Nimitz Class looking for fourth straight in Concern

Nimitz Class has yet to race outside of his native Pennsylvania. There hasn’t been much reason to: he’s won four of six career starts while earning nearly $120,000.

He’ll take his show on the road for the first time in Saturday’s $100,000 Concern Stakes for three-year-olds going seven furlongs on the main track.

Thomas Coulter’s Nimitz Class, a homebred son of multiple Grade 2-winning sprinter Munnings, enters the Concern having won three straight races by 7 ½ combined lengths. He has run exclusively at Penn National, where trainer Bruce Kravets is based.

Nimitz Class is out of the Flatter mare Five Diamonds and is a younger full brother to Kaylasaurus, winner of the 2021 Willa On the Move and April 23 Primonetta at Laurel.

“It’ll be the first time shipping, new track, different surface. You just hope for the best,” Kravets said. “He came out of the last race great, he’s training great, and we expect him to run really big.”

Nimitz Class didn’t get his career under way until December of his 2-year-old season, finishing fourth in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight. He graduated at second asking with a front-running six-length triumph Jan. 4, then ran fourth as the favorite his first time facing winners in a March 2 allowance.

Twenty days later Nimitz Class won a similar spot by 3 ½ lengths and has faced fellow Pennsylvania-breds in each of his last two starts, beating his elders in April 21 allowance before rallying to capture the June 3 Danzig in 1:09.82 for six furlongs.

“He broke just a hair slow and we tried to rush him up and got caught in between horses,” Kravets said. “He had to kind of fight his way through the pack there to get some running room, and then he just took off.”

Horacio Karamanos gets the riding assignment from outside post 6 on Nimitz Class, who is 6-1 on the morning line. Kravets said the addition of blinkers has helped propel the horse’s hot streak.

“I think in the last three [races] since we put blinkers on, that made a big difference, and I do think that seven furlongs this weekend will make a big difference, too,” he said. “That way you don’t really have to rush him early.”

The morning line favorite for the Concern is Old Homestead (8-5). The Brett Brinkman trainee won his first three starts, including a score in the Lafayette at Keeneland. Last time out, though, he faded to fifth in the Grade 3 Chick Lang on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.

Charlie Marquez will ride.

Also in the Concern is Alottahope (6-1). The Jerry Robb trainee finished fourth in the Chick Lang despite a disastrous trip and will have Xavier Perez up.

Others include Rittenhouse Square Stakes winner Scaramouche (3-1); Defend, a winner in three of four starts; and recent allowance winner Tops the Chart.

Nimitz Class
Nimitz Class won the Danzig Stakes at Penn National. Photo by Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO.