Kentucky Derby hope Enticed won the G3 Gotham Stakes over a mile on dirt in good style at Aqueduct, USA, on March 10, to enhance his Classic credentials.
The three-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro out of Godolphin’s brilliant racemare It’s Tricky, who earned 50 Kentucky Derby points for the win, bounced back to form after a below-par performance in the G2 Holy Bull at an extended mile on dirt at Gulfstream Park on February 3.
Partnered again by Junior Alvarado, who was his rider in three starts last year which resulted in two victories and a G1 third, Enticed broke well from the outside nine stall and raced wide throughout.
Held up in sixth as Old Time Revival first disputed the lead and then went on, Enticed progressed from fifth to second on the turn and ran on well to catch the front-runner inside the final furlong and then draw clear.
He won eased down by two and three quarter lengths in 1m 38.24s, with the favoured Three Drop Billy another four lengths back in third.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin commented: “I am very pleased with Enticed’s performance.
“The race worked out beautifully, particularly in regards of post position and trip.
“He did not like the number one draw in the Holy Bull and this time always had a clear trip.
“It is particularly nice that he is out of It’s Tricky, one of the best performers Godolphin has had, and very exciting that he is so talented.
“I will speak to Godolphin’s Jimmy Bell about plans which could include the Wood Memorial (G2, nine furlongs dirt, April 7) back at Aqueduct in four weeks and if all goes well the Kentucky Derby (G1, 10f dirt, Churchill Downs, May 5).
Junior Alvarado added: “I did not want to get Enticed in trouble at all because he’s a horse that takes a while to get going,
“As soon as we turned for home, I knew it was just a matter of time when he switched leads for him to give me that next gear. When he started moving along again, he was much the best horse today.”