Darley homebred Incognito is devoted to his job. According to Tim Jones, his trainer in Aiken, the gray colt was very consistent in his training.
That is a reason why Incognito is part of the field for this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in Thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown.
“He went out, did his job, never complained and really enjoyed it,” said Jones. “He never missed a day of training. He was devoted to his job. Those are the type of horses that are nice to be around. There weren’t any problems, in the barn or on the track.”
And, with any horse during the early stages of its training, some horses do seem to have more promise than others, but it’s difficult to gauge whether they have the talent and ability to run at the highest level, said Jones.
“He was very consistent,” said Jones. “He was just steady, and improved every day. He went forward all the time, and that’s the kind of horse you’re looking for, the ones that take it slow and steady. They’re the ones that usually end up being on top.”
The 3-year-old colt has been transferred to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin Racing division, and will be making his racing debut in the Godolphin silks this Saturday in the Belmont Stakes. Incognito previously raced in the Darley Stable colors.
Incognito’s current trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has a previous win in the Belmont Stakes, winning in 2006 with Jazil – a Thoroughbred out of Shadwell Farm.
“I don’t think he would be running if they didn’t believe he had a chance of winning,” said Jones. “You have to take a shot. There’s risk involved. That’s horse racing.”
A two-time winner, Incognito will be making the sixth start of his sophomore campaign. The colt only raced once as a juvenile. Incognito drew the six hole, and will have jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons.
“He has all the right connections,” said Jones. “We’ll find out if it’s going to be his day.”
Incognito is extremely well bred. His sire, A.P. Indy, won the 1992 Belmont Stakes, and earned Horse of the Year honors the same year. The colt’s dam is the Unbridled Song mare, Octave, a winner of two-thirds of the New York Racing Association’s Triple Tiara, scoring victories in the Mother Goose Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks.
Incognito finished fifth in his last start, over an off track, in the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes on May 11 at Belmont Park.
“The horse definitely has the pedigree to do it,” said Jones. “It comes down to, does he have the heart? Does he have the grit? Can he pull down, reach out and have that bottom of the barrel grit? We’ll find out Saturday.”
Ben Baugh has been covering the equine industry and equestrian sport for the Aiken Standard since 2004. Among the awards Baugh has won include the 2003 Raleigh Burroughs Award as the turf writer making the most impact on the Florida Thoroughbred Industry. Baugh is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, worked for North America’s leading Thoroughbred breeder Adena Springs in Ocala, Fla. And interned at Thoroughbred Racing Communications in New York, N.Y.