Graydar, an impressive winner of the Grade I Donn H. Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park, affirmed himself as the nation’s top older horse with a 1 3/4-length score in Saturday’s $400,000 New Orleans H. (G2) at Fair Grounds.
The 4-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt is one of five stakes winners in 2013 by his sire, who has nearly $2 million in progeny earnings this year. Unbridled’s Song, who stands this year at Taylor Made for $60,000, also ranks in the top 5 among all North American sires in the categories of graded stakes winners and stakes wins.
Breaking from the far outside in a very good field of eight handicap horses, Graydar sat in third through opening splits of :23.70 and :47.68. Graydar hooked up Mark Valeski at the top of the stretch, battled with that one until he pulled clear in deep stretch. He crossed the wire of the nine-furlong event in 1:49.16.
Co-owners Steve Davidson and NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw of Louisiana-based Twin Creeks Racing Stable praised the gritty effort of their colt, trainedTodd Pletcher.
“We did expect a big effort out of him,” said Davidson.“It was kind of Plan B. We thought we would be on the lead but coming off of the pace and getting the wide trip. I was real proud the way he dug in there and battled against a really good field, we thought.”
“Well, Steve is the one that gets nervous,” added Bradshaw.“Walking through the tunnel, he says ‘I really get nervous with this thing.’ And I said, ‘You know what, it’s so much fun to see these animals run. It’s like that is the reward itself.’”
Lightly raced Graydar has now won four of five lifetime starts, earning $601,560.