Wild Dude’s furious rally in the final furlong propelled the 4-year-old Wildcat Heir colt to victory in the $200,000 Palos Verdes S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Super Bowl Sunday, finishing off an eight-day stretch that gave Wildcat Heir two stakes winners, a pair of maiden special weight winners, and a total of nine winners.
Wildcat Heir is a runaway leader on Florida’s 2014 General Sire list, and is in the top 10 among all North American sires with nearly $600,000 in progeny earnings.
Making his first stakes start in eight lifetime outings, Wild Dude tracked in fourth along the inside for about five furlongs, then had to alter course in mid-stretch to find clear running. The bay colt galloped up the ground in the final strides, collaring and passing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Secret Circle to win by a neck in a crisp 1:08.09 for the six furlongs over a fast dirt track (VIDEO). He earned a lifetime-high 104 Beyer for his performance.
“(Wild Dude) got lucky to get out of the one (post), and that’s why we got the win,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “I just told him (jockey Rafael Bejarano) to be where he wanted to be comfortable. We knew the horse had some tactical speed. Yes, it was a big step up for him, but he’s been doing good.”
Wild Dude came into the Palos Verdes off a pair of allowance wins and is now 4-2-1 in eight starts. He is owned by Hollendorfer and Green Smith, who purchased him in 2012 for $42,000 as a 2-year-old at OBS. Bred in Florida by Versatile Thoroughbreds LLC, Wild Dude is out of the Doneraile Court mare Courtly Choice.