© A Coglianese
Imperia missed by just a neck when second behind Face the Music (Stormy Atlantic) in his 1 1/16-mile debut over the Saratoga lawn Aug. 23. Adding Lasix for this second start, the dark bay colt was unhurried out of the gate and let the pacesetters go as he settled into midpack along the hedge. Longshot Vision Perfect (Pollard’s Vision) set the pace through fractions of :25.06 and :48.98. Imperia was angled out to the center of the course at the top of the lane and inhaled the pacesetter in the final 50 yards to break his maiden going away. Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin admitted it had been a while since he had saddled a maiden for a graded stakes. “We’ve only [run a maiden in a graded stakes] one other time that I can remember in the last 10 years, and it was Soldat.” Soldat broke his maiden in his third start in the 2010 GIII With Anticipation S. before running second in that year’s GIII Pilgrim S. and GII Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He returned the following year to win the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. “You have to get graded earnings to get into the Breeders' Cup,” McLaughlin explained. “We really liked him and thought, 'Why run him back in a maiden race? We can always break our maiden. Let’s run in a stakes.’ He had bled a little in his first start, so we signed him up for Lasix.” Javier Castellano, substituting for the injured Rajiv Maragh, added, “I got lucky today with the way everything unfolded. I didn't have a horse in the race, and Kiaran asked me to ride him this morning. I had a beautiful trip. He broke well, much better than last time. He put me in good position early, and I got to save all the ground. I had the best horse in the race, I just had to go around the horses and he took off; I like the way he did it at the top of the stretch. For a young horse, he has a very mature mind.”
Imperia is a son of Godolphin’s multiple Grade I winner Cocoa Beach (Chi) (Doneraile Court), who captured the 2008 GI Beldame S. and GI Matriarch S. and was second behind Zenyatta in that year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. The 10-year-old mare produced fillies by Street Cry (Ire) in 2013 and 2014. She was bred to Medaglia d’Oro this spring.
Sunday, Belmont Park
, $200,000, BEL, 9-28, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:41 1/5, fm.
1--#@IMPERIA, 116, c, 2, by Medaglia d'Oro
1st Dam: Cocoa Beach (Chi) (Horse of the Year & Ch. 2yo Filly-Chi, MGISW-US, MGSW-Chi, MSW &
GSP-UAE, $1,714,934), by Doneraile Court
2nd Dam: Visionera (Chi), by Edgy Diplomat
3rd Dam: Spray (Chi), by Roy
O-Godolphin Racing LLC; B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran P
McLaughlin; J-Javier Castellano. $120,000. Lifetime
Record: 2-1-1-0, $139,600. Werk Nick Rating: A.