Noholdingback Bear’s resume isn’t as gaudy as some of the colts and horses he’ll face in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint, but he's coming into the race in fine fettle.
In late September, he captured the Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing, swinging out four wide to post a length and a quarter score in a snappy 1:09.61. Prior to his first graded stakes score, the son of Put It Back had finished third in the prestigious King’s Bishop at Saratoga, and second in the Bold Venture at his home base of Woodbine.
“He had to overcome a few things in the Gallant Bob,” said his trainer Mike De Paulo. “He showed me he was good enough to run with those horses and now hopefully the (Breeders’ Cup) horses. I really liked his race and he’s training really well. He’s a big, strong, good-feeling horse. He’s always willing and happy.”
Regular rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva thinks six furlongs is the big colt’s forte.
“In the Gallant Bob I got squeezed just a little bit, the horse outside me came in and closed the door," Da Silva said. "But it worked out well because my horse is very relaxed and an easy horse to ride. I just waited for the stretch and had a lot of horse all the way. He recovered very nicely, he did everything very professional. Last time, seven-eighths was not his distance, but at three-quarters I can press any horse with him.”
A bargain purchase at $25,000 as a yearling at the January Keeneland Sale in 2014, the colt has banked $504,980 with five wins, four seconds and a third in 11 starts. In just his second start as a 2-year-old, he ran second in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Keeneland.