Yario (IRE) to return in Will Rogers
Irish import Yario, an impressive winner in his United States debut at Santa Anita, will seek his first stakes victory in the $100,000-added Will Rogers Stakes Saturday, trainer Eoin Harty confirmed Sunday from his Santa Anita base. The Grade III test is for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf.
Yario, an Irish-bred colt by Danehill Dancer, rallied from 11 lengths back in 11th to win his stateside bow on April 11 at about 6 ½ furlongs on the Arcadia turf.
"The distance won't be a problem," said Harty confidently of the colt's first outing beyond seven furlongs. He won two of six starts in Ireland last year for trainer Kevin Pendergast. "In his first start, he got beat by less than a length by Finsceal Beo, who went on to become champion 2-year-old filly in Ireland," said Harty, who purchased the colt privately last fall for his wife Kathy and Linda and Dick Laird of Del Mar. "He has been training well and will work five furlongs (at Santa Anita) Monday."
Yario hopes to become the second Irish-bred to win the Will Rogers in as many years, following in the footsteps of Stratham. David Flores has the call. Yario is expected to face Laddies Poker (David Cohen), Mayor Bozarth (Brice Blanc), Worldly (Victor Espinoza), Silent Soul and possibly the Neil Drysdale-trained duo of Gweebarra and Streets Ahead, Hurry Home Warren, Bernasconi, Margenot and Star Inside. Worldly, a second European import coming off an impressive victory in his first U.S. start at Santa Anita, worked five furlongs on turf in 1:03.20 under Espinoza to the satisfaction of trainer Ben Cecil, while Streets Ahead drilled six furlongs in a bullet 1:15.60 on grass for Neil Drysdale.
Laddies Poker worked six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:14.20 for Vladimir Cerin.