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Tiz the Law keeps crown as New York-bred Horse of the Year

Tue, 2021-04-06 09:58

Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont, Travers and Florida Derby in 2020, defends title as New York-bred Horse of the Year. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

NYTB Press Release

Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law dominated the headlines in 2020 and successfully defended his title as last year’s New York-bred Horse of the Year during the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.’s Virtual Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 5. The NYTB announced its 2020 New York-bred divisional champions and named New York Breeder, Jockey and Trainer of the Year.

The 2020 New York-bred Horse of the Year and divisional champions were chosen by a vote of New York turf writers, handicappers, photographers and television and radio hosts and analysts conducted by the NYTB.

The championships were announced virtually for the second consecutive year after ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible for the NYTB to host the organization’s annual Awards Banquet at the Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs as planned typically on the first Monday in April. The NYTB made the most of the situation again thanks to the support of our sponsor, the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, and all of our wonderful partners and supporters.

The NYTB hosted the virtual ceremony at, produced by PM Advertising and featuring the top performances of all nominees and showcasing the winners. A Commemorative Awards Program, written and produced by ST Publishing (the team behind The Saratoga Special and, is in the mail to all NYTB members and currently available on the website. Program.

Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law added a second Horse of the Year and divisional title after taking the top prize and Champion Two-Year-Old Male crowns last year. The son of Constitution won three straight Grade 1s in 2020 – the Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes on the way to his titles, along with a victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and a second in the Kentucky Derby. He earned the Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male titles by unanimous vote.

Twin Creeks Farm, breeder of Tiz the Law, were named the state’s Breeder of the Year, and the late Tiznow mare Tizfiz, the dam of Tiz the Law, earned her second straight Broodmare of the Year crown. Runners bred by Twin Creeks Farm won 20 races with 14 seconds and 17 thirds from 157 starts in 2020 and earned $3,005,207.

Barclay Tagg was the leading trainer of New York-breds in 2020, an honor he also achieved in 2003. Tagg-trained New York-breds won or placed in 14 of 28 starts, including eight victories, and earned $3,620,215 in 2020. Tiz the Law led the way for Tagg, winning four of six with a second and $2,388,300. Tagg also trained Two-Year-Old Male divisional finalist and open-company stakes winner Step Dancer, who won two of three starts and earned $96,100.

Jockey Manny Franco defended his title with the most New York-bred earnings and second most New York-bred wins in 2020. Franco racked up 65 New York-bred wins – second only to Jose Lezcano’s 68 – and earned $5,726,164. Aboard Tiz the Law for each of the colt’s six starts in 2020, Franco also won stakes aboard New York-bred divisional finalists Eagle Orb and Danny California.


New York’s 2020 honorees:
New York-Bred Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male:
Tiz the Law (Constitution – Tizfiz, by Tiznow)
Breeder: Twin Creeks Farm
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Foaling farm: Sequel Stallions New York, Hudson

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
Simply Ravishing (Laoban – Four Wishes, by More Than Ready)
Breeder: Meg Levy
Owner: Harold Lerner LLC, Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek) and Nehoc Stables
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Foaling farm: Stonegate Stables, Fort Edward

Champion Two-Year-Old Male
Brooklyn Strong (Wicked Strong – Riviera Chic, by Medaglia d’Oro)
Breeders: Cheryl Prudhomme and Dr. Michael Gallivan
Owner: Mark Schwartz
Trainer: Daniel Velazquez
Foaling farm: Shamrock Hill Farm, Fort Edward

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
Sharp Starr (Munnings – Mindy Gold, by A.P. Indy)
Breeder: Stonewall Farm
Owner: Barry K. Schwartz
Trainer: Horacio DePaz
Foaling farm: Stonewall Farm, Granite Springs

Champion Older Dirt Female
Lucky Move (Lookin At Lucky – Quiet Mover, by Quiet American)
Breeders: Maltese Cross Stables and Stonegate Stables LLC
Owner: Ten Strike Racing
Trainer: Juan Carlos Guerrero
Foaling farm: Stonegate Stables, Fort Edward

Champion Older Dirt Male
Mr. Buff (Friend Or Foe – Speightful Affair, by Speightstown)
Breeders/Owners: Chester and Mary Broman
Trainer: John C. Kimmel
Foaling farm: Chestertown Farm, Chestertown

Champion Turf Female and Champion Female Sprinter
Lead Guitar (Maclean’s Music – Eleadora, by Finality)
Breeder: Windylea Farm LLC
Owners: Jim and Susan Hill
Trainers: Eddie Kenneally, George Weaver
Foaling farm: McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Saratoga Springs

Champion Turf Male
Somelikeithotbrown (Big Brown – Marilyn Monroan, by Tapit)
Breeder: Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables
Owner: Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC
Trainer: Mike Maker
Foaling farm: Sequel Stallions New York, Hudson

Champion Male Sprinter
Funny Guy (Big Brown – Heavenly Humor, by Distorted Humor)
Breeder: Hibiscus Stables
Owner: Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Swick Stable
Trainer: John Terranova
Foaling farm: Waldorf Farm, North Chatham

Broodmare of the Year: Tizfiz (Tiznow – Gin Running, by Go for Gin), dam of Tiz the Law
New York-Bred Trainer of the Year: Barclay Tagg
New York-Bred Jockey of the Year: Manuel Franco
New York Breeder of the Year: Twin Creeks Farm

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NYTB’s aftercare drive raises $14,000

Sat, 2021-04-03 08:24

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.’s annual aftercare drive posted record-breaking returns as members donated $14,000 to four different New York-based Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance-accredited organizations.

The $14,000 was more than double the second largest amount in the drive’s history, that coming in 2019 when $6,225 was raised. The donation was split between four organizations –$5,000 to ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and $3,000 each to the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue and Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption.

Many members of the NYTB are not only breeders but participate in other parts of the horses lives, so making sure they are cared for after their racing or breeding career is over is of upmost importance to the organization.

“The majority of our members are breeders, but many also foal, break and train the Thoroughbreds that compete in New York and across the nation,” said NYTB President Thomas J. Gallo III. “As breeders of these amazing athletes many of us become quite attached to the foals that we deliver and the families that we cultivate over generations of a bloodline. Many of us like to know that when a horse leaves our care whether it be through auction sales, private sales or claiming ranks that they’re still properly cared for.

“As an organization, we want to ensure that all equine athletes that compete continue to receive the best care possible when they retire from racing. We know our members appreciate that which is why we’ve been able to raise the money we have each year for this cause.”

Selection the organizations who receive the money every year is an involved process for the NYTB board. First researched by the executive director, the programs are then discussed by the board during a December meeting.

“All aftercare programs in the state are eligible and researched by our executive director, but of course we take into account which programs are accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” Gallo said. “Once our evaluations are made, we vote as a board on which programs will receive donations and for how much.”

The donations made by the NYTB membership is then matched by fellow NYTB members Michael Lischin and Anya Sheckley of Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Farm. Gallo credits the pair for helping the aftercare drive make such a big impact every year.

“They both have their finger on the pulse of the industry and this is an important part of their continued participation in our great state-bred program,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to make the impact we’re able to on a yearly basis without their matching donation. They are one prime example of those who are willing to support our industry in any way they can and take action to do so. We are extremely lucky and thankful to have their support.”

For Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption, the donation will go to helping the horses with both regular and unexpected medical needs. The $3,000 donation will help pay those bills until June.

Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption President Kim Delong noted that donations make up 12.5% of their yearly budget with it costing approximately $12,000 per month to care for the horses that enter the program.

“We are very grateful for the support of the New York Breeders, we would not be able to be as successful as we have been this past year with 49 adoptions of mainly New York-breds,” Delong said. “Especially with the pandemic in 2020 and now leading into 2021, this donation will allow us the ability to make sure each retired Thoroughbred that comes into our program has the proper care they need to be able to transition into their new career or forever home. We know also that we can count on the NYTB should we have questions regarding a certain problem.”

ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption’s Program Director Lisa Molloy said their $5,000 donation was a welcome surprise. The program had to curtail its fundraising activities in 2020 even with its costs rising. With feed rising $4 a bag just in the past month, Molloy said the donation will go directly to a local hay supplier.

“The basis of our program is a good feed regimen and we firmly believe that the horses should have good quality forage 24-7,” she said. “Not only does it do wonders for weight gain, it relieves boredom and prevents ulcers. We use over 500 bales per month and just like feed, hay is at a premium at the moment. We are very fortunate that we have a local hay dealer named Mike that has kept us stocked with very good quality hay despite the shortage and at the same time, done everything possible to keep it reasonably priced. The NYTB donation will be used to buy two loads of locally grown New York hay.”

Molloy credits New York breeders not only for helping the program with this donation but also through other actions. From fundraising to volunteering, she said NYTB members are critical to keeping the program running.

“They say it takes a village to make a difference and NYTB is our village,” she said. “From the board to the membership, they have been so supportive and really embraced the program. We have had syndicates such as Parting Glass and Dream Maker independently raise funds, members volunteer and support events, local farm Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Farm provide new paddocks. As the official voice of the Thoroughbred industry in New York, NYTB have done so much to advocate for the safe retirement of horses in our state.”

The Thoroughbred Retirement Fund is mostly funded by private donations so the $3,000 it received goes a long way toward taking care of the TRF herd. TRF Executive Director Pat Stickney noted that the donation is just one of many things NYTB has done to help the program through the years.

“The NYTB has been a good partner in promoting our organization and helping raise awareness on Thoroughbred aftercare,” Stickney said. “We are extremely grateful for their contribution and any support we receive as that goes directly towards the care of the horses. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the NYTB in 2021 to have a meaningful impact on the herd under our care.”

For Gallo, the NYTB supporting New York’s aftercare programs is a no-brainer. The programs play a big part in making sure the horses continue to be cared for as they transition to a second career. As an added bonus, many of the aftercare organizations also keep connections apprised of how their horses are doing in second careers.

“It’s nice to know that these generations of babies that we deliver whether they are big winners, unraced or champions that they can look forward to being loved and cared for the rest of their lives,” he said. “That alone makes a difficult day a little easier to get through. We are sincerely grateful to all the accredited retirement organizations that we donate to and my only wish would be that we could give more.”

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Fillies lead the way for NY at Gulfstream Sale

Wed, 2021-03-31 20:51

Hip 85, a daughter of Practical Joke, sells for $500,000 at Wednesday’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale. Fasig-Tipton Photo.

By Tom Law

A half-sister to Sunday’s Haynesfield Stakes winner My Boy Tate and a filly from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Practical Joke each sold for $500,000 to lead the draft of New York-breds that passed through the ring during the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale of 2-year-olds in training Wednesday in Halladale Beach, Florida.

The pair, who finished as the co-third most expensive fillies, sold within minutes before the midpoint of the sale conducted in the Gulfstream paddock.

Hip 74, a bay daughter of Bernardini out of the winning Sharp Humor mare Backslash who breezed an eighth in :10.1 during presale workouts Monday, sold first to Stonestreet Stables LLC for $500,000.

Hip 74, a half brother to recent Haynesfield winner My Boy Tate, breezes before selling for $500,000 at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale. Fasig-Tipton Photo.

Consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, the half-sister to $582,288-earner and five-time stakes winner My Boy Tate was co-bred by Michelle Nevin and Godolphin and foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson. She sold for $165,000 to Quarter Pole Enterprises at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase in Lexington.

Backslash produced three other winners – Charlie McCoy, Linkappleyard and Slash Gordon – and she’s the dam of the unraced 3-year-old Micromanage colt named Michael Scott and a yearling filly by Frosted. She was bred to Congrats in 2020.

Hip 85, a dark bay or brown daughter of Practical Joke out of the winning Speightstown mare Caribbean Lady, was purchased by China Horse Club for $500,000.

Consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, agent, the filly bred by Pine Ridge Stables Ltd. breezed an eighth in :10.2. Foaled at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, the filly sold for $90,000 to Knollwood Stables at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase.

My Boy Tate’s half sister by Bernardini breezes in :10.2 before the Gulfstream Sale. Fasig-Tipton Photo.

Caribbean Lady, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner and $672,872-earner Halory Leigh, is the dam of the winning Super Saver mare Island Queen and two other placed runners. She’s also the dam of a yearling filly by Mendelssohn foaled in New York and was bred to Lookin At Lucky in 2020.

Fasig-Tipton reported sales on 11 of the 14 New York-breds offered at the Gulfstream Sale for $2,475,000, an average of $225,000 and median of $150,000.

Hip 183, a filly from the second crop of last year’s leading freshman sire and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, brought the third highest price for a New York-bred. Breeze Easy LLC went to $445,000 to purchase the filly out of the Jump Start mare Nick’s Honor, the dam of New York-bred stakes winners The Lewis Dinner and Kelli Got Frosty and stakes-placed winners Frosty Gal and Princess Phoebe.

Consigned by Tom McCrocklin, agent, the filly was bred by James Lamonica, Lee Sacks, Soave Stables, Barry Malkin, Ken Sacks and partners. The filly breezed a quarter-mile in :21.2 during Monday’s under-tack show.

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My Boy Tate edges Bankit to win Haynesfield

Sun, 2021-03-28 17:37

My Boy Tate wins second straight stakes in Sunday’s Haynesfield at Aqueduct. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Michelle Nevin blamed herself for My Boy Tate’s poor effort two starts back, gave him more time between starts and wound up rewarded when her 7-year-old homebred won his first stakes since late 2019.

The trainer and co-owner of the Boys At Tosconova gelding followed a similar pattern for his next try and was rewarded again in Sunday’s $97,000 Haynesfield Stakes at Aqueduct. My Boy Tate, stretching out to a distance with a question mark, outfinished favored Bankit in deep stretch to win the 1-mile Haynesfield by a neck.

“I wasn’t 100 percent confident because we tried it twice and it didn’t work out,” Nevin said of the distance, where My Boy Tate was 0-for-2. “Lately, he’s been a lot more relaxed early on in his races and I thought that might help him to get home. He loves a wet track and he loves Aqueduct.”

My Boy Tate improved his Aqueduct record to 7-for-13 with the win, his fifth in six starts on a wet track. Eric Cancel, who locked up the Aqueduct winter meeting riding title earlier on the card, rode My Boy Tate for his sixth winner of the day. He ended the meet with 78 winners, two more than Kendrick Carmouche.

“I’m filled with emotions,” said the 24-year-old Cancel, winning his first meet title. “I worked very hard for this and being able to compete with a guy like Kendrick, who is a very hard-riding guy, it feels wonderful. Yesterday, I didn’t think I was going to get it. But today, I just woke up and said to keep on swinging and go for it. I want to thank my agent and all the owners and trainers who gave me the opportunity to be here and win this meet.”

Cancel got the call from Nevin aboard My Boy Tate for the first time in the Haynesfield, which looked a spot for Bankit to win his third straight stakes after victories in late December in the Alex M. Robb at Aqueduct and last month in the John B. Campbell at Laurel Park.

Manny Franco, who rode My Boy Tate last time in his 1 ¼-length win in the Hollie Hughes, took the call aboard Bankit for trainer Steve Asmussen and his New York-based assistant Toby Sheets. Carmouche rode Nevin’s other runner, William Schettine’s homebred South Africa making his stakes debut.

Coming off three straight runner-up efforts in state-bred optionals at Aqueduct, South Africa took the early initiative and led out of the chute and through the opening quarter-mile in :23.16. By Boy Tate and Bankit, the 4-5 favorite racing a little closer than usual, gave chase up the backstretch.

South Africa continued to splash through the slop and led through the half in :46.17, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Bankit with My Boy Tate another length back in third. Bankit started his run around the far turn, chasing down the suddenly open-length leader South Africa turning into the lane. South Africa still led through 6 furlongs in 1:10.64 as Bankit joined him on the outside.

Bankit eventually edged clear in the stretch while My Boy Tate continued to make progress several paths off the rail. My Boy Tate stuck his head in front about 20 yards from the finish to win in 1:36.37. Bankit held second, 3 lengths in front of South Africa with Microscope fourth and T Loves a Fight fifth.

Eric Cancel celebrates his sixth winner, and the Aqueduct winter meet title, aboard My Boy Tate. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

“I was telling Michelle that he’s very talented,” Cancel said. “He’s been improving as he’s gotten older. He’s been doing everything perfect. The last few races, he’s just been sitting very nice and patient and making his run. I tried to ride him confident and just wait into the last eighth and just go on from there.”

My Boy Tate improved to 9-for-23 with five seconds and two thirds with the win, worth $55,000 to pad his bankroll to $582,288 for Nevin and Little Red Feather Racing. He’s now won three of six, dating back to an open allowance Sept. 23 at Parx Racing and the two stakes wins.

Confidence is brewing in the gelding and he reminds Nevin’s team daily.

“He is something else,” Nevin said. “He makes everybody in the barn work hard for it. He’s a wiry tough guy to be around. But when he runs, he really puts his effort out.”

Foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, My Boy Tate is the second foal out of the winning Sharp Humor mare Backslash, a mare Nevin used to gallop that she admitted back in 2019 “didn’t know what to do with so decided to just breed her.”

Backslash’s first foal, the Frost Giant gelding Linkappleyard, won three of nine starts for Nevin as breeder-owner-trainer, and the third, a now 6-year-old Bluegrass Cat horse Charlie McCoy, is 3-4-1 from 13 starts with earnings of $186,191 for Nevin and partners Little Red Feather and Kevin Bogart. Blackslash’s fourth foal, the 4-year-old Big Brown gelding Slash Gordon, won at first asking last March at Aqueduct before a fourth in the Times Square division of the New York Stallion Stakes last summer at Saratoga.

Nevin also bred Blackslash’s now unraced 3-year-old Micromanage colt, named Michael Scott after the namesake of the lead character from the former NBC hit sitcom The Office. She also co-bred, with Godolphin, Blackslash’s 2-year-old unnamed Bernardini filly and a yearling filly by Frosted. The Bernardini filly is consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale on March 31 where she is Hip 74.

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New York-breds shine Saturday at Aqueduct

Sun, 2021-03-28 11:25

Bears Mafia makes winning return in Saturday’s Kelly Kip Starter Stakes at Aqueduct. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Owners and breeders of New York-breds took full advantage of NYRA’s Claiming Championship card, raking in more than $60,000 in awards for wins alone Saturday at Aqueduct.

Five New York-breds won on the 10-race $620,000 Claiming Championship card, open to horses which have started for a prescribed claiming price in 2020-21. The breeders’ awards totaled $32,587.50 on the day, while owners’ awards came to $21,725. Stallion owner awards for the day’s two winners totaled $5,775.

Bears Mafia, sixth in North America and first among New York-bred by wins in 2020, was among the quintet of winners on the card. The 5-year-old Verrazano gelding made a successful return in the $53,350 Kelly Kip Starter Stakes, leading from the start on the way to a half-length score in his first start since mid-November.

Bred by Lansdowne Thoroughbreds LLC and owned and trained by Jeffrey Englehart, Bears Mafia won seven of 11 starts last year on the NYRA circuit, Finger Lakes and Monmouth Park and banked $114,920. He’s out of the winning Vicar mare Binavicar and is 9-2-4 in 24 starts with a bankroll of $212,115.

Letmetakethiscall wins fourth of last five starts in Xtra Heat Starter. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Matthew Levy’s and Kenneth Greenvald’s Letmetakethiscall won for the fourth time in her last five starts in the $69,750 Xtra Heat Starter, leading a 1-2 finish for trainer Jimmy Ferraro. The 6-year-old Take Charge Indy mare won by 9 1/4 lengths over stablemate Dovey Lovey in the 6 1/2-furlong Xtra Heat. Bred by Danzel Brendemuehl and Sandra Lombardo, Letmetakethiscall is out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Spring Elusion.

Ruvies in Time started off the card with a victory for Clear Stars Stable and co-owner and trainer Rick Schosberg in the $53,350 Videogenic Starter. The 5-year-old mare by The Factor tracked the speed early and drew off to a 4-length victory in the 6-furlong event for her second straight victory.

A $95,000 purchase by Clear Stars Stable and the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale, Ruvies in Time was bred by Mashnee Stables and Steve Schuster out of the winning Tapit mare Hollywood Redhead.

Dublinornothin won for the third time in seven starts in 2021 in the $45,000 Belle Gallantey Starter going 7 furlongs. Trained by her owner, Eduardo Jones, the 5-year-old daughter of former New York-based stallion Dublin won by 1 3/4 lengths over Movie Score as the 2-1 favorite. Bred by David Cramer and Anthony Spadea, Dublinornothin is out of the winning New York-bred Hook and Ladder mare Shea Goodbye.

Control Group, a graded-stakes winning 3-year-old, adds another win on Claiming Championship card in More To Tell. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Control Group capped the day for the Empire State with a neck victory over 9-5 favorite Malibu Pro in the $60,000 More To Tell Starter for owners Frank Catapano and Nicolas Primpas and trainer Wayne Potts. Sent off at 7-1, the 7-year-old son of the late former New York-based stallion Posse improved to 16-for-44 in the 1-mile More To Tell.

Bred by Colts Neck Stable and Alan Goldberg and out of the unraced Victory Gallop mare We Kept Her, Control Group won the Grade 3 Discovery Stakes in 2017, Alex M. Robb Stakes in 2018 and Mr. Sinatra Starter on the Claiming Championship in 2018. Foaled at Vinery New York at Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag, Control Group boosted his earnings to $788,257.


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Brooklyn Strong turns in final prep, all systems go for Wood

Sat, 2021-03-27 20:52

Brooklyn Strong, with Maria Remedio Adorno aboard, turned in strong final work for next weekend’s Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Nicole Sherman Photo.

By Paul Halloran

There is still a week to go before the Kentucky Derby trail stops in South Ozone Park for the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. For trainer Danny Velazquez it might be a very long week – not because he is nervous, because he is excited and can’t wait for April 3.

“We are ready. My confidence level is through the roof,” Velazquez said after New York-bred Brooklyn Strong turned in his final prep for the Wood, a 6-furlong work in 1:13.42 at Parx Racing Saturday morning.

With assistant trainer Maria Remedio up and working in company, Brooklyn Strong broke off from the 5-furlong pole and was timed in :48.79 for a half-mile and 1:01.07 for 5 furlongs, galloping out in 1:26.25, according to Velazquez.

“I didn’t want to break the clock today,” he said. “We put a rabbit horse in there with him and took him back, then he took over.”

The work was the fifth for the 3-year-old son of Wicked Strong who suffered an illness after winning the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Dec. 5. Last week, he fired a bullet, going 5 furlongs in :59.71.

The Wood offers Derby qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. Brooklyn Strong picked up 10 points in the Remsen and, heading into Saturday, was in a 10-way tie for the 21st in the qualifying standings. A win or second in the Wood would earn a Derby berth.

Danny Velazquez hopes Brooklyn Strong comes out on top in next week’s Wood Memorial on the way to the Kentucky Derby. Nicole Sherman Photo.

“Now we just do everything we can to keep him happy, healthy and sound,” said Velazquez, a 37-year-old Mid-Atlantic-based trainer who finds himself on the cusp of leading a horse over on the first Saturday in May. “I feel pressure because people are telling me I should be feeling it, but really I am just so confident in my horse.”

Velazquez secured the services of Manny Franco for the Wood, after making a pitch to Franco’s agent, Angel Cordero Jr.

“I called Cordero and said, ‘Angel, I’m telling you I am going to come 1,000-percent ready. I promise you.’ He called me back a few hours later and told me we had Manny,” said Velazquez, who will give a leg up to the jockey who won the 2020 Belmont Stakes and Travers with New York-bred Tiz the Law.

Velazquez said he will walk Brooklyn Strong Sunday and Monday, then jog him except for a likely gallop Thursday. The horse will ship from his Parx base next Saturday morning.

“Now it’s just sharpening,” said Velazquez, who would have preferred more than five works, especially before a graded stakes, but feels that his horse has made more than made up for it.

“I feel this horse has gotten fitter quicker,” he said. “It’s not 100 percent how I normally do it, but, am I confident he is ready now? Absolutely. My team has done a great job. They’re all excited.”

Brooklyn Strong broke his maiden for a tag at Delaware Park and ran third and first in New York-bred stakes, before winning the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Dec. 5. His 4-3-0-1 record accounted for $195,000 in earnings. He was bred by Cheryl Prudhomme and her husband, Dr. Michael Gallivan, at Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward. They sold him as a weanling for $30,000 and, after he was an RNA at two yearling sales in 2019, Mark Schwartz bought him for $5,000 at last year’s OBS Spring 2-year-old sale.

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Brooklyn Strong preps for Wood with bullet work

Sat, 2021-03-20 16:31

Grade 2 winner Brooklyn Strong turned in bullet 5-furlong workout Saturday in preparation for the April 3 Wood Memorial. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Paul Halloran

New York-bred Brooklyn Strong took another step forward on what his connections hope is the road to the Kentucky Derby with a 5-furlong bullet workout Saturday morning at Parx Racing.

With Danny Velazquez’s assistant Maria Remedio up, Brooklyn Strong broke from the 5-furlong pole and went in :59.71, galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:13, according to Velazquez, who was very pleased with the work, which was the best of 16 at the distance Saturday.

“It’s the best work he’s had since the layoff,” said Velazquez, who was forced to give the gelding time off due to an illness he suffered after winning the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Dec. 5. “I planned on giving him a three-quarters work next week, but after this I might just give him an easy half. We’ll see how he does the next 48 hours.”

Saturday’s was the fourth official work for Brooklyn Strong since returning to training after the layoff. Last week, he went 5 furlongs in 1:01.13.

“(Today) was quicker than I expected,” Velazquez said, “but he just clicked off every pole (3 furlongs in :35.86 and a half in :48.05). He’s hitting every point. I’m extremely happy.”

Velazquez plans to work Brooklyn Strong – a son of Wicked Strong out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Riviera Chic – next Saturday in preparation for a start in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 3. The Wood offers Derby qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. Brooklyn Strong picked up 10 points in the Remsen and, heading into Saturday’s Louisiana Derby, was in an 11-way tie for the 20th and final Derby berth. A win or second in the Wood would almost certainly land him in Louisville on the first Saturday in May.

“The only thing on my mind is the Wood,” said Velazquez, who watched Saturday’s work from trackside, one week after being seriously injured when a loose horse slammed into the pony he was sitting on, resulting in a lacerated liver, torn bicep, concussion and swollen chest. He was in an ambulance when his horse worked last weekend.

“I watched from the rail this week, a much safer place,” he said.

Brooklyn Strong was bred by Cheryl Prudhomme and her husband, Dr. Michael Gallivan, at Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward. They sold him as a weanling for $30,000 and, after he was an RNA at two yearling sales in 2019, Mark Schwartz bought him for $5,000 at last year’s OBS Spring 2-year-olds in training sale.

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Frosted colt brings $240,000 at OBS March sale

Wed, 2021-03-17 20:12

Wednesday’s top-selling NY-bred at the OBS March sale – colt by Frosted bred by Spruce Lane Farm et al. OBS Photo.

By Tom Law

A New York-bred colt from the second crop of Met Mile and Whitney winner Frosted sold for $240,000 during Wednesday’s second and final session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training.

Cromwell Bloodstock purchased Hip 528, a gray or roan out of the winning Tiznow mare Graceful Rage from Niall Brennan Stables, agent. The colt breezed an eighth in :10 during pre-sale workouts and finished as the sale’s second most expensive New York-bred.

Bred by Spruce Lane Farm et al, the colt sold as a weanling for $75,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November breeding stock sale before later selling for $40,000 to Colin Brennan at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

The clearance rate for New York-breds over the two session proved extremely strong – 92 percent – when 23 of the 25 2-year-olds offered were reported sold. The 23 New York-breds sold for $2,025,000, an average price of $88,044.

Overall, OBS reported a buyback rate of 16.2 percent, much improved from 38.8 percent in 2020. The 326 2-year-olds sold for $38,265,000, up significantly from the $27,349,500 for 295 sold last year. The sale’s average price was $117,377.

The second most expensive New York-bred during Wednesday’s session was Hip 494, a colt by Street Sense who sold for $160,000 to J S Company Ltd. Consigned by Brandon and Ali Rice’s RiceHorse Stable, agent, the colt breezed a quarter-mile in :21 prior to the sale.

Bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable, the colt was offered but list as an RNA for $110,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. He’s the third foal out of the stakes-placed Freud mare Fenwick Hall, a full sister to multiple New York-bred stakes winner Miss Narcissist.

The most expensive New York-bred filly at the sale also went through the ring Wednesday – Hip 376, a daughter of Central Banker purchased for $120,000 by trainer Linda Rice, agent for Black Swan Stable.

Consigned by Steven Venosa’s S G V Thoroughbreds LLC, agent, the filly is the second foal out of the winning Hook and Ladder mare Bella Lady. Bred and foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, the filly sold as a yearling last year to J and D Stables for $19,000 at the OBS October mixed sale.

The sale’s most expensive New York-bred sold during the first session Tuesday when Carolyn Wilson went to $260,000 to purchase Hip 211, a colt by Flatter out of the winning More Than Ready mare She’s Ready Made. Consigned by Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables Inc., agent, the colt was bred by Maurice and Samantha Regan’s Newtown Anner Stud.

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Flatter colt sells for $260,000 at OBS March

Tue, 2021-03-16 20:35

Hip 211, New York-bred colt by Flatter who breezed a quarter in :20.3, sold for $260,000 during Tuesday’s opening session of the OBS March sale. OBS Photo.

By Tom Law

A New York-bred Flatter colt who turned in one of the fastest quarter-mile pre-sale workouts commanded one of the top prices during Tuesday’s opening session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Selling as Hip 211 out of Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables Inc. consignment, the colt sold for $260,000 to Carolyn Wilson to highlight the day for the Empire State. Out of the winning More Than Ready mare She’s Ready Made, a full sister to stakes winner and $220,399-earner Miss Southern Miss, the colt breezed in :20.3 during the sale’s under-tack show.

Bred by Maurice and Samantha Regan’s Newtown Anner Stud, the chestnut colt is the fifth foal out of She’s Ready Made and sold last year for $100,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale out of the Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consignment.

Two of She’s Ready Made’s three foals to race are winners bred in New York – Fled, a full brother to the $260,000 colt; and She Takes Charge, a mare by Take Charge Indy.

The sale of Hip 211 led strong returns for New York-breds on the day. OBS reports sales on 12 of the 13 offered for a total of $1,102,000, an average price of $91,833.

Wavertree also sold Hip 178, a New York-bred colt by Midshipman for $210,000 during the opening session. High Point Bloodstock purchased the colt bred by Bertram and Diana Firestone and out of the Thunder Gulch mare Regal Approach.

The 10th foal out of the $118,721-earner and half sister to Grade 3 winner Mr Maybe, the colt was reported sold as a weanling for $27,000 to James B. Keogh at the 2019 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. He breezed a quarter in :20.4 during pre-sale workouts.

The sale continues with the second and final session starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

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Excellent Timing romps for new connections in Damon Runyon

Sun, 2021-03-14 17:40

Excellent Timing rolls to victory in Damon Runyon in first start for new connections. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Excellent Timing showed enough in his first two starts to attract suitors accustomed to digging into their wallets to make a private purchase. The New York-bred son of Not This Time also showed enough in those runs to earn a trip south to join trainer Chad Brown’s A-string to prep for his 3-year-old debut.

That came Sunday in the $100,000 Damon Runyon at Aqueduct and Excellent Timing proved both of those moves were correct with a x-length victory over Perfect Munnings in his stakes debut. He won making his first start for Brown and owners Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables and Marc and Joe Lore’s Wonder Stable, who purchased the colt privately following his Dec. 10 maiden win.

Excellent Timing won off a three-month freshening and sporting a work tab of eight breezes at Payson Park and a tightener a week ago on the Belmont Park training track.

“The horse ran huge,” said Dan Stupp, Brown’s New York-based assistant. “The team down at Payson did a good job preparing him this winter. He came up in great shape; he put on some weight and his coat looks great.”

Excellent Timing did so well in Florida, particularly early in his stay in January, that his connections considered taking on open company for his 2021 debut.

“We had open company on our mind, but this time of year, everyone throws 3-year-olds to the wolves,” Dubb said. “This horse could have a nice and long career, so we wanted to develop the horse the right way and not get him where he loses interest. We want to get him used to winning. Hopefully, once we do that, we can go to open company. It’s the right thing to do with the horse.”

Co-bred by Sequel Stallions New York and Lakland Farm, Excellent Timing romps in the Damon Runyon. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Excellent Timing flashed the same speed he displayed in his first two starts for owner Happy Face Racing Stable and trainer Charlton Baker in the 7-furlong Damon Runyon. He and Manny Franco took the lead from the start, clicking off early splits of :24.49 and :49.19 on a windy and blustery day at Aqueduct and just ahead of It’s Gravy and The King Cheek.

Excellent Timing, the 3-5 favorite in the field of eight, led turning into the stretch while 3-1 second choice Perfect Munnings tipped off the rail and passed It’s Gravy to make a run. Excellent Timing spurted away in the lane, opened up by 6 ½ lengths past 6 furlongs in 1:14.64.

Franco wrapped up inside the final sixteenth and Excellent Timing finished well clear. Perfect Munnings held second, 5 lengths in front of It’s Gravy with It’s a Gamble fourth. Excellent Timing won in 1:28.02.

“The plan was to go to the front. I just let him break out of there and get comfortable,” Franco said. “He took me to the lead and did the rest. He’s getting better. Chad had him for the first time today and did a really good job with him and I think he’ll keep improving. He can go a little further, a mile maybe.”

Bred by Sequel Stallions New York LLC and Lakland Farm and foaled at Sequel New York in Hudson, Excellent Timing is the second foal out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Explicable. Explicable produced her first foal, a colt by Honor Code, in 2017. She’s also the dam of a 2-year-old filly by Union Jackson and a yearling filly by Unified, both co-bred by Sequel and Lakland, and was bred in 2020 to Maximus Mischief.

Explicable, a $120,000 yearling and half sister to Grade 3 winner Inexplicable and stakes-placed Goldenbaum and Cape Hatteras, raced for Hank Nothhaft’s HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing. She was offered in foal to Honor Code at the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale but did not sell on a $135,000 bid. Sequel New York bought her the next year at the same sale, carrying Excellent Timing in utero, for $45,000.

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Sadie Lady fends off rival again to win Correction

Sat, 2021-03-13 18:21

Sadie Lady (inside) fends off Call On Mischief for first stakes victory in Saturday’s Correction at Aqueduct. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Sadie Lady and Call On Mischief squared off a week before Christmas at Aqueduct and finished 2 ½ lengths apart, with the former in front for her fourth victory of 2020.

The two tangled again Saturday at Aqueduct and while the margin shrunk to a head the outcome stayed the same with the New York-bred Sadie Lady earning her first blacktype with a victory in the $100,000 Correction Stakes.

Sadie Lady, sent to the front from the start and there at the end while two rivals made unsuccessful runs at the lead, won the 6-furlong stakes in 1:11.98. Kansas Kis finished third with 6-5 favorite Amuse fourth of six.

Off since the Dec. 18 victory to end her 4-year-old campaign, Sadie Lady also became the latest stakes winner for top New York sire Freud. The veteran son of Storm Cat, who stands for $5,000 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, came into the day with 54 blacktype winners and the earners of more than $61 million.

Bred by JMJ Racing Stables LLC and out of the unraced Read The Footnotes mare Zucca, Sadie Lady improved to 7-for-18 with $321,232 in earnings for owner Dennis Narlinger. Campaigned throughout her career by Narlinger, Sadie Lady finished fifth in her most recent stakes appearance in the Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Series. She went to the lead that day and didn’t last, but did Dec. 18 and again in the Correction.

“This filly gets very brave on the front,” said winning trainer Rob Atras, who won four races Saturday at Aqueduct. “She gets very strong and courageous on the front end. She showed that today.”

Atras won the opener with the 3-year-old Kantharos gelding Saint Selby in his debut in a New York-bred maiden special weight and claiming events with Heavy Roller and Storm Advisory.

“Going into today, I knew I had some live shots and all the horses are training very well,” Atras said. “So many things have to go right to win one race, never mind four, so I’m really grateful that it came together today.

“Anytime you win a race it’s special, especially in New York. It’s the mecca of racing and a tough place to win races.”

Sadie Lady, the latest stakes winner for leading New York sire Freud. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Atras took over Sadie Lady’s training last fall after she started her career with the Fair Hill-based Arnaud Delacour. She won her debut in September of her 2-year-old campaign to earn starts in back-to-back New York-bred stakes – the Maid of the Mist on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park and the Key Cents at Aqueduct. Off the board in both of those tries, Sadie Lady banged around the allowance, optional and claiming ranks in 2019 and most of 2020.

Sadie Lady won three in a row last winter in New York before the pandemic shut down racing for a period – victories in a $35,000 claimer, state-bred optional and open allowance. She returned in June and made three starts without success until the Dec. 18 victory.

Franco employed similar tactics in the Correction that Kendrick Carmouche, riding Amuse this time, used in the optional. Benefitting from the slow start of expected pace threat Awesome Debate, Sadie Lady ran on the lead along through the opening quarter-mile of :23.12 just ahead of Amuse and Kansas Kis with Call On Mischief fourth.

Sadie Lady stayed on through a similar second quarter, hitting the half-mile mark in :46.62 and a length in front of Call On Mischief to her outside. Kansas Kis tried to come between the top two in the lane but couldn’t find a seam and Sadie Lady, while drifting just a bit, stayed on in deep stretch for the win.

“I was happy with the break because I knew the way she likes to run,” Franco said. “After that, I just needed to see where she took me and she got it done. She’s a great filly when she’s in front and that’s what we did. I thought (Awesome Debate) would come out of there running, but I don’t know what happened. I was in front so I just tried to slow the pace down a little bit.”

Nik Juarez, aboard Call On Mischief, claimed foul against the winner and stewards reviewed the stretch run but did not make a change.

Sadie Lady is the second foal out of Zucca, a 10-year-old full sister to stakes winner Out Of Respect co-bred by JMJ Racing Stables and Sequel Thoroughbreds LLC. She was offered but did not sell on a $1,000 bid at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale, the same year she produced Sadie Lady.

Zucca did not produced another foal until 2019 when she delivered a Florida-bred colt by Tapiture named Life Is Great. Zucca is also the dam of a yearling colt bred by EVS Corp. by Race Day foaled in New York Feb. 23, 2020, and was bred back to Freud last season.

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First mares in foal to Honest Mischief

Thu, 2021-03-11 16:17

Honest Mischief (outside), standing his first season in 2021 at Sequel Stallions New York, has first mares checked in foal. Coady Photography.

Stakes winner Honest Mischief, who started his stud career last month at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, has his first mares in foal.

The mares in foal include the winning Exchange Rate mare Tradeable and Caragh Queen, an unraced daughter of Hard Spun and half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Always Dream, for breeder William J. Butler.

Others are Dobra, a Smoke Glacken mare who won nine races and $202,681 for Ron Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stables and Delta Delight, a Union Rags half-sister to graded stakes winner and $463,340-earner JJ’s Lucky Train for breeder Allen Poindexter.

“We are happily overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of support that we are getting for our exciting new sire,” said Sequel’s Becky Thomas. “And we are thrilled that the first mares sent by some of our favorite breeders are in foal so early. We hope they get another Firenze Fire and A Freud of Mama to run here in New York.”

Honest Mischief, a 4-year-old son of Into Mischief out of the Grade 1-winning Seattle Slew mare Honest Lady, stands for $6,500 LFSN for a syndicate. Honest Lady is a half sister to classic winner and top sire Empire Maker, along with sires Chester House and Decarchy.

Bred and campaigned by Juddmonte Farms, Honest Mischief won four of nine starts with three seconds and a third for $287,464.

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Naughty New Yorker back to Empire State for retirement

Thu, 2021-03-11 09:33

Naughty New Yorker, New York-bred Horse of the Year and champion 4-year-old and up male in 2007, returned to the Empire State after being pensioned in Canada. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Graded stakes winner and champion New York-bred Naughty New Yorker recently returned to his home state after being pensioned from stud duty in Canada.

The 19-year-old son of Quiet American arrived at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center just outside Saratoga Springs this week after standing at Chris Blake’s Ascot Stud in Port Colborne, Ontario. Naughty New Yorker entered stud at Ascot in 2012 after a 67-start career that saw him win 11 stakes and earn $1,089,884.

“We have great news,” Old Friends posted on its Facebook page. “Naughty New Yorker has arrived. He has retired from stud duty at Ascot Stud in Ontario and we wanted him to come back to New York!! He’s beautiful. We look forward to opening back up for tours soon. Stay tuned for details!!”

Naughty New Yorker finished 83rd on Canada’s general sire list in 2020 and had his best showing on that table in 2017 when he ranked 66th. He sired Dirty Dozen, a Pennsylvania-bred who compiled a record of 6-8-5 from 45 starts and earned $121,245; New York Mint, an Ontario-bred two-time winner and earner of $29,855; and Almost Dancer, another Ontario-bred winner who earned $14,293.

Bred by Dr. William Wilmot and Dr. Joan Taylor of Stepwise Farm, Naughty New Yorker was purchased by Fox Ridge Farm for $145,000 at the 2004 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Campaigned by Fox Ridge and trained throughout his career by Pat Kelly, Naughty New Yorker compiled a record of 12-10-10 over eight seasons.

Naughty New Yorker won three of 11 with one second and two thirds, earning $271,799, in 2007 en route to being named New York-bred Horse of the Year and champion 4-year-old and up male. He also helped his dam, the Known Fact mare Naughty Natisha, earned New York Broodmare of the Year honors in 2007.

Stepwise purchased Naughty Natisha, in foal to champion and Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, for $150,000 at the 1998 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She produced eventual stakes winner Pupil on that mating and later produced stakes-placed winner Deceived and Unavenged, a five-time winner and earner of $861,747 in Japan.

Naughty Natisha also produced winners Thin Disguise, Carthon, Elusive New Yorker, Fast and Furious, Jacob’s Arch, all bred or co-bred in New York by Wilmot and Taylor. Thin Disguise is the dam of multiple stakes winner and 2018 champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly Midnight Disguise and Grade 3 winner, $662,774-earner and 2018 champion New York-bred older dirt female and female sprinter Holiday Disguise.

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Espresso Shot times it right in Biogio’s Rose

Sun, 2021-03-07 17:23

Biogio’s Rose continues to relish Aqueduct’s main track in Sunday’s Biogio’s Rose victory. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Espresso Shot returned to New York in late February after a near two-month stay in South Florida with plenty for her supporters to like in Sunday’s $100,000 Biogio’s Rose Stakes at Aqueduct.

The two biggest factors in the 5-year-old Mission Impazible mare’s favor were past success at the Big A and proven ability at the 1-mile trip. Espresso Shot proved those factors were more than just positive points on paper when she came away with her second stakes win in her last three starts with a 2-length score over Love and Love.

Espresso Shot won her fourth stakes in the Biogio’s Rose and improved to 4-for-11 at Aqueduct with two placings and 3-for-6 at the 1-mile trip. She also earned $60,000 to boost her bankroll to $474,105 for owners NY Final Furlong Racing, Maspeth Stables and Parkland Thoroughbreds and trainer Jorge Abreu.

“Home sweet home at Aqueduct, right?” Final Furlong’s Vince Roth said after Espresso Shot’s win in 1:39.10.

Espresso Shot added the Biogio’s Rose to her victory in the Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Series in late November. She finished third, beaten only 4 lengths by Mrs. Orb and Sharp Starr, in the La Verdad Stakes Jan. 3 before heading south.

Dan Zanatta, who runs Final Furlong Racing with Roth, said the trip to Abreu’s division at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla., was by design. Espresso Shot breezed four times at Palm Meadows – three at 5 furlongs Jan. 31, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 and once at a half-mile Feb. 6 – before returning to Belmont Park two weeks ago with the Biogio’s Rose the next target for 2021.

Matched against five foes after the scratch of morning-line favorite Lucky Move, Espresso Shot and jockey Eric Cancel went to the post the 8-5 second choice behind 6-5 favorite Wasp in her stakes debut.

Espresso Shot settled into a stalking position after a brief scrimmage between four of the five older fillies and mares, behind the pacesetting Love and Love and Dylan Davis. Love and Love led through solid splits of :24.28 and :47.94.

Espresso Shot’s connections celebrate another stakes win. NYRA Photo.

“We changed it up a little today,” Davis said of the decision to take the lead. “We wanted to come out running. I was very happy where I was. For a little bit, I thought we were going to win it.”

Love and Love gave Davis that feeling through the far turn, past 6 furlongs in 1:13.08 and when she cut the corner a length in front of Espresso Shot. The lead diminished from there, with Cancel staying busy to Love and Love’s outside before taking the lead inside the sixteenth pole to win going away.

“The plan was to sit stalking right there,” Cancel said. “It worked out well. Dylan went to the lead and we just had to follow. Once we got to the quarter pole, I had to ask her for everything, and she started running little by little.”

Espresso Shot improved to 5-for-19 overall with the victory. She won the East View Stakes at 2 and Busher Stakes against open company at 3 to briefly flirt with the Kentucky Oaks trail. She lost 10 straight – missing the board in all but two of those races – after the Busher but woke up a bit on Empire Showcase Day to give her connections reason to consider going on in late 2020 and into 2021.

“We almost retired her last year, but she showed some renewed form in the Iroquois,” Zanatta said of the mare’s fifth in that 6 1/2-furlong stakes. “We think anything from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile is ideal for her. Once we figured her out and saw she was running back to form, we decided to campaign her as a 5-year-old. She was booked to Authentic but she earned herself a 5-year-old campaign.”

Espresso Shot’s next start could come on the Big Apple Showcase card May 31 at Belmont Park in the $200,000 Critical Eye.

“She’s been nominated as New York-bred (divisional champion) the past three years,” Zanatta said. “She’s never won that honor, so we’re hoping that this year we can bring home a trophy.”

Bred by Twin Creeks Farm and sired by New York-based Mission Impazible, who stands at Sequel New York in Hudson, Espresso Shot is out of the winning New York-bred Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold. Twin Creeks purchased Glory Gold for $125,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Final Furlong Racing bought Espresso Shot for $69,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She was previously sold for $22,000 by Twin Creeks through Taylor Made Sales Agency as a short yearling at the Keeneland January sale.

Espresso Shot is one of three winners from four foals to race out of Glory Gold. She’s a half sister to the four-time winner Goldtown, a daughter of Speightstown who sold for $300,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale; and a full sister to Hokulea, who sold for $100,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream 2-year-old sale.

Final Furlong Racing purchased Glory Gold, in foal to Firing Line, for $13,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The subsequent foal, the now 2-year-old filly named Venti Valentine, was foaled in New York for breeders Final Furlong Racing and Maspeth Stable. Final Furlong and Maspeth are also the breeders of an Omaha Beach filly, foaled in New York Feb. 11.

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Broman-bred Panadol wins Al Bastakiya at Meydan

Sat, 2021-03-06 18:07

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Panadol proved his impressive debut maiden victory last month in Dubai wasn’t a one-off performance when he won Saturday’s $150,000 Al Bastakiya Sponsored By Arabian Adventures during Meydan’s Super Saturday card.

The New York-bred son of Flatter faced two new obstacles Saturday – stretching out to 1 3/16 miles from his 1-mile debut and breaking from the outside post in the field of 12. Jockey Mickael Barzalona’s experience paid off for the second-time starter as he hustled his mount from the gate and rode him to the rail, where he was able to relax in front.

Another American-bred, the Speightstown colt Speights’percomete, tried to run Panadol down in the stretch but Panadol had a big enough advantage that he was able to cross the line three-quarters of a length ahead.

Panadol has lessons to learn, but Barzalona believes Saturday’s race gave him the foundation he needs before heading to the Group 2 UAE Derby in three weeks.

“He is the kind of horse we want on this kind of surface, especially in Meydan,” Barzalona said. “Today he felt even greener than on his first race, so I really appreciate that he had a second run this season before going for the UAE Derby. He does the distance well, he has got some good talent, and we will see whether he is able to perform on World Cup night.”

A $180,000 buy for Cromwell Bloodstock from Ocala Stud at the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, Panadol was bred by Chester and Mary Broman and foaled at their Chestertown Farm in Chestertown.

The colt is a half-brother to fellow Broman New York-bred, the stakes-placed Backwood Bay, among seven winners from seven to race. He’s also a half-brother to Oil Empress, the dame of stakes winner Clandine, Grade 3-placed J. S. Choice and stakes-placed Lazarus Project.

Purchased by Chester Broman in 2011 at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $380,000 carrying a foal by Bernardini, Panadol’s dam Arradoul was sold in 2018 for $14,000 while carrying a filly by Alpha. The subsequent filly by Alpha, named Alarra, sold for $2,000 to Leonard Liberto at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale. After an unsuccessful visit to Runhappy in 2019, Arradoul visited Grade 1 winner Audible last year.

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Alliance180 Launches Program for Veterans, First Responders and Front-Line Medical Workers

Thu, 2021-03-04 08:19

By Janelle Huggard

For more than a decade, Bob Nevins, Melody Squier and Janelle Huggard have been working together to successfully reveal the power of a horse-to-human interaction by providing transformative equine experiences for Veterans living with the effects of trauma. Now, the crew has launched Alliance180, and they have expanded their support to reach First Responders and Frontline Healthcare Workers while incorporating science-based research that will set them apart.

For years, there have been increasing studies that demonstrate the negative effect that trauma can have on the autonomic nervous system. Because of a new collaboration with Alliance180, Dr. Stephen Porges, a Behavioral Neuroscientist*, and his colleagues from Indiana University, the team will now be able to successfully document and validate the effectiveness of their equine experience by incorporating and applying evidence of the Polyvagal Theory.

Bob Nevins said, “We know the effects of trauma can cause a person to feel detached and closed off. The experience through our interaction and training at A180 provides our participants with an opportunity to turn things around—’do a 180’ so to speak—so they can overcome their trauma in a way they haven’t tried before.”

Melody Squier, Alliance180’s Co-Founder, has understood the positive effects horses have on humans, especially those experiencing trauma, for more than 30 years. When she joined forces with Nevins, the two were able to combine their relevant experience and passion for helping others, impacting more than 800 veterans through their past efforts.

The purpose-driven programming of Alliance180 (A180) provides an effective three-day experience through peer-to-peer interaction, private accommodations, and classroom training to learn the language of the horse, and a round-pen interaction with the horse as the culminating event. Through the lens of the horse, participants learn to communicate with another powerful but very different species, most often resulting in the emotional response being reawakened, leading to a heightened awareness and offering a renewed perspective and brighter outlook.

Melody Squier, Program Creator and Facilitator of Equine Engagement, said, “Horses require you to be in the moment to fully communicate. The release felt when the horse accepts your offer to bond—breathing, touching and following—is so empowering. There is no judgement, only acceptance.”

Activities and classes will take place at the farm belonging to Song Hill Thoroughbreds LLC, and James and Tina Bond and Family. The Bonds said they are happy to be “teaming up” with A180’s experienced staff and are glad to offer access to their horses and facility for the organization’s crucial programming.

Nevins said he is grateful for the unwavering support that has followed he and Melody throughout the years from people who really believe in their methodology and dedication to the mission. The program is provided at no cost to participants and relies on support from donors and benefactors.

Nevins said, “Melody’s extensive knowledge as an equine specialist and a First Responder, combined with my understanding and experience as a Veteran, is something that greatly enhances our Program. Now that we have the research component to show what we are doing really works, we look forward to offering a solution to help our participants take their lives in a new direction.”

For more information on Alliance180, its Programming or to become a Benefactor, please visit or call 518-415-0206.

*Founding Director, Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium



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Windylea Farm looks to maintain momentum into 2021

Wed, 2021-03-03 12:40

Windylea Farm’s Jemography, a 5-year-old New York-bred gelding by New York sire Big Brown, wins Feb. 4 allowance at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

When Phil O’Neill thought about buying another farm to expand his Vermont-based Windylea Farm operation, it only made sense to expand into New York.

A mainstay in New York racing for more than 40 years, O’Neill found a perfect property just a few miles from the original Bennington, Vt., farm in nearby Hoosick Falls, N.Y., in 2017. That move saw Windylea’s New York farm take over as the home of the operation’s broodmares.

“When you look back at the stability of the New York program and the longevity of it, it made perfect sense [to buy the New York farm],” said Kip O’Neill, Windylea Farm’s controller. “Where we’re located in Vermont is only about eight miles from the New York border, so back in 2014-2015, my father started looking for property over there where we could still utilize the same staff and grow our business over into New York state.

“As we grew the breeding operation, outsourcing mares for that longer period of time to stay compliant with the New York program was just getting cost prohibitive.”

Kyle Willard, already an important member of the Vermont team, was named farm manager of the new farm and the expanded Windylea was up and running.

Windylea Farm’s New York division, a commercial breeder and breed-to-race operation, houses approximately 20 mares and the O’Neills keep about 25 percent of each foal crop. But it was one of the horses they sold in 2016 that brought them the most success in 2020.

Sold for $35,000 as a weanling then $200,000 as a yearling, the Windylea-bred Lead Guitar made a huge splash in the New York-bred program in 2020 with a four-race win streak that included two stakes victories. Her domination of the New York female turf division in the second half of the year earned her a spot as a finalist for the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ championship honors in the female turf and female sprinter divisions.

Lead Guitar, finalist for New York-bred championships in female turf and female sprint divisions, is product of Windylea Farm breeding program. NYRA Photo.

“Lead Guitar was always a very forward filly, we still own the mare (Eleadora) and she actually is being bred back to Maclean’s Music this year. She just had a Mo Town colt [Jan. 19],” said Kip O’Neill. “So seeing Lead Guitar on the track as really a follow up to [Windylea Farm-bred] Runaway Lute, he was really one of the first really good homebreds that we had, but more recently with her success and knowing that we still have a young mare that’s producing is very gratifying and just helps our program overall.”

Primarily based at Finger Lakes for most of its time in operation, Windylea has expanded into other states in recent years both with horses it breeds and buys. The farm currently runs in New York, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Minnesota with plans to send some of its horses to other jurisdictions to run in 2021.

“In 2021 we’re looking to expand over the border into Canada and we’ll be racing up there at Woodbine and we’re looking to expand some of our footprint in different jurisdictions here in the U.S. as well from a racing standpoint.” O’Neill said. “Our breeding population is pretty stable, we have over 20 mares and that’s a good number. We’ll continue to invest in better mares and retire some of the older ones but that number is pretty stable for us. Then we’ll continue to look for opportunities to purchase within the New York sales and other sales.”

Windylea Farm is also focused on providing aftercare to racehorses in its stable with the operation purchasing a retraining farm in Naples, Fla., to provide their horses the training needed to find new careers after racing.

“Any time you invest like we have in this breed or really anything else you have to look at the whole picture,” O’Neill said. “Once we grew our program to a point where we could no longer continue to retire them just as pets, we looked to see how we could find a second career for horses.

“The obvious with mares if they’re bred well enough is to put them in the breeding shed, but when you’ve got colts and geldings, and mares that aren’t that well-bred, then really to be a good custodian to the sport you’ve got to find a second home and a second life for them. These animals, they want to be active and they do better when they’re active so that was why we invested in that. We’ve been fortunate enough over the last year or so up in this area, finding a couple of different venues who have done great work with the few horses that we’ve provided them and we continue to get videos of past [Windylea] Thoroughbreds in the hunter-jumper world and in the dressage world and that’s gratifying to us.”

Even though Windylea is focused on expanding into other racing areas, the O’Neills have no plans to move the main operation elsewhere. In addition to the area being their longtime home, O’Neill also points to the New York-bred program’s support of both owners and breeders as another reason they base their breeding program in the Empire State.

“There really isn’t one out there that supports owners and breeders top to bottom like the New York program,” he said. “When I say top to bottom, from a breeders’ standpoint you can win money whether you’ve got one of your homebreds in a state race at Saratoga or a $5,000 claimer at Finger Lakes. That really has kept the program afloat because we do have a lot of small breeders and the program really needs to continue that support, otherwise you’re going to see it become very top heavy.”

Ranked ninth among New York owners last year by earnings with nearly 50 percent of their horses hitting the board, Windylea is already making an impact in 2021 as the leading New York-bred owner through March 1 by earnings ($226,546) and winners (seven from 18 starts). Windylea’s winners in 2021 include Jemography, a New York-bred gelding by Big Brown who won his third straight race Feb. 4 at Aqueduct.


Read more about Windylea Farm


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2020 NYTB Awards to honor Patricia & Frank Generazio, Ellen Bongard & Jeffrey Cannizzo

Mon, 2021-03-01 12:48

By Najja Thompson

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) is pleased to announce Thoroughbred breeders and owners Patricia Generazio and her late husband Frank Generazio, in addition to the recently deceased Ellen Bongard, will each receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the New York-bred program.

Former NYTB Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo will also receive a special award for his exemplary service.

The honorees will be recognized at the NYTB’s Annual Awards event, held in a special virtual format on Monday, April 5 at The 2020 New York-bred divisional champions and New York-bred Horse of the Year will also be unveiled during the event sponsored by the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors we are proud to honor each of these noteworthy individuals for their contributions and service to the New York racing and breeding industry,” said NYTB President Tom Gallo. “Each one of them has made significant efforts as owners, breeders and administratively helping to make New York the best and most lucrative state-bred program in the country.”

Patricia Generazio and her husband Frank Generazio, Jr., who passed last November at the age of 91, campaigned a number of homebred multiple graded stakes winners. Mr. Generazio, who owned New England Sand and Gravel company, first got his start in the Thoroughbred industry in his native New England and was a trainer at Rockingham Park and Suffolk Downs before he and his wife built a successful breeding operation that notably made an impact in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Outstanding New York homebreds campaigned by the Generazios include multiple graded stakes winners Discreet Marq and Disco Partner. Subsequent homebred standouts include multiple graded stakes winner Pure Sensation, Precious Passion, Dowse’s Beach and Saratoga Treasure.

“We’ve always been big supporters of the New York-bred program and will continue to breed in New York year-round,” said Patricia Generazio. “Frank always selected our breedings, and he loved the New York-bred program. I’m very thankful and appreciative to receive this award on behalf of both of us. His loss still hurts and our stable will be reduced substantially, but we already have many Disco Partner babies and we will continue to have a presence in New York.”

Ellen Bongard, who passed away at the age of 77 last December, was a pioneer in the New York Thoroughbred industry and her family owned one of the oldest active breeding farms in the state.

The daughter of the late attorney Bertram F. Bongard, who played a key role in the formation of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund and New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., Ellen and her sister Barbara Bongard owned Rojan Farm in Pine Plains, a flagship NY farm and a staple to the NY breeding industry for many years before moving to the Town of Northumberland near Saratoga Springs.

The Bongards stood many successful stallions at their Rojan Farm including Santa Anita Derby winner An Act, Northern Dancer’s son Kick, Rare Earth, Back Bay Barrister and many others. Ellen was also credited with the creation of The Bongard Room at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The room is used for conferences and honors pioneers and legends of the state’s breeding industry.

“She would definitely appreciate this,” said Barbara Bongard. “She’s certainly done a lot for the New York-bred program. I like to say our father started our family’s influential success in the industry and Ellen took the reins and continued on. We’re thankful she’s receiving this recognition.”

Jeffrey Cannizzo served as executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. for nearly 13 years before leaving to join the New York Racing Association, Inc. as Senior Director of Government Affairs in January. During his tenure, the New York-bred program gained significant exposure, stability and continued development and success. He elevated the position of executive director to one of leadership and national recognition for the NY Thoroughbred Breeding program.

“New York’s breeding industry has flourished in recent times and I feel very fortunate to​  have played a small role in that success story,” said Cannizzo. “I’d like to thank the NYTB Board of Directors for their commitment to those working every single day on the 250 farms throughout New York. The success of the state-bred program comes with the tireless efforts of so many stakeholders. Being able to represent so many wonderful people and speak on their behalf for over a decade is something I will always cherish. The many relationships formed during my time with NYTB will always be important to me. The New York-bred program will always hold a special place.”

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Mr. Buff lands 11th stakes victory in Stymie

Sat, 2021-02-27 15:44

Mr. Buff collects second straight stakes win – and 11th in his career – in Saturday’s Stymie at Aqueduct. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

The wire came just in time for Mr. Buff Saturday, with Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred gelding holding off Limonite to win the $125,000 Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct.

Racing at 1 mile on the sloppy and sealed main track against open company, Mr. Buff was quick out of the gate and only two other runners stuck with the 7-10 favorite early. Manny Franco stayed relaxed and Mr. Buff looked comfortable down the backstretch, looking like he’d be on the way to another romp through a half-mile in :45.51.

Mr. Buff still led at the top the stretch and after 6 furlongs in 1:09.97. In the lane, Limonite loomed large to his outside and longtime pursuer Musical Heart looked a bit resurgent after dropping a few lengths behind.

The winning post came just in time for Mr. Buff as the big gelding won by a half-length over the too-late Limonite with Musical Heart another half back in third. Mr. Buff secured his 11th stakes victory in 1:36.97.

“(Musical Heart) kept pushing my horse and I know my horse can rate but I just wanted to let him do his thing,” Franco said. “When I got to the front, I was happy and I know that’s the way he likes to run.

“He’s got a big stride and he just outruns the other horses. The last sixteenth I felt he was tiring, but I know he went pretty quick the first part, and that was my plan.”

Mr. Buff fends off eventual runner-up Limonite (left) and third-place Musical Heart to win the Stymie. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Mr. Buff needed 25 races to win his first stakes race but once he visited the winner’s circle in the 2018 Alex M. Robb at Aqueduct he turned into a stakes-winning machine. He’s won or placed in 13 of his next 19 races – all at the stakes level.

Mr. Buff is a third generation homebred for the Bromans, who also bred his sire Friend Or Foe and his grandsire Friends Lake after buying that horse’s dam for $900,000 at the 1997 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. The other half of Mr. Buff’s story also started in Kentucky, where the Bromans purchased his Grade 3-placed dam Speightful Affair at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale for $80,000.

Six and not in foal at the time of purchase, Speightful Affair had produced a New York-bred colt the previous year who would go on to be the stakes-placed Organic Gemini. The Bromans sent her to Friend Or Foe and the rest is history.

Mr. Buff was the first of three foals to result from Speightful Affair visiting Friend Or Foe with the gelding also having a year-young winning half-brother named Cain Is Abel and an unraced 3-year-old full sister named Miss Buff. Between her visits that produced those two, she was bred to Scat Daddy to produce the four-time winner Daddy Knows.

After a year off, Speightful Affair foaled a New York-bred Accelerate colt last April.

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Hush of a Storm enters Derby fray in Battaglia

Fri, 2021-02-26 21:43

Hush of a Storm makes it three straight in John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. Coady Photography.

By Tom Law

Hush of a Storm survived a lengthy inquiry and picked up points toward a possible spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate in Friday night’s $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park.

The 3-year-old son of Creative Cause, the lone New York-bred in the field of 11, rallied in the stretch for a 1 ½-length victory over Like the King with even-money favorite Gretzky the Great a neck back in third. Hush of a Storm, who won the 1 1/16-mile Battaglia in 1:44 over the Tapeta Footings synthetic surface in showery conditions in Northern Kentucky, won his third straight race for trainer Bill Morey and owner Joseph P. Morey Jr. Revocable Trust.

Hush of a Storm also earned 10 points toward a possible spot in the Derby field with the victory, which also figures to set him up for a run in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks March 27 at Turfway. The Jeff Ruby offers 100 points to the winner in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series along with 40 to the runner-up, 20 to third and 10 to fourth. Hush of a Storm’s 10 points put him 20th on the standings through Friday.

Bred by Dr. Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Hush of a Storm improved to 3-for-4 in the Battaglia. Each of the victories have come at Turfway – a 1-mile maiden special weight Dec. 19 and a 1-mile optional Jan. 6.

Stretched out another sixteenth for the Battaglia and sent off as the 6-1 third choice under Santiago Gonzalez, Hush of a Storm raced toward the back early while Gretzky the Great set the pace through opening fractions of :23.86 and :47.11 just ahead of Pico d’Oro. Gretzky the Great still led through 6 furlongs in 1:11.24 while Like the King made a run past the quarter pole ahead of Hush of a Storm.

From the outside in the trio of Hush of a Storm, Like the King and Gretzky the Great battled in the lane, with the eventual winner bearing in a bit in deep stretch. Rafael Bejarano took up a bit inside the sixteenth pole aboard Like the King but still managed to edge Gretzky the Great the finish.

Stewards conducted a review of the stretch run of the first four finishers but made no change.

Santiago Gonzalez wraps up on Hush of a Storm after Battaglia victory. Coady Photography.

Hush of a Storm is the first foal out of the winning Flatter mare Hush Now. Consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent for Berkshire Stud, he sold for $60,000 to Northway Bloodstock at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale.

Consigned by Nick de Meric’s de Meric Sales, agent, at last year’s OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, Hush of a Storm breezed a quarter-mile during presale workouts in :21.3 before being purchased by Joseph P. Morey Trust for $75,000.

Hush Now, who is out of the unraced Quiet American mare Silence Please, won and earned $68,784 for owner and breeder Berkshire Stud before retiring prior to the 2017 season.

Hush Now is a full sister to multiple stakes winner and $358,487-earner Brigand and a half sister to stakes winner and $137,651-earner Sky Music.

Brigand, a $925,000 2-year-old in training purchase in 2011; Sky Music, a $140,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling; and Hush Now were all bred by Berkshire Stud.

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