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Updated: 11 min 16 sec ago

Hit It Once More strikes again in Albany

Fri, 2016-08-26 16:38

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Riding the tide of a front-running, 6 1/2-length victory in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 23, where his final time was just 0.12 seconds off the track record and worthy of a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, Hit It Once More was at one time under consideration for this weekend’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes. Instead, trainer Gary Sciacca opted to go the state-bred route for now, and his colt answered the call Friday by acing the $250,000 Albany Stakes on Saratoga Showcase Day with another front-running triumph.

A son of Hard Spun owned by Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, Hit It Once More was seeking his fourth win in five starts. Kendrick Carmouche, the Albany win rider, had the assignment and the colt was bet down to ninety-five cents on the dollar by post time while spotting his rivals six-to-seven pounds.

Hit It Once More broke running from post six of seven and, in command from the start, gained the two path by the clubhouse turn and edged away from his pursuers along the backstretch.

While Hit It Once More continued around through the far turn under hand urging, Extinct Charm took a brief run at him, but the bay opened up again under a drive. He and swept to the wire to win by 3 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:50.30. Extinct Charm finished second, followed nearly eight lengths back by Celtic Chaos in third. [VIDEO]

Carmouche said, “He got out to the lead and was running nice and easy and when the other horses came up to him he responded. At the top of the stretch, he exploded and it was over. If they wanted to come with us they weren’t going to keep up with us. We wanted to just go and improve our position.”

Added Carmouche, “I would like to say congratulations to coach [Bill Parcells] and Gary Sciacca for their first win of the meet here. I know how hard it is to win at Saratoga but it’s a good race to win.”

Sciacca said, “He ran a great race up in Finger Lakes and came he came right back and did it again, so he’s for real. He could have sat right off it, but he runs better that way. He comes from last – it doesn’t matter. He can run anywhere he wants. But they didn’t go that fast, so that put him right in the driver’s seat.”

Continued Sciacca, “We liked him earlier and then he got little problems here and there, growing pains. But he got a little older and started doing really well after that. Then as we stretched him out, he started doing really well. The farther he was going, the better he was running.”

Hit It Once More will be pointed next to the Pennsylvania Derby.

Hit It Once More has four wins, all in state-bred company, in ten starts for earnings of $355,202. Bred by JMJ Racing Stables and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, the colt was purchased as a yearling for $105,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale, before he was picked up by Sciacca for $90,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale. His dam, stakes winner Sunday Geisha, has a yearling colt by Freud, weanling colt by Oxbow and was bred to Violence this year.

Syndergaard scintillating in Funny Cide

Fri, 2016-08-26 14:45

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Syndergaard, named after New York Mets’ All-Star pitcher Noah Syndergaard, delivered an all-star performance to kick off Saratoga New York Showcase Day Friday, winning the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong contest for New York-bred 2-year-olds, by double-digit lengths.

Hoping to make good on the promise of his debut, which he won by three lengths on August 8 in front running style while earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure, the Todd Pletcher-trainee teamed up once again with John Velazquez.

Bet down to seventy cents on the dollar in the short field of four, Syndergaard broke from the outside post, was urged to the front and led the field in the three path through swift splits of 21.52 and 44.35.

Never facing a serious challenge on backstretch and turn, by upper stretch it was all over but the shouting as the Majesticperfection colt opened up under a hand ride to win by 10 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:16.75. Bobby On Fleek finished second, followed across the line by Gold for the King and Tribecca [VIDEO]

Velazquez reported, “We knew he was fast so the plan was to let him break and wherever he lands, we’d just go and try to finish. He has a bright future. He’s a nice, big horse, so hopefully we can keep him going.”

Todd Pletcher commented, “We were optimistic coming in. The horse trained very well and ran well in his debut. We felt like Bobby On Fleek was very impressive in his debut, so it was going to be an interesting matchup. He’s just got so much early speed that I think he kind of forced everyone to chase him a little bit. Yeah, he came with the heater today.”

Added Pletcher, “As fast as he’s going he’s doing it in a pretty relaxed fashion. Even though he was rolling along, he was doing it within himself and had his ears pricked and felt comfortable and we weren’t going to take away what comes easy.”

When asked about the Grade 1 Champagne on October 8 as a possible next start, Pletcher said, “I think so. He’s run well enough in both of his starts, it’s worth the conversation. He ran well enough in his maiden that had this race not been here we might have considered a race like the Hopeful. But you feel like you want to take what’s obvious in a situation like this; it’s back in 18 days; it was a quick turnaround, but everything he did between the races indicated to us he was going to come back in good shape and thankfully he did.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Owned in partnership by Eric Fein, Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Harris, Guri Singh, and Jerry Walia, Syndergaard has earned $81,900 from his two victories.

Bred by Burleson Farms and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, Syndergaard commanded the top New York-bred selling price at this year’s OBS April sale, when he was purchased by Eric Fein for $450,000 after breezing one furlong in a co-bullet :9 4/5.

Syndergaard is out of Magic Belle, a New York-bred multiple winner and six-figure earner by Gold Case, who was purchased by Lyn Burleson at the 2010 Keeneland January sale for $26,000.

The mare herself brought $425,000 as an OBS 2-year-old in 2004 and has since produced four winners from four foals to start. The colt’s second dam is stakes placed Magical Thinking and there is abundant black type under the fourth dam Roar N’ Honey. Magic Belle was bred this year to Fast Anna.

Yearling filly by Uncle Mo tops NY-breds in select session of OBS August

Wed, 2016-08-24 09:51

By Sarah Mace

A dark bay/brown New York-bred filly by Uncle Mo hammered for $150,000 to top the New York-bred offerings during Tuesday’s select session of the three-day Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s August yearling sale. The filly was the co-fifth top seller on the day.

The New York topper, Hip 227, bred by Lansdowne Thoroughbreds and foaled on February 24, 2015, was previously purchased by Hal Hatch for $70,000 as a weanling at the Keeneland November sale. Consigned by Imagine at OBS, she went to Moneyballs Racing & Sales.

The sale filly is the first foal out of Maryland-bred Dark Nebula, a multiple winner and earner of $122,196. The filly’s second dam is a stakes performer, and she issues from the family of Grade 1 winner and sire Indian Charlie, and Grade 3 winner Soviet Sojourn.

Also bringing six figures in the OBS select session was Hip 145, a New York-bred filly from the first crop of Morning Line, a Grade 1-winning millionaire son of Tiznow. The dark bay/brown yearling, foaled February 20, 2015, like the New York-bred session topper, was a graduate of the Keeneland November sale, where she went to J & S Racing for $45,000. At OBS, consigned by Stuart Morris, she fetched $100,000. Justin Casse, signed the ticket on behalf of Gabe Grossberg.

Bred by Omega Farm, LLC, the Morning Line filly is the first foal out of Union Boss, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Dixie Union, who has a weanling filly by Mucho Macho Man on the ground, and was bred to Bayern this year. Union Boss is one of five winners out of multiple stakes winner Capitol View and comes from the family of multiple Grade 1 winner Play Fellow.

Of 29 New York-breds to go through the ring in Tuesday’s select session in Ocala, 21 yearlings sold for an average of $23,962. The New York-bred median price was $10,000. In the sale at large, the average price was $40,667 (down 10% from $45,163), while the median was $25,000 (down 28.6% from $35,000). The New York-bred buyback rate was 27.6%, better than the sale’s buyback percentage of 38.1%.

The OBS August sale continues Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. with Hips 275-660 selling in the first of two Open sessions. Click here for New York-bred hip numbers.

Disco Partner rockets home a winner in Troy Stakes

Sat, 2016-08-20 22:09

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Patricia Generazio homebred Disco Partner (Disco Rico) passed four rivals in the final furlong of Saratoga’s $100,000 Troy stakes on Saturday afternoon and, with a last surge among a host of closers, got up in time to win the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint by a neck.

An eye-catching runner-up two races back when he motored home to finish just a neck behind Pure Sensation in the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes at odds of 16-1, Disco Partner was looking for redemption after his July 9 race, a seven-furlong open turf sprint allowance, when he could not manage better than fourth after being compromised by a poor start.

Bet down to 4-1 third choice in the field of seven while cutting back to distance he had not raced since last summer at the Spa, Disco Partner settled in fifth for the opening portion of the race, but never more than three lengths or so from early pacesetter Spring to the Sky, who clocked a challenging opening quarter mile in 21.79 with Rainbow Heir in hot pursuit.

The grey was asked in earnest for his bid when spun out five wide into the lane. In the clear toward the grandstand side, full of run and joining a cavalry charge for home, he passed four rivals to his inside, and outfinished 2-1 favorite Green Mask who was closing to his outside to secure victory in a blazing final time of 1:00.93.

Only 2 1/4 lengths separated the entire field at the finish. Green Mask and and Rainbow Heir finished noses apart to complete the trifecta, followed a half length back by Long On Value. Calgary Cat, Spring to the Sky and Songsational completed the order of finish. [VIDEO]

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said of his excellently-timed ride, “Today we broke very clean. We took a good position and had a perfect trip. You have to give [trainer] Jim [Ryerson] all the credit, he had him trained well. I’m very happy that I could get it done for him.”

Continued Ortiz, “There was some speed in there. He broke really clean, that was our concern. He had broke poorly before [July 9], but we got it done.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Ryerson added, “With five-and-a-half [furlongs], he probably has to lay a little closer than he would like, but Jose [Ortiz] did a great job and got him up, and that is all that counts. I told him to try to get him in the clear for the run. He’s not the type of horse you want to pick your way through while saving ground and waiting for a seam. He really has to get that momentum sweeping off that turn. That seems like his best race.”

In addition to his runner-up finish in the Jaipur, 4-year-old Disco Partner has been knocking on the door in stakes competition on and off ever since his second career start, when he finished second in the Great White Way division of the NYSS in December 2014. Third in his sophomore debut in April 2015, the Times Square division of the same series, he transitioned from dirt to turf competition and he added a third place finish in the Quick Call at Saratoga.

With five wins, four seconds and two thirds from 14 career starts, this hard trying and consistent runner has earned $359,310. Disco Partner’s conditioner is eyeing the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational on October 8 for his next start.

Disco Partner is one of five winners from five starters out of Lulu’s Number, a multiple winner of over $200,000 by Numerous bred by Patricia Generazio in New Jersey. Her first foal Don Six’s Number (Don Six) is a stakes performer and earner of $212,686. The mare’s offspring combined have earned over $940,000 in purses.

Currently Lulu’s Number has a 2-year-old New York-bred filly by Pomeroy named Lulu’s Pom Pom who is in training at Belmont Park and a yearling filly by Posse named Lulu’s Partner. Lulu’s Number was bred to First Samurai this year.


Union Avenue all Hot City Girl

Thu, 2016-08-18 20:02

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Looking for her first win of 2016 in her Saratoga debut, last year’s champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly Hot City Girl (City Zip) had everything her way on Thursday afternoon at the Spa, when she wired the 6 1/2-furlong, $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Out of post five a half-step faster than her rivals, by contrast with rival speedster and projected frontrunner Court Dancer who hit the gate and spotted the field six lengths, odds-on favorite Hot City Girl got over to the rail and quickly put some daylight between herself and early pursuer Hot House Rose while running a first quarter mile in 22.46.

Maintaining a one-length lead along the backstretch and extending her advantage to two lengths through the far turn, Hot City Girl geared up for the drive at the top of the lane. Challenge-minded Quezon swung out and set her sights on the leader, but gave futile chase, as Hot City Girl was roused in upper stretch, maintained her lead unopposed and cruised to a 1 3/4-length victory.

After completing six furlongs in 1:08.67, Hot City Girl stopped the clock at 1:15.03. Runner up Quezon (2-1) finished more than seven lengths ahead of California invader Dr. Fager’s Gal (7-2). Completing the order of finish were: Hot House Rose, the unlucky Court Dancer and Familyofroses. [VIDEO]

Jockey Jose Ortiz said, “Plan ‘A’ was to sit second but the other horse with speed [Court Dancer] didn’t break well so I took charge when she was taken out of the race and she did it.”

Linda Rice who trains Hot City Girl for Lady Sheila Stable, said, “I was concerned about the speed of the number four [Court Dancer], obviously, but we were on the outside. Jose and I talked about it. Our intention was there was a good chance we were going to need to sit second off the four, but we had a good post for that. It’s obvious on [Hot City Girl’s] past performances that she has won most of her races on the lead, so if we get that option that is plan A. When [Court Dancer] didn’t break, it certainly made it easier for us.”

Hot City Girl, a half sister to champion sprinter La Verdad, earned over $450,000 last year. She won the 2015 Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks and Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel, then completed her 3-year-old campaign with a game second-place effort behind Birdatthewire in the Grade 1 La Brea at Santa Anita. In her two 2016 starts she finished fourth in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie in February, and after a freshening, ran third in the Dancing Renee at Belmont Park.

Said Rice, “Last time [in the Dancin Renee] I ran her a bit short [on conditioning], but I tried to make the race because I thought it would be a good prep for bigger and better things. It didn’t pan out as well as we would have liked; we were a bit disappointed. We took a step back and had more time to get her ready for this. She ran well today.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Of the filly’s fine first performance at Saratoga, Rice said, “She has never run over this course. I had her in the Prioress last year. I elected to scratch her; she was in the one-hole in a 12 or 14-horse field at about 30-1. We scratched her and raced in the Grade 3 at Charles Town, which she won. I was hoping she would like the course, but just because La Verdad did, didn’t mean she would.”

Rice may point Hot City Girl next to the Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont on October 1. “It might be a nice spot for us,” said Rice. “It’s a nice purse and La Verdad won that race last year and this filly has run well at Belmont also.”

With six career wins, including three stakes victories, three seconds and a third in 15 starts, Hot City Girl has earned $588,150.

Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC, and foaled, like La Verdad, at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Hot City Girl is out of 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 champion sprinter La Verdad and Hot City Girl, Noble Fire is the dam of black type performer N. F.’s Destiny, who has earned over $300,000. Altogether, the mare’s offspring have earned over $2.4 million and she was crowned 2015 New York broodmare of the year . Currently Noble Fire has a weanling colt by Will Take Charge and was bred this year to Pioneerof the Nile.

Jules N Rome parlays outside draw into victory in the Saratoga Dew

Mon, 2016-08-15 22:51

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Jules N Rome, who was claimed on July 27 from Midwest Thoroughbreds and trainer Danny Gargan for $62,500 by Rudy Rodriguez for owner Michael Dubb, overcame an outside draw to score a decisive first stakes win over nine rivals in the 1 1/8-mile, $100,000 Saratoga Dew Stakes at the Spa on Monday.

Partnered for the first time with Javier Castellano for her eighteenth career start, Jules N Rome (3-1 second choice) got away alertly and quickly made her way toward the inside to save ground through the first turn, traveling in fourth in the two path behind pacesetter Isabelle.

Getting back out to the three path on the backstretch and continuing to stalk the pace, the grey was asked for more late in the bend and swung out four wide into the lane. Advancing to second in upper stretch, Jules N Rome overhauled Isabelle in the final furlong and drew clear, to hit the wire a 1 3/4-length winner. After a half mile in 48.52 and a mile in 1:38.09, the final time for the race was 1:50.98.

Pacesetter Isabelle (10-1) finished second, followed 1 1/2 lengths back by Jc’s Shooting Star. Flipcup, the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth. [VIDEO]

Castellano reported, “I really like what this horse did last time [when she finished third going nine furlongs on July 27 at Saratoga]. Watching replays, it looked like she just got tired a little bit but still showed a good effort. Today, we had to overcome the outside post. I had to save ground the first turn to cover her up a little bit, and I think that was the key to winning the race. Once I put her back outside turning for home she really responded and took it to the field. Rudy told me it was a tricky post, being way outside, and not to use too much horse in getting position so she would have something left at the end. Thankfully, we got it done.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Rudy Rodriguez said after the race, “I was concerned about the outside post, but Javier [Castellano] gave her a perfect ride. He was able to save ground early. She shows up all the time.”

Of the decision to claim the 4-year-old Dunkirk filly, Rodriguez said, “We always liked her. We looked at her for a long time; we wanted to claim her for $40,000 [last October] but a couple of the [potential] owners didn’t think she had the numbers. When they put her in for $62,500 [on May 30], we talked to Michael Dubb, and he said ‘Take her.’ That’s why he is who he is in this game.”

Bred in partnership by Harry L. Landry and Constancia Farm and Dunkirk Syndicate, Jules N Rome is out of Pretty Honoree, a chestnut Florida-bred winner who has produced two winners from three starters.

Jules N Rome, who is Pretty Honoree’s first stakes winner, has compiled a record of seven victories, five seconds and a third from 18 starts and earned $376,182. The filly changed hands twice at public auction. She was purchased by Kirk Wycoff for $19,000 as a weanling at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton fall mixed and horses of racing age sale. The following year she brought $77,000 when purchased by Xavier International at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

Sheriffa wires Jack Betta Be Rite

Mon, 2016-08-15 20:40

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Antonino Miuccio’s Sheriffa, a 5-year-old daughter of Posse, collected her third career stakes victory with a front-running performance in the $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite at Finger Lakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Despite getting out of the gate a step slow under jockey Oscar Gomez, Sheriffa, the 9-5 second choice, made up the deficit in short order and took clear command of the six-horse field by the time the horses passed under the wire for the first time.

Enjoying an uncontested lead along the backstretch through a half mile in 48.94, and still leading by three lengths into the far turn, Sheriffa never experienced a serious challenge, cruising home a 3 1/4-length winner in a final time of 1:45.02.

Dark Desire, second throughout, earned the place money, finishing two lengths ahead of 3-5 favorite One More Act. The rest of the field, Bajan Beach, My Wild Gata and Mom’s Law were well separated from the top three. [VIDEO]

Trainer Linda Rice claimed Sheriffa for Miuccio for $16,000 out of a winning effort in a Belmont sprint on September 12, 2014. In 2015 Sheriffa earned $266,334 winning both the Critical Eye Stakes and Staten Island division of the New York Stallion series. Apparently overmatched in her two most recent starts this year, the Biogio’s Rose on February 7 and Critical Eye on May 30, she clearly relished the time off and the class relief in Farmington.

Bred by Colts Neck Stables LLC and foaled at Vinery New York in Hudson, Sheriffa is one of two winners produced by Smileforamile, a winning Virginia-bred daughter of Unbridled’s Song. Her filly by Orientate, Love Your Smile, has won seven races and earned nearly $200,000 sprinting. The mare currently has a yearling filly by Posse and a weanling colt by Afleet Alex.

Sheriffa now has seven wins, four seconds and five thirds to her credit from 23 career starts and has earned $469,984.

Uncle Mo colt brings record $450,000 to top FT NYB sale

Mon, 2016-08-15 09:13

By Sarah Mace

A colt by hot young sire Uncle Mo brought a sales-record price of $450,000 to top an unusual renewal of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale. Slated to occupy two sessions on Saturday and Sunday, the sale’s Saturday session was cancelled after only two horses went through the ring due to violent storms. The auction was rescheduled for Sunday, when the full catalog was offered in a single session beginning at 3 p.m.

The $450,000 Uncle Mo colt, Hip 458, who is currently named Mo Diddley, was purchased by Everett Dobson of Cheyenne Stables from the consignment of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds LLC, Agent. Bred by Andy Beadnell, the colt is the fifth foal out of Miss Bodine, a Kentucky-bred stakes-placed daughter of Vindication, whose first two foals and only two to start are winners. Most recently her second foal, 4-year-old Euros to Dollars, picked up his second career victory in a Saratoga allowance on August 6.

Miss Bodine is a half sister to ten winners including three stakes winners: Icecoldbeeratreds (In Excess [IRE]), winner of the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity, and his full siblings Controlled, who is also a multiple stakes producer, and Inexcessive Speed. Currently Miss Bodine has a weanling colt by Mucho Macho Man.

Hip 458/Fasig-Tipton

Dobson told the TDN “I liked his presence. Obviously Uncle Mo is maybe the most exciting young stallion we’ve had in this sport in many, many years. And it’s a New York-bred. I like that. I race up here a lot. He checked all the boxes and I’ll be glad to put him in the racing stable – thrilled to put him in the racing stable.” Dobson said the colt will go to Randy Bradshaw in Florida for early training, but has not decided who train him at the track.

Breeder Andy Beadnell commented, “We knew he was going to sell well, but we didn’t know he’d go that high. [Consignor] Joe [McMahon] knew. He knew who was on him and he put the reserve higher than what I was kind of happy with, but it worked. He went way past his reserve.”

Next in the rankings of the top sellers were a pair of colts purchased by Linda Rice on behalf of Sheila Rosenblum (of La Verdad fame). The pair were also under bidders on the sale topper.

Hip 385, a bay colt by City Zip bred by John Lauriello, sold from the Indian Creek consignment for $375,000. The City Zip colt is the first foal out of Flaunted, an unraced Tale of the Cat mare. Flaunted is a half sister to stakes winner Lady Melesi, who is also a multiple stakes producer.

Rice, who trained City Zip and is always on the lookout for likely offspring of his, said, “City Zip has had an incredible year. This horse is a City Zip that looks like he’ll get two turns – he’s really a stretchy horse. He’s a New York-bred and I think he’ll run long.”

Rosenblum commented, “We looked at quite a few and he definitely stood out, with his conformation and the way he walked.  We are looking for two-turn horses. Ideally for a colt that is distance, dirt or turf, or a filly with a decent pedigree. And New York-breds are very good for us since we’re both in New York. These City Zips are really proving themselves.”

The second major purchase by team Rice-Rosenblum and third top-seller was Hip 490, a son of Mineshaft who is a half-brother to New York-bred graded stakes winner and classic contender Upstart ($1,732,780). The colt brought $335,000 from the Summerfield consignment.

Bred, like Upstart, by Mrs. Gerald A. Nielsen, the colt is out of Party Silks, an unraced daughter of Touch Gold also bred by Mrs. Nielsen. The mare has produced two winners from two starters, and was bred this year to American Pharoah. The sale colt’s second dam Intend to Win (Housebuster) is a stakes-placed Kentucky-bred purchased by Gerald Nielsen for $120,000 at the 2001 Keeneland November sale.

Rice commented, “I picked out three colts here. The City Zip colt, the [sale-topping] Uncle Mo colt that we were the under bidder on and let go, and this one. So we were a little sad about the Uncle Mo colt, but we got this one.”

Overall sale indicators did not quite rise to the lofty and record-breaking heights of 2015, but were strong, nevertheless, and fully in keeping with the gains made by the New York-bred program the last five years. The results were also in keeping with the current auction trend toward strength at the high end of the market and more difficulty at the low.

Of 263 yearlings offered, 177 sold (including 16 private sales). The sale average of $77,246 dipped 5.5% from last year’s record-setting $81,739, while the median of $60,000 was down 7.7% from a record-tying $65,000 in 2015. The buyback percentage was 32.7% compared with 27.8% in 2015. A total of 43 yearlings sold for at least six figures, with nine fetching $200,000 and up.

Fasig-Tipton President and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. told the TDN, “I think it was a pretty similar marketplace to last year. It might be a tiny bit tighter. We saw slight declines, not alarming declines, but slight declines. If you are in the upper echelon of the catalogue, whatever catalogue it happens to be, you’re going to be in really good shape and there is plenty of activity.”

Continued Browning, “Bunches and bunches of horses sold way above their reserves in that echelon. But when you are in the bottom half of the catalogue at a sale like this, it is hand-to-hand combat. It’s tough and you better know who you have on your horse and you better hope you have someone on your horse. The perceived less-quality horses are difficult to sell. That hasn’t changed at all in recent years and rather than narrowing the definition of what is not perceived quality, that definition might be expanding slightly.”

Brown, who did not think the single-session format had an impact on sale results, also felt that the buyback percentage was in line with recent sale history. He believes it continues to reflect the attractiveness of racing in New York as an option for breeders who do not get the prices they are seeking in the auction ring.

Said Browning, “Historically, if you do a chart for this sale over the last 10 years, this is basically right in range with the traditional buy-back rate. The beauty and the curse of a New York-bred is that they have the ability to run for significant purse dollars. Those earnings potentials apply to breeders as well as to buyers. And the breeders probably have a greater tendency to retain their horse because they can control where it races. If you are a New York breeder and you buy your horse back, it’s going to run in New York in virtually all instances.”


Free N Clear takes NYSS Statue of Liberty

Thu, 2016-08-11 20:49

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Paradise Farms Corp.’s Free N Clear (Bluegrass Cat), claimed out of her second start on February 15 for $25,000 by trainer Patrick Quick, captured Thursday’s Saratoga feature, the $100,000 Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Stakes for eligible New York-sired 3-year-old fillies, which was run at one mile on the inner turf over a firm track.

Free N Clear, who started out on dirt, has flourished on the grass for her new connections. Switched to the green following her third start on the Aqueduct inner in February, where she missed breaking her maiden by a nose at the $40,000 claiming level, she graduated next out and since then has been keeping allowance company. On July 17, she cleared her first-level state-bred allowance condition at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont when she defeated older fillies and mares by 1 1/4-lengths.

Setting up in third in the second flight after the break, Free N Clear rushed up briefly along the backstretch to press leader Louisville First, who was pursued by Ametrine, then took back into third.

Jockey Junior Alvarado explained, “She broke very good. Coming into the first turn, I couldn’t ask for any better position. On the backside, I wanted to apply some pressure so they wouldn’t slow it down any more, and then I eased off by the half-mile pole.” The opening splits went in 24.74 and 49.01.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Stalking now with intent, the bay filly was asked for more rounding the turn and, at the head of the stretch, began her ultimate bid. Passing Ametrine and eroding Louisville First’s lead in upper stretch, she took over with a sixteenth to go and edged off to a half-length victory.

Ametrine finished 2 1/4 lengths back in third, while Highway Star and Frosty Margarita dead-heated for fourth, followed across the line by Lady Lucky and Naked Empress. The final time for the race was 1:36.94. [VIDEO]

Alvarado said, “At the quarter-pole, I asked her, and she gave me a nice kick. I knew I had enough horse, and by the eighth pole I knew I was going to go by. The other horse [Louisville First] made my job a little tougher, but I knew what kind of horse I had.”

Patrick Quick reported, “She’s a beautiful-looking horse. She came in second the time before we claimed her in a maiden New York-bred $25,000 race [her debut]. So she came in second and chances are she would be good enough to break her maiden, at least. Fortunately, she came in second the day we claimed her, also, so this way we were able to break her maiden, and then we tried her on the grass. She’s better on the grass. And she’s matured a little bit. As they get older, they get a little stronger.”

The veteran trainer added, “I think this is my first stakes win in Saratoga.” He was correct. “I might have won one before here,” Quick continued, “but I’m not sure. I’m getting old; I forget things. This was a great experience — it was wonderful. Anytime you can win a race here, it’s great. And if you win a stakes race, it’s just really, really great.

Quick concluded, “We only get lucky once in a while and claim and get lucky, and then we claim and we don’t do any good. That is the way the business goes. We just kind of got lucky with her.”

From three lifetime wins, two seconds and a third, the newly-minted stakes winner has earned $146,930.

Bred by Blueflight LLC, Free N Clear is one of three winners, and the first black type winner from three starters out of Mama I’m Home, a Florida-bred multiple stakes-placed winner out of Wheaton who last changed hands when purchased by Tom Priola for $3,500 at the Keeneland November sale. The mare currently has a yearling colt by Big Brown named Sidd Finch who has not started and weanling colt by Discreet Cat. She was bred this year to Shackleford.

Day 2 of F-T Saratoga selected yearling sale produces two more NY-bred standouts

Wed, 2016-08-10 10:05

By Sarah Mace

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s second session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro out of a half-sister to Untapable emerged as the top-selling New York-bred when purchased by Hartley / de Renzo for $300,000. A second New York-bred standout, Lady Scarlet by Scat Daddy, was the top Empire-bred filly of the sale, hammered down earlier the same evening for $250,000.

The Medaglia D’Oro yearling,  Hip 193, a dark bay/brown colt foaled February 5, 2015, was bred by Gallagher’s Stud and consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud, acting as Gallagher Stud’s agent. The sale colt’s dam Wild Chant is a winning daughter of War Chant who has produced three winners from three foals to start.

Wild Chant was purchased by Gallagher’s Stud at the 2011 Keeneland November sale for $300,000 from the Gainesway consignment. Out of Fun House, who is a graded stakes winning daughter of Prized and earner of over $430,000, Wild Chant is a half sister to recently-retired champion Untapable, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 2014 and earner of over over $3,900,000. Fun House is also the dam of Grade 1 winner, millionaire and sire Paddy O’Prado.

War Chant currently has a weanling filly by Lemon Drop Kid and was bred back to Medaglia d’Oro this year.

The top New York-bred filly, Hip 159 by Scat Daddy, who is dark bay or brown like the top colt, was bred by Avanti Stable and consigned by Paramount Sales, Agent V. An April baby foaled at Stonebridge Farm in Gansevoort, she is the third offspring of winner Speightful Lady (Speightstown) who has produced one winner from two to start. The filly’s second dam, graded stakes England’s Rose (Nureyev), has produced a stakes performer. Multiple stakes winner and multiple graded stakes performer Five Star Momma appears in the family of the third dam Infringe (Irish River [IRE]).

Of seven New York-breds offered this year at the Saratoga selected yearling sale, four changed hands for an average of $222,500.

Overall, the year-to-year average of the Saratoga sale dropped 9.4% to $292,115. The median declined 5% over the two sessions to $237,500, and the cumulative buy-back rate came in at 23.2%, up from 15.2% a year ago.

The next event on the sales calendar, and the most important weekend of the year for so many New York breeders, is the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, which takes place August 13-14. Click here for full online catalogue.

New York colt by Shanghai Bobby brings $200,000 at F-T Saratoga

Tue, 2016-08-09 10:06

By Sarah Mace

The first New York-bred to go through the ring in Monday’s opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings, a colt from the first crop of champion Shanghai Bobby and a half-brother to Fish Trappe Road, sold for $200,000 to Jim Maloney. Fish Trappe Road (Trappe Shot) won the Grade 3 Dwyer, finished a strong second in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens and is currently pointed to the Grade 1 King’s Bishop.

Bred by Hidden Lake Farm, LLC in partnership with Anthony Grey and foaled on March 22, 2015 at Hidden Lake Farm in Otisville, Hip 17, a grey/roan colt, topped the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale last year, where his Saratoga consignor Hunter Valley Farm picked him up for $140,000.

The colt’s dam is Electric Shock, a New York-bred stakes winner bred by Driver-Ferguson, who last changed hands when purchased by Rhapsody Farm in foal at the 2012 Keeneland November sale for $22,000.

Electric Shock has produced six winners, including three other stakes performers beside Fish Trappe Road: All Electric, Electric Chant and Electric Temptress. The colt’s second dam is a half sister to successful broodmare Mimi Baker, who produced four stakes winners. Electric Shock was bred to Tonalist this year.

Four of five New York-bred yearlings offered Monday evening drew strong bids, but failed to meet their respective reserves. The RNAs brought bids of $245,000 (Hip 19), $225,000 (Hip 52) and $120,000 (Hip 25).

In Tuesday’s second and concluding session of the sale three New York-breds are scheduled to go through the ring: Hip 157, Hip 159 and Hip 193.

Uno Emayo tops thrilling three-way photo in NYSS Cab Calloway

Mon, 2016-08-08 19:27

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Uno Emayo, a gelded son of New York-based second crop sire D’ Funnybone (Rockridge Stud), and winner of $5,000 claiming race in Maryland two starts back, won a tight photo finish to capture Monday’s $100,000 Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes for eligible New York-sired 3-year-olds.

Trained by Rudy Rodriguez for Carl Lizza Racing Stables LLC, whose principal Carl Lizza is a nephew of the late Carl Lizza of Flying Zee Stables and Highcliff Farm fame, Uno Emayo raced on the Aqueduct inner this winter and had been winless since breaking his maiden last July at Belmont Park second out. He dropped into the claiming ranks for the first time in February.

Things began to look up, as far as results are concerned, once the gelding shifted his base to Maryland, which produced a second-place finish at Pimlico in the slop at the $10,000 claiming level, a nose victory at the same venue going 5 1/2 furlongs for a $5,000 tag and a three-quarters of a length victory in his most recent start, a 5 1/2-furlong turf debut at Laurel where he was offered for $16,000.

There were no takers in Maryland and Carl Lizza made the call to bring him to Saratoga. As Rodriguez put it, “All the credit to the bosses. They told me to bring him here and give him a chance and that’s what we did.”

In Lizza’s words, “[Cinco Emayo] wasn’t really panning out on the dirt and we got him down in Maryland and ran his first time on the turf down a few weeks ago and he ran pretty good, so we said let’s bring him back to New York because he’s a New York-bred,” adding, “You have to go to Saratoga.”

The other question for Uno Emayo going into the race was how the gelding would adapt to the stretch-out in distance, going from a series of sprint starts to a mile. He had finished off the board in his sole start (dirt) beyond six furlongs. This was a question for which Uno Emayo had all the answers.

With hot handed meet-leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. at the controls, and relatively ignored by betters as 6-1 fourth choice in the field of five, Uno Emayo settled into second position tracking early leader Cuckoo’s Station as the first half mile went in 47.88.

Uno Emayo gained more steam around the far turn and briefly gained the lead at the head of the lane, but was carried out by Cuckoo’s Saloon as Cloud Control cut the corner.

Headed by 4-5 favorite Cloud Control in upper stretch, the gelding dug for home. The trio of Uno Emayo on the outside, Cloud Control between horses and Rooftop View, rallying from last into a gap at the rail, hit the line together, with Uno Emayo nosing Rooftop View for second and Cloud Control finishing a head behind in third.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Completing the order of finish were Go Go Lucky and Cuckoo’s Saloon. The final time for the race was 1:35.37. [VIDEO]

Ortiz said after the race, “At the final turn, the horse inside of me [Cuckoo’s Saloon] was starting to go out, which made me go out a little bit. The jockey tried to control his horse, so I wanted to make my move in the middle of the turn. The horse kept coming and was there for the win today.”

On the success of the Uno Emayo’s transition to a route, Rodriguez said, “In the mornings, he looked like he wanted to go longer. He looked like he could stretch out but we tried a couple of times and it didn’t work. Today, he proved he can do it. I give the horse credit.”

Lizza, unphased by the close finish, concurred with his trainer, though he did call the stakes win “amazing.” He also lavished praise on Rodriguez: “In his last three races on the dirt and turf he was a closing sprinter and seemed like he could stretch out. But that’s all Rudy, Rudy’s training. He does a great job.”

Rodriguez has no definite plans for Uno Emayo next start.

With four wins, a second and three thirds, Uno Emayo has earned $146,382.

Bred by Glasscock Financial Services, LLC and foaled at Vinery NY at Sugar Maple in Poughquag, Uno Emayo is the sole winner from two starters out of Cinco Emayo, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Broken Vow.

Passing twice under the auctioneer’s hammer, Uno Emayo sold as a weanling for $20,000 at the Fasig-Tipton fall mixed sale, and was picked up for $30,000 by David Crow at OBS the following year.

Royal Posse all determination in Alydar score

Sun, 2016-08-07 21:29

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Five-year-old Royal Posse, a gelded son of New York-sire Posse, has become a byword for competitive spirit, consistency and the will to win. First or second in his last 11 races, dating back to May 2015, the bay put all his sterling qualities on display at the Spa on Sunday, when he wore down the frontrunner and long-time leader Touchofstarquality in the final 100 yards to win the $100,000 Alydar Stakes for 4-year-olds and up.

With three wins and a second in Saratoga in five starts, and five wins and two seconds at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Alydar to his credit, Royal Posse came into the race off a second-place finish to Wake Up in Malibu in the Belmont’s Saginaw on July 8, which in retrospect can only flatter the winner.

Sent to the post at 5-1 odds in a seven-horse field that seemed well-matched behind unbeaten Pletcher-trainee Far From Over — bet down to 4-5 favoritism — Royal Posse was partnered for the race with leading Saratoga jockey and regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr.

After the break, favorite Far From Over got off last, while Royal Posse set up in third behind the pacesetter, the imposing, powerfully-built Touchofstarquality.

The gelding got a ground-saving trip, trading second and third with 47-1 longshot Natchez for the first three-quarters of mile, as the fractions clicked off in a reasonable 24.36, 48.77 and 1:13.86. Ortiz switched him out into the two path for the drive, asked for more and got it.

Now solidly in second as Natchez faded, Royal Posse began to erode Touchofstarquality’s lead. With a length and half still to make up in the final furlong, Royal Posse dug deep and took over within the final sixteenth. He won by 1 1/4 in a final time of 1:49.93. [VIDEO]

Irad Ortiz, Jr., was delighted. “The horse loves Saratoga and the two turns. You can see it today. He’s a winning horse.” As to race strategy, following a more delayed rally last out in the runner-up finish in the Commentator, Ortiz said, “I just wanted to be a little closer [to the pace] and he put me there. He’s a fighter. He always shows up.”

Rudy Rodriguez, who trains the gelding for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith, said, “Our horse broke very, very good today and he was chasing the horse in front. We know he loves the mile-and-an-eighth and we know he loves Saratoga, so that’s why we tried to point him for this race and it paid off. He’s a very, very honest horse and he always tries.”

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Rodriguez collared Royal Posse for his owners for $20,000 out of a close runner-up finish going one mile at Belmont Park on May 31, 2015. He began to exceed expectations immediately, becoming a Saratoga stakes winner in the 2015 Evan Shipman and following up with a close second to Empire Dreams in the Empire Classic. Since then, Royal Posse has kept competitive company and never finished out of the exacta. Perhaps his most impressive performance came with his victory in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel in the slop at Gulfstream in December 2015.

Continued Rodriguez, “The last couple times we ran him over here at Saratoga, he grinds the horses down, especially when he has a target. He gives everything he has and he showed it today. That’s why we claimed him because we know he wants to go a mile and an eighth and he really showed that he wants to be a two-turn horse.”

Rodriguez added, “We’re just very lucky to have him. He never missed an oat since we got him. We just have to thank Mr. [Michael] Dubb for the opportunity to train the horses. Everything worked out pretty good.”

Royal Posse, whose career record now stands at eight wins and 10 seconds in 31 starts has earned the lofty sum of $661,245

Bred by Richard J. Troncone Senior and Junior, and foaled at Mill Creek Farm near Stillwater, Royal Posse is one of four winners from six starters out of Struckbylightning, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Cryptoclearance. Her one other black type performer is Ampart Ridge by Cactus Ridge, who earned $176,000.  The mare’s most recent reported foal is a 2-year-old filly by Desert Party who has not started.


Ardmore Bay kicks home a winner in Tyro Stakes to go two-for-two

Sun, 2016-08-07 19:57

Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

By Sarah Mace

The Elkstone Group’s Ardmore Bay (Bluegrass Cat) turned on the afterburners from off the pace to score a decisive victory in Monmouth’s $60,000 Tyro Stakes for 2-year-olds. After taking the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint stakes, the bay colt now boasts a perfect two-for-two career record.

Trained by New York-based conditioner Tom Morley, Ardmore Bay broke his maiden with a front running score at Belmont Park against New York-bred maidens July 4 while going six furlongs on grass. Prior to shipping to the shore, the colt posted a trio of four-furlong works, including his most recent move on the Saratoga turf training track going :49 3/5 around the dogs.

The 3-1 third choice in the field of six, Ardmore Bay settled in fourth six lengths or so behind an early three-ply scramble for the lead, ultimately won by 9-1 Phone My Posse, who led the group for the first three-eighths of a mile.

Still three lengths off the pace entering the far turn, Ardmore Bay picked up a head of steam rounding the bend and launched a strong four-wide bid into upper stretch.

In the cavalry charge to the wire, 5-2 Follow the Rainbow rallied from last and threatened briefly in first, but to no avail. Ardmore Bay closed in inexorably on Follow the Rainbow and Bay Numbers, took control and won by 1 1/4 lengths going away in a final time of 1:04.12. Bay Numbers nosed out Follow the Rainbow for the runner-up spot.

Winning jockey Victor Lebron reported, “They were going really fast when we broke. I just put my horse into cruise control and let him be two or three off of them.”

Lebron had also done his homework, which, combined with confidence in his mount in the late stages, spelled victory: “I saw how he ran at Belmont and it was an impressive race. Around the turn, I had him rolling. We were three or four wide, but I just didn’t want to stop him because of how fast he was coming and I knew I had a lot left.”

Ardmore Bay, who has earned $70,000 from his pair of victories, is one of three winners, and the first black type winner, out of Collar, a winning daughter of Candy Ride (ARG). The colt is the most recent of Collar’s three registered New York-bred foals. She was sold to Ramiro Salazar for $22,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

Ardmore Bay, failed to meet his reserve as a short yearling in January 2015 at Keeneland, but was purchased later in the year by Southern Racing for the bargain price of $4,500 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

Inside Straight stalks to victory in Manitoba Derby

Tue, 2016-08-02 09:15

By Sarah Mace

Bet down to odds-on favoritism, Inside Straight, a gelded New York-bred son of Super Saver, parlayed a stalking trip into victory over sloppy going in the 1 1/8-mile, $75,000 Manitoba Derby for 3-year-olds at Assiniboia Downs Monday.

Ridden by Scott A. Stevens, Inside Straight got away cleanly from post three (of seven) and set up in fourth in the two path to stalk the pace. Up front 16-1 longshot Break the Silence was pressed along by Media Melee through a quarter in 47.60 and six furlongs in 1:12.80.

Advancing in the turn with a bold three-wide move, Inside Straight passed the frontrunners in upper stretch and took command.

As Inside Straight charged to the wire, second choice Ruck made a bid at the rail. Opening up at last, Inside Straight secured the victory by 1 1/4 lengths. After a mile in 1:39.80, the final time for nine furlongs was 1:52.60 over the sloppy main track.

Ruck finished second, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Power Driven, who nosed out Solve for third. Completing the order of finish were Media Melee, Break the Silence, and Witts Henny Penny, who was never involved.

Conditioned by Robertino Diodoro for owner Randy Howg, Inside Straight began his career in New York, racing in the colors of WinStar Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher. Third in last year’s Aspirant stakes at Finger Lakes, the bay gelding won his last New York start on May 4 by more than 10 lengths in the mud at Belmont at the $40,000 claiming level.

Resurfacing in Winnipeg on July 9, Inside Straight finished third in the Harry Jeffrey Stakes in his Canadian debut and has now become a stakes winner north of the border. With four wins, a second and a pair of thirds in 12 starts, Inside Straight has earned $181,071

Pilot Stevens told the Winnipeg Sun, “For this horse, in his last two wins, he’s won by five lengths and 10 lengths in the slop,” said Stevens. “I didn’t ask for this much rain, but [the race] turned out exactly how I pictured it and it set up perfect. He’s a nice horse and the pace set up good for him. I was able to lay a little closer than he did in the prep race [the Harry Jeffrey Stakes] and that was probably the key. He didn’t have any traffic trouble whatsoever.”

Continued Stevens, “I had a lot of horse down the back side. At that point, I was just sitting and waiting to turn him loose, rather than to make him move. It’s like a car with gas. You hit the accelerator and the car takes care of the rest.”

Bred by SF Bloodstock LLC and foaled at Vinery NY at Sugar Maple in Poughquag, Inside Straight is out of Dance Alexa, an unraced Maryland-bred out of Southern Halo.

Dance Alexa has produced eight winners in all from nine foals to start, and Inside Straight is her fourth stakes horse. Her second foal Dance Daily (Five Star Day) won the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes in 2006.  Mission Viejo Halo (Luhuk) is a two-time stakes performer. Her only other registered New York-bred to date, Conquest Superstep, a full sister to Inside Straight, finished second in the 2015 running of the Fleet Indian.

For a great series of race photos, visit the Winnipeg Sun.

Mind Your Biscuits glides up the rail to capture G2 Amsterdam Stakes

Sat, 2016-07-30 20:28

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Mind Your Biscuits collected his first career stakes tally on a very big stage Saturday, when he won the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs Saratoga Race Course after coming came from off the pace with a rally at the rail. His victory in the traditional prep for the King’s Bishop on Travers day, August 27, gave the colt’s trainer, 22-year-old Robert Falcone, Jr., his first stakes victory.

Mind Your Biscuits, who is owned by a partnership of J. Stables, M. Scott Summers, Hope Summers and Daniel Summers, came into the race sparking on all cylinders. Adding blinkers at Belmont on July 4, he won a first-level state-bred allowance by more than nine lengths while facing elders. Two races back, he finished a strong second in the Mike Lee.

Bet down to 3-1 second choice under Joel Rosario, who piloted the chestnut colt to victory in last out, Mind Your Biscuits broke cleanly from the outside post and set up last of seven, more than five lengths behind 2-1 favorite Maniacal, who was hustled to the front and posted an opening quarter in 22.36 and half in 45.41.

Making his way over to the rail on the backstretch, Mind Your Biscuits began to pick up steam around the far turn, luckily managing to avoid trouble when Quijote bobbled badly from third early on the bend.

Still inside, Mind Your Biscuits cut the corner into upper stretch, advanced into second along the rail and set his sights on Maniacal, who still enjoyed the lead. Slipping past his rival in a clear path to the inside in the final sixteenth, the colt hit the wire a 1 3/4-length winner in a final time of 1:15.25. Runner-up Maniacal finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Its All Relevant in third. Uncle Vinny, Counterforce, King Kranz and Quijote completed the order of finish. Ready Dancer was scratched. [VIDEO]

Jockey Joel Rosario’s comment was short, sweet and to the point: “For a second I thought the horse in front [Maniacal] wanted to stay there but I took the chance to get inside and it worked. [Mind Your Biscuits] is very, very nice horse and I’m very happy with him today.”

Falcone, for his part, spoke of his confidence in his charge, whom he said was “a racehorse” and “loves his job.” “[This win] wasn’t really a surprise,” said Falcone. “We always knew he was a good horse. I think the blinkers on really turned the corner – it really was the finishing touches for him. He matured a lot, too, since he has been in my barn. Every race he would run, he would come back and mature more.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Mind Your Biscuits hit the board in three out of four starts for conditioner Roderick Rodriguez as a juvenile, including a third place finish in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes, and joined Falcone’s string for his sophomore campaign.

Of the incident on the turn Falcone said, “It looked like Joel [Rosario] had to check to get around [Quijote]. It looked like a little interruption for us. For that to happen, and for him to have to check like that, and to still make that move, was really impressive.”

Falcone added of the personal milestone, “This [win] means a lot. I’m just happy to be here – it’s the greatest horses, the best trainers and the best jockeys, it’s just great. But to win on a day like this is really something.”

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. The mare has two more reported foals, a 2-year-old filly by Toccet and yearling colt by Officer.

Mind Your Biscuits, who has earned $285,366 from three wins, three seconds and two thirds in nine starts, 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, first at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale and at last year’s OBS Spring 2-year-old sale.

Charlie Baker strikes again at the Spa: 15-1 Freud’s Friend takes MSW on debut

Fri, 2016-07-29 19:24

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Less than 24 hours after presiding over Moonlight Song’s scintillating title defense in the John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga Racetrack, trainer Charlie Baker sent Francis Paolangeli’s homebred Freud’s Friend from the paddock for his career debut in a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for New York-bred juveniles on Friday, only to rejoin the gelding in the winner’s circle after he wired the field at odds of 15-1.

Jockey Manuel Franco hustled Freud’s Friend out of the gate from post five, and the bay, who sports a distinctive long narrow blaze, quickly emerged from the scrum in-between horses to lead the full field of 10 by a length though an opening quarter mile in 22.37.

Saving ground around the far turn, Freud’s Friend opened up some daylight in upper stretch, but challengers were on the move.

Inside the final furlong Freud’s Friend had to dug deep to hold off a determined Jo’s Bold Cat, a first-time starter by Courageous Cat trained by Rick Violette. Freud’s Friend shifted a couple of paths toward the grandstand side under a left-handed whip late, but kept to his task gamely and secured the victory by a nose. After a half-mile in 46.01, the final time for 5 1/2 furlongs over the firm turf was 1:03.60. [VIDEO]

Baker said of his expectations first time out for Freud’s Friend, “You are never sure with a first-time starter. They’ve got to experience the gate and all that stuff, but I felt good coming in because he was training beautiful. He showed speed in his workouts and I figured he’s going to be up close to the pace, but he exceeded our expectations as far as winning and the way he ran.”

The gelding had posted a long, regular series of works at Finger Lakes since April, including multiple moves from the gate.

As far as collecting a pair of Spa victories in less than 24 hours, one in a stakes race, Baker said, “[It’s] great. Great. It’s always good to win at Saratoga. I love it.”

Freud’s Friend, who paid $32.40 to win for a $2 wager, is out of the winning New York-bred mare Thanza Million, by Millions, who has produced five winners from seven foals to start.

Freud stands at Sequel Stallions New York. Freud’s 2016 stud fee was $10,000.

NYTB awards Nielsen & Malloy Winkler scholarships on College & Alumni Day at the Spa

Fri, 2016-07-29 16:07

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) presented its two annual scholarships in the winner’s circle after the fourth race on July 29 at Saratoga Race Course as part of the annual College & Alumni Day at the Spa.

Generously established by Mrs. Joanne Nielsen to honor her late husband Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. and by Mrs. Vivien Malloy to honor her late daughter Debby Malloy Winkler, these $5,000 scholarships recognize a full-time student enrolled in an equine-related course of study at an accredited college or university in New York State. The awards are intended to foster the education and development of individuals who promise to make a positive contribution to the Thoroughbred industry in New York and beyond.

Receiving the 2015 Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. Scholarship was Cassandra Cromer. A graduate of Owen Valley Community High School in Spencer, Indiana before completing her undergraduate studies at Purdue University, Cromer just concluded her second year at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

An active member of the student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Cromer’s main interest is equine reproduction. In 2015 she successfully completed a Havemeyer Research Summer Fellowship at the Baker Institute of Health with a focus on mare reproductive care. After serving a post-graduate internship with a focus on Thoroughbreds, Cromer aspires to become a resident farm veterinarian, but would not rule out joining a large equine hospital.

Said Cromer, “I am deeply beholden to Mrs. Nielsen for the Gerald A. Nielsen Sr. Scholarship from the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Support from this scholarship not only reduces my financial burden upon graduation, but enables me to pursue experiences while at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine to prepare for a career with Thoroughbreds.”

She continued, “To me, this scholarship demonstrates the commitment New York has toward engaging the next generation of Thoroughbred veterinarians. I am proud to say that I wish to continue the tradition of providing elite medical care to, and advocating for, the Thoroughbred racehorse.”

Natasha Tarnawa recieved the Debby Malloy Winkler Scholarship, which was presented by Mrs. Vivien Malloy, her son Mark Malloy, and granddaughter Caitlin Malloy Brennan. Scheduled to begin her senior year at Cazenovia College in the fall, Tarnawa is majoring in Management, with a specialty in Equine Business Management. She is a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) and a student member of the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. Active in community service, Tarnawa is a volunteer a side-walker. Her long-term goal is to work as an occupational therapist at a therapeutic riding facility.

All smiles when she received the award in the Saratoga winner’s circle, Tarnawa said, “It is a tremendous honor to have been chosen as a recipient of the Debby Malloy Winkler New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship. This scholarship has empowered me to continue toward making a difference in the equine industry and to keep giving back to the community around me.”

Tarnawa continued, “This award has marked the beginning of an exciting time of my life where I am able to see years of hard work and passion beginning to open doors and create meaningful opportunities that will shape the rest of my life. I look forward to being able to use this scholarship to not only change my life, but to change the lives of those around me, as well. Once again, thank you!”

Previous recipients of the Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship are:

2012 Jacqueline Pino (read more)
2013 Allison Tuchrello (read more)
2014 Kaitlyn Douglas (read more)
2015 Tate Morris (read more)

Previous recipients of the Debby Malloy Winkler. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship are:

2014 Nicolina Foti (read more)
2015 Courtney O’Connell (read more)

Laid off for a year? No problem for 9YO Moonlight Song in Morrissey title defense

Thu, 2016-07-28 20:26

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Albert Fried, Jr.’s 9-year-old gelding Moonlight Song (Unbridled’s Song) delivered an inspiring performance at the Spa on Thursday afternoon, when he wired the featured $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for his second straight year with exactly . . . zero (yes, zero) . . . intervening starts. As it happens, veteran’s victory was also uplifting for young hot-handed jockey Jose Ortiz, who made his 1000th trip to the winner’s circle after the race.

Trained by Charlie Baker, Moonlight Song is extremely lightly raced for his age, with only 17 career starts under his girth coming into the 6 1/2-furlong Morrissey. The handsome dark bay gelding was a bit of a late bloomer and only got to the races for the first time at five. He dominated the fields in his first two career starts, but has had to work through a variety of physical issues over the years. Fried has shown exemplary patience and continues to reap the rewards.

Sent off as the 6-1 fifth choice in the competitive field of seven, Moonlight Song assumed command shortly after the break, and took the field through a hot first quarter in 22.05 and half in 45.73 with a one-length lead over 3-2 favorite Weekend Hideaway.

Pressed though the far turn by his main rival, but kicking clear and comfortably extending his lead to three lengths in upper stretch, the gelding was guided to the rail by Ortiz nearing the furlong marker, and dug for the wire as a host of challengers ganged up behind him.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Moonlight Song hit the line a three-quarter length winner under a drive. The next three to finish were separated by a photo, with Ostrolenka second, a head in front of Crackerjack Jones in third, who nosed out Weekend Hideaway in fourth. After six panels in 1:09.54, Moonlight Song stopped the clock at 1:15.99. Completing the order of finish were Drama King, Notacatbutallama and John’s Island. [VIDEO]

Ortiz reported, “He broke well; he broke perfect. We went really easy the first quarter-mile. This horse is a special horse. He doesn’t run a lot, but every time he steps on the track, Charlie [Baker] brings him 110 percent.”

On his 1000th victory, Ortiz said, “This means a lot. It’s a big goal in my career. I’m just thankful. I want to thank every single owner and trainer who gave me the opportunity. My family, and my fiancée [Taylor Rice] who support me every day, [and] my brother [jockey Irad], who taught me a lot when I first started riding. Saratoga is the place to be in the summer, and I really love it. I’m very blessed I could do it here.”

Charlie Baker was, with reason, beaming in the winner’s circle over Moonlight Song’s impressive win. “He’s a great horse and he runs great fresh, so it’s a little easier on me. You still have to get him cranked up and ready to go, but he’s a nice horse.”

Continued Baker, “He had a little problem after the race last year and the owners are very easy to get along with. We got him back in March. We took our time; he had a little issue here and there, but it worked out super. It’s very hard to imagine a 9-year-old coming off a year layoff, but if any horse can do it, he can.”

Of the secret to Moonlight Song’s long-term success, Baker explained, “We’ve always given him time off and never abused him. We are going to go and see how he comes from here.” He plans will give Moonlight Song at least six weeks before (fingers crossed) his next start.

A stakes winner at all three NYRA tracks (Aqueduct’s Gold and Roses and Belmont’s Hudson in 2014 and a pair of Morrisseys at Saratoga), Moonlight Song is the third foal, and one of four winners from seven to start out of Moonlightandbeauty (Capote), also bred by Fried.

Fried purchased Moonlightandbeauty’s Grade 2 winning-dam, Stolen Beauty (Deputy Minister), for $30,000 at the 1990 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Moonlightandbeauty became a stakes winner and $228,053-earner for trainer Rick Schosberg and Fried and began her broodmare career with a bang, producing Schosberg-trained Giant Moon (Giant’s Causeway) as her first foal.

Giant Moon went undefeated in his first four starts, culminating with a victory in the 2008 Count Fleet Stakes, and was voted champion New York-bred 2-year-old male in 2007. Giant Moon won at least one stakes race every year from 2007 to 2010 and earned just over a half million.

Moonlight Song, after four stakes wins, an additional stakes placing, and a record of nine wins, two seconds and third from 18 starts, has earned $534,294.

Haveyougoneaway runs down Paulassilverlining in G2 Honorable Miss

Wed, 2016-07-27 19:56

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

by Sarah Mace

Sequel Racing’s multiple stakes winner Haveyougoneaway, added graded laurels to her resume Wednesday at Saratoga Racecourse when she won a highly competitive renewal of the six-furlong, Grade 2 Honorable Miss for trainer Tom Morley. The 5-year-old daughter of Congrats, who relocated this spring to New York from her Oaklawn Park base after a private purchase, now has two stakes wins and a stakes placing in her native state.

Out of the gate cleanly from post four of seven, Haveyougoneaway settled in fifth position three lengths off the pace under pilot Kendrick Carmouche. Paulassilverlining, favored at 7-5, was out of the gate first, but took back on the backstretch into sixth to the inside of Haveyougoneaway, leaving 16-1 Diva Express, then 10-1 Disco Chick to click off the early splits in 22.01 and 45.04.

Rounding the far turn Haveyougoneaway had only one horse beaten as Paulassilverlining advanced at the rail. Angling out four-wide into the lane, she quickly closed into second spot, after Paulassilverlining ran past leader Disco Chick in upper stretch.

Wearing down her rival down in the final furlong, a determined Haveyougoneaway got up in the final forty yards to garner the victory by a neck in a final time of 1:09.94. The rest of the field followed 12 lengths behind runner-up Paulassilverlining: Disco Chick, La Madrina, Sarah Sis, Diva Express and Bar of Gold. [VIDEO]

Carmouche, delighted by his first Spa victory, reported, “I broke good and I was sitting behind the top-four and being patient. The favorite [Paulassilverlining] came inside of me. I let her take the spot I could have been in because I knew my filly would make up the ground. It was going to make me get in the clear faster than I wanted.”

Added Carmouche, “Right past the eighth pole, I grinded a little and she really came home. This horse never really exploded like she did. That’s when I knew she would grind it out.”

Second to the accomplished Bar of Gold while making her New York debut in the Critical Eye Stakes at Belmont Park on May 30, Haveyougoneaway closed in the final furlong to win the Dancin Renee at six furlongs for New York-bred fillies and mares.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Trainer Tom Morley first praised his pilot’s savvy ride, “All meet, this track has been playing so far where you need to be in the middle of the track. The rail is not the place to be. [Kendrick] angled out outside [Bar of Gold] and took dead aim at Paulassilverlining. We just got there in time.”

Morley also spoke of his mare’s continued improvement and her being ready to take on graded company. “I take nothing away from her connections previously. She’s a hard-knocking filly who won a bunch of stakes, but sometime these sprinters start to get better around this age. She ran so well last time against New York breds that it was time to face open graded stakes company.”

As to the future, Morley will consider the Ballerina, Bed o’ Roses at Belmont and even the Breeders’ Cup, but because she could come back to race at six, he plans to pick and choose his starts.

Morley, who was also celebrating his first graded victory as a trainer, was also vocal about Haveyougoneaway as a product of New York. “It’s very special to [win my first graded stakes] with a New York-bred,” said Morley. “I’m a huge fan of the New York-bred program. We’re breeding some seriously good horses up here. I don’t think they can be looked at as they were previously. They are good horses.”

Bred by Andy and Susan Beadnell and foaled at Bead Land & Cattle Company in Pottersville, Haveyougoneaway is the most accomplished by far of two winners out of One Wise Cowgirl, an unraced New York-bred daughter of Wiseman’s Ferry also bred by the Beadnells.

A $50,000 weanling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed sale in 2011, Haveyougoneaway brought $105,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale before Champion Racing Stable, Inc. purchased her a 2-year-old for a mere $1,200 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale when she was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect.

For Champion she earned $402,425, winning the Flashy Lady Stakes at Remington Park in September 2015, and this year nearly sweeping the filly and mare sprint series at Oaklawn Park, when she won the American Beauty and Spring Fever Stakes and finished second the Carousel.

Haveyougoneaway’s record overall stands at 10 wins, four seconds and six thirds from 25 starts. Her winner’s share of the Honorable Miss $200,000 purse brings her earnings to a lofty $622,425.