04/10/2013 3:35PM

Blue Grass Stakes: Contessa considers post 13 lucky for Rydilluc

Coady Photography
Trainer Gary Contessa says Rydilluc has been training extremely well, including this exercise last weekend at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The number 13 is supposed to be such bad luck around the racetrack that most stable areas don’t even have a Barn 13. But for trainer Gary Contessa – who clearly is not afflicted with triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of 13 – what happened Wednesday morning at the post-position draw for the 89th Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland can’t be seen as anything but good luck.

Contessa was asked Tuesday on an NTRA teleconference call what post he would prefer for his Blue Grass starter, Rydilluc, and he responded “13.” Sure enough, Rydilluc was assigned post 13 in an oversubscribed field entered in the 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race.

“The race is on April 13, 2013,” said Contessa, a 16-time meet titlist on his New York home circuit. “I was born on the 13th [in October 1957]. I’m not superstitious, but that’s not a bad post.”

[BLUE GRASS STAKES: Get Keeneland PPs, watch video previews]

Further noting that the filly counterpart to the Blue Grass, the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes last Saturday, was won by Emollient from post 13, Contessa continued: “Funny thing, but everything has come up 13’s with this horse. I told my assistant [Marcelo Arenas] we got 13, and he couldn’t believe it.”

Whatever his post, Rydilluc has been sensational as a turf horse, going straight through his maiden and first-level allowance conditions with flair before winning his stakes debut, the March 3 Palm Beach on the Gulfstream Park turf, by an impressive 3 1/2 lengths.

Contessa told the crowd assembled for the post-position breakfast draw that he is extremely happy with the way Rydilluc has trained since the Palm Beach.

“He’s been phenomenal,” he said. “If this race was on turf, I’d be incredibly confident.”

As for how turf runners often do well on synthetics, Contessa said: “Well, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and I still haven’t figured out Polytrack. But we’re going to give it our best.”

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
friends of mine swear by this horses ability ....I don't know that im ready to anoint him quite yet...as for the post forget the superstion drawing that wide cant be viewed as a positive..i know emollient won from the 13 hole by daylight but she got out very fast and angled to the rail and she was allowed an uncontested lead...I doubt that scenario will be repeated in the blue grass...as for contessa he's a decent trainer and knows a good horse but he will always have a positive spin on his horse even the only slightly above average ones.
Ricky Williams More than 1 year ago
Go team Contessa! All the Arkansas railbirds are with you. drop a bomb on em.
Dave More than 1 year ago
The new surface is too much of an unknown to take a short price. He looked great in the Palm Beach but what was he beating? He had a dream trip right near the lead with very little pace. In this race there looks to be enough early speed types to ensure an honest pace. Lean toward Java's War and I have to respect Mott with My Name is Michael.
Amira Chichakly More than 1 year ago
13 lucky number for us a ganar !!!!
Amira Chichakly More than 1 year ago
13 lucky number boss !!!
Albert More than 1 year ago
Picking winners with omens.....now why didn't I think about that? When Dynamic Sky came off the grass his race numbers jumped to a new level. Rydilluc is going to have to do that to beat Dynamic, but it may not be enough to beat Palice Malice, who has the best numbers of anyone in this race. But of course, he has to handle the surface. So it's anyone's guess, but I will bet that Contessa doesn't win this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both speed Horses are coming from the outside post........ If they don't get to the front, there's NO Pace....then it will be wide open
chairmanwong0 More than 1 year ago
Heres a question. If a horse has early speed to get into the clear and then able to relax and cruise until being asked for run in the stretch, my thought is that a monkey could ride the horse to victory. But if a horse is a stalker, the jockey has more thought and strategy. Is that true?
. More than 1 year ago
The monkey would have no idea how to use the Pythagorean Theorem unless brain development exceeded anything ever expected
Phillip Rodgers More than 1 year ago
If only it wasn't prado riding :(
dameian ramsay More than 1 year ago
Prado riding palace malice again?oh NOOOO.
Scott Butler More than 1 year ago
I've got some wild and crazy Ky Derby odds on him earlier this year (200-1 and 150-1) so he's GOT to end up either 1st or 2nd to go to the Derby - GO RYDILLUC GO!!!
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
kinda sucks this is his first shot at a points race. i hope he gets in
ElRatonColorao More than 1 year ago
By the time I got to (bet) him in Vegas he was 75-1, but I'll take it!