BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Arindel homebred Reaper produced a courageous effort Saturday night at Prairie Meadows when the 2-year-old Florida-bred battled back for a neck victory ahead of Dialed in to Win in the $105,550 Prairie Gold Juvenile. The Prairie Gold Juvenile featured a field of six 2-year-olds who went five-and-a-half furlongs and gave Reaper his first career stakes victory.
Breaking from post three with jockey Cristian Torres, Reaper had to fight through a four-horse battle for the lead down the backstretch with local maiden special weight-winners Dialed in to Win, U Can Do U and Surprise Road Trip while finishing the first quarter mile in :22.36. Surprise Road Trip could not keep up heading into turn and U Can Do U surrendered before they hit the top of the stretch leaving Reaper and Dialed in to Win to fight it out down the stretch.
Dialed in to Win stuck a neck in front with a furlong to the finish before Reaper found more on the inside, passing his rival in the final 50 yards and win in 1:05.71 on the fast track. Dialed in to Win finished two-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of a late-running Sincerely Mine in third with Mc Cougar fourth. U Can Do U finished fifth with Surprise Road Trip last.
As the 3-5 favorite, Reaper paid $3.40 to win.
Brian Cohen – Cynthia Graham Photo
“[Reaper] was in between horses there and [Dialed in to Win] had a good spot on the outside and I knew [Reaper] was a game horse who has done everything we asked him to do,” Arindel’s Brian Cohen said. “He ran a little green with his ears flipping around but obviously I was very happy with him fighting back like that.
“To go all the way up to Iowa to run a race is not something I had envisioned. But with the [FTBOA Florida] Sire Stakes now moved back, it gives one of these early winners a shot at another race around the country and gives them some more experience.”
It was the third career start for Reaper, who finished ninth of 10 after being bumped at the start of the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile won by No Nay Mets (Ire) at five furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream Park on May 13. The Juan Alvarado trainee broke his maiden by nearly six lengths while leading from start to finish in a four-and-a-half furlong maiden special weight at Gulftream on April 21.
“He won his first race after getting out there by himself and then we ran him on the turf just because it was at home. But he really didn’t have much experience,” Cohen continued. “But honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping he came through and would show his class.”
Reaper is out of 2003 Catcharisingstar-winner Horah for Bailey, by Doneralle Court and has won $104,000 in three starts. Reaper is a half-brother to multiple stakes-winner Bernie the Maestro, by Bernstein, a winner of $694,594; and a full brother to Juvenile Sprint-winner Turbo, stakes-placed Awesome Mass and track record-setting Nacho Mama. He is also a half-brother to stakes-placed Richard the Great, by Distorted Humor. Horah for Bailey has produced 12 winners in as many starters from 14 foals and was bred to Brethren in 2022.
Arindel purchased Horah for Bailey for $150,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale while in foal to Distorted Humor.
A bay colt, Reaper is eligible for the Florida Sire Stakes series that begins Sept. 9 with the $100,000 Dr. Fager for colts and gelding and the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies, both at six furlongs.