby points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to its Top 4 finishers. Last year's winner, Long Range Toddy, went on to win a division of Oaklawn Park's Rebel Stakes (G2) and run on the first Saturday in May.
As far as Embolden, "He started his career on the dirt and is no stranger to the surface, so we think stretching him out on the dirt might benefit him as an option for us going forward," Stidham said.