HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Fully recovered from a virus that prevented him from running in the San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Feb. 12, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Classic Rock is ready to roll in Friday’s $75,000 Roar Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old son of Maclean’s Music, who shipped to Santa Anita after winning back-to-back starts during the Championship Meet at Gulfstream, was expected to vie for favoritism in the seven-furlong San Vicente before coming down with a virus a week before the race.
“It was disappointing, but what are you going to do? The important thing is he’s training good now and we’re glad to get him back to the races,” trainer Kathy Ritvo said.
Classic Rock, who is slated to face eight 3-year-olds in the seven-furlong Roar, is undefeated at Gulfstream and at Friday’s ninth-race distance.
Purchased for $180,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September Sale, Classic Rock debuted at Saratoga Sept. 4, finishing ninth after a five-wide trip, before chasing the pace at Keeneland Oct. 19 and finishing fourth behind Uncontested, a subsequent stakes winner, and Untrapped, who went on to finish second in the Risen Star (G2) and third in the Rebel (G2).
Classic Rock broke through with a 2 ¼-length maiden victory at Gulfstream Dec. 3 and scored right back with a front-running performance Jan. 6
“I think we all were impressed. Horses develop at different times. I think he just put it all together,” Ritvo said. “He’s a good-looking horse. I think he has a bright future. He’s smart too – that helps a lot.”
Ritvo’s son Michael is scheduled to ride Classic Rock for the first time…in the afternoon. The 22-year-old jockey has been aboard for the Kentucky-bred colt’s impressive series of six workouts since returning from Santa Anita.
“Leading up to the race, he couldn’t be training better. His works have been consistent. He’s doing it easily. He’s doing fantastic,” he said.
Michael Ritvo, who rode his first winner at Gulfstream March 23, 2014, returned to ride exclusively for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and his mother’s stable during the Championship Meet after taking a hiatus in November 2015.
“It’s awesome to be back. I love it. I’m really happy to be getting on these horses,” he said. Group 7C Racing Stable’s Coleman, who finished seventh in the $1 million Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) last time out; Debmar Stables and Span Investments’ Katalox, a stakes-placed colt set for his 2017 debut; and Arindel’s General Obvious, an impressive maiden winner at Gulfstream before finishing far behind Kentucky Derby contender McCraken in a Churchill Downs stakes last fall; are among the leading contenders in the Roar.
Crocodile Charlie, Coronado Again, Alum, Field Trip and Chatiment round out the field.