Odysseus, a $250,000 2-year-old-in-training purchase last year, emerged as a 3-year-old colt to keep an eye on when the son of Malibu Moon looked good winning a loaded maiden special weight race on Jan. 14 at Gulfstream Park.
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Eye-catching maiden winners this time of year in Miami excite the racing world of a potential Triple Crown contender on the rise. That was certainly the case with Odysseus, who showed good inside speed before making the lead on the far turn and fighting off several challenges in the stretch to hit the wire first. He pulled away again late in the seven-furlong race to win by a half-length over a field of a dozen sophomores – many of which came into the race with big-time connections, big-time pedigrees and buzzing reputations. But it was Odysseus who proved best, traveling strongly in the stretch with a beautiful way of going. The chestnut colt stride out nicely in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:22.83, and he continued on with a solid gallop-out beyond the wire, looking like a colt that wants more ground. He figures to get that soon, as well as a likely immediate future that will put him on the Derby Trail.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Odysseus was making his second start after a nice debut last year at Aqueduct where he broke sluggishly and rallied strongly for second. With that start under his belt, he improved to break his maiden Thursday with an 85 Beyer Speed Figure – a solid figure for a 3-year-old maiden winner this time of year. The win moved his earnings to $29,600 for owner Padua Stables.
Bred in Kentucky by Haymarket Farm & Lakemont Stable, Odysseus hails from the stakes-producing Conquistador Cielo mare Persimmon Hill.