REDEEMED GENTLEMAN EARNS BIG UPSET IN $75,000 OLD NELSON STARTER HANDICAP SATURDAY AT COLONIAL DOWNS
Reality Horse Racing’s Redeemed Gentleman made a five-wide rally down the lane to nail favored Birdsnest Party in the final sixteenth of a mile Saturday Night at Colonial Downs to win the $75,000 Old Nelson Starter Handicap by one-half length. Ridden by Johan Rosado, the Anthony Aguirre-trained son of Redeemed covered the 1 3/16 miles over firm turf in 1:57.29.
Content to sit well behind the pace set by Birdsnest Party of :24.71, :49.25, 1:13.13, and 1:38.12, Rosado had Redeemed Gentleman still sitting in seventh position after three-quarters of a mile before tipping well wide on the far turn to launch his winning bid.
“I was just trying to let the speed go,” Rosado said. “Little by little I started asking him and he kept up pretty nice.”
Making his third start off a layoff, the Old Nelson was his third win in 19 starts. The $45,000 winner’s share boosted his bankroll to $108,474. Sent off at odds of 39-1, he rewarded his backers with payoffs of $81.80, $20.20 and $11.
The Old Nelson was the first stakes win for both Aguirre and owner Jerome Aiken. “All this is Jerome’s fault,” joked Aguirre. “This race was completely his idea and we had a lot setbacks getting to this point here. We knew he (Redeemed Gentlemen) would relish the distance. We don’t often have this kind of opportunity to run 1 3/16ths in Maryland, let alone on turf,” he added. “We knew the company would be tough and the obviously bettors thought so also at 35-1.”
Aquirre noted an injury to Redeemed Gentlemen earlier this year resulted in the layoff leading up to his recent starts. “He kicked the wall and broke a splint bone and needed surgery,” he said. “The he got infected and needed a surgery for the surgery, so he ended up having two surgeries. We missed half the turf season but this win more than made up for it. Before we made it back, Jerome was thinking about this race in his head and had it planned.”
Birdsnest Party, the 2-1 favorite paid $4 and $3.40. It was another half-length back to Master Plan, who returned $3.60.
Accountable, Heza Kitten, Family Tree, Hard Fought, Sea of Erin and Dothat Dance completed the order of finish.