Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stables, Inc.

Vino Rosso Victorious in Stymie Return

Vino Rosso turns back Title Ready to win the Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Vino Rosso shook off the cobwebs and turned back a game opponent March 9 to win the $150,000 Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Aug. 25 Runhappy Travers Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1).

After racing four wide in fourth under Hall of Famer John Velazquez early in the mile test, the 4-year-old son of Curlin  made a five-wide move around the turn for home and looked as though he might have to settle for second after he was challenged by the rallying Title Ready. But when Title Ready dug in and the two raced head-to-head down the stretch, 9-5 choice Vino Rosso gamely turned back his opponent and edged forward to hit the wire with a three-quarter-length advantage. The final time was 1:35.27 on a fast track. 

"It feels great to have him back," said Mike Repole, who co-owns the Todd Pletcher trainee with St. Elias Stable. "He had a pretty busy 3-year-old campaign. Todd said he's been training great down at Palm Beach Downs, and Johnny came up and they got the job done here today. 

"He really broke sharp out of the gate and spotted the field several lengths before he decided to work his spots. He came off the pace, came back on the pace, then came off the pace again. I thought this was his first race where he was sharp the whole time. When he finally got to the lead, he waited again, and the best thing that could have happened is that horse that hooked up with him (Title Ready) gave him a bump, and that got him focused and reminded him why he was here today, and he took off. I think they could have went around four times and nobody would have caught him."

Vino Rosso took over after longshot California Night showed the way through an opening quarter in :23.34 and a half in :45.93. He then reeled in Stan the Man, who briefly led as three-quarters went in 1:10.02.

"I thought it was a good race," said assistant trainer Byron Hughes. "He broke well, and Johnny got him in a good spot in the clear on the outside. He had enough to finish it out, and he looked good. I think it was a good starting point for him to get back into the races going a one-turn mile, and hopefully he comes out of it in good shape and we'll go from there."

Winner of the 2018 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) and now 3-for-3 at Aqueduct, where he also broke his maiden at first asking, Vino Rosso was bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther out of the Street Cry mare Mythical Bride and was a $410,000 purchase by Mike Repole and St. Elias from his breeder's Glennwood Farm consignment to the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His dam produced an Uncle Mo  colt in 2018 and was bred back to Curlin  for 2019. Her 2-year-old Pioneerof the Nile colt was a $575,000 purchase by Coolmore at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and was exported to Ireland.

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