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Updated: 12 hours 1 min ago

Fund purse enrichment adds 37% for NY-sired MSW winners at Finger Lakes

Wed, 2017-03-29 15:33

By Sarah Mace

An attractive new incentive to invest in New York-breds sired by New York stallions was approved at a March 28 board meeting of the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (the Fund). In 2017, when a New York-bred by a New York-based stallion wins a maiden special weight race at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, the horse will earn an extra $7,000, or 37 percent additional money from Fund purse enrichment.

The added money raises the Finger Lakes purse for a New York-sired winner of state-bred maiden special weight from $23,000 to $30,000. In open maiden special weight races, the purse goes from $19,000 to $26,000. To be eligible, a horse must be registered with the Fund as a New York-bred and the sire must be registered in the state in the year of the foal’s conception.

Fund Executive Director Tracy Egan said, “Our hope is that the seven-grand boost in first-place money will help more of our breeders look to our registered New York stallions first when making breeding plans.”

The decision to earmark some purse enrichment money for New York-sired horses comes at the same time the Fund board approved the disbursement of approximately $1.5 million in purse enrichment money to the FLGR racing program overall for 2017.

According to a plan announced March 16 by the Governor’s office, losses to the FLGR horsemen’s purse account incurred by a decline of gaming revenue resulting from the new del Lago Resort and Casino will be offset for the next two years by per annum contributions of over $2.1 million from three groups: the Fund ($1.5 million, pending the board approval just granted), racetrack operator Delaware North ($1 million) and del Lago ($440,000).

Referring to the Fund’s contribution to this plan, Fund Chairman John Poklemba said, “We are proud to provide necessary support to help Finger Lakes Racetrack thrive as part of Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive plan to preserve racing. This action, along with the other components forged by the Governor’s office, ensures the track and horsemen maintain operations without spending a single taxpayer dollar.”

Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. and ex officio member of the Fund Board, commented, “After a long period of uncertainty, we are stabilizing Finger Lakes for the short-term, and at the same time using the opportunity to make New York-sired New York-breds an even more valuable investment than they already are by placing the money in the condition that matters most.” New York-sired New York-breds already earn two times more in breeder’s and open owner’s program awards from the Fund than horses sired by stallions standing out of state.

Cannizzo explained further, “The New York breeding and racing programs absolutely depend on a healthy Finger Lakes. In 2016, New York-breds accounted for 73 percent of all Finger Lakes starts (6428 of the 8863) and earned 76 percent of all the purse money– about $13.4 million. The more that New York sired horses are involved in this, the more the whole program and its participants benefit.”

Cannizzo also points to the work still to be done:

We at NYTB look forward to continued dialog with Delaware North, the Finger Lakes Horsemen Benevolent Protective Association, the Gaming Commission and Governor’s Office on how to improve the long-term picture for racing at Finger Lakes.

It starts with field-size and ends with handle. We will also ensure that the dialog and a feasibility study for the development of a turf course does not disappear.  It very well could be the spark to ignite real change for their racing product, and something that will benefit all stakeholders in New York.

Breeders, owners and horsemen do not need to wait long to see the New York-sired bonus at work first-hand: the very first race of the 2017 racing season in the FLGR condition book is a maiden special weight for New York-bred three-year-olds.

Bluegrass Flag puts one in the win column in open Cicada

Sat, 2017-03-25 19:46

Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Short fields can be tricky, so it takes nothing away from Bluegrass Flag to say that she faced only two rivals Saturday afternoon in Aqueduct’s $100,000, 6-furlong Cicada Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Avoiding all the potential pitfalls, she posted an elegant gate-to-wire victory, garnering a first black type win for owners Thomas C. Albrecht and Vincent J. Fusaro.

After the Cicada drew five entrants, early morning temperatures forced even-money favorite Sounds Delicious (103.8 degrees) and 4-1 third choice Wilburnmoney (102 degrees) to scratch the morning of the race, as reported by the Daily Racing Form.

After the remaining three exited the gate at the bell, Bluegrass Flag, the 1-5 favorite under Kendrick Carmouche, Bluegrass Flag hustled a little to gain the lead, then settled down three wide, a length ahead of Heavenly Score to her inside who was intent on applying pressure. Tiz Rae Anna chased in third not far behind.

Rationing out her speed through early fractions of 23.66 and 47.31, Bluegrass Flag began to shake off the persistent Heavenly Score in the turn, widened her margin under some urging and romped home a 6-length winner in a final time of 1:11.99. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Carmouche said, “I don’t take her out of her stride. She broke good, the track looked like it was playing the outside speed, so I just kept her in contention and let her relax going on the backside. She just went on from there. I asked her a little and put the stick away.” The pilot added, “[Trainer] Tom [Morley] and his team did a good job of getting her relaxed for this race.”

Bluegrass Flag, a daughter of former New York sire Bluegrass Cat, broke her maiden by three lengths at second asking in a New York-bred maiden special weight at Aqueduct on January 14. In the February 19 Franklin Square, she ran a persistent second to Wilburnmoney in the Franklin Square after setting the pace.

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

After she got the job done in the Cicada, trainer Tom Morley observed, “With each start, she’s becoming more relaxed and professional. She ran a very good race in her first start. She was hooked extremely wide after missing the break and ran against a very good maiden field and ran a solid seventh. I wasn’t here when she ran second to Wilburnmoney. Apparently, she was a little hot beforehand, but today she was extremely relaxed.”

Continued Morley “I was kind of pleased when Terranova’s horse [Heavenly Score] came to us halfway around the turn because it almost looked like she was half-idling in front. Kendrick said she never really came out of third gear.”

Morley has the Park Avenue division of New York Stallion Stakes series on April 22 in mind for the filly’s next start. “She didn’t have a hard race today as well. It shouldn’t bring too many fears. Hopefully she’s all good tomorrow morning and one work and into the stallion series at 6 1/2 [furlongs].”

Bred by Susanne Hopper, James Hooper and Thomas Albrecht, and foaled at Haven Oaks Farm in Fort Edward, Bluegrass Flag is one of four winners of four to start, and first stakes winner out of No More Flags, a New York-bred multiple winner bred by the Hoopers. The mare has a juvenile by Posse and a yearling by Dublin on the ground, and was bred in 2016 to Stephanoatsee.

Mind Your Biscuits goes from post 14 to the top of the world in Dubai’s Golden Shaheen

Sat, 2017-03-25 13:55

Dubai Racing Club

By Sarah Mace

New York-bred, New York-sired Mind Your Biscuits (Posse) absolutely sparkled on the international stage Saturday. The 4-year-old chestnut broke from the outermost post of 14 in the Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse, covered the most ground with a wide trip, and still managed to post a much-the-best open-length win.

Joel Rosario, who had the riding assignment, had a well of prior success aboard Mind Your Biscuits to draw on. In three previous efforts, the pair finished a good-looking third in the Breeder’s Cup Sprint (eventually collecting second money due to a disqualification), won the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, and came up only a neck short in the Gulfstream Park Sprint on February 25.

Chad Summers, the colt’s 32-year-old conditioner and part-owner, is a veteran horsman, but newly-minted trainer, and was looking for his first victory. In the days leading up to the race, he was brimming with confidence.

After the draw, Summers said, “The outside post is what it is. You can’t change it and there are horses with much worse post positions in relation to their running styles than ours. I think that on paper the race sets up well for us otherwise and we’re not going to change our running style. We can be tactical enough but he is a little better making one sustained run from farther behind and he should like the longer straight here. He’s shown us every sign that he’s sitting on his lifetime best race and I think his lifetime best wins this by three lengths.”

On race day Mind Your Biscuits broke cleanly from his outside berth and was content to drop back into tenth position for the next 800 meters.

The colt raced at least seven-wide down the backstretch and took the turn wide. When Mind Your Biscuits and Rosario hit the head of the long stretch, they put Summers’ plan  of “one sustained run” into action.

Six wide, with nine horses yet to pass, Mind Your Biscuits stormed down the middle of the racetrack. He swept past his first five rivals rivals by midstretch, then tackled the remaining four after the 200-meter mark,  gaining the top spot for the last 100 meters. He drew off to win by approximately three lengths in a final time of 1:10.913 over a muddy track.

Fellow US runner Comicas, who also raced outside, finished second, followed across the line by British competitor Morawhij.

“The post position was way outside,” commented Joel Rosario. “I think I got some ground in the turn, not much, and then for a second I thought we might not get there. But he showed that he was the best horse in the race.”

Continued Rosario, “I was so wide on the outside. I was thinking ‘is this is going to work’? But as I said he was the best horse in the race and I’m proud of him. He’d showed us the last couple of times, he ran very well in the Breeders’ Cup and he won the Malibu. It was a very good race in America and every time he runs he improves a little bit more.”

Summers, who appeared astonishingly calm after his first training win, said,  “This is what we planned. It’s a storybook ending to a story. It’s a remarkable horse and it was a remarkable ride. I think he is the best sprinter in the country, in the world. He proved it today. It’s unbelievable. Everything here is first class, it means a lot.”

Despite the muddy track, Mind Your Biscuits, who had been kept in the clear for the length of the race, arrived at the winner’s circle for the celebration with a clean coat

Bred by Jumping Jack Racing LLC and foaled at Sue and Gary Lundy’s Cedar Ridge Farm in Pine Plains, Mind Your Biscuits is one of three winners from three foals to start out of Jazzmane, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Toccet and a half-sister to Canadian champion 3-year-old filly Kimchi (Langfuhr).  The mare has two more reported foals in the US, a 2-year-old filly by Posse and yearling colt by Officer.

Mind Your Biscuits was purchased as a short yearling by Machmer Hall at the 2014 Keeneland January sale. Offered at auction twice more, he RNA’d both times for $47,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale and at last year’s OBS Spring 2-year-old sale, after which Chad Summers, who had previously bought an interest in Mind Your Biscuits with his father and brother, acquired the colt privately on behalf of J Stables. Mind Your Biscuits. Liz Crow of BSW Bloodstock then purchased a minority interest in the colt on behalf of clients Head of Plains Partners and Michael E. Kisber.

Mind Your Biscuits’ second career Grade 1 tally and most lucrative score by far, improves his record to five wins, six seconds and a third from 15 starts and brings his earnings into the neighborhood of $2 million.

Final nomination deadline for foals of 2015 to FLGR Futurity Series is April 1

Tue, 2017-03-21 08:21

By Sarah Mace

The final deadline for nominating a 2015 foal to this year’s New York Breeders’ Futurity Series at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack is April 1. No nominations will be accepted after that date.

Please note, if your 2015 foal was nominated prior to the 12/31/16 deadline, you do not need to pay anything at this time. The two sustaining payments for nominated 2-year-olds are due May 31, 2017 and July 31, 2017, and must be postmarked by those dates. Also, no payments are due at this time for foals of 2016.

If you are unsure whether your 2015 foal has been nominated to the series, click here to see nomination status (listed by dam). If you cannot find your horse on the list or need additional information please e-mail or call Michele Fish at 585-924-3232, ext. 388.

The Futurity Series nomination fee is $150 and covers two races: New York Breeders’ Futurity ($200,000 estimated, open) AND Lady Finger Stakes ($100,000 estimated, fillies) OR Aspirant Stakes ($100,000 estimated, colts & geldings).

Checks should be made payable to Finger Lakes Racing Association and mailed to:

Finger Lakes Race Track
Attention: Futurity Stakes
PO Box 25250
Farmington, NY 14425

 Fed Ex Address:
5857 Route 96
Farmington, NY 14425

Please include sire/dam and name of two-year-old, if named. Payments must be postmarked on or before 4/1/17. Credit card payments can be made by calling Michele Fish at 585-924-3232, extension 388 or 585-747-4515.

If you call to make a credit card payment and get voicemail please state your intention to nominate, which horses you are nominating (by dam) and the best contact number to get back to you.  The voicemail will serve as a “postmark” for the eligibility deadline.


The New York Breeders’ Futurity $200,000 Estimated –  Sat., 9/30/17
The Lady Finger Stakes (fillies) $100,000 Estimated – Sat., 9/9/17
The Aspirant Stakes (colts & geldings) $100,000 Estimated – Sat., 9/9/17

Distance for all three races:  Six Furlongs

FOR TWO YEAR OLDS (FOALS OF 2015), FOALED IN NEW YORK STATE AND APPROVED BY THE NEW YORK STATE BRED REGISTRY. By subscription of $25 if made on or before December 31, 2016 or $150 if made after December 31, 2016 and on or before April 1, 2017.  The nomination fee to cover two races (The NY Breeders’ Futurity and the Aspirant Stakes or the Lady Finger Stakes). Eligibility payment schedule: May 31, 2017 – $425 each (covers two races); July 31, 2017 – $650 each (covers two races). Aspirant and Lady Finger nominees to pay $1,000 each to pass the entry box by the usual time of closing of entries.  Weights: Aspirant: 121 lbs.; Lady Finger: 120 lbs.  NY Breeders’ Futurity nominees to pay $2,000 each to pass the entry box by the usual time of closing of entries. Weights: Colts and Geldings: 122 lbs., Fillies: 119 lbs.  Added monies and all fees to be divided 60% to the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 5% to fourth, 2% to fifth and 1% to sixth, seventh and eighth.  A trophy to the owner of the winner. NO SUPPLEMENTAL NOMINATIONS. (WINNERS PREFERRED. Money earned as tie breaker).

Click here for FLGR racing office release.


Twisted Tom up just in time to capture Laurel’s Private Terms

Sat, 2017-03-18 22:42

James McCue

By Sarah Mace

Making his stakes debut Saturday in the 1 1/16 mile, $100,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park, Cobra Farm’s Twisted Tom (Creative Cause) came with a flying finish to nail 3-5 favorite and multiple stakes winner O Dionysus at the wire. The Chad Brown trainee, who RNA’d twice as a yearling for $22,000, has now won three of five career starts and banked $134,040.

Going off as 4-1 second choice in the field of seven, Twisted Tom enjoyed a ground-saving trip in fourth from his inside post, four lengths off the lead, while High Roller led, pressed along by Hashtag Alex, through an opening half mile in 48.97.

After losing several lengths in the far turn, Twisted Tom angled out four wide in upper stretch. Meanwhile O Dionysus had advanced from sixth into contention and was starting to run down Dharmaster, who had taken over the lead at the rail from third.

O Dionysus began to edge clear from Dharmaster, but Twisted Tom was charging home with huge strides. He picked off High Roller in midstretch and got up in the shadow of the wire to nip the favorite. The photo showed him winning by a short nose. A game Dharmaster finished a half-length back in third. After a mile in 1:39.19, the final time of the race was 1:45.68.

“It was very close, but my horse was finishing fast,” said winning jockey Feargal Lynch. “Mr. [Chad] Brown said, ‘Listen, he’s not going to make up six lengths,’ but luckily there was enough pace and they came back to us. When he switched leads and I got him to the outside and there was no kickback, he got it rolling.”

In a text to Gulfstream Park, Brown wrote, “I was very pleased with his performance. It was also a great ride. [Lynch] never gave up on him.”

Twisted Tom broke his maiden at second asking for trainer George Weaver and owner Thomas Brockley at Belmont Park last September 22 going a mile on the green in a state-bred maiden special weight. In his second start for Cobra and Brown on January 28 over the Aqueduct inner, he won through his first level state-bred allowance condition with a game stalking victory at the same distance.

Bred by Dr. William B. Wilmot and Dr. Joan M. Taylor, Twisted Tom is one of six winners from six foals to start out of Tiffany Twisted, a Wilmot-Taylor homebred who is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Incurable Optimist and two stakes-performers. Grade 1 winner Class Play appears further down the family tree.  Tiffany Twisted has a yearling filly by Fed Biz and was bred to Paynter in 2016.

Mission Impazible colt fetches $285,000 on Day 2 of OBS March

Thu, 2017-03-16 10:41

By Sarah Mace

Trading at the second and concluding session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company March 2-year-old sale produced another New York-bred standout: Hip 489, a son of Mission Impazible, who sold to Peter Quinn for $285,000 to become the auction’s top-priced New York-sired juvenile.

Bred by Twin Creeks Farm, Hip 489 is out of Deputy Reality, a half sister to stakes winner and graded stakes-placed A. P. Reality, and stakes performer Can’t Stop the Kid. The mare has produced five winners from six starters, topped by her second foal Teeth of the Dog by Bluegrass Cat, who won the 2012 Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes and earned $414,950. The sale colt’s full brother, 3-year-old Ethan Hunt, placed in two New York-bred stakes as a juvenile.

Twin Creeks Farm purchased Deputy Reality for $225,000 at the Keeneland November sale in 2012 and earmarked her, along with 20 other select Kentucky-based mares, to be bred to Mission Impazible in 2013, his first year at stud. Mission Impazible, a two-time grade 1 winning millionaire campaigned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC, stands at Sequel Stallions New York for a 2017 fee of $7,500.

The grey/roan colt sold initially at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale to Zayat Stables for $185,000 from the Sequel consignment. Consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent XIV, at OBS, he breezed a snappy quarter in :21.1 seconds on the final day of the under tack show.

Overall 32 New York-breds were offered at OBS. Twenty-one sold, including one private sale, for a 34.4% buyback rate, which was an improvement after the first session. The Empire State-bred average came in at $108,524 and the median was $75,000. The opening session saw a pair of New York colts go to Klaravich Stable, Inc. for $350,000 and $290,000 (read more).

The March Sale overall set records this year. The average price for a 2-year-old was $188,757, up 17.8% from a year ago and eking past the previous record of $187,201 in 2014. The median price was $100,000 compared with $102,500 last year. The buyback percentage was 27.5%.

The OBS Spring 2-year-old sale will be held April 25-28, with under tack shows to take place April 17-22.

Klaravich Stable snaps up top two New Yorkers at OBS March opener

Wed, 2017-03-15 06:45

By Sarah Mace

Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stable signed the tickets for both top-selling New York-breds at Tuesday’s opening session of the 2017 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company March sale of two-year-olds in training. Klaravich’s new juveniles are both colts, and each posted a furlong work of :10 1/5 seconds on the first day of the under tack show.

The New York-bred star of the day was a $350,000 bay by Arch, bred by Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud. The colt (Hip 124) was a pinhooking home run for consignor Randy Bradshaw, who bought him for a relatively modest $65,000 at last summer’s Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale in Saratoga.

The colt is out of Regard, a winner by Fusaichi Pegasus out of Notice me, who is a half sister to stakes winner and stakes producer Kona Way. Several accomplished New York-breds appear in the more extended family: stakes winner Shine Upon, also a stakes producer, graded performer Brigand and stakes winner Sky Music. Regard, a producer of two winners from two foals to start, currently has a yearling colt by Uncle Mo.

Klarman’s other standout New York-bred purchase was Hip 31, a $290,000 colt by Midnight Lute from the consignment of Crupi’s New Castle Farm, Agent V. Bred by Eaton & Thorne, Inc., the dark bay/brown horse, like the New York topper, is a graduate of the 2016 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Saratoga yearling sale, selling to St. Elias for $100,000.

The Midnight Lute colt, whose third dam is 1979 Eclipse champion older mare Waya, is out of Missyoulikecrazy (Lion Heart), a mare purchased by Thorndale Farms at the 2013 Keeneland November sale for $220,000. Grade 2-placed twice as a juvenile at Churchill Downs, Missyoulikecrazy is a full sister to graded winner and Grade 1 stakes-placed Pretty Prolific and a group performer in France.

Despite a good number of buybacks, the New Yorkers who changed hands did well at two-day sale’s opening session, Of 19 individuals offered on Day 1 after scratches, 11 sold for an average of $115,636. The New York-bred median came in at $75,000. The average for the general population of the sale was $192,120, up 23% from $156,322 last year, and the median came in $110,000, with no change from 2016.

The March Sale continues on Wednesday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m. (Hips 339-677).

Fifty Five last-to-first to win Grade 3 Florida Oaks in stakes record time

Sat, 2017-03-11 19:01

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Putting her signature late running style to excellent use, Empire Equines homebred Fifty Five earned her first graded stakes victory Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, scoring a well-timed last-to-first victory in stakes-record time under Jose Ortiz in the 34th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Florida Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

In her first four career starts, the bay daughter of Get Stormy had done nothing wrong. Following a third-place debut effort at Belmont on October 13, she broke her maiden for trainer Tom Bush at Aqueduct going 1 1/16 miles on turf on November 16; on New Year’s Day she captured an allowance at the same trip at Gulfstream Park. Making her stakes debut in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream on February 4, the filly came flying late from last, finishing third, only three-quarters of length behind the winner.

After breaking cleanly in the Florida Oaks, Fifty Five, who was third betting choice at odds of 4-1, settled down last of eight, working her way over to the two-path from post six by the time the field exited the chute. She comfortably rounded the first turn and loped along down the backstretch as much as 15 lengths off the lead. Meanwhile while 34-1 longshot Like a Hurricane set speedy early splits of 22.83, 46.90 and 1:12.09.

SV Photography

Fifty Five advanced a spot entering the far turn and, when asked, picked off all but four rivals in the bend.

Making made her way out into the five path for clear running in upper stretch, she shadowed 4-5 favorite La Coronel just to her inside in the sprint to the wire. With perfectly-timed momentum, Fifty Five cruised past her rival in the final strides to win by a neck.

After a mile in 1:35.68, Fifty Five’s final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth on turf of 1:41.60 set a stakes record, eclipsing the mark of 1:41.89 set in 2013 by Tapicat.

Said jockey Jose Ortiz, “[Trainer Tom Bush] just told me to keep patient and when you ask her, she is going to give you a big run. I just tried to follow [La Coronel] because I knew she was going to be tough, and as soon as we passed the eighth pole, I knew we had a decent chance to win.”

Owner/breeder John Crowe who, with his wife Sandy, races under the banner of Empire Equines, seems to get plenty of thrills from Fifty Five’s running style. “[Fifty Five]’s a heartthrob, because she always comes from behind like that,” said Crowe. “When [jockey Jose Ortiz] took her back early, I thought ‘She’s done this before.’ But when they turned for home, I said ‘Get her moving, get her moving.’”

Bush commented, “The [fast early] fractions helped us quite a bit, but she did move up on the backside with the rest of the field and was in pretty good shape.”

Added Bush, “It’s a terrific feeling. She just won a graded stakes and has improved every time we’ve run her, and you can’t ask more from a horse than that.”

Fifty Five, who was foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, is one of two winners out of John and Sandy Crowe stakes-placed homebred mare Soave, who died earlier this year. Soave was by Brahms out of New York-bred Cozzene mare Cozzekiki.

Fifty Five, a $24,000 RNA at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sales is is Get Stormy’s first stakes winner. She now sports a record of three wins and two thirds from five starts and has earned $162,600.