Ride A Comet Stars in Tropical Turf
A little more than 28 months had passed since the last time Ride a Comet had appeared in a turf race and that absence surely made his heart grow fonder for a start on sod.
Owned by John Oxley and My Meadowview Farms and trained by Mark Casse, the victory, his fourth in a row, marked Ride a Comet’s first appearance on turf since a Sept. 2018 victory in the Del Mar Derby (G2T).
“This horse is special to us,” Casse said. “He’s climbed such a big mountain to get where he is.”
The journey to the winner’s circle after the Tropical Turf began after Ride a Comet’s 1 1/2-length victory in the Del Mar Derby. Two separate tendon injuries kept him on the sidelines for more than 25 months until he won an Oct. 16 allowance optional claiming race on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Woodbine.
That led to a Nov. 21 victory over Canada’s beloved Pink Lloyd in the Kennedy Road Stakes (G2), also on synthetic there, which convinced Casse to send Ride a Comet to Florida in search of the graded turf stakes laurels he earned Saturday.
“This was tough for him with the surface switch and he’s probably still not at his absolute best,” Casse said. “With any athlete, human or equine, when you don’t compete for that long, it takes a lot of conditioning to get back to 100%. I’m sure this will tighten him even more.”
Ride a Comet ($6.20) was a narrow 2-1 favorite in the Tropical Turf, which lost its morning-line favorite when Analyze It was scratched due to a quarter crack.
Fourth in the field of eight after a half-mile in :47.78, Ride a Comet and jockey Tyler Gaffalione moved with Casa Creed on the turn to take aim at the pacesetting Frostmourne. Casa Creed forged to a short lead at the eighth pole, but could not repel the late bid from Ride a Comet in the final strides of a race timed in 1:33.62 for the mile on firm ground.
“The kind of injury he had requires patience and time and I have to give a lot of credit to the owners,” Casse said about the son of the grade 1-winning Successful Appeal mare Appealing Zophie that was bred by My Meadowview. “They never questioned me. We got him ready to run, but it’s easier to do when you have an extremely talented horse.”
LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable’s Casa Creed, a 5-year-old Jimmy Creed horse trained by Bill Mott, was second by 2 1/2 lengths over Green Lantern Stables’ Frostmourne, a 7-year-old Speightstown gelding trained by Eddie Kenneally.
A half brother to 2017 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) winner Tapwrit , Ride a Comet he was a $375,000 purchase by his owner from the Flying Fish consignment at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales’ 2017 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training.
“My hopes are to keep him healthy and find a grade 1 win for him. He deserves to be a daddy,” Casse said. “He’s that good and he looks a lot like his daddy.”