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Cagliostro Earns Shot on Kentucky Derby Trail / Friday, February 24, 2023

Cagliostro answered a stakes-caliber challenge by making a big step forward at Fair Grounds last Saturday, battling to a second-place finish by a half-length that will likely earn him a spot in the Louisiana Derby (G2).

CAGLIOSTRO stalked along the inside, pursued from the pocket under a snug hold around the first turn, took aim outside of the leading pair entering the lane, bid approaching midstretch, led at the furlong grounds, dueled with rivals on both sides through the late stages, and got outkicked by an outer bidder late.

Acquired at the OBS April sale, Cagliostro notched a 90 Beyer, his best by 21 points, and also made a big jump forward on the Ragozin Sheets to an 11 figure. West Point campaigns him in a racing partnership with David Ingordo, Talla Racing, James Spry and Nice Guys Stable.

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said, “He sat in the pocket well for a young, inexperienced horse and turning for home I thought I was a winner, but the horse that beat us had a few more races and a little more seasoning than we did. When our horse made the lead, he idled for a couple jumps. We’ve got a big future to look forward to.” Brian on Cagliostro

Trainer Cherie DeVaux said, “I think his lack of racing experience probably cost him, he idled a bit when he got to the front, but he keeps moving forward. He does excite me and I think he deserves a shot to the make the Kentucky Derby.”

That test will likely come in the $1-million Louisiana Derby run at a mile and three sixteenths on the dirt on Saturday, March 25 at Fair Grounds. The race offers 100-40-30-20-10 in qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.

West Point also has stakes winner Jace’s Road in line for a Kentucky Derby prep in March, possibly in either the Louisiana Derby on March 25 or the Sunland Park Derby on Sunday, March 26.

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