Champion Two-Year-Old Male: Riker
There was never any doubt that Riker, the dark bay son of Include—Desviacion, trained throughout his juvenile campaign by Nick Gonzalez for owner Tucci Stables, was an effective sprinter. But the Grey provided Riker, bred in Kentucky by Turner Breeders, with his first two-turn challenge. Sent to post as the even-money favourite, Riker, with regular pilot Jesse Campbell up, opened up a four-length lead in the opening quarter-mile and took the compact five-horse field gate to wire for a 1 ½-length score under light handling. Gonzalez was ecstatic in the aftermath of the triumph with the promise of a start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile looming. “We’ll see how he comes out of the race, but we’re dreaming the dream,” said Gonzalez at the time. The victory also put Riker in the frame for the 2016 Kentucky Derby. “We went around two turns, picked up some Kentucky Derby…
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