In the days leading up to the 38th Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in California, usracing.com is publishing profiles on the horses in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday, Nov. 6). The profiles will be updated following the post-position draw on Monday, Nov. 1.
By Margaret Ransom
Though lightly raced, Calvin Nguyen’s Idol has earned some significant credibility, winning the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and placing in both the San Antonio Stakes (G2) and San Pasqual Stakes (G2) earlier in the year. After his Big ‘Cap victory, he spent seven months on the shelf for reasons his connections still haven’t figured out.
“After he won the Big ’Cap, he came out of a work a little funny,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “We did all the diagnostics, couldn’t find anything major wrong so we gave him 60 days off.”
In his return in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) last month, he was a well-beaten sixth and finished 16 length behind the winner, Medina Spirit. Not deterred by the performance, Baltas has charged forward with his plans for the colt to run in the Breeders’ Cup.
“Idol came out of the race really good,” Baltas said. “I think the pace (in the Awesome Again) was kind of slow, but he looks good, he’s been galloping at Santa Anita, and I’ll probably breeze him before we ship to Del Mar.
Four-year-old Idol was bred in Kentucky by My Meadowview LLC and was a $375,000 Keeneland yearling in 2018.
Post position: TBD
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Trainer: Richard Baltas
Owner: Calvin Nguyen
Career record: 7-3-2-1
Career earnings: $416,964
Top Equibase speed figure: 107
Pedigree: Curlin-Marion Ravenwood, by A.P. Indy
Running style: Closer
Betting advice: This horse, who is a stone-cold closer, will benefit from the anticipated quick early pace in the Classic. While we can all be fairly certain there will be a quick track, the pace in front of this horse for him to close into will only help his chances.
Notes: Owner Calvin Nguyen has had one Breeders’ Cup starter, Freedom Crest, who was 13th in the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic… Trainer Richard Baltas has saddled 15 Breeders’ Cup runners but has yet to have a winner… Jockey Joe Bravo has one Breeders’ Cup winner, Blue Prize in the 2019 Distaff, from 21 mounts overall.
|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|
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law in Kentucky known as the “Borell Law.”Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time.She lives in Robinson, Texas, with her longtime beau, Tony. She is the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue, The Bridge Sanctuary.