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Read the Contract

By Jon Forbes | 12/04/2010 03:42 PM ET
ReadtheContract

Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with being a little sentimental.

When scouting talent at the OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training, trainer Rick Violette thought a colt by Read the Footnotes – whom he trained to graded stakes wins in the Nashua, Remsen, and Fountain of Youth – was a worthy purchase.

“The fact he was by Read the Footnotes did play a small role in our decision to buy him, but we try not to be too sentimental,” said Violette. “He was a fast 2-year-old, and he looked the part. He was well balanced and had a good hip and shoulder, and he didn’t break the bank, either, as we bought him for $70,000.”

The colt, now named Read the Contract, delivered on the potential he showed at the sale when he broke his maiden by six lengths at Aqueduct on November 26 to join the New York Watch, which profiles up-and-comers that have recently cleared the maiden ranks at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course.

Read the Contract’s career began inauspiciously at Saratoga on August 8 as the colt got loose during warm ups after dumping jockey Javier Castellano, dueled for the early lead, and faltered badly to finish last of seven.

“He ran off before the race and did too much, and he ended up bleeding,” said Violette. “We gave him six weeks off to help him get over the disastrous experience.”

With that setback behind him, Read the Contract returned in a six-furlong maiden special weight for New York-breds last week. He once again showed early zip, but this time he steadily extended his advantage to register an easy victory under new rider Alex Solis. The final time of 1:10.35 was good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 98, seventh highest among 2-year-olds so far in 2010.

“We were concerned he’d bleed again, or he’d show negative effects in the paddock or on the way to the starting gate from the disastrous race,” said Violette. “He passed all the tests as he was able to control himself. We’ll let him cool his heels after this race and make sure he doesn’t do too much right after that performance.”

Read the Contract is owned by Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence, with the former having campaigned Read the Footnotes. Bred by Thomas-Narlinger LLC, Read the Contract is the third foal and second winner out of his unraced dam, Devin’s Abbey.

Many of the industry’s brightest stars embarked upon their careers at the NYRA tracks, including a number of recent Triple Crown race winners. Super Saver, Big Brown, Jazil, Birdstone, Funny Cide, and Empire Maker are all among the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes victors that kick-started their careers at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, or Saratoga. The list also features recent champions Gio Ponti and Indian Blessing; brilliant fillies Flashing, Little Belle, Music Note, and Devil May Care; Quality Road, triumphant in the 2010 Metropolitan Handicap and Woodward; and Afleet Express, winner of this year’s Travers.

Members of the New York Watch honor roll include Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo; Boys at Tosconova, victorious in the Three Chimneys Hopeful and second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; More Than Real, who took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf; Breeders’ Futurity hero J. B.’s Thunder; and To Honor and Serve, who swept the Nashua and Remsen. Other graded stakes winners on the New York Watch list are Eightyfiveinafifty, Position Limit, and Winter Memories.

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