: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/268698/nakatomi-looking-to-rebound-in-maryland-sprint “Nakatomi Looking to Rebound in Maryland Sprint – BloodHorse”
: https://truenicks.com/articles/268698/nakatomi-looking-to-rebound-in-maryland-sprint “Nakatomi Looking to Rebound in Maryland Sprint – TrueNicks.com”
: https://cms.equibase.com/node/230395 “Nakatomi Looking to Rebound in Maryland Sprint | Equibase”
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Nakatomi’s Comeback: How the Maryland Sprint Could Revive His Career
Nakatomi is a horse with a lot of potential, but also a lot of bad luck. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his career, but he has also faced some tough challenges and disappointments. He is now aiming for his first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Day, May 20. But can he overcome his past troubles and make a comeback?
Who is Nakatomi?
Nakatomi is a 4-year-old bay colt by Firing Line out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Unbridled Reward. He was bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm and is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing. He is trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.
Nakatomi made his debut as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs in June 2021, where he finished second by a neck in a maiden special weight race. He broke his maiden in his next start at Ellis Park in July, winning by 3 1/4 lengths. He then shipped to England for the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Ascot Racecourse, a turf sprint for 2-year-olds, but he failed to fire and finished eighth.
He returned to the U.S. and switched to dirt, where he won an allowance race at Keeneland in October 2021 by 4 1/4 lengths. He then stepped up to graded stakes company for the first time in the Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park in December, where he faced some of the best 3-year-old sprinters in the country. He ran a respectable fourth, beaten by 5 1/4 lengths by the winner Flightline.
What happened to Nakatomi in 2022?
Nakatomi started his 4-year-old campaign with high hopes, but he also encountered some bad luck along the way. In his first start of the year, he ran in the Tom Fool Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack in March, where he stumbled at the start and brushed with another horse. He recovered well and made a late run, but he came up short by 1 3/4 lengths in third place.
He then tried again in the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in April, where he had won three times before. However, he again had a rough start, bumping with another rival out of the gate. He trailed the field early and made a late rally, but he could only manage a fourth-place finish, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner Flagstaff.
Can Nakatomi rebound in the Maryland Sprint?
Nakatomi is now looking for redemption in the Maryland Sprint Stakes, a six-furlong dirt race for 3-year-olds and up. He is the morning-line favorite at 5-2 odds, but he faces some tough competition from nine other horses.
Some of his main rivals include Straight No Chaser (3-1), a son of Speightster who won an allowance race at Oaklawn Park last time out and was third in the Palos Verdes Stakes (G3) before that; Wondrwherecraigis (4-1), a son of Munnings who has six wins from 13 starts at six furlongs and loves the Pimlico track; and Prevalence (8-1), a son of Medaglia d’Oro who was an impressive winner of the UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai but has not raced since March.
Nakatomi will have to overcome his recent history of bad starts and show his best form to win his first graded stakes race. He has the talent and the speed to do it, but he will need some luck and a clean trip to make it happen.
Nakatomi is a horse with a lot of potential, but also a lot of bad luck. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his career, but he has also faced some tough challenges and disappointments. He is now aiming for his first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Day, May 20. But can he overcome his past troubles and make a comeback? We will find out soon enough.
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