While lightly raced for a well-bred 5-year-old horse, Tom’s d’Etat has continued to impress trainer Al Stall, Jr. and after a 3½-length triumph in Saturday’s Tenacious Stakes, the conditioner has brought up consideration of trying the son of Candy Ride (Arg.) in the Grade I $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on January 26.
“It could be anything from the Pegasus on down,” Stall said of where Tom’s d’Etat’s next move might take place. “So we’ll keep our eye on him and see what’s going on with him. It’s an older horse race going a mile and an eighth on the main track, so you never know.”
The Tenacious Stakes was a fourth consecutive victory for Tom’s d’Etat. A winner of a Churchill Downs main track allowance event in November off of a 16-month layoff, he won two prior starts against allowance company as well.
Owned by G M B Racing, Tom’s d’Etat is out of the Giant’s Causeway broodmare Julia Tuttle, whose grand dam Candy Cane (Arg.) is a full sister to multiple champion producing sire Candy Ride (Arg.). He was a $330,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2014, where he was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm. The Tenacious Stakes was his sixth victory in nine career starts.
“He went to the track the last two days,” Stall said. “He jogged yesterday and galloped this morning. He looks great. It looks like he’s put on a little weight since the race, actually. He has a little more muscle tone. He certainly needed the race.”
The excitement did not end there, however. G M B Racing’s owner Gayle Benson also is the owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints who clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon. On Wednesday afternoon, G M B Racing found the Fair Grounds winner’s circle twice more with Stuart Hall and Tom Management, the latter of which was trained by Stall.
“Being a New Orleanian and they’re a New Orleans operation, it’s just kind of fun to stick with your people,” Stall said. “Every once in a while you have good little streak. You might as well enjoy it while it happens because it doesn’t happen all the time. I was glad to be a small part of it.”
Tom Management made his career debut when scoring a victory on Wednesday afternoon, which took place over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course going a mile-and-an-eighth. A 2-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, he is the first foal out of the Empire Maker broodmare Comme Chez Soi. He was purchased for $100,000 at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale from Summerfield’s consignment operation.
“That was a pedigree play, we knew the further the better,” Stall said. “He was training forwardly and the condition book came out and I would have ran him if it were a mile, but (Fair Grounds Racing Secretary) Scott (Jones) happened to write it as a mile and an eighth. We just went in there and it might have worked out for the better because we just got to gallop on the lead with his ears pricked forward. (Jockey) Declan (Carroll) gets a lot of run out of horses, I’ve noticed that about him so far. Maybe the weight allowance helped us in the end also.”
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