Amigo Volo captures 128th Kentucky Futurity
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Driver Dexter Dunn secured a pocket seat for Amigo Volo and, with several horses making breaks over the “good” surface, had open road to pop and power to a 1:51 victory in the $444,000 Kentucky Futurity on Sunday at The Red Mile.
Ready For Moni, the 2-1 second choice, made a break on his way to the gate and lagged from his second-tier starting spot while Amigo Volo pushed for position to the inside. Beads, launching from post 10, swept to the lead before a :27 opening quarter while Amigo Volo settled into second with EL Ideal third and 4-5 favorite Back Of The Neck fourth.
Back Of The Neck made his move after the leader passing a :54.2 half and drew closer to the pacesetter into the final turn. Moving towards three-quarters in 1:22.3 Back Of The Neck broke stride, giving Amigo Volo room to tip out of the pocket straightening for the finish. Beads began to gallop while EL Ideal chased Amigo Volo through the stretch, settling for second. Third Shift ripped from the backfield to take third while Chestnut Hill weaved through traffic for fourth.
“He was really good here last week—he was probably just a little bit short,” Dunn said after the race of the Father Patrick gelding’s second-place finish in the Bluegrass. “Nifty knew he was going to be better today and he was. Last year he used to shake his head bad and it cost him a couple of times. He didn’t have as good of form when he came back as a three-year-old—he was a bit average. We were probably looking after him a little too much—he just likes to race. You get off the gate hard, that’s when he gets excited and puts in good performances.
“I did attempt to go [for the lead]—I came out for a little bit when we hit the back straight, but Beads was a little aggressive and took off so I ducked back into the two-hole there,” Dunn also said regarding the trip. “Back Of The Neck came up outside of us around the last turn, and I was sort of 50-50 [on] whether I’d come out or stay in. And he ran, so that was probably a lucky trip in the last turn to get out, but the horse did a great job.”
Surpassing $1 million in earnings with the victory, Amigo Volo has won six races from 12 starts this season and 12 from 24 overall, banking $1,206,369 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains the gelding bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. He paid $10 to win.