CONNEX TO BE “MORE AMBITIOUS” WITH ERES TU
Her comeback season couldn’t have gone any better, and now the connections of newly minted Grade 3 winner Eres Tu are going into 2021 with high expectations.
- Tesio Stakes returns to PimlicoThe Federico Tesio Stakes, the last local prep for the Preakness, will take place at Pimlico for the first time since 2015 when it’s run April 24.
Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s homebred Eres Tu captured the final graded-stakes on the East Coast in 2020 with her one-length triumph in the $150,000 Allaire du Pont (G3) Dec. 26 at Laurel Park, the headliner on a Christmastide Day program of eight stakes worth $850,000 in purses.
The 1 1/8-mile du Pont was the second straight stakes win, both at Laurel, and first in graded company for the 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, who has won all three of her starts since returning in mid-October from 19 months between starts.
“She’s got a lot of potential. The good thing is that we took it one race at a time, winning the a-other-than and then the stake and now the Grade 3. I would say the pressure is off a little bit,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said. “Now she’s an established graded-stakes winner, which is great for her pedigree and her owner-breeder. Now we’re probably going to be able to be a little bit more ambitious, if it makes sense.”
Eres Tu raced at 2 and 3 for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, finishing second as a sophomore in the Silverbulletday, third in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) behind subsequent Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Serengeti Empress, and fourth in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) to Street Band, who would go on to win the Cotillion (G1) in 2019.
Delacour took over her training this summer and brought her back in an entry-level 1 1/16-mile allowance Oct. 14 at Keeneland, winning by 2 ¼ lengths. It would serve as a perfect prep for her return to stakes competition in the Thirty Eight Go Go Nov. 28 at Laurel, also going 1 1/16 miles, resulting in a 1 ½-length victory.
In the du Pont, jockey Jevian Toledo gave Eres Tu clear run on the far outside down the backstretch as they tracked pacesetter Needs Supervision, who beat Eres Tu in the Silverbulletday. Eres Tu swept to the lead leaving the far turn and was never threatened in a one-length triumph over late-running Twixt Stakes winner Wicked Awesome.
“It couldn’t have worked out better. She was in the clear and out of trouble. That was pretty much my instructions,” Delacour said. “She’s got a big, long stride so we didn’t want to get her stuck at any stage. I thought she looked great. Down the lane it looked like they were getting close to her a little bit but she kept going. That’s a little bit how she’s been. She’s a little bit one-paced but can keep going, and she loved the distance.”
Delacour said Eres Tu, whose name means ‘It’s You’ in Spanish, will head south for the winter as the connections map out a 5-year-old campaign. Though based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., Delacour maintains a winter string at Tampa Bay Downs.
“She’ll definitely come to Florida. Whether we give her a breather at the farm or she comes straight to us at Tampa, I’m not sure yet,” Delacour said. “That’s to be determined and that will depend, I’m sure, on how she comes back and what kind of a program we have for her.
“When you look at the spring there’s a couple of interesting races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs and Oaklawn. Those are definitely the kinds of races that we could make an objective,” he added. “We’ll see how she comes back and think about a game plan for 2021.”