Repole Stable and Rockridge Stud announced Monday that Micromanage will stand at Rockridge Stud in Hudson beginning in 2016.
In a deal brokered by Bowling Bloodstock, Micromanage, a son of Medaglia d’Oro who won the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream in 2014 and finished third in the 2013 Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes, will join Repole’s successful freshman stallion Giant Surprise at Rockridge.
Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro – Catnip by Flying Paster) broke his maiden as a 2-year-old in his first start at Saratoga in a maiden special weight. In his career, he was second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes at Belmont, third in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup Stakes at Parx, and third in the 2013 Grade 3 Discovery H. at Aqueduct.
Micromanage won at distances from 7 furlongs to 1 3/4 miles, won 5 stakes races, and posted five triple-digit Beyers. He also hails from the female family of Hennessy and will be the only graded stakes-winning son of top sire Medaglia d’Oro standing in New York.
“I’m really excited to stand Micromanage in New York. Micromanage had a great race career, excellent pedigree, and impressive conformation,” said Mike Repole. “I’m excited to allow breeders to participate in Micromanage by selling a limited number of breeding rights under a ‘Share the Upside’ program. I plan to support him, as I do my other stallions.” Repole’s stallions include Giant Surprise, Overdriven, Overanalyze, Stay Thirsty, and Uncle Mo.
Micromanage retires with a record of 30-7-4-6 and earnings of $790,551. He will stand for a fee of $5,000 live foal stands and nurses.
For more information regarding the breeding right program, contact Rockridge Stud’s Erin Robinson at (859) 421-7531.
by Sarah Mace
A prior two-time stakes winner in New York-bred company, and a two-time winner and two-time stakes performer at Woodbine, Team Penney Racing’s homebred Flipcup (Milwaukee Brew) made a return trip north of the border on Sunday a victorious one, rallying from off the pace to win the $125,000 Classy n’ Smart Stakes in the final stride of her third start in 2015.
Breaking from post 8 to go 1 1/16 miles over Woodbine’s all weather surface under Alan Garcia, and settling in mid-pack in the early stages of the race, the Bill Mott-trainee (3-1) stayed out of traffic travelling two-wide through the first turn, three-wide along the backstretch and closing five-wide on the far turn as Silent Treat led the way through a half-mile in 49.96 and three-quarters in 1:14.08.
Swinging out six-wide into the stretch, Flipcup rallied with determination, cutting down her rivals and just catching Obeah Woman, who was making her own bid at the fence from fifth. After a mile in 1:38.16, Flipcup completed the distance in 1:44.38 a neck winner. [VIDEO]
Jockey Garcia reported, “She was so comfortable. I know I lost a little ground in the second turn, but she got the job done. The more I ride, the more she tried. She never gave up. The owner told me she has a good kick, just try and save some ground through the first turn and then come get it. And she did.
“When she saw the horse inside her, she grabbed the bridle and ran on again at the end.”
Winner of the East View Stakes in 2013 at Aqueduct as a juvenile and the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes the following year, and seven more times a stake-placed runner, 4-year-old Flipcup has compiled a record of five wins, four seconds and five thirds from 16 starts and earned a robust $403,852.
Foaled at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, Flipcup is the fourth winner from four starters and lone stakes winner out of Dream Affair, an unraced daughter of Touch Gold out of stakes winner Fleet Wahine, who issues from the family of Canadian juvenile champion Wavering Girl. Team Penny Racing purchased the mare for $11,000 at the 2007 OBS Winter mixed sale.
Dream Affair currently has a 2-year old filly by Giant Surprise who has not yet started, and a yearling colt by Simmard.
by Sarah Mace
Sudden Surprise, a Repole Stable homebred by Mike Repole’s New York-based freshman sire Giant Surprise, is now a two-time stakes winner and a perfect 3-for-3 after a frontrunning victory over the short but salty field of the 7-furlong $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard for New York-bred juveniles on Belmont’s Sunday card.
Comfortable winner of his previous two starts, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight in the slop at Saratoga on July 30 and the Funny Cide Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong contest on August 28, Sudden Surprise was 7-2 third choice in the betting for the Bongard and facing his toughest competition to date.
Lined up with the Todd Pletcher-trainee were, among others, 6-5 favorite Championofthenile, who aired by six lengths in his second start at Saratoga on September 4 for Linda Rice, 3-2 second choice Get Jets, impressive debut winner on August 19 at the Spa for Tony Dutrow, and Broman homebred Manipulated, runner up to Sudden Surprise in the Funny Cide.
Breaking well from post four under Johnny Velazquez, aboard for both previous starts, Sudden Surprise cleared the competition and maneuvered over the rail along the backstretcch, while Championofthenile pursued a length back in second in the two path followed by Get Jets at the rail.
After carving out early fractions of 23.91 and 47.22, Sudden Surprise was faced with more pressure as the tightly-packed field negotiated the far turn. Championofthenile pressed closer, Steven’s Image advanced into third, Manipulated loomed widest of all in fourth, while Get Jets hugged the rail and prepared for his bid.
Still clear by a length at the head of the lane, Sudden Surprise turned back Championofthenile, but drifted out, giving Get Jets the opportunity to scoot up the rail with a late rush. Sudden Surprise then dug in and held on to preserve the victory by a neck in a final time of 1:23.52. Get Jets finished second 1 1/4 lengths in front of Championofthenile, who was followed across the finish line by Manipulated and Steve’s Image. [VIDEO]
Conditioner Todd Pletcher said, “I thought he ran very well. He got a good start and seemed like he responded every time he was challenged. I think today’s race was an open stakes-caliber race. There were some very good colts in here so I think everything is in play [for his next race].”
Winning owner/breeder Mike Repole was on hand to enjoy the win and add his lively two cents. “I joked with Todd, our next start will be either in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or the Sleepy Hollow,” said Repole. “This race came up like a Grade 1 New York-bred 2 year-old stakes race. Probably the toughest New York-bred 2-year-old stakes race in history. I couldn’t believe the two horses I saw in the race . . . Our horse is 3-for-3 and he’s done everything right. He just keeps getting better.”
Foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Sudden Surprise, now a $253,800-earner from three winning efforts, is the first foal out of Ready and Good, a placed Florida-bred runner by More than Ready, also trained by Pletcher for Repole, who had a lone career start. She has visited Repole stallions exclusively, and has a yearling filly by Overdriven and a weanling filly by Stay Thirsty. She was bred this year to Uncle Mo.
Sudden Surprise’s sire Giant Surprise, who stands at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, likewise won his lone start for Repole/Pletcher in a much-anticipated debut at Saratoga four summers ago. He completed the six furlongs a 4 1/4-length winner in 1:10.23 and earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, but unfortunately suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture during the race or shortly after and had to be vanned off the track and retired.
Repole said on Sunday, “It’s so cool because [Sudden Surprise is] by my stallion Giant’s Surprise who’s throwing some really nice horses.”
by Sarah Mace
Under a patient ride by Kendrick Carmouche, Treadway Racing Stable’s Melodic (Tale of the Cat) became a stakes winner second out when she kicked off Belmont’s Sunday card by taking the 7-furlong, $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies.
A determined winner of her 6-furlong debut at Saratoga on September 2 for trainer Leah Gyarmati at odds of 19-1, Melodic garnered much more respect from the wagering public in the short but well-matched Gimma field of five, bet down to 5-2 third choice at post time.
Melodic broke on top from post five, but was shortly taken back into fourth, where she set up shop behind the dueling trio of Surprise Cameo, Super Surprise and Frosty Margarita.
Staying relaxed, but within striking distance, along the backstretch run and into the turn as the front three vied through an opening quarter-mile in 23.13 and half in 46.46, Melodic angled out four wide at top of the lane and was asked for more.
Responding with energy, the blaze-faced chestnut filly gained the lead within the final furlong, and kicked away to a 3-length victory in a final time of 1:25.01. Frosty Margarita, second choice at 2-1, followed in second, followed by Surprise Cameo another 1 3/4 lengths back. Completing the order of finish were favorite Super Surprise and Ben’s Girl. [VIDEO]
Kendrick Carmouche, who had also piloted Melodic to her debut victory, said, “Leah just wanted me to ride her the same way I rode her last time and not rush her. She broke so fast today but I had her nice and relaxed behind horses. Once we got to the quarter-pole, I just let her do her thing. She came home nice and easy. It was a good effort by the filly, Leah, the owners, grooms, hot walkers and everybody.”
Leah Gyarmati added, “It was great. She broke so sharp, I wasn’t expecting that. That worried me a little because I knew there would be a couple of horses that wanted to go but Kendrick did a great job getting her to relax. He kind of had to work to get up in there. She had a great trip.”
Melodic, who has earned $133,800 from her two winning starts, changed hands twice via public auction. Purchased by Off the Hook for $50,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, she was hammered down to Patrice Miller/EQB in April at this year’s OBS spring 2-year-old sale for $150,000. The filly showed promise from the start, but also took a little while to get to the races.
Said Gyarmati, “She had a little shin issue when we first got her out of the sale, so we gave her some time. She’s a beautiful filly and right from the get-go she acted like she was going to be OK. You never know how good, but she had her mind in the game right from the beginning.”
Bred by Mia Gallo in partnership with Dave Stack, Mary Kopley, Sam Palazzole, Bernie Ryan and others, and foaled at Tom and Mia Gallo’s Bluestone Farm in Cambridge, Melodic is the second winner out of Christina’s Melody a winning New York-bred daughter of Unbridled’s Song bred by Mia Gallo and Deborah Petrisak. Her third foal Echluath, a full sister to Melodic, is a five-time winner of nearly $130,000. The mare, who did not have a foal in 2015, was bred to Frost Giant this spring.
by Sarah Mace
In truth, La Verdad can do nothing wrong this year. Conditioned by Linda Rice for Sheila Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable, the star sprinter drove up her 2015 record to a perfect five-for-five on Saturday afternoon with a frontrunning victory in Belmont’s Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Four-length winner of the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at six furlongs while posting a career high 102 Beyer Speed Figure on July 29 at Saratoga Race Course, the five-year-old daughter of Yes It’s True missed her next start, the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, due to an inflammation in a hind leg. The minor setback appears to have left no lingering effects, however, as she cruised unchallenged to victory while going a half-furlong further than her optimum three-quarters of a mile.
Bet down confidently to .55 cents on the dollar in the field of seven fillies and mares, La Verdad popped out of the gate and immediately assumed a half-length lead over fellow early speedster Room for Me.
Pressed along through a first quarter-mile in 22.76 and half in 45.02, La Verdad opened up a full length in the far turn and entered the stretch in command.
After completing six furlongs in 1:08.78, the star sprinter passed the distance test of the final half-panel with flying colors, holding well to preserve a half-length victory over Wavell Avenue, who closed with a big kick from sixth. The final time was 1:15.16. Dame Dorothy, 5-1 second choice, raced evenly to finish third, followed across the line by pace-presser Room for Me, Classic Point, Willet and Street Story. [VIDEO]
Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, “[La Verdad] broke well. She took the lead easy. I had a little pressure from the outside, but after that she settled down and she was fine.”
Rice added, “I think she needed the race. She’s been carrying a little extra weight with having had that issue at Saratoga. We missed a little training. I thought she broke just a tip flat-footed today. She’s usually much quicker away from there, but she hadn’t run in a while. I’ve had to work hard to get her here and we lost some time, but I think this race will do her a lot of good. She’ll move forward and will be harder to beat next time.”
Following a planned winter vacation that lasted from late November until mid-April, La Verdad has stymied all rivals in each date with the starter this year: Aqueduct’s Grade 2 Distaff Handicap in April, Belmont’s Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap in May, the Dancin Renee Stakes for state-breds in June and the Grade 2 Honorable Miss in Saratoga in July. A winner of ten stakes races in all and owner of a 15-2-0 record in 21 starts, La Verdad has now compiled $1,350,700 in earnings.
La Verdad is scheduled to retire to the breeding shed next year, but there may be more fireworks to come in 2015. Rice had indicated earlier that if she liked what she saw on Saturday the mare could be supplemented to the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint at Keeneland.
Said Rice last week, “Last year, we didn’t pay her into [the Filly & Mare Sprint] in California for several reasons: one, she had been in training for a year and a half at that point and she was a little bit tough. I knew she was a tired horse at the time. Plus, we had to go all the way to California and run seven-eighths [furlongs]. This year, she’s pretty fresh and in better form. It’s still seven-eighths [furlongs], but if she runs a big race in this next one, we’ll probably put her in.”
La Verdad’s $180,000 winner’s share of the purse plus $18,000 in open company owner’s awards from the Fund will more than cover the $100,000 supplemental and $20,000 entry fees, should her connections decide to opt for the Breeders’ Cup start.
Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC and foaled at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown farm in Chestertown. La Verdad was purchased privately by Rosenblum following her second allowance victory in November 2013.
She is one of three winners from three starters out of successful producer Noble Fire (Hook and Ladder), a stakes-placed runner bred by Chester and Mary Broman and also trained by Rice, who bought her for Eklektikos for $115,000 at the 2007 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Noble Fire is also the dam of Hot City Girl, winner last weekend of the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks for the same connections and earner of over $340,000. Noble Fire’s first foal N. F’s Destiny (Cuvee) is an eight-time winner of over $335,000
The mare currently has a yearling filly by Freud, was not bred last year and this past spring went to Will Take Charge.
by David Mattice
FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Mom’s Law rallied to score an upset victory in the 20th renewal of the $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite Stakes at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack(FLGR) on Friday. She achieved the triumph by a margin of one and one quarter length.
The 6-year-old mare owned by My Purple Haze Stable and trainer Michael LeCesse [who is also her breeder] was aided by a fast early pace in front of her. She got into gear as the quick fractions took a toll on the early leaders and ran by her rivals in the stretch. The 16-1 longshot completed the one mile and one-sixteenth route in a final time of 1:45.94. [VIDEO]
The $207,038 earner now has a total of three stakes triumphs at double digit odds on her resume. She paid $50 to win when she took the 2013 running of the Jack Betta Be Rite Handicap. The outsider also scored a 15-1 upset victory in the $75,000 New York Oaks on August 25, 2012.
Jockey Luis Perez recorded his first Continental U.S. stakes victory in the event for older New York-bred fillies and mares. The 35-year-old journeyman earned 45 stakes wins in Puerto Rico before arriving at FLGR in 2011.
Mom’s Law registered her eighth victory in her 31st lifetime start and paid $35.80, $10.60 and $9.50. Carameaway held second and returned $4.60 and $4.40. Atlantic’s Smile faded to be third after setting the early pace and paid $3.50.
The $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite Stakes is named after the female horse who won seven stakes and earned over $350,000 during her career.
by Sarah Mace
Joseph Birnbaum’s homebred filly Old Harbor, by New York sire Raffie’s Majesty, collected her second career stakes victory at Belmont Park on Sunday in the $125,000 John Hettinger for state-bred fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles over the inner turf course.
The Monmouth Park-based 4-year-old, trained for Birnbaum by Russell Cash, pressed a moderate pace set by Freudie Anne (25.02, 49.71), first on the inside from post one, then tipping into the two path in the first turn.
Pressing the leader along the backstretch, she drew even with Freudie Anne midway through the far turn, then kicked clear in upper stretch on her way to a 3 1/2-length victory as 3-1 fourth choice in the relatively evenly-matched field of seven New York-bred fillies and mares.
The Tea Cups, the 2-1 favorite to whom Old Harbor finished second in the Yaddo at Saratoga on August 28, finished second from off the pace, followed across the line by Selenite at 3-1. Unbelievable Dream, Freudie Anne, Chrysolite and Saythreehailmary’s completed the order of finish. Old Harbor’s final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:47.95. [VIDEO]
Winning jockey Elvis Trujillo said, “It was a perfect race. The speed went [to the front], I sat down behind and I could feel that the pace was really slow. Turning for home, I asked and the horse kicked. I could see the TV and saw nobody was coming and my horse wasn’t stopping. [S]he just kept going.”
Miguel Santiago, assistant to trainer Russell Cash, said, “This filly always gives her all. She tries hard and is an absolutely stunning horse. Every time she comes up here she gives her all; her performance speaks for itself. She seems to have a liking for this turf course.”
Now a five-time winner, two-time stakes winner and on-the-board finisher in 12 of 16 starts, Old Harbor has won four races from eight starts over the Belmont sod. Also winner of last year’s NYSS Cupecoy’s Joy at Belmont in a field of 12, she has five stakes placings to her credit and has earned $395,405.
Santiago continued, “When I saw the fractions – the half went in :50 [49.71 seconds] – it was a slow pace. That’s an open gallop for her; she’s a big girl. I just thought at that point if she had anything left she would absolutely accelerate from there, and she did. She had a good turn of foot.”
Old Harbor’s dam Royal Mast was purchased by Cash as a weanling for a mere $8,500 in 2001 at the Fasig-Tipton December mixed sale. A New York-bred daughter of Roy, Royal Mast won her debut on dirt and started twice more, including a runner-up allowance finish, before beginning her career as a broodmare.
Royal Mast has produced all winners from five foals to start, including another multiple stakes-placed Shipwreckstreasure, by Service Stripe, a $254,336-earner. Royal Mast’s most recent reported foal is a yearling colt by Girolamo.
by Sarah Mace
Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch’s Kharafa (Kitalpha) enjoyed what turned out to be – for him – a dream trip on his way to winning his second $125,000 Ashley T. Cole for New York-breds at 1 1/8 miles over Belmont’s inner turf course on Sunday.
Sometimes rank when on the lead or chasing, the 6-year-old gelding relaxed while covered up in the early stages of the race, then launched an explosive charge in the stretch on his way to a two-length victory.
Off a half-step behind the rest from his outside post of five, Kharafa, second choice at 2-1, tucked in neatly behind Lubash and Iron Power who raced second and third around the clubhouse turn and along the backstretch, while 31-1 longshot More Zen Tea led the field through moderate fractions of 25.62 and 50.88.
Picking up momentum and moving out into the three-path in the far turn, Kharafa then launched his closing bid going widest of all in upper stretch.
Aiming for the lead in tandem with long-time rival and 3-2 favorite Lubash, Kharafa outkicked everyone on his way to a two-length victory. After completing the final furlong in 10.98, his final time was 1:49.13. Runaway Posse closed from last to finish second, while Iron Power, who raced evenly throughout got the show. Lubash and More Zen Tea completed the order of finish. [VIDEO]
Jockey Javier Castellano indicated that increased familiarity with Kharafa over time contributed to the victory. “The one thing about the horse, he needs to relax and stay covered up,” said Castellano. “I think he’s the kind of horse that if you chase horses or go to the lead, he loses power. He’ll lose his kick. He had always dictated the pace but I learned something in April at Keeneland [in an allowance race on the eighteenth]. That day he missed the break and I covered him up and he came from off the pace; he gave me a big kick and finished great. I think that’s the best style for him.”
Castellano said the way the race unfolded was unexpected, however. “Today really surprised me. There wasn’t much speed in the race, and he missed the break, but he was so kind behind the horses. He was laid back, off the bridle, just followed the other horses in a nice, good rhythm. Turning for home, I just asked a little bit, pushed the button, and he just took off. He’s amazing. To ask and see a horse respond like that is an advantage.”
The race dynamics came as a bit of a surprise to trainer Timothy Hills also. “I was surprised the way it came up, said Hills. “I handicapped the race and thought [number one Iron Power] would be in front. I told Javier, ‘Don’t let the one go out and walk the dog and you end up outside fighting him.’ He looked at me funny in the paddock and I thought, ‘OK.’”
Hills continued, “The way it broke, [Kharafa] broke just a step slow and fell in and Javier covered him up. He was so relaxed, which is a problem we’ve had before with him getting rank. [Javier] had him relaxed nicely and he just exploded. I’m not going to give him instructions any more other than ‘Good luck.'”
Kharafa’s second victory in the Ashley T. Cole was his sixth career turf stakes victory overall. With 11 wins, eight second and four thirds, he has earned $835,137 and has won seven of 15 starts over the Belmont sod.
Hills said the gelding may start once or twice more this year before getting the winter off. “You can’t get the urge to push a New York-bred turf horse through the winter. We always put him away for the winter and bring him back. He’ll have a couple more races then he’ll go to the farm and we’ll see you next year.”
Kharafa was bred, and campaigned in the first part of his career, by Lawrence Durocher, Jr. After Durocher passed away in 2013, Kharafa won the Ashley T. Cole for Durocher’s estate and was then was sold by Durocher’s daughter Kate to Braverman, a Boston investment manager.
Foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Kharafa issues from the first North American crop of Kitalpha, a full brother to Kingmambo. Kharafa’s unraced dam Exquisite Cassie (King of Kings [IRE]), who is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winning New York-bred Lovely Amanda ($376,450), has produced one other winner.
Sold to Chadds Ford Stables for $20,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed sale, Exquisite Cassie currently has a juvenile full sister to Kharafa named Saratoga Sassy who is a registered New York-bred. The mare also has produced a yearling colt by E Dubai, and a weanling colt by Union Rags.
by Sarah Mace
Hot City Girl, owned by Sheila Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable and trained by Linda Rice, was perhaps best known to this point as a promising half-sister to La Verdad, a multiple graded stakes winner and million dollar-earner for the same connections.
The talented sophomore made headlines in her own right on Saturday night in West Virginia when she enjoyed a breakthrough first stakes victory in frontrunning style in the Grade 3, $350,000 Charles Town Oaks.
The two-time winner and two-time stakes-placed daughter of City Zip added blinkers, perhaps tipping her hand that she would use her speed as her main weapon under jockey Jose Ortiz for the two-turn, seven-furlong tilt in the six-furlong Charles Town “bullring,”
Winner of state-bred allowance in January and placed just once during a steady diet of four stakes races since, Hot City Girl ended up as the fourth betting choice in the field of six at odds of 7-1.
Breaking from post three, Hot City Girl darted toward the front to take over the two path, then took possession of the coveted rail spot by the time the field entered the first turn.
Leading by a length, but pressed intently by Tootsie Rules through an opening quarter mile in 22.96 and a half in 46.74, Hot City Girl still kept at least a neck ahead of her rival through the far turn. Opening up at the top of the stretch, she hit the wire a 2 1/2-length winner in a final time of 1:23.60.
Temper Mint Patty completed a New York-bred exacta, closing from third to nose out Tootsie Rules for the place. White Clover, Fusaichi Red and 3-2 favorite Sarah Sis completed the order of finish. After three-quarters in 1:10.64, Hot City Girl completed the two-turn seven furlongs in a final time of 1:23.60. [VIDEO]
Trainer Linda Rice said, “We’re absolutely thrilled. I’d scratched her out of the Prioress when she drew the 1 [post] in a large field and I didn’t like the way the race set up for her. She was 6-to-1 in here, so it wasn’t like she was a big favorite or something, but Jose [Ortiz] rode a beautiful race.”
Added Rice, “We had been trying to get her graded placed or a graded win. She’s a half-sister to La Verdad and I’ve trained for Mrs. Rosenblum for a while, so this is special.” The conditioner mentioned the Grade 2, $250,000 Lexus Raven Run for 3yo fillies going 7 furlongs on the main track on October 17 at Keeneland as a possibility for Hot City Girl’s next start.
Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC, and foaled, like La Verdad, at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Hot City Girl is another feather in the cap of her dam Noble Fire, a stakes-placed runner bred by Chester and Mary Broman also trained by Rice.
Rice bought Noble Fire for Eklektikos for $115,000 at the 2007 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. In addition to stakes winner La Verdad and Hot City Girl, Noble Fire’s first foal, the speedy eight-time winner N. F.’s Destiny, has earned over $300,000 and all together, the mare’s progeny have earned over $1.8 million.
From three firsts and two seconds from nine career starts Hot City Girl has earned $344,150.
Through the first two books of the Keeneland September yearling sale, New York-breds have posted impressive numbers, outperforming the general population of the sale in cumulative average and median, and only giving up some slight ground in the RNA department.
Upon the completion of the three sessions that comprised Book 1 this year (Monday through Wednesday), and a dark day (Thursday) to allow prospective buyers more time to examine offerings from upcoming sessions, the two sessions of Book 2 took place on Friday and Saturday.
Through these first five sessions of trading, 16 New York-bred yearlings of 25 offered found new homes, selling for an average price of $222,500 and median of $200,000. The sale overall has posted a cumulative average of $211,692 (up 4.4% from $202,770 in 2014) and 150,000 median (the same as last year).
The 36% buy-back rate for New York-breds is somewhat higher than the 29.29% buy-back percentage for the general population of the sale (which is up from 27.15% last year), but may indicate that sellers feel confident that they have better options down the road. In all, 13 of the 16 New York-bred yearlings sold in Books 1-2 commanded six figures, and nine sold for $200,000 or more.
The top four Empire-breds, three colts and a filly, changed hands in Book 1, led by a pair of $500,000 yearlings, one a half-sister to I Want Revenge and the other a half-brother to Mr. Z, both bred by Newtown Anner Stud and both selling in Tuesday’s second session. The New York-bred standouts of Book 2 were Hip 799 and Hip 753.
Hip 799, a chestnut filly by Union Rags bred by Saratoga Glen Farm, LLC in Schuylerville, was purchased by Garland Williamson from Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm consignment for $290,000. Out of Bit of the Bubbly, an unraced daughter of A.P. Indy, the sale filly has six winning siblings of six to start, including Grade 1 stakes-placed Past the Point and stakes performers A Bit of Pressure and Cat Five. Her second dam is multiple stakes winner Bedroom Blues, an earner of nearly $600,000.
Hip 753, bred by SF Racing and consigned by Gerry Dilger’s Dromoland Farm Inc. went to Jay Em Ess Stable for $285,000. A chestnut colt by Sidney’s Candy out of placed runner Abbey’s Missy by Slewacide, the sale colt is a half-brother to Caleb’s Posse, by Posse, $1.4 million-earner and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile during a stellar 2011 campaign.
The Keeneland September Sale continues Sunday, September 20, with the first session of the two-day Book 3 and the auction runs through Saturday, September 26, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.
New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) will host a pair of events in October in conjunction with two important items on the calendars of most New York breeders: Empire Showcase Day and the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall Sale.
On Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park, Saturday, October 24, enjoy a full card of New York-bred racing, including eight stakes races, along with a buffet lunch in the Belmont Room located directly above the finish line overlooking the track. Jackets and ties are required for men in The Belmont Room/ no jeans for this venue.
NYTB is also offering a private charter bus departing from Saratoga Springs at 8:00 a.m. and arriving at Belmont Park at approximately 12:00 noon. The bus will leave Belmont Park after the conclusion of the day’s races. You must reserve your space by October 8th or an additional 25% late fee will apply.
Lunch & transportation: $95.00 per person
Lunch only: $65.00 per person
Please RSVP by October 8, 2015:
(518) 587-0777 or email@example.com
2015 NYTB Annual Membership Meeting, Seminar and BBQ
On Sunday, October 25, in advance of the Saratoga Fall Sale on October 26, NYTB will host “Plan to Win – Take Action for Success,” a seminar-style meeting which includes our 2015 Annual NYTB Membership Meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. The event is sponsored by the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund Corporation.
A panel of veterinarians will discuss developing a plan for your yearling using x-rays as a diagnostic tool and proactive approach to sales preparation. The seminar will be followed by a complimentary guest cocktail hour and fried chicken barbeque.
Those who wish to attend should RSVP to the NYTB office by October 19 at (518) 587-0777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Dave Mattice
FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Talented young horses displayed their class in a pair of 2-year-old New York-bred stakes on Friday at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR). The $115,749 Aspirant Stakes and the $119,613 Lady Finger Stakes were the co-features of the nine race card. Jockey John Davila, Jr. was aboard both victors of the rich events. He earned the triumphs in similar gate-to-wire fashion.
Gregorian Gold won the 37th renewal of the Lady Finger Stakes with an aggressive ride by Davila. The bay filly was sent to the front by the veteran journeyman and established a significant lead on her rivals. She sustained her speed and won the rich event for 2-year-old fillies by a margin of four and one-quarter lengths.
The $86,367 earner, [who is bred], owned and trained by Richard Lugovich completed the six furlong distance of the fourth race in a final time of 1:12.51. She scored her first victory in her second career start and paid $5.50, $3.20 and $2.70. Celestial Sighting rallied to secure the place position and returned $3.50 and $3.10. Pont de l’Alma was third and paid $3.90. [VIDEO]
Love That Jazz was also guided to a front running victory by Davila. The bay colt owned by Happy Face Racing Stables scored a one and three-quarter length triumph in the $115,749 Aspirant Stakes. He completed the 41st running of the six furlong dash for 2-year-old colts and geldings in a time of 1:11.56.
The Steven Asmussan-trainee [bred by Saratoga Glen Farm] improved his lifetime earnings to a sum of $99,800 and paid $9.30, $4.00 and $2.30. Dr. Shane was second and returned $3.80 and $2.30. Inside Straight was third and paid $2.10. [VIDEO]
John Davila, Jr. has recorded a total of four stakes victories during the 2015 season. The tally includes a triumph aboard Force in the $161,425 New York Derby at FLGR on July 3. The 51-year-old from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico is currently second in the local rider standings with 115 wins.
The Aspirant Stakes and the Lady Finger Stakes are held annually as preparation races for the New York Breeders’ Futurity. The Futurity is a six furlong sprint for New York-bred 2-year-olds with an estimated purse of $200,000. The annual stake is scheduled for October 17.
Typically only a handful of New York-breds are presented for sale in the first book of the Keeneland September yearling sale, but those few on offer tend to very well, and 2015 was no exception. In the first three sessions of trading that comprised Book 1 this year, four individuals of seven offered sold for prices ranging from $320,000 to $500,000.
The leaders of the pack were a pair of yearlings with exciting pedigrees bred by Newtown Anner Stud, foaled at the their Millbrook farm and offered by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent. Each, a filly and a colt, brought $500,000 in Tuesday’s second session of the auction.
The filly, Hip 446, is a dark bay or brown daughter of Malibu Moon who is a half-sister to six winners, topped by Grade 1 winner and earner of nearly a million dollars I Want Revenge (Stephen Got Even). Out of Meguial (ARG), a stakes winner and winner at two in Argentina, the half-million dollar filly was purchased by Castleton Lyons. Her winning siblings also include stakes performers A Story of Revenge (Tale of the Cat) and I want Glory (Chapel Royal).
Also changing hands in session two for $500,000 was the Newtown Anner-bred Hip 307, a chestnut colt by Unbridled’s Song purchased by Teruo Ono. A half-brother to graded stakes performer My Name Is Michael, the sale colt is out of Graciously Soft, a half-sister to multiple Graded 1 winner Spoken Fur (Notebook), also a stakes producer, and to multiple graded stakes winner Unbridled’s Note by Unbridled’s Song.
The top New York-bred seller of Session 3, which concluded the Book 1 action on Wednesday was Hip 666, a Ghostzapper colt out of an unraced daughter of Storm Cat Stormy Bear, consigned by Paramount Sales, agent and hammered down to Robert Baker and William Mack for $325,000. Bred by Jerry Bilinski in partnership with Roddy Valente and Rick Alfred and foaled at Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, the chestnut colt is a half to Mr. Z by Malibu Moon, a stakes winner with multiple graded placings and earner of over $997,000. Under the second dam, stakes placed Amelia Bearhart, Outstanding Broodmare in Canada in 1996, are such luminaries as multiple grass champion Chief Bearhart, a $3.2-million dollar earner, Grade 1 winner Explosive Red and an array of other top achievers through multiple generations. The colt sold as a weanling to Springhouse Farm for $190,000 at the Keeneland November sale.
Not far behind the Ghostzapper colt in sale price at $320,000 was session two seller Hip 358 by the late Harlan’s Holiday, purchased by Ben Glass, agent, from the consignment of Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm, agent. Bred by Milfer Farm Inc. and foaled at Milfer Farm in Unadilla the dark bay or brown Harlan’s Holiday colt is out of placed runner Kaileysgal, by Unbridled’s Song, and is a half-brother to three winners, topped by stakes winner Tensas Cat. His second dam is Warside (Lord at War), a multiple stakes winner. The colt was previously purchased by L & D Bloodstock at the Keeneland January mixed sale for $185,000.
After a “dark day” Thursday, the Keeneland sale resumes on Friday, September 18 with the first of two session devoted to Book 2 and continues through Saturday, September 26, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.
by Sarah Mace
Triple R Stable’s Galiana, a five-year-old daughter of New York sire Stonesider (Saratoga Stud, LLC), continued her reign over the Delaware Park main track on Saturday’s Owners Day program when she recorded a third straight victory in the $75,000 Tax Free Shopping Distaff, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. The apparently effortless score drove her Delaware record to an astonishing nine wins from ten starts.
Bet down to 1-5 for the “three-peat” and partnered with jockey Carol Cedeno, who rode the mare to a repeat victory last out in the $50,000 Dashing Beauty Stakes at Delaware on July 11, the Rodolfo Romero-trainee broke well from her outside post of six, and traveled just off the pace, while Outwithbigdaddy and Monaguska hooked up to lead the field through a first quarter-mile in 21.93.
Edging up three wide late along the backstretch run, Galiana gained the lead midway around the far turn and wasted no time in drawing clear, opening up at will in the stretch on her way to a 5 3/4-length victory. After completing a half-mile in 45.57, she stopped the clock at 1:10.34 after six furlongs. One Fast Chick closed from third into the runner-up spot, while Charm city came from off the pace to gain third.
Galiana has now won 15 of 28 career starts, including 11 tilts at six furlongs, and earned $616,621. In addition to her Delaware stakes victories – back-to-back editions of the Dashing Beauty Stakes in 2014 and 2015, the Sweet and Sassy Stakes in 2014, and consecutive three scores in the Tax Free Shopping Distaff, Galiana won the Primonetta and Skipat Stakes in back-to-back starts at Pimlico this year.
Bred by John T. Behrendt and Charles Marquis and foaled at Anne Morgan and Tim Little’s Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Galiana is out of Baby Jess, an unraced Argentinian-bred daughter of Interprete (ARG). A full sister to Galiana has won in Argentina.
by David Mattice
FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Fox Rules won the $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes for the second consecutive year. He scored a convincing victory in the 36th renewal of the event for older New York-breds at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR) on Saturday.
The M. Anthony Ferraro-trainee completed the one mile and one-sixteenth distance of the fourth race in a final time of 1:44.83. He was guided to the six and one-half length triumph by Pedro Rodriguez.
The 6-year-old gelding owned by Langpap Stables has won nine of his ten FLGR starts including the $160,800 New York Derby in 2012. He was voted FLGR Horse of the Year in 2014 after a successful season at his home track.
Fox Rules scored his 12th career win to improve his lifetime earnings to a sum of $403,455 and paid $7.30, $3.10 and $2.80. Crackerjack Jones finished second and returned $3.60 and $3.30. Show King rallied to be third and paid $4.10.
The Genesee Valley Breeders’ Association (GVBA) is the oldest thoroughbred breeding organization in the United States. The GVBA awards program is administered by the New York Breeding and Development Fund Corporation, and it continues to provide monies for breeders and stallion awards as well as enhanced purses for registered New York-breds.*
New York-bred 2-year olds will take center stage in the next rich races on the 2015 stakes schedule. The Lady Finger Stakes and the Aspirant Stakes are slated to be run on Friday, September 18. The annual events each have an estimated purse of over $100,000.
by Sarah Mace
Making his stakes debut in Saratoga’s Friday feature, the $100,000 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-breds three and up at nine furlongs, Royal Posse sat a classic stalking trip, hooked the pacesetter at the quarter pole and just kept digging to the wire to win a photo by the closest of bobs.
A four-year-old gelding by Posse, Royal Posse was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Rudy Rodriguez for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith two starts back out of close runner-up finish going one mile at Belmont Park on May 31.
In two subsequent starts for his new connections, both in second-level state-bred allowances at Saratoga at 1 1/8 miles, Royal Posse finished second by half-length to Evan Shipman rival Sea Raven on July 24 and won next out on August 20 by 2 3/4 lengths. Although the Evan Shipman spot was ambitious, the timing and race conditions made Rodriguez think it was worth a chance.
Said Rodriguez, “We entered [Royal Posse] just to take a chance. If he had finished third or fourth, it was going to be good,” said Rodriguez.
Breaking well from post four of six under Javier Castellano, Royal Posse did not take long to set up at the flank of pacesetter Saratoga Snacks, who was looking to double up on stakes victories after taking the Saginaw downstate on July 18.
Shadowing Saratoga Snacks along the backstretch, sometimes right at his flank, sometimes a length or more back through comfortable fractions of 25.37 and 50.14, Royal Posse was asked for a little more by Castellano on far turn and arrived at the quarter pole on nearly even terms with Saratoga Snacks.
Saratoga Snacks was determined, and Royal Posse simply refused to give an inch as the pair battled hammer and tongs down the stretch. In the end, Royal Posse just got his nose down in front at the wire to win a tight photo finish. Empire Dreams finished third behind the front pair, followed by Zivo, making his first start since last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 1. Gridley Here and Sea Raven completed the order of finish. After a mile went in 1:37.81, the final time for nine furlongs was 1:49.91. [VIDEO]
Castellano reported, “The way the race developed you could tell it was only a two-horse race. All the rest of the field came from way back. I just rode my race; I gave a chance to my horse. He doesn’t have to be on the lead. I thought Saratoga Snacks would be on the lead and I just wanted to follow him all the way. I was in the right place at the right time and he gave me a good kick today.”
Trainer Rodriguez gave full credit to the determination of both Royal Posse and Saratoga Snacks, as well as Castellano’s ride. “I thought the other horse [Saratoga Snacks] came back and beat us [at the wire],” he said. “I thought we were kind of going to draw away from him, but the other horse is a very, very game horse. I have to give all the credit to Javier. He rode the horse very, very good and it looked like the slow pace helped us a little bit better.”
Bred by Richard J. Troncone and Richard J. Troncone, Jr., Royal Posse is out of Struckbylightning, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Cryptoclearance. She has produced four winners from five starts, led by stakes-placed Ampart Ridge by Cactus Ridge, who earned $176,000 and Fried by Freud, a nine-time winner of over $116,000. The mare’s most recent reported foal as a yearling filly by Desert Party.
by Sarah Mace
Melodic, a 2-year-old daughter of Tale of the Cat owned by Jeff Treadway’s Treadway Racing Stable and trained by Leah Gyarmati, bested a robust field of New York-bred juvenile fillies in her six-furlong unveiling at Saratoga on Wednesday afternoon, wearing down pacesetter Louisville First with a determined stretch drive.
Relatively ignored by bettors at odds of 19-1, Melodic got into stride after bumping briefly with second-time starter Louisville First while breaking from post two under Kendrick Carmouche. Once settled the filly sat a couple lengths off the pace in third at the fence as Louisville First led the nine-horse field through a first quarter-mile in a snappy 22.15.
Catching a breather in the far turn, the chestnut filly swung out three-wide for the stretch drive as the half-mile ticked by in 45.66, took over second and set her sights on the leader.
Closing inexorably and with a length still too make up at the three-sixteenths pole, Melodic steadily wore down Louisville First in the last furlong, gained the lead in the final sixteenth and edged away to a two-length victory in a final time of 1:12.03. Louisville First finished second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Acapella in third. [VIDEO]
Gyarmati was impressed. Said the conditioner, “She got a great trip. [Kendrick Carmouche] gave her a great ride, but you’re always wondering, whatever spot you’re in, ‘Am I too close? Is she doing too much? Is she going to have anything left?’ And she did.”
Gyarmati added, ‘[Kendrick] said after he got off he felt pretty confident. When the dirt hit her in the face, she didn’t flinch. He said ‘I knew at the half-mile pole we were going to win.’” Gyarmati added with a smile, “I don’t know – that’s easy to say after the fact.”
It is special for Gyarmati to win for owner Jeff Treadway, for whom she has trained, most notably, multiple Grade 1 winner and $1.4-million earning filly Sweet Reason, graded stakes-winning colt Noble Moon and multiple Grade 1 stakes placed New York-bred filly Wonder Gal.
“[Jeff Treadway]’s put a lot of time and effort and money into the game and he’s been a great friend, too,” said Gyarmati. “We’ve kind of grown together. The meet kind of got off to a little bit of rocky start with some of the young horses that we have high hopes for, so I was glad that one of them came out and showed her stuff.”
Bred by Mia Gallo in partnership with Dave Stack, Mary Kopley, Sam Palazzole, Bernie Ryan and others, and foaled at Tom and Mia Gallo’s Bluestone Farm in Cambridge, Melodic changed hands twice via public auction. Purchased by Off the Hook for $50,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, she was hammered down to Patrice Miller/EQB in April at this year’s OBS spring 2-year-old sale for $150,000.
Melodic is the second winner out of Christina’s Melody a winning New York-bred daughter of Unbridled’s Song bred by Mia Gallo and Deborah Petrisak. Her third foal Echluath, a full sister to Melodic, is a five-time winner of nearly $130,000. The mare was bred to Frost Giant this spring.
by Bill Heller
Benefitting from a fine ride by red-hot Luis Saez, Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable and The Elkstone Group’s colt Good Luck Gus edged One Sided by a half-length to win the 38th running of the $250,000 Albany Stakes for three-year-old New York-breds, the highlight of Showcase Day for New York-breds at Saratoga Friday afternoon. Good Luck Gus gave Saez his third consecutive victory Friday following a maiden win aboard Heated Verdict and an upset in the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes on The Tea Cups.
Asked if the previous two wins helped his confidence in the Albany, Saez said, “That was big. We’re so happy to win here.”
Rudy Rodriguez trains Good Luck Gus, a son of Lookin At Lucky out of Tacticmove by Deputy Minister who was bred by Fred Hetrich III and sold for $97,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August, 2013. Good Luck Gus had won two stakes before the Albany, the $252,000 New York Breeders Futurity at Finger Lakes and the $100,000 Damon Runyon at Aqueduct to conclude his two-year-old season on Dec. 14th.
Rodriguez gave Good Luck Gus the winter and early spring off. He made his three-year-old debut at Belmont Park May 25th, finishing second by two lengths in the $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes. On July 3rd at Finger Lakes, Good Luck Gus finished fourth by 3 ¾ lengths to Force.
“We thought he had a lot of ability,” Dubb said in the winner’s circle. “We figured this (the Albany) was our objective.”
Bettors sent him off at 7-2 on the rail in the Albany. One Sided, who was ridden by Javier Castellano, went off at 5-2 and Force, who broke from the outside post in the field of six, was the 2-1 favorite under Jose Lezcano.
Javier Castellano shot One Sided to the lead from the two post and Lezcano placed Force a neck behind him on his outside in a very slow pace: a quarter in :25.30. Bellamy Way, who went off at 9-2 under Joel Rosario, raced in third and Good Luck Gus was fourth.
“The plan was we were going to be behind the speed, and when we made the move, hopefully we would have the horse,” Saez said.
Lezcano didn’t wait on Force, who took a half-length lead on One Sided after a half-mile in a pokey :50.23. Force couldn’t clear One Sided through three-quarters in 1:14.33. Bellamy Way remained in third while Good Luck Gus, who had fallen back to fifth, began his rally.
One Sided gamely came back on Force’s inside to re-take the lead after a mile in 1:38.30 while Good Luck Gus, who had moved into third, kept coming on the far outside. Inside the sixteenth pole, Good Luck Gus made the lead and won by a half-length.
One Sided saved second, a length ahead of Bellamy Way in third. Force was another length and a quarter back in fourth. [VIDEO]
Castellano told One Sided’s trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole he might have done things differently, but Repole brushed that aside, telling Castellano, “You did a great job.”
So did Rodriguez. “He was coming into this race very good,” he said. “We were pointing him to this race all along.”
Good Luck Gus improved his record to four-for-10 with three seconds and earnings of more than $510,000.
by Sarah Mace
With only one rival beaten in a 10-horse field by the top of the lane, Kendel Standlee’s The Tea Cups, a 5-year-old bay mare by Hard Spun, swung widest of all for the drive, passed all the other fillies and mares in the stretch, many extremely accomplished, and drew off to victory in her stakes debut, the 35th running of the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
On paper Discreet Marq, a multiple graded stakes winner and earner of more than $1.2 million, overlaid the field, but as it turned out it was not the grey superstar’s day. Instead, The Tea Cups (9-1) lurked innocently at the back of the pack, racing in ninth and tenth for a first half mile that went in 47.73, while 46-1 longshot Lady Kreesa led the way, pressed by Invading Humor and tracked intently in third by Discreet Marq.
The Tea Cups was still next-to-last through the far turn and entering the stretch. Swinging out eight-wide, she began to mow down the competition, while up front Lady Kreesa yielded the lead by a narrow margin to Discreet Marq.
Advancing in the clear down the center of the track, The Tea Cups surged late past remaining rivals and inched away to a one-length victory. After one mile in 1:36.72, she completed the 1 1/16 miles of the Yaddo in 1:42.92 over the firm inner turf course. She was followed across the line by Old Harbor, who closed from fourth to finish second, a neck ahead of Selenite, who had been racing mid-pack. Swear by It finished fourth a length back and one-half length ahead of Discreet Marq who weakened to fifth. [VIDEO]
Winning jockey Luis Saez said, “They went a little fast in the beginning the first part of it but I had a great trip. We were coming from behind so I stayed patient and at the three-eighths pole I came out. When we came into the stretch I said, ‘Man, everybody is right there,’ so I knew we could do something. When we came to the finish, we were in front. She ran big. She really responded.”
Jeremiah Englehart indicated that this win had extra significance for him. “This is my first stakes win at the meet and it’s exciting. The Yaddo was the first stakes race I ever ran in and I’ve always admired the race.”
Continued the conditioner, “Luis gave her a super ride. They were going quick up front and the closers seemed to have been having a better chance than the horses that were up front. I was a little worried that she was back so far, but he just gave her a really good ride. Luis did a phenomenal job.”
Last out on July 24 at Saratoga, The Tea Cups finished fourth by two lengths going 1 3/16 on the Mellon in an open first-level allowance. Englehart said that after that, “My main goal for her was this race and cutting back in distance. That helped her for sure.”
Englehart concluded, “It is something when you beat an awfully nice mare like Discreet Marq. Anytime you get to up against a really nice horse like that and you come away with a win, it’s an added bonus.”
Claimed for $16,000 on February 14 of last year and transferred to Englehart from Joan Scott that June, she has collected three wins a third and a fourth for the Englehart barn. With a record of five wins, three seconds and four thirds from 19 starts, The Tea Cups has now bankrolled $231,713.
Bred by William Parsons Jr. and David S. Howe, The Tea Cups is one of four winners out of Lunar Colony, a Kentucky-bred A. P. Indy mare. She is the dam of Lunar Victory, a son of Speightstown bred by the same team, who was a multiple stakes winner trained by Bill Mott for Juddmonte Farms, Inc. Lunar Victory won the 2012 Empire Classic and earned $446,495.
by Bill Heller
As good at the age of eight as he’s ever been, Allyu Ben J Stables’ home-bred Lubash ran down his nemesis King Kreesa to win his third straight race Friday at Saratoga on New York-bred Showcase Day. Flawlessly ridden by Junior Alvarado, Lubash won the 36th running of the mile-and-a-sixteenth $150,000 West Point Handicap for New York-breds on grass by one length in 1:43.04. Lubash was the 3-2 second choice and King Kreesa, who was piloted by Jose Ortiz, the 6-5 favorite in the field of five.
Lubash, who missed two weeks of training because of an incident on the backstretch at Belmont Park, has been one of trainer Christophe Clement’s favorites for a long time as he’s woven his million dollar-plus earning career. “He’s a fun horse; he’s a real fun horse,” said Clement, who continues to have an outstanding Saratoga meet. Lubash was Clement’s 12th winner from 43 starts.
Lubash is a son of Freud out of Nasty Cure by Cure the Blues. “He’s that good; he overcomes me,” Clement joked. “He tries harder.”
And he seldom disappoints.
The original field for the West Point was 10, but five horses, including top contender Kharafa, scratched, leaving Lubash and King Kreesa as the obvious two favorites. In last year’s West Point, King Kreesa edged Lubash by a head. They’ve raced against each other many times including earlier this year when Lubash captured the $125,000 Kingston Stakes at Belmont Park May 25th by a length over Kharafa with King Kreesa just another neck behind in third.
After the Kingston, Lubash made it two straight when he won a New York-bred allowance at 1-5. He left from the four post Friday. King Kreesa had the two post.
As he usually does, King Kreesa broke first and immediately seized the lead. But John Velazquez, riding 5-1 Notacatbutallama on the rail, completely changed the dynamics of the race when he took his horse off the rail and made a quick outside brush to take the lead. Ortiz responded by letting King Kreesa race in second on Notacatbutallama’s flank. After a first quarter in :24.67, Notacatbutallama slowed the pace down, hitting the half in :49.22 and three-quarters in 1:13.28.
Alvarado let Lubash idle along in fourth before asking him to get closer heading into the far turn. Coming out of the turn, King Kreesa surged past Notacatbutallama as Lubash bore down on him.
In the final sixteenth of a mile, Lubash surged clear, winning by a length. King Kreesa was second, a length and a half ahead of Notacatbutallama in third. Orino finished fourth, just a head behind Notacatbutallama, at 6-1. [VIDEO]
Lubash’s victory was his 14th in 40 grass starts with nine seconds and five thirds. He also has won one of three dirt starts and has total earnings of more than $1.2 million.
Alvarado said, “As soon as I pulled him out, he was there for me. He’s just such a classy, unbelievable horse. He makes my job easy.”
And Clement’s job joyful. “He’s a great horse,” Clement said. “It’s nice to win. I’m very grateful to the owners.”
The owners are most likely grateful to have Clement taking care of a horse as talented as Lubash.