He may have Texas in his name, but Texas Ryano has never raced anywhere but California, home of this year’s Breeders’ Cup. The steady performer has “hit the board” in 10 of his 16 lifetime starts, including four victories, and now heads into the mile and a half Longines Turf off some of his best races to date.
The son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin, who didn’t race at two, won the King Pellinore Stakes as a 4-year-old last year at Santa Anita. This year, he was second to Ashleyluvssugar in the John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita, and third in the Del Mar Handicap. He tends to swing out in the turn for the drive home.
His trainer, Carla Gaines, is a fixture at Santa Anita. She saddled 25-1 upset winner Dancing in Silks in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at her home track. Her preferred specialty, however, is grass horses going long. Add in a home turf advantage for the improving Texas Ryano to the above ingredients and an upset in this year’s Turf could be cooking.