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Updated: 9 hours 56 min ago

Wonderment wins Arctic Queen squeaker

Mon, 2017-10-02 19:03

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Wonderment made the trip from Belmont Park to Finger Lakes for Monday’s six-furlong $50,000 Arctic Queen with lots of back class to draw on and, unsurprisingly, was sent out as the odds-on favorite. Even so, the 4-year-old daughter of former New York sire Cosmonaut found herself having to earn her fourth career stakes victory the hard way for trainer Kenny McPeak and jockey Dylan Davis.

Despite the scratches of Bustin Hearts, Rip Loves Maize and Slam Chowder, a robust and competitive field of eight lined up for the race. At the bell, Lemme Rock (9-1) broke on top, but confirmed speedster Victorias Fire (9-1) an eight-time winner at Finger Lakes, shot up the rail from her inside post, and showed the way through an opening quarter in 22.20.

Wonderment settled early in fourth in the two-path, 3 1/2 lengths off the pace, but advanced into second going three-wide round the far turn. She caught up with Victorias Fire at the head of the lane, and swept by her in upper stretch while opening up a half-length.

At this point, Dylan Davis had to call on his mount to start digging a little deeper. Bee Noteworthy (3-1), a Saratoga shipper for Jimmy Bond with Belmont “shipper” Rajiv Maragh in the irons, was mounting a threatening late rally from midpack. Bee Noteworthy reached Wonderment’s throat-latch in the last hundred yards and kept on coming.

In the final jumps before the wire, heads bobbed up and down, but, as the photo showed, Wonderment’s determination kept her on the winning end of the late duel by nose. She completed the six furlongs in 1:11.46. [VIDEO REPLAY]

The rest of the field was well separated from the top two. She’s All Ready and Tough Temper finished noses apart third and fourth 7 3/4 lengths back, followed even further back by Pachamama, Brooklyn Gal, Victorias Fire and Lemme Rock.

Wonderment is owned by Walking L Thoroughbreds and Sherri McPeek’s Magdalena Racing. Apart from her debut maiden-breaking score at Belmont on July 9, 2015 and a Keeneland allowance this past April, Wonderment has raced exclusively in stakes races. A $364,120-earner from five wins, two seconds and three thirds in 17 starts, she won the Lynbrook Stakes in 2015, Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks in 2016 and Dancin Renee and Arctic Queen this year. In her only prior trip to Finger Lakes, Wonderment finished fourth in the 2016 New York Oaks.

Wonderment is one of four winners, including six-figure earner Persuasive Devil (Closing Argument), from five foals to start out of A Wonder She Is, a winning daughter of Three Wonders from the family of Videogenic.

Bred by Michael S. Landers and foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Wonderment first sold as a weanling at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Fall Mixed sale for $24,000 to Baccari Bloodstock. A $47,000 RNA the following year at the New York-bred preferred yearling sale in Saratoga, two years later she sold as a broodmare/racing prospect at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall mixed sale. Offered by Vinery Sales, Wonderment was purchased by Walking L. Thoroughbreds for $185,000. Magdalena Racing has been a partner on the filly from the start.

A Wonder She Is has a placed 3-year-old filly by Twirling Candy named Arabesque, a winning juvenile Discreetly Mine colt called Mr Wonderful, no foal this year, but was bred to Itsmyluckyday.

Analyze the Odds goes last to first to win NY Breeders’ Futurity

Sat, 2017-09-30 18:14

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Shipping west Saturday to Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher, Analyze the Odds unleashed a powerful last-to-first rally in the stretch to win the 55th running of the six-furlong, $216,875 New York Breeders’ Futurity by a neck over Aspirant winner Mr. Pete.

Following a good break for all six 2-year-olds, the field settled into a clearly demarcated “first flight” and “second flight” separated by two lengths.

In the first flight, 3-2 favorite Indy’s Lady, winner of the Lady Finger Stakes on September 9 in her career debut and the lone filly in the field, vied for the lead with Collective Effort (7-2) and Lover’s Leap (10-1) through a 22.87 opening quarter and 46.80 half. Mr. Pete and Tender Boy followed two lengths back. Analyze the Odds, 5-2 at post time under Chris DeCarlo, was outrun early and brought up the rear.

Analyze the Odds picked up steam rounding the far turn and fanned wide at the head of the stretch to rally on the grandstand side.

The bay colt passed his first two rivals approaching the furlong marker. Building on his momentum under a drive, Analyze the Odds passed the remaining three horses in the shadow of the wire for the neck victory. Another neck back, the next two New York-bred juveniles across the line – maiden Collective Effort and Aspirant runner-up Lover’s Leap – were also separated by just a neck. The final time for six furlongs was 1:12.73 over a fast track. [VIDEO REPLAY]

SV Photography

Analyze the Odds, who has earned $204,625 from two wins and a third in five starts. won his unveiling early in the year, taking an open 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Aqueduct on April 20 with a professional rating trip. Unplaced in the open Tremont at Belmont on June 9 and third in the Rockville Centre at the same venue, he finished fourth behind Aveenu Malcainu in the Funny Cide, his only Saratoga appearance.

Aveenu Malcainu, who was entered for New York Breeders’ Futurity by trainer Jeremiah Englehart, scratched from the race, scheduled make his next start instead next weekend in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne Stakes.

The first foal out of The Sense Angel, Analyze the Odds was bred by Lansdowne Thoroughbreds and foaled at Saratoga Glen Farm in Schuylerville. Repole Stable purchased Analyze the Odds, who is by Repole stallion Overanalyze, for just $15,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

A winning daughter of Mineshaft, The Sense Angel has a yearling colt by Noble Mission (GB), a weanling colt by Honorable Dillon and was bred this year to Animal Kingdom. The family tree includes El Gran Senor and Castle Gandolfo.

 

Paul Schosberg passes away late Monday night

Tue, 2017-09-26 08:24

Paul Schosberg (courtesy Rick Schosberg)

By Sarah Mace

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) is deeply saddened to report that Paul Schosberg, a mainstay of New York breeding and racing for over four decades, has passed away.

Schosberg carved out an extraordinary career encompassing journalism, politics and finance, in addition to his deep commitment to the New York breeding and racing programs. He owned Pine Lane Farm in Westchester County with his wife Jane, the high school and college sweetheart he married in 1958.

NYTB has long benefited from Schosberg’s dedication, intelligence and eloquence. Schosberg served on the Board of Directors for 12 years, was the organization’s president for two terms and, up until his death, was a Director Emeritus.

Schosberg’s son, trainer Rick Schosberg, reported on Sunday, September 24 that his father was in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx and that his heath had “taken a very poor turn.” Rick followed up on Tuesday to say that his father “passed away peacefully just before midnight” on Monday, September 25.

Emblematic of Paul Schosberg’s unflagging support for the work of NYTB over the years and focus on issues important to New York breeders and horsemen, in his final days he passed along a message to Jeffrey Cannizzo, NYTB executive director, through his son Rick. He wanted to convey to the NYTB team how impressed he had been with organization for the past nine years with Cannizzo at the helm.

“Speaking for many of the board members who served under Paul we will certainly miss his spirit and dedication to the organization and program that he loved and dedicated a big part of his professional life to,” said NYTB president Thomas J. Gallo. “Even after his tenure as president was completed in glowing leadership fashion he was always available to chime in with valued guidance, historical reference, and candid opinion that was, and still is, the reason we are today the leading state-bred organization in the country. Paul will be sorely missed.”

Jeffrey Cannizzo added, “Paul was a symbol of class and a true gentleman.  It is hard to summarize how much respect I had for him and his leadership. I often found myself searching 20-plus year-old New York Breeder magazines to see how he handled situations and challenges in our industry.  Ironically, we joked, they are often still the same.  I am grateful for his life lessons.”

Services will be private. Donations can be made in Mr. Schosberg’s name to:

The Mayo Clinic: MayoClinic.org/match

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance: Thoroughbredaftercare.org

White Plains Hospital: Givetowphospital.org

Fourstar Crook repeats in John Hettinger Stakes

Sun, 2017-09-24 21:55

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

At Belmont Park on Sunday, for the second year in a row, Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable and Gary Aisquith’s Fourstar Crook won the 1 1/8-mile, $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares. To do so this time around, however, the mare had to overcome an astonishing 22 1/2-length deficit behind a blistering pace.

The dramatic victory, which she made look easy in the end, was a more-than-fitting tribute to the race’s namesake John Hettinger, who bred her dam Avril a Portugal.

A Chad Brown-trainee, Fourstar Crook had an eight-race winning streak snapped at Saratoga on August 25 when she was beaten 1 1/4-lengths by Bar of Gold in the Yaddo Stakes, but was well-backed at .75 cents on the dollar to find her way back to the winner’s circle in the Hettinger.

For the first half-mile of the race, Barrel of Dreams spurted off to lead a spread-out field through testing opening fractions of 23.38 and 46.07, while Fourstar Crook trailed by nearly 23 lengths. Even with just three furlongs to go after Barrel of Dreams clocked six panels in 1:09.17, Fourstar Crook still had nearly 20 lengths to make up. She entered the stretch three wide with lots still to do.

Fourstar Crook inhaled the deficit in the stretch and, at the sixteenth pole, overhauled the leg-weary pacesetter, as well as Tizelle, who had been chasing 10 lengths behind in third. Edging clear, Fourstar Crook kicked away to win by 3 1/2 lengths. After a blistering mile in 1:33.73, the final time was 1:46.05.

Tizelle kept a nose ahead of Brown-trainee Ack Naughty in third, while Barrel of Dreams hung on for fourth. Next across the finish line were Feeling Bossy, Flipcup, Summersault, Jc’s Shooting Star and Bonita Springs. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“It was kind of a funny race,” said jockey Javier Castellano. “I didn’t expect [it] to be that way on paper. I was kind of concerned the horses in front spread the field and I had to use my filly a little before than I’m used to.”

Castellano continued, “I had start going by the half-mile pole and she had a good, strong kick. I’m very fortunate to be the pilot because no matter what you do she always shows up and gives you a consistent race. I really have to give credit to Chad and his team for how good she’s been this year.”

Brown also felt uneasy as the race unfolded. “I was a little concerned with the pace in front. Both of our horses were so far back and the turf’s been very firm this week. We were concerned as they were heading for home that [Fourstar Crook] might not be able to reel them in, but she’s something else.”

“She’s amazed me,” Brown continued. “She has a big strong kick and she got there in plenty of time.” The conditioner is considering Woodbine’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor on Sunday, October 15 for the mare’s final start of the year.

The 2017 Hettinger was Fourstar Crook’s fifth career stakes victory. She also earned graded black type this year on July Fourth when she won the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes at Parx. From nine wins and two seconds in 13 starts, she has earned $649,050.

Bred by Kathleen M. Feron, Fourstar Crook sold as a yearling to Allied Bloodstock at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale for $55,000. Michael Dubb bought her the following year at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Spring sale of 2-year-olds for $110,000.

Of her five winning siblings out of the Hettinger-bred mare Avril a Portugal by D’Accord, Coaltown Legend (Jump Start), earned over $325,000. Avril a Portugal mare currently has a yearling filly by Freud and delivered a Freud colt on April 19, 2017.

The renowned Hettinger breeding program also stamped the male division of Sunday’s paired New York-bred turf races. The Ashley T. Cole run earlier on the card was won by Get Jets, out of Sunny, another Hettinger-bred mare. Both horses were foaled at Hettinger’s Akindale Farm in Pawling.

Highway Star picks up second Grade 2 in Gallant Bloom, heads to Breeders’ Cup

Sun, 2017-09-24 19:34

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Highway Star (Girolamo), who has gone from strength to strength this year for trainer Rodrigo Ubillo, picked up a second Grade 2 stakes victory Sunday with a strong finish in the featured Gallant Bloom Stakes at Belmont Park. The win was Highway Star’s fifth career stakes score and fourth graded win overall.

When asked by the NYRA Communications team about whether he was planning to ship Highway Star out west to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Saturday, November 4, Ubillo said, “We’ll have to sit down and talk to [the Bromans about her next start]. Probably the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, but we’re not certain as of yet.” The conditioner had a more definitive answer ready when asked by the DRF’s Dave Grening: “I had a hint, but I wasn’t sure, I was going to wait until after this race. Now, we make it official.”

Jockey Luis Saez had the call on Sunday, subbing for regular rider (and cousin) Angel Arroyo because, as Ubillo explained, “Unfortunately, Angel took a spill [on Friday] and he wasn’t ready. Luis is his cousin and he talked to him about the filly so I felt pretty good.”

Highway Star broke from the inside post of six as the 2-1 second choice and navigated the backstretch at the rail in fourth, then fifth, losing a spot to fellow New York-bred Absatootly while pinned down inside.

Moving out into the two path in the approach to the turn, then three-wide around the bend, Highway Star made up ground and was set down for the drive four wide. She set her sights on odds-on favorite and Chad Brown-trainee Carina Mia, who took over the lead just past the quarter pole after Lucy N Ethel set early fractions of 22.59 and 45.94.

Asked for another gear in the lane, Highway Star found it. She closed the gap to Carina Mia, got the lead with less than a sixteenth of mile to go and inched away to win by a neck.

New York-bred Quezon finished a half-length back in third and, after a gap of more than six lengths, Absatootly, Friend of Liberty and pacesetter Lucy N Ethel completed the order of finish. After six furlongs in 1:10.31, Highway Star Stopped the clock at 1:16.91. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRAA/Annette Jasko

Saez said, “They told me to break and see how I was and go from there and see what happens. I was a little worried because I had the one hole and I knew everyone was going to come down and we’d be stuck down [on the rail].”

Saez continued, “As soon as I got the opportunity, I came out and followed [Carina Mia] for Javier [Castellano]. When we came into the stretch, [Highway Star] took off. I was watching the replay of how she ran last time [second by a head in the Grade 1 Ballerina on August 26]. That was a big race she ran and I knew she was going to be tough to beat.”

Said Ubillo, “She broke good and then something happened on the backside so she fell back a little bit farther back than I wanted her to. Luis then took her to the outside and she made up a little ground. By the end of the race she came on again to finish strong.”

Highway Star is now five for six over Big Sandy. As Ubillo explained, “She trains here and I gallop her in the mornings and you can tell she really loves this track.”

Highway Star, who has won eight of 13 lifetime starts, finished second once and third twice, has made her last five starts in graded company. The Gallant Bloom victory brings Highway Star’s earnings in the neighborhood of $1 million ($969,000).

Unraced at two and winner of five of seven starts at three, Highway Star has blossomed at four, holding her own with the best female sprinters in the country. In the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes, she finished third to Songbird and Paid Up Subscriber. She missed winning the Grade 1 Ballerina by just a head to By the Moon.

Highway Star is one of three winners out of Stolen Star, a multiple stakes-placed homebred for the Bromans by Cat Thief, and is a half-sister to the Bromans’ multiple stakes winner and Friend or Foe, now a sire. Chester Broman purchased Stolen Star’s dam, Unbridled Star (Unbridled), for just $115,000 at the 2002 Keeneland November Sale.

Stolen Star currently has an unraced juvenile colt by Into Mischief named Fast Getaway and a weanling colt by Forty Tales. She was breed to Alpha in 2017.

Highway Star’s sire Girolamo, a Grade 1-winning son of A.P. Indy owned by Darley, began his stud career in 2012 at Becky Thomas and Dennis Narlinger’s Sequel Stallions New York before relocating to Kentucky.

Get Jets all determination in Ashley T. Cole

Sun, 2017-09-24 17:36

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

With only yards to go in Sunday’s running of the $125,000, 1 1/8-mile Ashley T. Cole for New York-bred turf runners three and up, five of six horses were stacked across the track and the three main contenders were rallying with intent.

Eight-year-old millionaire Kharafa (5-1) had good momentum at the fence, odds-on favorite Get Jets was rallying from fourth four-wide, and, on the outside, Call Provision (5-2) was surging toward the finish line in the clear.

In the end, Get Jets (Scat Daddy) had “that little extra something,” and edged Call Provision by a nose for the win. Kharafa finished 3/4 lengths back in third. Cloontia (9-2) completed the superfecta, followed across the line by longshots All Is Number, who set the pace for the first three-quarters of a mile, and Pat On the Back.

The race, which began in a leisurely way (24:19, 49.06 and 1:13.26), ended with a rush. The final furlong was clocked in 11.27, and the final time was 1:47.74. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Before launching his winning rally, Get Jets traveled in fourth place in the four path around both turns and into upper stretch.

“Perfect trip. I landed where I wanted to be,” said winning jockey John Velazquez. “I had two horses coming from behind and one [Kharafa] got to the inside and the other one [Call Provision] went to the outside. I liked the one coming on the outside, so I stayed out there.”

Velazquez also loved Get Jets’ competitive spirit in the drive: “He put in a really good fight down the lane. As soon as we got head and head, I got after him.” The pilot continued, “I like that feeling when you get after the horse and your horse is giving it to you. They give a really good fight and as soon as they put a head in front, they’re like, ‘Nah uh, you’re not passing me.’”

NYRA/Coglianese Photo

Tony Dutrow, who is the colt’s trainer as well as a partner in Get Jets’ ownership group, Team D, commented, “I thought Jets broke well. On paper, it set up the way the race went. He settled some four or five lengths behind the speed of the race. Johnny [Velazquez] was content to keep him in that position and he knew the horses behind him we’re going to be the competition, so he waited for them and when they made their move, Get Jets did as well.”

Dutrow, like Velazquez, singled out Get Jets’ final push for praise. “When Call Provision came to Get Jets there at the eighth pole, they ran to the wire together and Get Jets maybe was a little too much today. I’m very happy with his effort today. I felt really good about [the distance]. But it was a test. He was also picking up some weight. I have to feel good about the result of today.”

As the 123-pound highweight in the race, Get Jets spotted rivals 3-11 pounds. The Ashley T. Cole was also the colt’s longest distance test to date by a sixteenth of a mile. Following a brief freshening, Dutrow will target the 1 3/8 Grade 3 Red Smith on November 11.

Winner of his debut at Saratoga and the Sleepy Hollow at Belmont in 2015, both on dirt, Get Jets did not revisit the winner’s circle until he switched over to turf in his final race of 2016. In six starts on grass, he has four wins and two seconds. Get Jets was last seen on August 25 at Saratoga closing like a rocket to collect a second career stakes victory in a highly competitive edition of the West Point at Saratoga.

Bred by Pat Pavlish and foaled at Akindale Farm in Pawling, Get Jets, whose earnings are $525,850 from 11 starts, with six wins and three seconds, fetched a gaudy $300,000 purchase price at the 2015 OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Consigner Cary Frommer bought the colt originally for $162,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred sale in Saratoga.

The chestnut colt is one of two winners from two foals to start out of Sunny, a winning New York-bred daughter of Dixieland Band bred by John Hettinger. Sunny is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and Grade 1 producer Wake Up Kiss and is from the family of Grade 1-winning millionaires Dare and Go and Go Deputy, and sire Quiet American.

Sunny has a 2-year-old colt by Caleb’s Posse named Ride to the Sunset who has not yet started, a yearling Broken Vow colt and foaled a Tapit colt on April 18. In the spring, Sunny was bred back to Tapit.

Battle Station romps in Bertram F. Bongard

Fri, 2017-09-22 16:36

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

At Belmont Park this past Wednesday, Held Accountable parlayed a debut turf sprint victory into a 2 1/4-length win going seven furlongs on dirt in the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes. Not to be outdone, Battle Station replicated the achievement in the male division of this week’s paired New York-bred juvenile stakes, Friday’s $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard, but, in his case, romped by nearly 10 lengths.

A dark bay colt by Warrior’s Reward campaigned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Wesley Ward, Battle Station graduated at first asking at Saratoga on August 25 on the front end, earning an impressive first Beyer Speed Figure of 72. Returning to the races for his stakes debut after four weeks and with one interim drill under his belt, the colt was reunited with debut rider Kendrick Carmouche and sent off as third choice of five at odds of 5-1.

It took a while for the Bongard field to get on its way, and Battle Station was the culprit. He broke through the gate and got What a Catch (next door) stirred up enough to break through as well.

As Carmouche explained after the race, “My horse trigged the gate because he just wanted to come out so bad, and it just caused a chain reaction with Johnny [Velazquez]’s horse [What a Catch]. The good thing is both of them were OK and fought through the race.”

The assistant starter was also heroic in holding on to Battle Station to keep him from running off, but hit the ground hard and had to be taken back in an ambulance for his trouble. Luckily, he was able to walk to the vehicle under his own steam, but it was fully ten minutes past post time before all systems were go again.

Gunned out of post four at the bell, Battle Station took control of the pace right away, and led What a Catch by a length up the backstretch through a first quarter-mile in 22.94. As the field rounded the far turn, these two had separated themselves from the rest, with Battle Station firmly established in the top spot and plenty in the tank.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By the quarter pole, the outcome was in no longer doubt. Battle Station opened up his lead then drew away under a drive, ultimately cruising under the wire a 9 1/4-length winner.

Inalienable Rights, last for the first quarter-mile, closed to finish second, passing What a Catch in late stretch. Completing the order of finish were Untimateenticement and Alien Invasion. After six furlongs in 1:11.30, the final time for seven panels over the fast track was 1:24.83. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“My horse ran very good and I’d like to thank Wesley [Ward] and the Ramseys,” said Carmouche. “I kept him nice and calm throughout and he ran really good. I’ve been working this horse since Saratoga. With Wesley training him and how he gets his 2-year-olds ready, they can do either/or [turf or dirt].”

When the race was drawn, Wesley Ward also commented on the surface switch. “I think he just won on the grass because he’s a good horse. But he’s really a dirt horse.”

Ward also said at the time that he was surprised by how much speed Battle Station showed winning his debut. “This guy is a big, imposing colt – a big, galloping guy. For him to do what he did was an eye-opener for me. I really didn’t expect him to do that.”

Battle Station, bred by Lansdown Thoroughbreds, is one of five winners out of Uriel, a 16-year-old unraced daughter of Unbridled, who was purchased in-foal with Battle Station at the 2014 Keeneland November sale for $17,000. This year Uriel had a filly by Amira’s Prince (IRE) before being bred to Anthony’s Cross.

The Ramseys bought Battle Station, now a perfect two-for-two and winner on both turf and dirt with $133,800 in earnings, as a weanling at the 2015 Keeneland November sale for $50,000.

Held Accountable perfect on dirt and turf with Gimma score

Thu, 2017-09-21 10:10

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred juvenile filly Held Accountable (Exchange Rate) debuted a 2 1/4-length winner in a 5 1/2-furlong state-bred turf contest on August 17 at the Spa, finishing with an extra gear after stalking the pacesetter.

Even before her debut, however, she performed well enough on dirt in the morning to leaver trainer Phil Serpe second-guessing his decision to start her on turf.

“We were at the starting gate with Mr. Broman, his farm manager Greg, and myself, and the filly was about to get her gate card,” said Serpe. “She popped out of the gate and we watched her outwork two of our other 2-year-olds that were pretty nice horses in-hand. We’re all looking at each other, asking ‘So, why are we running this filly on the turf first time out?’ But, she had turf pedigree and we had another filly to run on the dirt.”

Flash forward five weeks to Wednesday’s 7-furlong, $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park. Serpe and the Bromans were all-in to take a shot with a surface switch.

Relatively dismissed at odds of 9-1, Held Accountable stumbled at the start out of post two under Luis Saez, but collected herself by the third stride, and ran the 47.13 first half-mile in the clear in fifth, four-wide and four lengths behind 94-1 pacesetter Beaux Arts.

Saving a little extra ground in the two-path midway around the far turn, and asked for run by Saez, Held Accountable rallied past two fillies, moved out into the four-path in upper stretch and targeted fellow Broman runner Pauseforthecause, then Berning Rose, who took over the lead in succession.

With a sixteenth of a mile left to run, Held Accountable took over, then edged away to win by 2 1/4 lengths. After six furlongs in 1:12.66 over the fast racetrack, Held Accountable completed seven furlongs in 1:25.27.

Berning Rose, who had closed from midpack, ended up second, followed by 6-5 favorite Newport Breeze 1 1/4 lengths back. Completing the order of finish were Pauseforthecause, Miss Mystique, Aunt Babe, Girl’s Dance Party and pacesetter Beaux Arts.

“The last time she ran, she was a little green running on the turf, but today was a different story,” said Luis Saez, giving the jockey’s perspective. “She was rating well and when I had the opportunity to put her in the clear she took off. It was the perfect distance for her. She broke pretty good and everything came together.”

Phil Serpe said, “We were very confident today that this filly could do this. We were not surprised that she won this race. You have to be hopeful and we’ve always thought a lot of this filly.”

Serpe also thinks that dirt success opens some doors for Held Accountable this fall. “I would say [she’ll stay on dirt], given that for 2-year-olds at this time of year, there really isn’t a lot of turf races available, especially for the New York-breds until they turn three. I’ll have to talk to Mr. Broman about it. She’s another nice-bred horse by the Bromans.”

Finally, the winning trainer acknowledged the good start Held Accountable had with the recently retired Mike Hushion. “I’m sorry that Mike Hushion retired, but it created an opportunity for us. This was a horse Mike had and he always thought a lot of, for the record. It’s just great training for people like the Bromans. They’re all well-meant horses and they’re very good people to deal with.”

Held Accountable, who has earned $133,800 from her two victories, is one of six winners produced by New Harmony, an unraced daughter of A. P. Indy purchased in foal to Smart Strike by Chester Broman at the 2008 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale for $190,000.

The resulting foal, Strike Accord, is a stakes-placed turf runner and earner of $263,523. The following year, New Harmony produced multiple stakes-placed In Harm’s Way (Hook and Ladder), third in the 2012 Grade 2 Saratoga Special. The female family includes Grade 1 stakes winner Military, multiple graded stakes winner Parade Ground and graded stakes winners Parade Leader and Speed Dialer. The Bromans sold the mare for $20,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York Mixed sale in 2015.

 

Gate-crashing, late-running Therapist up in time to win Laurel Futurity

Sat, 2017-09-16 19:53

Laurel photo

By Sarah Mace

Oak Bluff Stables homebred Therapist (a colt by Freud, as his name implies) provided some pre-race drama by breaking through the starting gate sans rider, and balking while being reloaded before finally getting on his way, but that didn’t compare to his stirring late-race theatrics.

In the final strides, Therapist, who had raced near the rear of the field for the first half-mile, powered past his four remaining rivals to win Saturday’s $100,000 Laurel Futurity, a six-furlong turf dash for 2-year-olds, by a head.

In the Futurity, Therapist was making just his second career start for trainer Christophe Clement. For his debut, the chestnut colt shipped from his Saratoga base on July 2 to go the same trip at Belmont Park. There, Therapist rallied to victory over nine New York-bred maiden special weight rivals, winning by 1 3/4 lengths going away. His three most recent timed workouts, including a tempered four furlongs around the dogs on turf, were posted at the Spa.

Bet down to 5-2 second choice and ridden by a patient Daniel Centeno, Therapist was unfazed when he got squeezed back after the start, content to cruise along nine lengths from the front with only one horse beaten, as Nauti Boy led the way through an opening quarter-mile in 22.95.

Saving ground through the far turn and gaining a couple of spots late in the bend as the half went in 45.81, Therapist angled out with an agile move in upper stretch and passed two more horses. In the final stages of his rally, under a vigorous drive midtrack, the colt collared the four remaining rivals in the closing strides to secure the head victory.

“I got lucky he didn’t get hurt in the gate, said Centeno. “It was only his second start and he got nervous. He broke a little slow and I put him on the rail and I saved all the ground. I was watching the favorite and turning for home, I put him into gear and he responded. He galloped out strong. He ran big after breaking through the gate.”

Stroll Smokin, a 20-1 longshot, who raced up on the pace from the start, held for second, while 4-5 favorite Majestic Dunhill had to settle for third. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:09.50. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Therapist, who has run Lasix-free in both career starts and earned $97,200 from two victories, was foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains. He is the one of two winners and the first stakes winner out of Lady Renaissance, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Sharp Strike.

Owner/breeder Oak Bluff Stables bought Lady Renaissance for $15,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November sale. Her first winner is Gio’s Lady (Gio Ponti), a sophomore who has won twice in California. Lady Renaissance has a weanling full sister to Therapist and was bred this year to Temple City.

Icabad Crane to represent NYTB in Real Rider Cup

Fri, 2017-09-15 09:45

G’Day Mate Stakes 2/17/2011 (NYRA/Adam Coglianese)

By Sarah Mace

Accomplished New York-bred runner Icabad Crane will proudly sport the silks of his sponsor, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB), when he joins nineteen other off-track thoroughbreds competing in the inaugural Real Rider Cup on Sunday, September 17.

The jumping competition will take place at the Plantation Field International Horse Trials in Unionville, Pa., one of the East Coast’s premier three-day events. Proceeds will benefit Plantation Field and the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP).

Bred by Gallagher’s Stud, Icabad Crane had an outstanding career on the racetrack. He placed in multiple graded stakes, including a third-place finish in the 2008 Preakness. In 33 career starts he earned $585,980 from seven wins, seven seconds and nine thirds.

The 12-year-old Jump Start gelding has also already left his mark on the eventing world. Ridden for owners Graham and Anita Motion by two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton in the 2014 Thoroughbred Makeover, Icabad Crane won the title of Most Wanted Thoroughbred. Owner Earle I. Mack, who campaigned the gelding on the flat, transferred him to the Motions for $1 upon retirement at age eight with the idea that he would have a second career in eventing.

At Sunday’s Real Rider Cup, four teams of five riders each will compete over a show-jumping course of approximately a dozen 2 1/2-foot fences, and the scoring will be based on time and penalties. In addition to Icabad Crane, Sunday’s Real Rider Cup will feature retired runners Twilight Eclipse and Eighttofasttocatch.

Real Rider Cup NYTB silks

Icabad Crane will be ridden by Lauren Baker Cannizzo, who has retrained many Thoroughbreds for careers in jumping and eventing. The riders in the Cup come from all quarters. Others piloting their OTTB mounts over the fences include flat jockeys Rosie Napravnik, and 12-time leading Delaware Park jockey Mike McCarthy, former jump jockeys including Sean Clancey and a variety of OTTB trainers and coaches and exercise riders.

While the Real Rider Cup is the brainchild of Phillip Dutton, Icabad Crane’s NYTB connection is the product of a chance meeting at the Saratoga yearling sales last month. Anita Motion was chatting with Lauren’s husband, Jeffrey Cannizzo, executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. at the auction.

As Motion recounted to the DRF, “[Jeff] had asked about the [Real Rider Cup]. He mentioned that Lauren had a background in show jumping, and I asked if she would be interested in riding. He loved the idea, but we hadn’t asked Lauren yet! We were not thinking of using Icabad at that time, but based on Lauren’s experience and the connection of New York Breeders and Icabad being a New York-bred, it was a great fit.”

Motion also explained that Dutton will do double duty at the Trials, riding in the main event at Plantation Field and advising Cannizzo and several other riders.

New York-bred yearlings average over $250,000 in Book 2 at Keeneland

Fri, 2017-09-15 08:26

By Sarah Mace

Over the three days of “high-volume” horse-trading that comprised Keenland’s second book of yearlings on Tuesday through Thursday, New York-breds came away with an impressive average price of over $250,000 and low buyback percentage of 11.67%

Keeneland’s Book 2 this year, by virtue of a “tweaked” format for the marathon auction’s opening week, was billed as containing “top-quality” or “upper market” yearling offerings that would carry the momentum of Book 1’s single session of “elite” yearlings through the first week of the sale.

After scratches, 12 New York-bred yearlings passed through auction ring and 10 sold – all but one of them bringing six figures. The average New York-bred price was $252,400 and the median came in at $180,000. Tuesday’s first session of Book 2 saw the New York-bred star of the sale to date: a $750,000 Into Mischief yearling bred by Pine Ridge Stables and bought by Shadwell Estate Company. The other standout of the day was a $400,000 chestnut colt by Giant’s Causeway bred by Chester and Mary Broman.

Each of the following two days of Book 2 had a New York-bred star. On Thursday, before the sale went on its traditional Friday hiatus, Hip 1068 a filly by Bodemeister went to Mathis Stables from the consignment of Gerry Dilger’s Dromoland Farm for $400,000. Wednesday’s standout, like the Giant’s Causeway colt who brought $400,000 on Tuesday, was product of Chester and Mary Broman’s breeding program, Hip 788, who brought $230,000

Hip 1068 was bred by Tom Ryan et al’s SF Bloodstock, LLC. The bay January filly sold previously as a weanling for $140,000 at Keeneland’s November sale to Villa Roja Bloodstock. She is the first foal out of Bryan’s Jewel, a stakes-winning Kentucky-bred mare by Rockport Harbor from the family of champion older horse Left Bank. SF Bloodstock bought Bryan’s Jewel in 2014 for $300,000 at the Fasig-Tipton fall mixed sale and resold her in foal to Speightstown at Keeneland November in 2016 for $580,000.

Hip 788, the Broman-bred, is a dark bay or brown filly by Pioneerof the Nile foaled on April 17, 2016. The buyer, Ralph M. Evans, campaigned multiple graded stakes winner and multiple Grade 1 placed New York-bred Upstart, who stood his first year at stud in 2017 at Airdrie Stud. Sequel Bloodstock was the consignor.

The filly’s dam is Spritely, a multiple stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Kentucky-bred runner by Touch Gold, whom Chester Broman purchased for $850,000 in the Edward P. Evans Dispersal at the 2011 Keeneland November sale. Spritely’s two winners include Pauseforthecause, a Giant’s Causeway filly who broke her maiden first out at Saratoga on August 4. The mare has a weanling colt by Super Saver and was bred to Curlin this year.

At Keenland, the yearling auction will run in continuous sessions through September 23 following Friday’s dark day.

 

Shadwell goes to $750,000 for NY-bred Into Mischief yearling in Keeneland’s Book 2 opener

Wed, 2017-09-13 08:20

Keeneland photo

By Sarah Mace

Led by an Into Mischief colt purchased by Shadwell Estate Company for $750,000, the first New York-breds to come under the hammer at Keeneland’s marquee September yearling sale were extremely well-received. All four Empire State-breds offered in the opening session of Book 2 found new homes, and the quartet brought an average price of $358,750.

Keeneland Sales revised the format of the first two books of its iconic September yearling auction this year to put a focus on top-tier horses for the entire opening week before the traditional “dark day” on the first Friday of the auction.

Monday’s Book 1 consisted of a single session with 167 offerings, which were variously described as “super-select,” “elite” and “ultra-exclusive.” (In 2016 Book 1 spanned three days with 607 horses offered.) Keenland’s second book this year, which includes the first 17 New York-breds in the sale, is comprised of three high-volume sessions, billed as containing “top-quality” or “upper market” yearlings

Keeneland photo

The New York-bred star of Tuesday’s Book 2 opener, and co-top-selling New York-bred yearling of 2017 (along with a Curlin filly bought by Juddmonte Farm at the Saratoga select yearling sale in August), was Hip 342, a bay colt by Into Mischief out of Indian Rush. Bred by Pine Ridge Stables. and offered by Paramount Sales, the April 7 colt was purchased by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company for $750,000.

“He … was a colt that passed all the tests,” said Pat Costello of Paramount. “He had a big walk and they just loved him on the grounds here. He was very busy and he just passed all the tests.”

The colt’s dam Indian Rush is a Kentucky-bred stakes-placed turf runner by Indian Charlie who earned just shy of $100,000 and produced a stakes winner with her first foal, Harlan’s Honor.

Indian Rush is also the dam of up-and-coming New York-bred juvenile March X Press (Shangai Bobby), a Todd Pletcher-trainee who broke her maiden on debut at Saratoga this summer and, two weeks later, took Saratoga’s open Bolton Landing Stakes. Indian Rush, purchased for $80,000 by Morris Bloodstock Services at age six at the 2012 Keeneland January sale, foaled a Tiznow colt this year and was bred to Honor Code in the spring.

The other New York-bred standout on Tuesday was Hip 387, a $400,000 chestnut colt by Giant’s Causeway who was bred by Chester and Mary Broman out of their homebred graded stakes winner Khancord Kid. Consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, the colt was purchased by Buyer International Equities Holding, Inc.

Khancord Kid (Lemon Drop Kid) captured the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park turf in 2010. Chester Broman purchased her dam Confidently, an unraced daughter of Storm Cat, at Keeneland’s 2000 January sale of horses of all ages for $1 million. Khancord Kid’s first foal is Bar of Gold, winner of the Empire Distaff, Critical Eye and Yaddo Stakes and runner-up in the 2015 Grade 1 Test Stakes. She has six additional graded stakes-placings and has earned $918,500 to date.

The Keeneland September yearling sale will span 12 sessions in all. Following the one-day hiatus on Friday, September 15, the sale will run in continuous sessions through September 23. All of 101 New York-bred yearlings are catalogued.

Mr. Pete stalks his way to victory in Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes

Sat, 2017-09-09 19:22

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Mr. Pete, a homebred for Michael Salerno’s Nirvana Stables by first-crop sire Shanghai Bobby, took home the prize after a successful stalking trip in the $117,263 Aspirant Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds at Finger Lakes on Saturday.

After finishing second in his debut for trainer James Ryerson at Belmont Park on June 2, Mr. Pete added blinkers to graduate by a half-length on July 15, winning from off the pace at six furlongs.

The dark bay was last seen finishing fifth in the Funny Cide Stakes at the Spa on August 25, which made him the only juvenile of seven entrants in the lucrative Aspirant with stakes experience.

After breaking from post one under jockey Harry Hernandez as the 5-2 second choice, Mr. Pete settled in third on the inside, while 4-5 favorite Looking Ready showed the way through a testing opening quarter-mile in 22.40 and half in 46.20.

SV Photography

Coasting through the turn three-wide, Mr. Pete moved into second place in upper stretch, but still had three lengths to make up on the pacesetter. Mr. Pete narrowed the gap and engaged Looking Ready in mid-stretch.

With a furlong to go, Mr. Pete took over the lead. Although the colt drifted out in final sixteenth, he got home clear, winning by 2 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:11.94. Lover’s Leap rallied from fourth to get a nose in front of Collective Effort in third, while pacesetter Looking Ready, Tender Boy, Cheltan and Paynter’s Prize finished next in order. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Mr. Pete, who has earned $125,957 from two wins an a second in four starts, is the second winner from two foals to start out of Dakota Doll, a New Jersey-bred stakes performer and earner of $273,000 who was purchased by Peter Walsh as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton selected October yearling sale in 2006.

Dakota Doll, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Lovely Fiona (Not For Love), has a weanling filly by Shackleford and was bred to Effinex this spring.

First-time starter Indy’s Lady sparkles in Lady Finger Stakes

Sat, 2017-09-09 19:13

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Debuter Indy’s Lady, a $150,000 2-year-old purchase from the first crop of Take Charge Indy, kicked off her racing career in style at Finger Lakes on Saturday afternoon as a much-the-best, wire-to-wire winner of the co-featured $116,550 Lady Finger Stakes.

Trained by Jeremiah Englehart for owners Orlando DiRienzo and Southfield Farm, Indy’s Lady came into the Lady Finger with eight published works at the Spa, the most recent being a gate move on August 17.

One of seven 2-year-old New York-bred fillies lined up in the gate to go six furlongs, Indy’s Lady was partnered with leading Finger Lakes’ jockey John Davila, Jr. As an unknown quantity, the dark bay filly was let go at 7-1 odds.

Indy’s Lady sprinted out of post five at the bell and, through a first quarter mile in 22.45, pressed the pace just to the inside of speedy fellow first-time starter, 22-1 Wild Witch. Relentless in pursuit, Indy’s Lady took over in the approach to the far turn, and “that was all she wrote.”

A length to the good at the head of the stretch after a half-mile in 46.36, Indy’s Lady kicked clear and drew off at will to end up all alone at the wire as an 8-length winner in a final time of 1:12.04.

One Last Cast closed from fifth to finish second, a half-length in front of Salty Smile in third. A neck back, odds-on favorite Droselmeyr’s Smile finished fourth followed across the finish line by Scintillation, Wild Witch and Scatback. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Indy’s Lady, who earned the $69,930 winner’s share of the Lady Finger Purse, was bred by Alan R. Cook and is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winning New York-bred sprinter Filibustin (Bustin Stones). The filly’s dam is West-Virginia-bred Sweet Aloha, a six-figure earner, all three of whose foals to race are winners and black-type performers. Sweet Aloha has a yearling colt by Forty Tales and was bred back to Bustin Stones in the spring.

Indy’s Lady sold first as weanling at the 2015 Keeneland November sale, where she went to OWL Stable for $65,000. Failing to meet her reserve when bid up to $48,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, when offered this past May at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale, she posted a sharp :10 1/5 furlong in the under-tack show and was purchased by Orlando Di Rienzo for $150,000.

 

Voodoo Song joins elite company with Grade 3 Saranac win

Sat, 2017-09-02 23:20

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Barry and Sheryl Schwartz’ 3-year-old homebred Voodoo Song joined some pretty rarified company at Saratoga Racetrack on Woodward Day.

Successfully completing a front-running mission to win the $300,000 Grade 3, Saranac Stakes, the chestnut English Channel colt posted his fourth victory of the 2017 Saratoga meet, a feat not accomplished since the legendary Native Dancer won four races at the Spa as a juvenile in 1952.

A Mike Hushion-trainee for five races, until the beloved New York conditioner retired at the conclusion of this year’s Belmont’s Spring/Summer meet, Voodoo Song broke his maiden at second asking on November 5, 2016, going one mile on the turf against state-breds at Aqueduct. He was unplaced in three subsequent races – once in the mud in the Damon Runyon on Aqueduct’s inner oval, and twice sprinting on dirt in April and May at Aqueduct and Belmont, respectively.

When Voodoo Song moved to the barn of Linda Rice, the trainer made some executive decisions. She removed the blinkers that had been added for the colt’s sprint starts, returned him to turf and stretched him back out to a route of ground. These changes, combined with a clear affinity for the upstate grass, turned Voodoo Song into a virtual Saratoga winning machine.

On the second day of the meet (July 22), when dangled for $40,000 in a straight claimer, Voodoo Song wired a 10-horse field by 5 1/4 lengths, and, fortunately for Rice and Schwartz, was able to return to his home barn at the end of the day.

Just four days later, Voodoo Song performed the same operation on a field of first-level state-bred allowance turf runners, winning by three-quarters of a length. Twenty-seven days later (August 23) Voodoo Song was back in the starting gate to go 1 1/16 miles again, this time to ace a second-level, state-bred allowance. But Rice wasn’t done yet.

Rice wanted to strike while the iron was hot, in other words, while the turf was firm and dry, and elected to run Voodoo Song back once more at Saratoga, but the 1 1/8-mile Saranac was not Plan A

“I really wanted to get into the allowance race earlier in the card, because I thought that was a logical spot. When I could see where were going to be five or six deep on the also-eligibles, I thought we’d be better off putting him in the Saranac,” said Rice. “[Owner] Barry [Schwartz] was great. He said [to do] whatever I wanted, so that’s what we did.”

Voodoo Song was relegated to 6-1 fifth choice by the bettors, who understandably felt a little skeptical that the colt could meet the challenges of the class hike, demanding racing schedule and extra half-furlong. Their skepticism was not rewarded.

Voodoo Song did bump a rival after breaking inward from post five, but then sprinted clear of the field, to lead the group by five-plus lengths through the first half-mile. A timer malfunction produced impossible splits, leaving onlookers and trainer, alike, confused about how fast Voodoo Song was actually going.

Said Rice, “He got pretty far in front and I got a little concerned because of the fractions. I couldn’t tell if he was going too fast because the clock was wrong.”

In the far turn, 2-1 favorite Bricks and Mortar mounted a serious challenge, getting within a half-length of the freewheeling Voodoo Song, but the colt shook clear again. He opened up two lengths in the stretch. Yoshida made one last bid, but to no avail. Voodoo Song held on to win by a neck.

Bricks and Mortar finished third, another half length behind Yoshida. Completing the order of finish were Rocketry, Mr Havercamp, Makarios, Caviar Czar and Master Plan. The final time for nine furlongs, hand-timed due to the timer malfunction, was 1:46.18. Internal splits are not available. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Said Rice, “Jose [Lezcano] put him to sleep in the turn and they were making a fast move toward him. I thought ‘oh geez, I hope he isn’t empty,’ and then he spurted off. What a thrill.”

Lezcano, aboard for all four of Voodoo Song’s wins this summer, said, “He broke to the lead and that was it. That was the only strategy going in; let him go and let him break loose. I know we were going fast, but that is how he likes it, running free. If you make him hang around he throws his head, so we let him go. He’s happier that way and you saw the rest.”

Reflecting on Voodoo Song’s historic four wins, Rice said, “It’s great to be in the same company as Native Dancer. It’s been a real thrill for us. I’ve had a couple win three here now, [including] City Zip and New York’s Finest, but this was just really something.”

She added, “The reason I’ve run him back so many times is he likes this course, he likes the configuration. Obviously, it hasn’t rained much, and he likes the firm going and that could change very quickly in the next 30 days or six weeks, so I thought let’s take advantage of it we can rest him later. This meet we haven’t had much rain. In 2009 when I won the title, we didn’t have much rain, and my turf horses ran great the same year, so sometimes that works for you.”

Voodoo Song is out of Stonewall Farm mare Mystic Chant, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Unbridled’s Song purchased by Barry Schwartz for $200,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. In an eight-race career Mystic Chant became a stakes winner for Schwartz before graduating to broodmare duties. She has produced six winners, but Voodoo Song, with a record of five wins and a second from nine starts and $360,485 in earnings, is her star.

Mystic Chant’s juvenile Flatter colt Singapore Trader has raced twice, including a solid second in a New York-bred maiden special at Saratoga on August 6. The mare has a yearling full brother to Voodoo Song and a weanling colt by Japan and was bred back to Flatter this year.

 

Multiple New York-bred turf champion Lubash retires sound at 10

Fri, 2017-09-01 08:50

Lubash crosses $1 million earnings threshold in G3 Tropical Turf H., 11/22/2014 (Natalie Fawkes)

By Sarah Mace

Lubash, voted New York-bred male turf champion in 2014 and 2015, has been retired sound at age 10 by owner/breeder Leonard Pivnic and trainer Christophe Clement.

On Wednesday, Clement tweeted that Lubash was “not showing the same interest in training [as he did before].” He added, “He retires sound as a [10-year-old, and] we are SO very proud of his career!”

Lubash won 12 stakes races, earned $1,515,139 and participated for years in a thrilling and popular rivalry with fellow New York-bred turf veterans King Kreesa and Kharafa (both age 8 this year).

In all, the son of Freud won 18 races from 54 starts, with nine seconds and seven thirds. In graded company, Lubash won the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West in 2014 and 2016, and the Grade 3 Fort Marcy in 2013.

Lubash was trained at three and four by James Ryerson, for whom he won his first three stakes: the New York Stallion Stakes series Cab Calloway Division, open Fifth Marine Stakes and open Monarch’s Maze. After moving to the Clement Barn in 2012 he continued to go from strength to strength. Within the highly competive New York-bred male turf division, Lubash won the Ashley T. Cole and West Point twice, and the Kingston and Mohawk once each.

“Mr. Pivnick decided on retiring him and he’s been absolutely great to all of us involved,” Clement told the NYRA Communications team. “He did not do his entire career with me, but he did some of his career with us and I’m very proud of him. He was a very tough campaigner.”

As to the future, Clement said, “[Lubash]’s perfectly sound and is retiring as a sound horse. I’m going to find him a place where he can enjoy life. When he was right he had two or three amazing races in New York going seven-eighths of a mile. He’s a very good and well-balanced horse and had a great turn-of-foot.”

Foaled at Carapan Farm, Lubash is the most successful offspring of Nasty Cure, a stakes-placed daughter of Cure the Blues, who produced four other multiple winners including stakes-placed New York-bred Netcong by Meadow Flight, who started 87 times and banked $327,924.

 

Giant Expectations wins Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile berth in Pat O’Brien Stakes

Sat, 2017-08-26 23:09

© Benoit Photo

By Sarah Mace

The left coast’s West Coast (the horse) may have had his way with the eastern contingent in Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga, but later the same day at Del Mar 4-year-old Giant Expectations, a New York-bred colt by New York sire Frost Giant (Sunrise Stallions / Keane Stud), somewhat evened the score after stalking his way to a 1 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes.

The 7-furlong contest, which attracted a field of ten, was a “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, which came with an all-expenses-paid ticket for the winner to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4.

Breaking from post nine under veteran pilot Gary Stevens, and the 9-2 third choice in the field of ten, Giant Expectations was hung out seven wide on the backstretch, as the bulk of the field got off to an even start. The chestnut colt eventually settled in sixth position in the run to the far turn behind 3-1 favorite Moe Candy, who led the group through an opening quarter mile in 22.89 from his inside post.

Advancing two spots under encouragement and rounding far bend four deep, Giant Expectations was set down for the drive. His new target, once pacesetter Moe Candy gave up the ghost, was 7-1 Calculator.

Giant Expectations ran down Calculator, who had to settle for second, and continued with good energy to get the win by 1 1/2 lengths going away. Second choice Silent Bird (3-1) finished another 2 3/4 lengths back in third. After a half-mile in 45.14 and six furlongs in a flashy 1:08.83, Giant Expectations stopped the clock at 1:21.08 after seven furlongs over a fast track.

“He broke sharp and he was right in it,” said Gary Stephens, after his second consecutive call on Giant Expectations. “I used one of his gears a little earlier than I wanted to, to get position. There was some ‘jockeying’ going on out there [in the turn], especially between [Kent] Desormeaux [on Silent Bird] and me. We were going in and out, but my horse loved it.”

Continued Stephens, “He’s a bulldog. I rode him last time and he ran great. I thought he was sitting on something big. He showed it today.”

As to the chestnut colt’s prospects for the BC Mile, Stevens opined, “I think he’ll actually be better off if they run him a mile. He’ll have more time to settle going into that first turn and I expect he’ll run big.”

Giant Expectations’ dominant performance seemed almost to come as a surprise to Peter Eurton, who trains the colt for Exline Border Racing and Gatto Racing.

“He showed up today and I’m really proud of him,” said Eurton. “Gary chose him over Kobe’s Back [a 6-year-old who finished sixth] basically because of the youth. This horse is four. I didn’t think he would run this big, but I’m glad he did. We’re pretty happy right now.”

The Pat O’Brien Stakes was Giant Expectations’ stakes debut. Although the colt, who was unraced at two, failed to break his maiden in six tries last year out West, he did turn heads with a runner-up finish to eventual Champion and Dubai World Cup winner Arrogate, when the latter broke his maiden on June 5, 2016 at Santa Anita.

Following 11 months on the sidelines, Giant Expectations shipped back east for commanding victories in consecutive races against New York-breds at Belmont Park on May 29 and June 8 in his seventh and eighth career starts. He came into the Pat O’Brien after falling short by just three-quarters of a length in a one-mile optional claimer in his Del Mar debut on July 19, for which he earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

Bred by Sunrise Stables and foaled at Saratoga Glen Farm in Schuylerville, Giant Expectations first sold for $85,000 as a short yearling at the 2014 Keeneland January sale. A $70,000 buyback at the same venue in September, he was purchased by Ryan Exline for $135,000 at the 2015 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds.

Giant Expectations, who is the first graded stakes winner for his sire Frost Giant, has compiled a record of three wins, three seconds and a third from 10 starts and has earned $253,200. He is one of three winners from three foals to start out of Sarahisittrue, a winner by Is It True, who was bred in New York by Herman Wilensky and campaigned by IEAH Stables. The dam of Giant Expectations’ full sister Bambisfrostyracer, Sarahisittrue has been bred exclusively to Frost Giant, producing three more full brothers: 3-year-old winner Say It Aint Frosty, juvenile A True Giant, who is not yet started, and an unnamed yearling.

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