War Admiral, Seabiscuit, Tom Fool, Real Quiet, Cigar, Skip Away. That’s the kind of company that Major King will make a rather unlikely attempt to join when he lines up for the Pimlico Special this coming Friday.
The 4-year-old Korean classic winner has been in the United States since January and although his only start to date ended in a dismal defeat at Pimlico last month, he has somewhat bizarrely been entered for the Group 3 race which will be run over 1900 metres.
He’ll be among a field of nine which contains five graded Stakes winners including Revolutionary, who was narrowly beaten by Will Take Charge in April’s Oaklawn Handicap and was 3rd in last year’s Kentucky Derby.
Brisnet notes that “several runners enter the Special in career peak form”
Major King [Pico Central – Still Golden (Gold Fever)] does not. The winner of 6 of his 12 starts in Korea, including the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown. He finished the season indifferently, well beaten in the President’s Cup and then 3rd in a Busan handicap.
At that point, he needed a lay-off and despite being shipped half-way around the world, he got a rest from racing and he can be forgiven his one poor start Stateside so far.
His wins have come from the front and he likes to set the pace. However, even an at peak-form Major King would be overmatched here and the 50/1 morning line odds – naturally the outsider of the nine – look rather miserly.
The best we can hope for is that he isn’t embarrassed. Either way, he will become the first Korean bred horse to run in an American Graded Stakes race.