Givemeaminit proved he’s more than just a very good Louisiana-bred when in his second start he was third by a total of a half-length in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes last summer behind the talented duo of Sporting Chance and Free Drop Billy. Now he’ll attempt to earn his first stakes victory in the Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun on the Belmont Stakes card.
Expectations were high for Givemeaminit after Murray Valene’s colt finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. But his Kentucky Derby aspirations ended when a well-beaten fourth in the Louisiana Derby, with trainer Dallas Stewart deciding the horse is better-suited to shorter races. Givemeaminit ran Derby Day, but in the Pat Day Mile (G3), finishing third.
“Nice horse. We ran him in the Pat Day Mile, and he ran really good,” said Stewart, who won the Woody Stephens for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs two years ago with Tom’s Ready. “This is the next logical spot. Similar to Tom’s Ready, maybe backing up in distance a little bit. He’s on his game. He ran really well the other day; it was a hard-fought race. It’s going to be a hard-fought race in the Woody Stephens, so we have to give him a shot.”
Givemeaminit is a son of 22-time stakes-winner Star Guitar, at $1.7 million the all-time wealthiest racehorse born in Louisiana and who is off to a fast start as a stallion in his home state. While Stewart races at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds in the winter, his base the other eighth months of the year is Kentucky and New York, so Givemeaminit has only raced twice against fellow Louisiana-breds. After being second in his debut at Saratoga (also to Sporting Chance), Givemeaminit ran in four straight graded stakes before finishing second in the December 31Louisiana Futurity against state-breds.
Stewart put him in a six-furlong Louisiana-bred maiden race Jan. 28 to give him a confidence booster, with Givemeaminit romping by eight lengths. He subsequently was a troubled eighth in the Risen Star and improved to fourth in the Louisiana Derby.
“Murray likes to try to win big races, and he’s a nice horse,” Stewart said. “It would be a big thing if he would win the Woody Stephens and win for Star Guitar. And $400,000 – let’s go for it.”
Stewart said Javier Castellano will ride Givemeaminit in the Woody Stephens. Castellano was on the colt in the Breeders’ Cup and Louisiana Derby.
“He made a big move coming off the turn in the Breeders’ Cup and just kind of ‘hung,’” Stewart said of Givemeaminit. “That’s what he’s done with two-turn races.”
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