Dude N Colorado Becomes Stakes Winner in $200,000 Colonel Liam
Pletcher Wins Race Newly Renamed for His Dual Pegasus Turf (G1) Winner
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Three Diamonds Farm’s Dude N Colorado powered home down the stretch to win the $200,000 Colonel Liam by a half-length at Gulfstream Park Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
The one-mile Colonel Liam for 3-year-olds on the grass, renamed this year to honor the 2021 and 2022 winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) also trained by Pletcher, was the first of nine stakes, eight graded, worth $1.85 million in purses on a blockbuster Fountain of Youth (G2) day program.
The win was the second of the day for Pletcher and Ortiz, who teamed up to win the third race with Up to the Mark.
Ortiz was content to let Siena Farm, LLC and WinStar Farm LLC’s Santorini set the early fractions before taking over as the field headed into the stretch. Dude N Colorado ($5.60), a son of Uncle Mo, got his first win on the grass after a pair of third-place finishes, including the Kitten’s Joy (G3) Feb. 4 at Gulfstream.
D J Stable LLC’s Webslinger rallied to finish second for trainer Mark Casse and jockey Javier Castellano and John C Oxley and Breeze Easy LLC’s Bobby O was third for Casse and Jose Ortiz.
$200,000 Colonel Liam Quotes
Winning owner Kirk Wycoff (Dude N Colorado): “Todd started him [on grass] in the fall but he was a little bit immature. The first race here was taken off the turf and went to Tapeta. He showed us he can run on that. It wasn’t as fast as we thought, but since he’s hit the grass [he showed] he’s a fast horse. We debated whether to go [dirt] or turf, and this looked like a good spot. It’s our home base, and Todd always has them ready so we’re very thankful for that.”
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher (Dude N Colorado): “It’s great that they named a race after [Colonel Liam], the two-time Pegasus Turf champion, standing stud in Florida. I’m told he’s gotten a great reception, and deservedly so.”
“This colt is super consistent. We felt like from the outside post we could see how things unfolded. He has good tactical speed. He got in good position and finished up nicely.”
“The Transylvania [G3; April 7 at Keeneland] is on the radar. We talked about that a little before the race, but we’ll keep our options open.”
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Dude N Colorado): “He ran an excellent race. He allowed me to settle him tracking the leader. [Trainer] Todd [Pletcher] warned me the pace could be hot, and it would be better to try and track the speed. He relaxed beautifully and had a great kick when asked.”
“Colonel Liam was a special horse who provided happiness to me. I won the Pegasus Turf Cup twice with him, and I am rooting for him now that he has been retired to stud.”