06/03/2010 11:00PM

Redding Colliery eyes Grade 1


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas − Redding Colliery is an emerging player in the nation's handicap ranks, just as his owners, James and Fitriani Hay, are emerging players on the American racing scene. Redding Colliery is the couple's first horse to be based in this country, and last Saturday he gave them their first graded or group win when he dominated the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. Redding Colliery romped by more than six lengths and earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 111.

It was a performance that has his trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, looking at one of three major stakes for Redding Colliery's next race: the Iselin, the Whitney, or the Hollywood Gold Cup.

"Those are the three that jump off the radar screen," McLaughlin said. "We'll see how he's doing.

"He's that type of horse. He's a Grade 1 animal at this time. His last two races have been very, very good races."

McLaughlin said he feels the best option is the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 7.

"But it might not be the best spot, with Quality Road around," McLaughlin said, referring to the dominant handicap horse based in New York with trainer Todd Pletcher. "We've got to see what Todd's doing with Quality Road, try not to hook him. But if we have to, we have to."

The Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park is July 10, and the Grade 3, $300,000 Iselin at Monmouth goes Aug. 21.

Redding Colliery, who has won 3 of 4 starts in 2010, returned home to Belmont Park last week.

McLaughlin said the Hays have been in racing about six years and have been competing in Dubai, England, and South Africa. "It was a special win for them," he said of the Lone Star Park Handicap. "They're big owners worldwide. They're new, active people in the game and are just expanding in America. Hopefully, we'll see more of their name in American racing."

McLaughlin said the couple lives in Dubai and Scotland. Redding Colliery, a 4-year-old son of Mineshaft, started his career in England. He then raced some in Dubai before traveling to North America and making his first start here last August at Saratoga.