Congruent’s Co-Owner On The Way To The Kentucky Derby
Tom Pedulla interviews main house owners, trainers and jockeys as he travels the Street to the 149th Kentucky Derby (G1) introduced by Woodford Reserve on Might 6. Churchill Downs.
This week’s installment options Luis Gavignano, co-owner of Lugamo Racing Steady appropriate With Tami Bobo. They purchased the grey tapit Colt for $350,000 within the March 2 Coaching Sale at Ocala Breeders’ Gross sales.
Congruent has gained three of 9 begins for South Florida-based coach Antonio Sano, ending a pair of thirds for $240,825 earnings in his junior profession. On March 4, he captured the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, putting himself on the Derby course. of Turfway Park Tapeta resurfaces to earn 20 elimination factors.
Congruent may safe a spot on the Derby beginning gate with a robust present on the $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on Turfway on Saturday. He seems as the primary competitor within the 1 1/8-mile race, which awards qualifying factors to top-five finishers on a 100-40-30-20-10 foundation. Sonny Leon takes the mount from Battaglia. The identify ought to sound acquainted, as Leon went via one of many best sorrows in racing historical past. Wealthy Strike shocked the world with 80.80-1 in final 12 months’s Derby.
Gavignano, 55, and his two sons, Luis Jr., 22, and Andres, 18, are concerned in a number of industries. The Venezuelan native mentioned his ardour for racing, Congruent, and the potential impression of Leon as a part of a question-and-answer session on America’s Finest Race.
PEDULLA: How lengthy have you ever been concerned in racing?
GAVIGNANO: I have been a horse racing fanatic since I used to be younger. I acquired it in 2018. My ardour and enthusiasm for racing is one thing I can share with my soon-to-be spouse, Claudia Diaz.
PEDULLA: What do you get from racing?
GAVIGNANO: I get pleasure from each facet of proudly owning horses and horse racing, seeing a horse being born, rising, creating and coaching, and appreciating its growth over time. It is thrilling to go to the racetrack and watch him race different horses. It is rather satisfying and rewarding to see a horse that you simply put a lot vitality and fervour into win a race. The adrenaline and pleasure can’t be beat.
PEDULLA: What satisfied you to affix Congruent?
GAVIGNANO: I’ve at all times been a Tapit fan. His offspring have been very profitable. Once we noticed him on the OBS sale and watched his exercise, we knew he was proficient and determined it was price shopping for.
PEDULLA: What went mistaken when Congruent completed eighth within the TAA-organized FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)? Keeneland?
GAVIGNANO: After I consider Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Congruent wasn’t prepared. He was not skilled and mature sufficient. I additionally assume it would not match nicely on the monitor. Juvenile has been one of many hardest races, particularly for a horse that wants extra time to develop and develop.
PEDULLA: Congruent went 16.50-1 once they gained Battaglia. Have been you as shocked because the others since you have been upset?
GAVIGNANO: No shock. Primarily based on his current coaching, we thought he had a superb shot on the artificial monitor and race distance.
PEDULLA: How do you consider Antonio Sano as a coach?
GAVIGNANO: Antonio Sano has been within the horse enterprise for a few years and has had a really profitable profession. He was a champion for years, even in Venezuela. After I began Lugamo Racing, I adopted him on social media for some time and noticed his successes. Then, after I met him in individual, I knew he can be nice for coaching a few of my horses. Sano has the capability to make everybody really feel like household. He’s very hospitable and pleasant. This capability mixed together with his huge data creates the proper coach recipe, in my view.
PEDULLA: What does Sonny Leon imply to Congruent?
GAVIGNANO: Once we determined that Congruent ought to go to Turfway, we knew Sonny Leon was the best jockey for Congruent. All of us knew what he was as much as when he gained the Kentucky Derby with Wealthy Strike final 12 months. Sonny is an skilled jockey and is aware of the course. Due to this fact, we determined it was the proper match and we have been proper.
PEDULLA: Since Congruent’s best victory was achieved on an all-weather floor, can it deal with the dust?
GAVIGNANO: I believe Congruent matches very nicely that manner. Wanting again, it gained a particular maiden weight on the dust. Laurel Futurity can be earned on moist soil. So I believe it could actually deal with totally different surfaces.
PEDULLA: Are you considering of successful Jeff Ruby?
GAVIGNANO: I really feel it’s going to give us an amazing race as we win Battaglia on the similar monitor. A little bit additional distance will assist efficiency. So we positively have a superb probability.
PEDULLA: What would it not imply in the event you may go to the derby and win?
GAVIGNANO: It is an honor for Congruent to even qualify and go to the Derby. I believe most individuals within the sport would agree with me that the Derby is a dream to be achieved. I can not even think about successful. Simply the thought is surreal.
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