By Richard Rosenblatt
Back on July 2, Stilleto Boy pulled off an upset in the Iowa Derby as the longest shot on the board at 16-1. Ten days later, Steve Moger shelled out $420,000 for the 3-year-old gelding at the Fasig-Tipton selected horses of racing age sale.
Moger’s brother, Ed, became the new trainer, brought the horse to California from the Midwest under a Del Mar incentive plan, and now they’ll have a chance to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Albeit, Stilleto Boy is the longest shot in the nine-horse field at 30-1. But after three races under Moger’s care, a fifth in the La Jolla Handicap (G3) and a third in the Shared Belief (both at Del Mar), and a second in the Awesome Again (G1) behind Medina Spirit, Moger figured why not take a shot.
“I was really happy with his race,’’ Ed Moger, Jr. said of the Awesome Again, where he finished five lengths behind Medina Spirit but ahead of Classic entry Tripoli. “It was a super-tough field.”
Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux was aboard the three California races and will ride him again in the Classic.
Stilleto Boy broke his maiden in his fifth race, winning at Oaklawn Park on April 17. His only other win in 10 career starts was the Iowa Derby.
Post position: 7
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
Trainer: Ed Moger, Jr.
Owner: Steve Moger
Career record: 10-2-3-3
Career earnings: $324,675
Top Equibase speed figure: 106
Pedigree: Shackleford-Rosie’s Ransom, by Marquetry
Running style: Front-runner/stalker
Betting advice: He’s got plenty of racing experience for a 3-year-old, but it’s hard to picture Stilleto Boy figuring in the outcome. He’s 30-1 for a reason, the longest shot in the Classic, and up against at least a half-dozen of the nation’s top horses.
Notes: Under former connections, Stilleto Boy compiled two wins from seven starts at Prairie Meadows and Oaklawn Park … Sire Shackleford won the 2011 Preakness (G1) … Desormeaux has won six Breeders’ Cup races with 96 mounts, the most recent win Roy H in the 2017.
|1||Tripoli||15-1||Irad Ortiz,Jr||John Sadler|
|2||Express Train||20-1||Victor Espinoza||John Shirreffs|
|3||Hot Rod Charlie||4-1||Flavien Prat||Doug O’Neill|
|4||Essential Quality||3-1||Luis Saez||Brad Cox|
|5||Knicks Go||5-2||Joel Rosario||Brad Cox|
|6||Art Collector||8-1||Mike Smith||William Mott|
|7||Stiletto Boy||30-1||Kent Desormeaux||Ed Moger,Jr.|
|8||Medina Spirit||4-1||John Velazquez||Bob Baffert|
|9||Max Player||8-1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||Steven Asmussen|
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.