Proxy runner-up in G2 Risen Star Stakes
Improving three-year-old Proxy continued his fine record at Fair Grounds, USA, with a closing second in the G2 Risen Star Stakes on Saturday, 13 February.
The Michael Stidham-trained colt was stepping up to nine furlongs following three excellent efforts over an extended mile at the course, most recently when going down by a length to Midnight Bourbon in the G3 Lecomte Stakes in January.
Proxy broke smartly under John Velazquez and soon raced in fourth on the inside rail behind Rightandjust, Midnight Bourbon and the third home from the Lecomte Stakes, Mandaloun.
The Godolphin homebred hit a brief flat spot turning for home but soon rallied and stayed on gamely after being switched wide entering the straight.
He galloped out strongly, collaring Midnight Bourbon for second in the final strides and going down by a length and a quarter to Mandaloun.
Michael Stidham said: “It was another huge run from Proxy and the same three from the Lecomte Stakes were right there on the wire again.
“Johnny Velazquez said that, going into the turn for home, Proxy dropped the bit and was off the bridle. He had to give the horse a couple of reminders to let him know that he had to go, as he had dropped back two or three lengths.
“Once Johnny got after him, Proxy started to pick them off. Johnny felt that the horse was still very green and feels like there is a lot of improvement still to come. We talked about trying a set of blinkers on him in the morning, just to see if it will give him better focus. It’s something that we tried with Mystic Guide last year, which certainly helped him.
“As long as he comes out of this happy and healthy, we will look at the G2 Louisiana Derby in five weeks’ time.”