Agate Road WINS the Pilgrim Stakes
How can you bypass a horse named after a gem material? Not only that, but the lineage includes Yellow Agate, and a horse named Gemologist! Now you have to watch the race!
And before that race came the race below …
Quality Road’s Agate Road Defies All Logic In ‘Rising Star’ Turf Debut
Saturday, September 2, 2023
Updated: September 3, 2023 at 9:54 am
Agate Road (10) | Sarah Andrew
By Alan Carasso
Repole Stable and St Elias Stable’s Agate Road (c, 2, Quality Road–Yellow Agate, by Gemologist) was hammered into even-money favoritism for his turf and two-turn debuts on the strength of a near-miss runner-up effort in a rained-off maiden Aug. 5. At the end of 8 1/2 very eventful furlongs Saturday afternoon at the Spa, the $650,000 Keeneland September purchase was named a ‘TDN Rising Star’.
Drawn widest in a field of 10, Agate Road was behind the eight ball right from the opening bell, as he broke a good two paths to his outside, costing himself any shot at securing a forward position. To make matters a bit more complicated, he didn’t take the first turn particularly well and settled near the tail of the field as 11-1 Ocala Rocket (Hard Spun) led them along at a moderate early clip. Racing with just two behind as they hit the backstretch, but still patiently handled by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Agate Road found himself with about eight lengths to find banking around the final turn, but was forced to take the scenic route, conceding ground to add to his trouble line through the opening 6 1/2 furlongs. But, switched out widest into the lane and despite being bothered by a shifting-out rival nearing the furlong grounds, Agate Road steamed home down the center of the course to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a race he really had no business winning. He becomes the 15th ‘Rising Star’ for his sire.
Agate Road is the third winner from three foals to race out of Yellow Agate, a $70,000 Keeneland November weanling turned $210,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by China Horse Club who validated 13-10 favoritism in the GI Frizette S. in 2016. The mare is also responsible for Agate Road’s year-older full-sister Plentitude, a maiden winner at first asking over the Tampa main in April track before taking an allowance sprinting over the Belmont turf course in June. She was most recently fourth in the Blue Sparkler S. at Monmouth July 8