Rosario Picks Up Saudi Cup Mount

Joel Rosario | Sarah Andrew

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Joel Rosario has picked up the ride on RRR Racing's Isolate (Mark Valeski) for Saturday's $20-million G1 Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racecourse, his agent Ron Anderson confirmed in a text message Monday.

The 6-year-old Isolate made the first 12 starts of his career in the U.S. for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, winning two from his first five for trainer Kathy Ritvo before joining the barn of Tom Amoss. The Florida-bred posted four victories from seven outings for that barn, winning the Work All Week S. at Hawthorne and the Tale of the Cat S. at Saratoga ahead of a runner-up effort in the Louisville Thoroughbred Society S. in 2022.

Subsequently acquired by Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi's RRR Racing and turned over to trainer Doug Watson in Dubai, Isolate was runner-up in a pair of group sprint races at Meydan, then stretched out in distance to post an impressive win in the G2 Godolphin Mile with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons. He has made just one appearance since, a handy success in the G2 Al Maktoum Mile at Meydan Dec. 22.

Isolate did not originally draw into the Saudi Cup, but gained a run when Aidan O'Brien elected to re-route the gifted multiple Group 1-winning turf horse Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) to the G2 Neom Turf Cup.

Rosario will also take the ride aboard Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber's Bold Journey (Hard Spun) in the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint, Anderson also reported. Winner of the GIII Fall Highweight H. and Gravesend S. in his two most recent appearances, Bold Journey carried Rosario to a first-level New York-bred allowance victory at the Big A in 2022. Bold Journey is trained by Bill Mott.

Rosario rode no fewer than six stakes winners over the weekend, including Beatbox (Pioneerof the Nile) in the GIII Fair Grounds S. He was runner-up in the GII Risen Star S. atop Track Phantom (Quality Road).

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