May 31, 2023
Crupi Brings High Hopes to Famous Name Wood Memorial

Naming a horse after a departing buddy or colleague is frequent observe on the racetrack.

The hope, in fact, is to discover a high quality runner who will honor his namesake’s reminiscence as a ranked wager winner.

Coach Bob Baffert McKinzie Named after his late buddy Brad McKinzie and whose marketing campaign was run by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, it was a a number of diploma 1 winner and $3.4 million winner. McKulick Named in honor of Mary McKulick, the late accountant of coach Chad Brown, and a 1st diploma winner.

crupi Then again, he has not discovered his finest but. Named after the well-known and revered equestrian and shipper JJ Crupi, who handed away in 2019, the horse Crupi has launched into what can finest be described as a sluggish begin, each actually and figuratively.

After slowly getting out the door and creating an annoying behavior of recognizing 10- or more-long pitches early on, Crupi has didn’t win after six begins for Corridor of Fame coach Todd Pletcher, however has two seconds and three of three. He confirmed himself sufficient to proceed to grab alternatives. final month son folded rallied to complete seventh from 19 lengths within the Risen Star Stakes (G2), a serious Kentucky Derby prep.


“I believe Crupi broke via the door as slowly as Jimmy Crupi would,” proprietor Mike Repole joked.

But earlier than Repole and co-owner Vinnie Viola search for one other colt to bestow a few of Crupi’s title, the 3-year-old colt will get a number of extra cracks to do justice to his revered and beloved title, beginning with the $750,000 Wooden Memorial. Bets (G2) on April 8 Aqueduct Racetrack.

Repole Barn and Viola’s St. Elias Steady will ship two maidens (Crupi and dreamy ) might carry considered one of them to a spot on the Run for the Roses course in New York’s premier Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race. Repole believes the “virgin” label doesn’t precisely describe their horse’s possibilities within the 1 1/8 mile check, which can give the highest 5 rivals a 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying rating.

“I hope one or each of them step up and show they belong. I do not have a look at them as virgins,” mentioned Repole, who additionally owns the champion and Kentucky Derby favorite. power In a partnership with Viola. “Crupi misplaced a photograph to one of many Wooden favorites (third choose Slip Mahoney ), so if she wins bob, she’s not a virgin. Dreamlike 87 and 91 Beyer (Pace ​​Determine) ran and second alternative at 7-2 on the morning line.”

Dreamlike undoubtedly bought the 2 of them extra .

a son Gun Runner and bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds, bought on Gainesway consignment for $975,000 on the 2021 Keeneland Yearling Yearling Sale. debuted this winter Gulfstream Park and was runner-up twice. He raced a mile extensive for the primary time earlier than dropping by 1 1/2 lengths and successful a £87 Beyer Pace ​​Determine (91 Equibase Pace ​​Determine). Misplaced by three quarters of his peak Empirestrikesfast It recorded a good higher 91 Beyer (99 ESF) within the 1 1/16 check on March 11.

The power of those numbers is mirrored in Dreamlike’s tab as a second alternative in a area of 13 regardless of being a virgin.

“On his second begin, he seemed like he was going to move the opposite horse, however then he waited for him and the opposite one broke down once more. We placed on a flasher and it has a railing and I believe it may take its place.” have an enormous race and run,” Repole mentioned. “He’s the second choice and the favourite (Hit Present ) has publish 13. He had the Forte publish 11 (within the Florida Derby, within the G1) so I understand how exhausting this may be. (The Hit Present) must run a mile and three-sixteenths from that mail.”

Crupi is a extra pristine 12-1 on the morning line for Wooden, however has a buzz-creating title for his first begin.

Curlin colt debuted on August 6 as the popular piece of a Repole-Viola entry that got here out as a 9-5 favourite. Saratoga Raceway in an space of ​​gifted virgins. A lot of the steam was resulting from realizing the connections’ overflowing respect for JJ Crupi, the horse named after such a beloved determine probably had the potential for threat.

“Crupi purchased me my 2-year-old champion. Uncle Mo and it was actually particular. I launched him to Vinnie and Liam’s Map (winner of a Breeders’ Cup Dust Mile, G1) for him. He was an incredible man,” Repole mentioned.

Pletcher additionally had an extended and profitable relationship with Crupi.

“JJ was a legendary horseman,” Pletcher mentioned. “He was so gifted at recognizing expertise in younger horses and it was all the time enjoyable to be round,” mentioned the eight-time Eclipse Award winner.

The title got here up final 12 months when she checked out Repole’s unnamed 2-year-old longlist and noticed a curious son of Curlin’s, bred by Claiborne Farm and bought for $275,000 from the Keeneland Sale.

“One of many final horses JJ purchased for us was a Curlin colt named after him. Vino Rosso and (Crupi) handed away shortly earlier than Vino Rosso gained the primary class 1 for us (2019 Gold Cup on the Santa Anita Stakes). He later gained the Breeders’ Cup Traditional (G1).” smarter. His title is keep in mind me. If you recognize Jimmy Crupi, he was one of many greatest personalities within the recreation. One of many nice storytellers. Nobody will neglect him.”

Sadly, Crupi’s debut was memorable for the flawed causes. In seven lengthy assessments, he slammed into the facet of the door on the timeout and completed final in his 9 area. He was 10 lengths behind after the opening quarter mile, and 14 lengths after half a mile. He slammed down in the course of the observe and missed the second by a nostril whereas lagging behind by 6 1/4. Deactivate He completed second within the Louisiana Derby (G2) final month.

This livid rally made him an 8-5 choose in seven lengthy races, once more within the first race at Spa on September 3. Then he wobbled at first, dropped again slightly greater than seven lengths and was third behind 5 3/4 lengths.

“It retains seeing 10 measurement horses from the beginning gate,” Repole mentioned.

The third and second closed the 2022 marketing campaign earlier than the 3-year-old debut in Large A on January 21 was revealed to be his finest try and date. Dodged for the primary time by Kenrick Carmouche, he noticed the sector take the standard double-digit benefit within the first race with a single flip. However Carmouche managed to get him into gear on the again brace and rapidly outstripped his opponents. He was on the quarterpost subsequent to the chief, Slip Mahoney, wanting able to motor over. However his rival, who got here out of that race to complete second within the Gotham Stakes (G3), dug in and did not let Crupi win by a head.

On the February 18 Risen Star, at Wooden’s distance of 1 1/8 miles, Crupi was in his normal type, trailing 19 lengths after six furlongs and ending seventh, 9 1/2 lengths behind. imperial angel .

With Carmouche again within the saddle, and after a pointy 49 2/5 breeze at Palm Meadows on April 1, Repole hopes followers can see a repeat of Crupi’s robust effort in his newest Large A begin.

“He is a Curlin,” Repole mentioned of his half-brother. Royal Spirit It was positioned for the barn, which is the third class. “He is getting higher with each begin and that is why we determined to race him in larger races. With Kendrick, I hope he can get him slightly bit extra concerned early on. I do not suppose we will be forward however possibly he’s.” 25 out of 10 sizes aren’t behind. Final week was in all probability his finest work ever, so we’ll see.”

Wooden has a particular that means for each Repole and Pletcher. New York-based coach who may even ship Traditional Seize has gained the halftime’s coveted Derby prep report seven instances and is searching for a 3rd win in a row. Consists of 2021 version with Pletcher posted bourbon To beat Repole Dynamic One by a head.

“I did not converse to Todd for 4 weeks after that,” Repole joked.

Repole, who grew up close to Aqueduct in Queens and could have round 30 household pals with him on Saturday, has already had two Wooden wins with Vino Rosso in 2018 and working exhausting It is in 2016 and she or he sees Saturday as a possibility to report her third in storybook vogue. Mo Donegal He gained final 12 months’s Wooden for Donegal Racing, after which Repole would purchase the Derby fifth-finish colt earlier than taking over the Belmont Stakes (G1).

“The jungle has all the time been particular to me. I keep in mind Bellamy Street gained by a mile (in 2005) and I went there as a child to see many different nice horses. For me that is the Aqueduct’s greatest race, even when it is not. class,” Repole mentioned. “My first expertise as a proprietor was a nightmare with Uncle Mo (in 2011) ending third, 1-10, however now, if a horse named Crupi can break his virginity in a $750,000 race like Wooden and land in Kentucky.” May Derby get any higher than this?”

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