Trainer Cipriano Contreras served for decades as an assistant in the barn of Chicago stalwart Michael Reavis. Reavis has a reputation for being a shrewd claiming trainer, and when Contreras struck out on his own in 2016, Contreras began to write his own history of smart moves in the claiming game.
Today, Contreras set himself a high bar for success at the claim box.
On March 3, Contreras dropped a $25,000 slip for eight-year-old gelding Matrooh at Oaklawn. The move paid immediate dividends for Matrooh’s new owners, Conteras (as Contreras Stable, Inc.) and Raul Bahena (as Crystal Racing Enterprises), as he ran down heavy favourite Guns Loaded in a sprint allowance in Hot Springs. After that, Matrooh returned to graded stakes company, a level from which he has been absent since January 2016. The ambitious move paid off, as Matrooh’s last-to-first kick got him home well clear in this afternoon’s Grade 3 Hanshin Cup.