Monday, May 20, 2024

$20 Million Saudi Cup Contender: ISOLATE

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A field of 14 has been entered for the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) on Saturday at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – the world’s richest horse race. is posting profiles of the starters.

Having run at such diverse venues as Hawthorne, Saratoga, the Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs through the first part of his career, it wasn’t until he was sold to RRR Racing and campaigned in Dubai beginning in 2023 that Isolate hit his best stride.

The Globetrotting Isolate makes his second start in 11 months in the Saudi Cup

Trained by Doug Watson, the then 5-year-old Isolate was 2-2-0 from four starts with earnings of $823,380, including a  5 ½-length victory in the Godolphin Mile (G2) in March, covering the distance in 1:35.7, then returning from a nine-month break to notch his second career graded stakes win, taking the Al Maktoum Mile (G2) in 1:37.21, his most recent outing before the Saudi Cup.

Isolate had his first look at King Abdulaziz Racecourse on Wednesday, eagerly galloping about 1 ¼ miles under exercise rider Oscar Chavez before returning to the quarantine area.

“He hasn’t done much for two days,” said Watson. “He had a right to be a little bit fresh.”

The son of Mark Valeski was a weanling when he was sold at Keeneland’s 2018 November Breeding Stock Sale to Dean and Patti Reeves, who paid $70,000 for the dark bay colt.

Described as “super balanced, leggy and racy looking” by Shannon Macholz of breeder Woodford Thoroughbreds, Isolate launched his career at age 2 for trainer Kathy Ritvo, who sent him out to win two of five starts before he was transferred to trainer Tom Amoss. The Florida-bred won four of seven for Amoss, including victories in the 2022 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga and the Work All Week at Hawthorne in addition to being nosed out for the win in the Louisville Thoroughbred Society.

He was then acquired by Sheikh Rashid bin Haumaid Al Nuaim’s RRR Racing and turned over to Watson in Dubai, finishing second in a pair of sprints before his stakes victories.

2024 Saudi Cup Contender Odds and Post Position: Isolate

Betting advice: Getting older, and getting better, but can’t see him having a legitimate shot at an upset.

Post position: 2

Odds: 20-1 (unofficial US Racing Team odds)

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Doug Watson

Owner: RRR Racing

Age: 6

Career record: 16 8-4-2

Career earnings: $1,150,395

Last race: Al Maktoum Mile (G2), Dec. 22, 1st

Top Equibase speed figure: 107

Pedigree: Mark Valeski-Tranquil Song, by Unbridled’s Song

Color: Bay

Running Style: On/close to pace

Notes: Isolate drew into the Saudi Cup after multiple Group 1 winner Luxembourg was re-routed to the $2 million Neom Turf Cup, with Joel Rosario picking up the mount … Isolate’s victory in the Tale of the Cat marked Tom Amoss’ 4,000th career win as a trainer … Isolate, with earnings of $1,150,595, is the leading progeny by far of Mark Valeski, a graded stakes winner who entered stud in 2015 … Mark Valeski was transferred from Kentucky, where he stood for $2,500,  to Arkansas in 2020, where he currently stands for $1,500 at Lake Hamilton Equine Center.


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