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NEW YORK'S SARATOGA SPRINGS -
The 2021 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf's fifth- and ninth-place finishers, Dakota Gold and Coinage, will face off in battle against statebreds in Thursday's $125,000 Rick Violette Stakes at Saratoga.


After being carded for 2-year-olds for its first three renewals, the Rick Violette, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, is now being presented for 3-year-old New York-bred horses for the first time.


Dakota Gold was given a lengthy break by his trainer Danny Gargan after finishing 2 1/4 lengths behind Modern Games after a long delay at the start in the Breeders Cup.


When the Freud son eventually began his 3-year-old campaign on June 19 at Belmont Park, he battled hard to win the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes.

Gargan, who trains Dakota Gold for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, stated, "We gave him a lot of time off after the Breeders' Cup with our goal to have him ready for that last race at Belmont."


"He performed admirably that day, and he has trained superbly ever since. Hopefully, he does similarly over here on Thursday.
When everything happened prior to the start of the Breeders' Cup, he became a bit flustered in the gate, and I briefly wondered that he may be scratched.
I believed he could have been third without that and with a slightly cleaner trip, and I was really happy and proud of his performance on that particular day.

Dakota Gold will remain with New York-bred horses through the end of this meet before being reintroduced to graded stakes competition later on in the year, according to Gargan.

Coinage competes in statebred competition for the first time since placing third as a 2-year-old in the six-furlong, dirt-track Rick Violette Stakes in 2021.
Shortly after, when making his turf debut here last September, he defeated the Grade 3 With Anticipation in convincing way, finding his real calling.
Coinage has started five times at three and forced the pace down the stretch before finishing nearly four lengths behind Dakota Gold in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
He finished third in two Grade 3 races while winning the Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March.


Timbuktu and Practice Squad are expected to gain betting support.
Practice Squad has hit the board in his last four starts, with the two most recent outings coming against open $50,000 starter-allowance opposition. Timbuktu had a career-high 78 Beyer Speed Figure last month at Belmont but was defeated by a head going 1 1/8 miles for the first time in an entry-level allowance race for New York-breds.
This performance suggests that he will likely continue to develop before making his stakes debut on Thursday.


The outsiders in the lineup are Stop the Spread, Sundaes with Sandy, and Seaver, while Compromiser has only been entered for the main track.
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