Barn Notes

Defending Champion New Jersey-Bred Back on Track

Posted Friday, Jun 1, 2012

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Hermosillo, the 2011 New Jersey-bred champion Handicap Horse and Horse of the Year, will make the first start of his 2012 campaign on Saturday when he takes on 11 other state-breds in the $60,000 John J. Reilly Handicap.

            “He’s ready. He’s eight-years-old and a pure professional. He knows when he’s running and he sure knows what to do. He’s all class,” said Nick Galati, the assistant to trainer Stephen DiMauro. “The one thing he doesn’t know is how old he is. He thinks he’s still a two-year-old.”

            Hermosillo, who has the same name as the biggest city in the Sonora region of Mexico, looked the picture of health on Friday morning as he accepted peppermints and affection from Galati. Bred by Edwin Broome and owned by Kenwood Racing LLC, Hermosillo is clearly a favorite in the barn.

            Hermosillo, a winner of 11 races from 61 career starts and $625,351, took three straight last summer on this track, including the Charles Hesse III Handicap for state-breds and a pair of $65,000 optional claiming allowance tests against open company. On Oct. 11, he made every pole a winning one as he beat Afleet Again, who would go on to win the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Marathon.

The gelding’s connections said he still has the desire and now he has to prove he also has the ability to defend his titles.

            “This race at six furlongs looks pretty tough as there are some legitimate sprinters in there and he usually likes two-turn races,” Galati said. “We gave him a little time off this year and he’s been working really well over the track. This horse tries really hard every time out and always gives his best. He could never disappoint us.”

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