Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s Copper Bullet made a three-wide move from third to easily win the Saratoga Special (G2) at Saratoga on Aug. 13. The victory marked his first graded stakes score and his second win in four starts.
The 2-year-old son of More Than Ready was a $200,000 purchase by Winchell Thoroughbreds at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Lane’s End, agent. Bred by Dell Ridge Farm in Kentucky, Copper Bullet has a yearling half-brother by Verrazano consigned to this year’s yearling sale by James Herbener Jr., agent, as Hip 1921.
In the Saratoga Special, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. settled Copper Bullet in third, took him three wide off the turn, and the colt fired home to a four-length score. He was followed across the finish by Hollywood Star and Tempestad, also graduates of the 2016 September Sale.
“He ran a good race today, he really did,” trainer Steve Asmussen said about Copper Bullet, second in the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs in his last start. “It was an excellent draw for him. He was a little playful in the paddock … but once he got on the track, he was all business. He broke very sharply. (They went) :21 and three (-fifths) down the backside, so I was a little concerned with how fast they were going, but I think the racing experience that he's had showed up.”