High Roller, making his stakes debut in Saturday's $75,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. S. at Laurel Park, came away with a handy half-length win in just the fourth lifetime start for the 3-year-old son of High Cotton.
High Cotton's current crop of 3-year-olds showed plenty of talent as juveniles, winning 27 races, second-most of any active North American sire.
Breaking from post 1 under Trevor McCarthy, High Roller hustled away from the gate to hold his rail position. The bay colt never really got a break through the first half mile, with up to four runners battling for the lead.
Turning for home, High Roller got a bit of breathing room, but was quickly challenged yet again by the heavy favorite O Dionysus, but never let his foe by, covering the seven furlongs in 1:23.86 on the fast main track.
“He broke really good for me today and he was sharp. I was able to get him back a little bit,” McCarthy said. “I’ve been telling Dale he needs to go seven-eighths. He needs that more [distance] and he’s going to want to go further, big time. I can’t wait to ride him going longer. We’ll see what he’s got.”
Trainer Dale Capuano said High Roller would be pointed to the one-mile Miracle Wood S., Feb. 18 at Laurel.