April 1, 2023 - Santa Anita, Race 4, Msw, USD $67,000, 1M

Ultimate Gamble, C, 3, 2020 by Medaglia d'Oro

1st Dam: Eltimaas, by Ghostzapper
2nd Dam: Najecam, by Trempolino
3rd Dam: Sue Warner, by Forli

Owner: Red Baron's Barn LLC & Rancho Temescal LLC
Breeder: Machmer Hall, Carrie & Craig Brogden (KY)
Trainer: Mark Glatt

Having finished a distant fourth on his Del Mar debut last August behind the likes of 'TDN Rising Star' and future dual Grade I winner Cave Rock (Arrogate) and subsequent multiple Grade II victor Practical Move (Practical Joke), Red Barons Barn and Rancho Temescal's Ultimate Gamble (Medaglia d'Oro) made his much anticipated 3-year-old debut in a one-mile maiden at Santa Anita Saturday afternoon. Pounded down to 70 cents on the dollar, the athletic dark bay colt was ridden in supremely confident fashion by Frankie Dettori and ran out an easy 2 1/4-length winner to earn 'Rising Star' honors of his own.

A half-brother to Eclipse Award and GI Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Drefong (Gio Ponti), MGISW, $1,538,385-now siring Classic winners in Japan-Ultimate Gamble was given a trio of six-furlong breezes leading into this comeback effort, suggesting that he prefers a trip considerably longer than his half-brother. Content to take a hold and let a few of his rivals to go on with it, Dettori allowed his mount to find his feet and settled him in third position and wide around the first turn, remaining in no particular hurry to move towards the lead down the backstretch.

Methodically drawing to within striking distance by the time the field hit the second bend, Ultimate Gamble was nursed along and leveled up three wide at the quarter pole, with Dettori taking a look back to see 4-year-old Palagio (Practical Joke) looking dangerous wider out. Asked to meet that challenge, Ultimate Gamble swapped his leads on cue, carried a two-length advantage into the final furlong and stayed on strongly for the victory, then galloped out a ton into the clubhouse turn while receiving a congratulatory pat from his Italian pilot. The winner covered his final two furlongs in a slick :24.52.

Bred by Machmer Hall, who acquired Eltimaas for $77,000 in foal to Mizzen Mast at the 2013 Keeneland November Sale, Ultimate Gamble first changed hands for $325,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Sale and went on to achieve the second-highest price at last year's OBS April Sale when hammering for $1.75 million (under-tack breeze). That was not the first time the progeny of the mare lit up the tote in Ocala, as Sui (Candy Ride {Arg}) fetched $675,000 at the 2019 March Sale, while Order of Magnitude (Curlin) made $425,000 at the 2021 April Sale.

Eltimaas, a half-sister to champion and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile hero Action This Day (Kris S.), is also the dam of a 2-year-old Curlin filly that was sent to Japan after selling for $525,000 at KEESEP last fall.

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