Roan Burgundy may be among new turfers in Laurel Futurity

Quotes and other information from a Maryland Jockey Club release

Respect the Valleys, Karmac Stable and Designated Hitters Racing’s Roan Burgundy is entered in Saturday’s $150,000 Laurel Futurity two weeks following a professional 1 ¾-length debut victory going six furlongs Sept. 16 on the main track at Pimlico Race Course.

The Futurity, one of five stakes on the first Saturday of the Laurel fall meet, is a 1 1/16-mile turf test for two-year-olds. That makes it an interesting spot for horse who broke his maiden going one turn on the main track.

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By multiple Grade 1-winning dirt sprinter The Factor, Roan Burgundy fetched $70,000 as a 2-year-old in training at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale this past May.

“He ran so big the other day. He’s still such a big kid. He still really doesn’t know what he’s doing, this horse. I think racing can only help him,” trainer Brittany Russell said. “It’s worth a shot to look, anyway.”

Roan Burgundy’s dam, the Tiz Wonderful mare Expect Wonderful, notched her only win on the main track in a race that was taken off the turf. She never raced on the lawn.

Though The Factor ran primarily on dirt, a number of his best offspring have done their best work on the green. That includes millionaires Factor This and Bound for Nowhere, both multiple graded winners.

Roan Burgundy went off at 1-2 odds on debut and easily bested a compact, five-horse field which was well spread out at the end.

Roan Burgundy
Roan Burgundy won at first asking at Pimlico. Photo by Jim McCue.

“We like him a lot. He always did everything right in the morning,” Russell said following the win. “We just backed off him a bit when we got him out of the sale, but he was actually quite fit when we bought him. Once we kind of got to tightening the screws it was obvious that he had a little bit of ability, so we felt pretty good today.”

Sheldon Russell has the mount on Roan Burgundy, who is 4-1 on the morning line in a race light on runners with demonstrated turf form.

In fact, the only runners in the bunch with turf wins under their belts are Dataman (6-1) for trainer Graham Motion, Dandy Handyman (5-1) for Keri Brion, and Free Soul (12-1) for Carlos Muniz. The last of those broke his maiden two back on the Colonial Downs turf and then was a well-beaten third in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at that same track; the other two both graduated in their most recent start at Colonial.

The morning line favorite is Freedom Road, who is 3-1 for trainer Gregg Sacco. The Malibu Moon colt won nicely at first asking on the main track at Monmouth Park and then finished fifth in the Sapling at that same track. Isaac Castillo is named.