A TDN Rising Star when successful on debut back in April, Coal Front (3c Stay Thirsty x Miner’s Secret, by Mineshaft) confirmed the merit of that performance when taking out the $200,000 Grade II Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.
The Todd Pletcher trained colt was an impressive winner at Belmont last month following on from his debut score and was well fancied to keep his unbeaten record intact in this tougher assignment.
Ridden forward to lead from an inside gate by Johnny Velasquez, Coal Front kicked away turning for home and cruised to the line to win the six and a half furlong sprint by a length and a half.
“We weren’t committed to the lead–the thing we were focused on was letting him break and kind of find his rhythm,” Todd Pletcher said.
“We knew he was fast, but we didn’t want to be in a speed duel, but we didn’t want to take away what is coming easy to him, either. We kind of left it in Johnny’s hands. Johnny said he was very relaxed, really comfortable. A really talented horse.”
A $575,000 OBS April Sale purchase, Coal Front runs for Robert La Penta and Head of Plains Partners, who purchased a share in the colt privately after his last win. He has now won three races from three starts earning $216,000.
“It’s hard to win a race, much less the first three, and he beat a pretty strong group of older horses last time, and then to step up into a graded stakes, it just seems like he’s getting better and better,” Pletcher said indicating a Grade I assignment might lie ahead for the talented son of Stay Thirsty.
“We talked about the [GI] Allen Jerkens [Aug. 26], we’ll see how he comes out of it. He’s a horse with a strong pedigree and enough talent to stretch out, when the time is right.”
The third stakes-winner for Stay Thirsty and his first Graded winner, Coal Front is a half-brother to stakes-winner Conquest Titan from Miner’s Secret, a half-sister to Grade III winner Woodlander.
Stay Thirsty also featured with a new stakes winner at Canterbury Downs where Double Bee Sting (3f Stay Thirsty x Itsadouble G Thing, by Arch) took out the $85,000 Minnesota Oaks.
A homebred for Curtis Sampson trained by Tony Rengstorf, Double Bee Sting raced clear to win the 1m 70yd contest by six lengths.
It was her third win from eight starts and sent her prizemoney tally past the $100,000 mark.