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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

Freudie Anne takes ’em wire-to-wire in NYSS Statue of Liberty

Thu, 2015-08-13 19:06

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

In a field chock-full of horses sired by Freud (six) and horses whose names involve various forms of “Ann” (three), it seems only fitting that the winner of Thursday’s Saratoga feature, the Statue of Liberty division of New York Stallion Series for New York-sired 3-year-old fillies, combined both features. Freudie Anne led the field from gate-to-wire for a mile the inner turf course to top an all-Freud superfecta.

Freudie Anne broke alertly under jockey Jose Ortiz, and immediately struck the front. Enjoying the inside path around the clubhouse turn, she led by two-plus lengths through a first quarter-mile in 23.19 and half in 47.12, pursued most immediately by Dreamboat Annie in second and Psychiatry in third.

Moving slightly off the rail in the far turn, Freudie Anne responded with energy when set down for the drive and opened up as much as three lengths in the stretch before crossing the finish line a 1 1/4-length winner. A hard-charging Loon River (Freud) closed well to get up for second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Psychiatry (Freud) who ran a solid third in her first try against winners and first race beyond seven furlongs. The final time for one mile over the firm turf was 1:35.56. [VIDEO]

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Jockey Jose Ortiz, who won his third race of the day on Freudie Ann, was aboard for the filly’s three previous races, including a winning effort two back when she wired a second-level New York-bred allowance. He was also in the irons for her nine-plus-length frontrunning victory in the East View Stakes on the Aqueduct inner oval last December.

Ortiz said, “[Trainer] Eddie [Kenneally] brought her in at 100 percent, as he always does with all his horses. Plan A was to go to the lead; Plan B was to sit back. She broke well and it worked great. We went straight to the lead and got settled with pretty decent fractions and it was easy for her, she held on.”

Kenneally trains Freudie Anne for an ownership group which is headed by Marc Detampel and includes Fergus Galvin, Jayne Doi Johnson and Adrian Mansergh Wallace. Kenneally said “This is what she likes to do, long on the grass. This is what she’s best at and it worked out today so well. She relaxed nicely on the front end, got a great ride from Jose. He rode her with a lot of confidence. He had plenty of horse turning for home. She’s good right now.” Freudie Anne is now a perfect three-for-three over the sod.

Kenneally added, “If she broke sharp, I figured she’d be on or close to the lead. Sure enough, she was. The horse on the inside [Psychiatry, No. 1] took back so he was allowed to dictate the pace. He didn’t get a whole lot of pressure. The first quarter was a little quick, but they backed off of her after that and they let her coast along on the lead. She had plenty left in reserve for the stretch. Good effort.”

Bred by Delaney Stable and foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, Freudie Anne was a steal both times she passed through the auction ring. A $14,000 weanling at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton fall mixed sale in Saratoga, she was purchased by Jayne Johnson the following year for $9,000 at the Keeneland September sale. Now a multiple stakes winner, Freudie Anne sports a record of five wins from nine starts and has earned $248,540.

Freudie Anne’s dam is the unraced Lake Toccet (Toccet), a half-sister to turf stakes-placed Irish Princess. Both of her foals to start are winners. The mare has a 2-year-old filly by Frost Giant named Frostie Anne who has not started and a yearling colt by Giant Surprise.

Freudie Anne’s sire Freud, a perennial leading stallion in the state, stands for Sequel Stallions New York. His 2015 stud fee for 2015 was $10,000.

Legendary Horseman John Nerud Dies at 102

Thu, 2015-08-13 11:56

John Nerud (Photo: Skip Dickstein, courtesy B-H)

by Evan Hammonds / Courtesy Blood-Horse

John Nerud, the legendary horseman and Hall of Fame trainer, died the morning of Aug. 13 in New York. He turned 102 Feb. 9.

Nerud died at his home in Old Brookville, N.Y., in the early hours from heart failure. His daughter-in-law, Debra Nerud, confirmed that Mr. Nerud had been in the hospital for a few days prior to his passing but he had come home Aug. 11.

“He went to the hospital Sunday night (Aug. 9) and they wanted to put in a pacemaker,” she said. “His heart actually stopped beating for about three minutes Tuesday but he came back. His will was so great, so strong.”

Nerud’s influence was far-reaching in the industry. As a trainer he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1972. He retired from training in 1978.

He served as trainer, president, and general manager of William L. McKnight’s Tartan Farms near Ocala, Fla., where he developed Dr. Fager into a four-time champion in 1968. Dr. Fager was named champion sprinter, turf horse, handicap horse (older male), and Horse of the Year.

Nerud also trained champions Intentionally, Ta Wee, and Dr. Patches. He saddled Gallant Man to a runner-up effort in the 1957 Kentucky Derby.

He was owner and/or breeder of influential stallions Fappiano and Cozzene, among others.

Nerud also was instrumental in the early days of the Breeders’ Cup as a founding member. He served as chairman of the marketing committee for Breeders’ Cup in its first few years.

As an owner he won the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) with Cozzene, who was trained by his son, Jan.

Click here for “The Legacy of John Nerud” by Steve Haskin on the Blood-Horse website.
Click here for “John Nerud: Master of Tartan Farms” from America’s Best Racing website.
Click here for “A Storied Trainer and a Witness to History” by Melissa Hoppert, New York Times, 6/15/2015
Click here for John Nerud “Bio” from National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

NY-bred by Malibu Moon tops F-T Saratoga filly offerings, goes to Young for $800,000

Wed, 2015-08-12 10:19

Hip 170 (Fasig-Tipton photo)

by Sarah Mace

For the second straight day a New York-bred filly topped the distaff side of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale offerings. The top filly of the opening session was Hip 104 by War Front, bred by Gallagher’s Stud and purchased by Glen Hill Farm for $570,000. On Tuesday bloodstock agent Steven Young signed a ticket for $800,000 on behalf of an undisclosed client for Hip 170, a New York-bred filly by Malibu Moon, who became the best-selling filly of the prestigious auction.

The bay topper was bred by Newtown Anner Stud, foaled at their Millbrook farm on March 16, 2014 and offered by Hill ‘N’ Dale Sales Agency. Her dam Red Hot Bertie, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Tabasco Cat, has produced five winners, including multiple stakes winner and $234,401-earner Red Hot Buddha (Buddha), multiple graded stakes performer Cue the Moon, a full-sister to the sale filly, and her first foal, graded stakes performer, Knockout Bertie, by Distorted Humor.

Red Hot Bertie is also a half-sister to headliner fillies Allamerican Bertie, by Quiet American, a multiple graded stakes winner and stakes producer, and Hurricane Bertie, by Storm Boot, a multiple graded stakes winner and earner of nearly $1 million. There is more star power under the third dam, including Avenging Gossip, Cool Perfection, Sun King and Peeping Tom and Traitor.

Steve Young (Fasig-Tipton photo)

Steve Young, who purchased four horses for gross sales of $1,565,000 and a $391,250 average over the two sessions and indicated that his client bought the filly to race, told the Blood-Horse, “She was at the top of our list. She basically sold herself every time I went and saw her. She’s smart, she’s a very good mover, and I couldn’t be happier with her.”

Young continued, “I probably went to see her four times, but I look at horses more than some people do. Some people look at horses multiple times to knock them or to get off of them. When I go back to look, I’m trying to figure out what I think they’re worth.”

Young added to the TDN, “She is a full-sister to a horse [Cue the Moon] who could really run. And, on her own merit, we think she is as nice a filly as there is. Malibu Moon has thrown some very good fillies in his own right. And we didn’t think it was a hard decision. She is a terrific filly.”

Zayat Stables, of American Pharoah fame, went to $300,000 to snap up the top-selling New York-bred colt on Tuesday, a chestnut with striking facial markings by Lemon Drop Kid, from Select Sales, agent. Hip 209, who was bred by Blue Star Stable in partnership with Mike Ferraro and foaled at Waldorf Farm in N. Chatham, is the second foal from the sturdy New York-bred mare Sweet Lorena, by Langfuhr. Bred by Stonewall farm and campaigned for five seasons by Michael S. Ferraro, Sweet Lorena placed twice in the Grade 3 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes, placed in five more stakes at Finger Lakes, and earned nearly $500,000 from 41 career starts. Stakes winners Traffic Chief and Savannah Canon appear under the colt’s third dam.

Over the course of two sessions of trading at the sales grounds in Saratoga, 12 New York-bred yearlings of 16 offered found new homes, selling for a heady average price of $302,083 and $220,000 median. All but one Empire-bred brought six figures and three sold for $500,000 and up.

The sale overall posted a 10.4% increase in average to $322,448 and a 5.3% increase in median to $250,000. The 15% buyback rate improved 3.9% over last year.

Early- & late-inning home runs for Gallagher’s Stud in opening session of F-T Saratoga

Tue, 2015-08-11 09:50

Hip 104 (Fasig-Tipton photo)

by Sarah Mace

A pair of fillies bred by Marlene Brody’s Gallagher’s Stud topped the nine New York-bred offerings in the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton select yearling sale in Saratoga on Monday evening.

Hip 9 by Malibu Moon, the first of nine New York-breds to pass through the ring, fetched a cool half-million dollars, only to be trumped by the last offering of the night, Hip 104 by War Front, who was purchased by Glen Hill Farm for $570,000 to become the top-selling filly of the session. Both yearlings were consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud, agent.

Hip 104, the $570,000 War Front filly, is a bay foaled on February 6, 2014. She is the third foal out of Hostess, a multiple graded stakes winner by Chester House and $383,918-earner, who set the current course record for 1 3/8 miles over the Saratoga inner turf in the 2008 Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap.

Purchased by Marlene Brody for $650,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November sale, Hostess has produced two winners: 3-year-old Courageisamajority, by Medaglia d’Oro, who won an allowance race at Saratoga on July 26, and her first foal Z Maitre D, by Awesome Again, who won on debut at two. Hostess produced a filly by Giant’s Causeway this spring and has been bred to Scat Daddy.

Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm who signed the ticket for the top filly, said that she will be broken at their farm in Ocala and then go to Tom Procter, probably to train at Fair Hill.

Gallagher’s Stud’s Malibu Moon filly (Hip 9) was hammered down earlier in the night to Crupi’s New Castle Farm, agent for $500,000. A chestnut foal born on February 17, 2014, she is a product of four generations of Gallagher’s Stud breeding.

The filly’s dam Tulipmania is a winning daughter of Empire Maker out of Gallagher-bred multiple stakes winner Eventail (Lear Fan), dam of the talented New York-bred multiple graded stakes winner Straight Story. The whole star-studded “Take Charge” clan appears under the third dam, Gallagher-bred Felicita – champion broodmare Take Charge Lady, the dam of champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge, Take Charge Indy and second dam of juvenile filly champion Take Charge Brandi. Tulipmania produced a colt by Animal Kingdom this year and has been bred to Fed Biz.

Gallagher’s Stud wasn’t the only New York breeder to produce fireworks in the premier sale’s opening session. The top-selling colt was Hip 51, a grey/roan individual by Tapit, who sired the top three horses in Monday’s session. The New York-bred was purchased by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds from the Winter Quarter Farm consignment for $400,000.

Bred by John Meriwether’s Waterville Lake Stables Ltd LLC, and foaled on March 5 at Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud, the colt is out of multiple graded stakes-placed Charming Legacy (IRE) by Danehill. His second dam is multiple graded stakes winner and graded stakes winner producer Olympic Charmer by Olympio. Charming Legacy produced a filly by Elusive Quality this year and was bred to Curlin in the spring.

In all eight of the nine Empire-breds offered changed hands for an average of $269,337 and median price of $205,000. For the general population of the sale, the session average was up 8.8% to $310,643 and the median dipped 3.2% to $225,000. The buy-back rate was 17.6%.

Ex Ex Ex takes NYSS Cab Calloway on the front end to stay perfect on turf

Mon, 2015-08-10 20:01

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Mark Valentine’s Ex Ex Ex (Read the Footnotes), winner of his only prior start on the grass two back in a maiden-breaking effort, led every step of the way Monday on his way to a Saratoga victory in the featured $100,000 Cab Calloway Division of the New York Stallion Stakes series for New York-sired 3-year-olds at one mile on the inner turf.

Trained by Gary Contessa and piloted for the first time by Jose Lezcano, Ex Ex Ex went off as sixth choice in the field of seven at odds of 11-1. Out of the gate alertly, the chestnut colt wasted no time in showing his hand, striking the lead early and carving out fractions of 24.64 and 50.18.

Extending his lead to three lengths through the far turn and clocking three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.32, Ex Ex Ex kicked altogether free in the stretch. He crossed the finish line a half-length winner, after a hard-charging Amazing Anne (Freud), fourth early and second in the stretch, eroded the lead. Memories of Peter (Disco Rico), who broke his maiden in his prior start, finished third 3 1/4 lengths back and the top three were followed across the line by Payment Terms, Mark My Style, Secured Position and Possessed. The final time for the mile over firm turf was 1:36.95. [VIDEO]

Winning rider Jose Lezcano said, “I got a very good trip. He broke on the lead and was there the whole way. When I asked him at the quarter pole he was gone and won the race easy. He’s the kind of horse that needs the lead. He feels big on the lead.”

Gary Contessa said, “He’s a very fast horse. Anytime you have speed you’re dangerous, and his speed on the turf is very dangerous.”

NYRA/ Adam Mooshian

Contessa also commented on the overall dynamics of the race, which included trouble for others in the field in the clubhouse turn. “When we went into the first turn and everyone behind him was checking and bolting and everything, I said, ‘Boy, this is a beautiful thing.’ The favorite [Payment Terms], obviously, had the most trouble. That really helps. That’s the advantage of having the speed horse. He’s a very fast horse and he used it to his advantage today.”

Contessa contrasted Ex Ex Ex’s abilities on turf compared to dirt. After breaking his maiden on the grass at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park on May 20, in his next start he was well-beaten in the off-the-turf Spectacular Bid division of the NYSS series on June 21. “[Last time out] I decided to stay in it,” said Contessa. “It was a four-horse field and I thought, ‘He can’t be that bad on the dirt, can he?’ It turned out, he was, so now we’ll keep him on the grass. His speed is always going to be dangerous.”

[See also: NYRA analyst Richard Migliore’s post-race interview with trainer Gary Contessa]

Bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds in partnership with A. Lakin & son, Ex Ex Ex is by former New York sire Read the Footnotes out of the winning Honor Grades mare Stelluchella, who was most recently purchased by Becky Thomas for $11,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November sale. Stelluchella has produced six winners in all, led by her third foal Alfonsina (Grand Slam), a multiple graded-placed runner who earned over $120,000.

Ex Ex Ex’s record now stands at two wins and a second from seven career starts with $109,743 in earnings.

She’s All Ready scores dazzling debut victory

Fri, 2015-08-07 18:00

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Nirvana Stables’ She’s All Ready certainly lived up to her name at Saratoga on Friday afternoon. The chestnut daughter of Girolamo led every step of the way in her debut, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race for New York-bred juvenile fillies, ultimately opening up in the stretch to score dazzling eight-plus-length victory

Confidently bet down from her 8-1 morning line to 2-1 favoritism, the chestnut was sharp out of the gate under pilot Kendrick Carmouche and quickly opened up a length on her nine rivals, running the first quarter-mile in a snappy 22.28.

Extending her lead to two lengths in the far turn, She’s All Ready began to draw off in upper stretch. Then, after Carmouche gave her a tap or two on the shoulder, she effortlessly opened up an insurmountable margin. She’s All Ready crossed the wire an 8 1/4-length winner geared down. After clocking a half-mile in 45.87, she stopped the clock after 5 1/2 furlongs at 1:04.63.

The third progeny winner for her freshman sire Girolamo, She’s All Ready led the way in a Girolamo exacta, as Legend of Lorelei nosed Surprise Cameo (Giant Surprise) for third. Darley’s Girolamo, a Grade 1-winning son of A.P. Indy, began his stud career in 2012 at Becky Thomas and Dennis Narlinger’s Sequel Stallions New York.

Trainer James Ryerson said, “[She’s All Ready] was very precocious from the get-go. They didn’t sell her at Timonium and [the owners] felt it was the right thing to take her to the races. They said she didn’t need any freshening or anything. They sent her right to me and she’s gone forward.”

Bred by Kings and Queen’s Farm, She’s All Ready is the first winner out of Prominent, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of El Prado (IRE). Prominent has also produced a yearling full brother to She’s All Ready named Masci.

Celestial Sighting closes with conviction to take Spa debut

Mon, 2015-08-03 16:48

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Michael Dubb’s Celestial Sighting, a 2-year-old chestnut daughter of Eskendereya, recovered from a slow break and closed with determination to win her career debut at Saratoga on Monday, a maiden special weight for New York-bred juvenile fillies at 5 1/2 furlongs over the inner turf course.

Exiting post one under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. as the 5-2 second choice in the field of 10, Celestial Sighting endured some bumping after the bell, then settled in sixth, spotting the leader as many nine lengths, while Rescue Cat led the field through a scorching first quarter-mile in 21.42.

Making up some ground and negotiating the turn in the two-path, the filly accelerated to advance into third. Swinging out five-wide at the head of the stretch, she then began a determined drive, picking off all but the new leader, 3-2 favorite Somerset Sandy.

Celestial Sighting hooked up with Somerset Sandy the in the final seventy yards, gained the lead and crossed the wire a one-length winner under a vigorous hand ride. After a quarter-mile in 44.90, she stopped the clock in a solid final time of 1:03.32. Somerset Sandy finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Miss Kew in third. [VIDEO]

Rudy Rodriguez, who trains Celestial Sighting for Dubb, said he was expecting a strong performance from his charge. “We brought this filly over here ready to run,” said Rodriguez. “The way she was training I was very confident that she could get the job done. I know Saratoga is very tough, but she didn’t show any different than what we see [in the morning].”

Rodriguez continued, “She broke a little slow, but they went pretty fast in front so that was good to see her close. Maybe she’s going to appreciate a little bit more distance.” There are no immediate plans for the filly’s next start.

Bred by Taylor Brothers Properties, LLC in partnership with Bayshore Stables and foaled at Stone Bridge Farm in Gansevoort, Celestial Sighting is the first foal out of Afternoon Stroll, who won the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes on turf at Keeneland and earned over $200,000. Changing hands once at public auction, the filly was purchased by Beechwood Brunker for $75,000 at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale.

Too Discreet too good for rivals in grassy debut

Sun, 2015-08-02 15:48

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Patricia Generazio homebred Too Discreet (Discreet Cat), a full-brother to multiple graded stakes-winning turf star Discreet Marq, began his career auspiciously when he kicked off Sunday’s card at Saratoga with a wire-to-wire victory in a 5 1/2-furlong New York-bred maiden special weight.

Drawn in mid-pack in post five, and sandwiched by his neighbors after the bell, the odds-on favorite recovered quickly and was hustled to the lead by jockey Joel Rosario. The grey then carved out an opening quarter-mile in 21.84, pressed along to the inside by fellow firster and 9-2 second choice Heated Verdict (Court Vision).

Too Discreet cleared Heated Verdict in the late stages of the backstretch run, set up at the rail and widened his advantage to a length and a half in the turn. After receiving the next cue from his pilot in upper stretch, the colt opened up his advantage and cruised to a 2 1/2-length victory.

Next across the line was Heated Verdict followed another length and a half back in third by Sax Change (Exchange Rate), a 22-1 longshot who closed from the back of the pack. After a quarter-mile in 45.41, Too Discreet stopped the clock after five and a half panels at 1:03.06. [VIDEO]

Trainer Christophe Clement, who has been Discreet Marq’s conditioner throughout her career, said, “I’m very happy. He trained well. You, know, first time out – I think he’ll go longer. I’m delighted.”

When asked if Too Discreet reminded him of his celebrated sister, Clement said, “Not yet. But maybe soon,” adding, “If he could be as good as her it would be a wonderful problem to have.”

Too Discreet is out is out of the multiple stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Marquetry mare To Marquet ($198,236), a Kentucky-bred Generazio homebred. Frank Generazio Jr. also bred To Marquet’s dam, Florida-bred Pretty Momma, a multiple stakes winner.

To Marquet’s star foal is multiple New York-bred champion Discreet Marq, a winner of seven stakes races to date, led by the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. Campaigned for most of her career by the Generazios, the mare brought $2.4 million at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale when purchased by Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd. and remains in training with Clement at age five until a planned retirement next year.

To Marquet has five progeny winners in all, including Marquet Cat (Cat Thief), who earned nearly $400,000 from 61 starts, and Marquet Madness (Pico Central) who earned over $200,000. The 18-year-old mare currently has a yearling colt who is also full sibling to Discreet Marq and Too Discreet, and was bred this year to Gio Ponti.

Atlantic’s Smile hangs tough to take Arctic Queen at FLGR

Sat, 2015-08-01 08:14

Joelyn Rigione/SV Photography

by David Mattice

FARMINGTON, N.Y. –Atlantic’s Smile held off a late challenge by Cinematize to earn a narrow victory in the $50,000 Arctic Queen Stakes on Friday at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack. She scored the nose victory in a final six furlong time of 1:11.52.

The 5-year-old mare owned by Francis Paolangeli set the early pace of the dash for New York-bred older fillies and mares. She was able to withstand the late pressure from her rivals to notch the fourth race triumph.

The Charlton Baker-trainee was guided to her fifth career victory by John Davila, Jr. She improved her lifetime earnings to a sum of $290,223 and paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Cinematize was second at odds of 26-1 and returned $13.40 and $7.40. Smitten by Gold finished third and paid $2.70.

Commanding comeback for Moonlight Song in Morrissey

Thu, 2015-07-30 18:47

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Al Fried homebred Moonlight Song (Unbridled’s song) had the stakes credentials, dangerous speed to spare and a history of running well fresh to loom as a possible upsetter of dual Grade 1 winner and odds-on favorite Palace in Thursday’s featured $100,000 John Morrissey for New York-breds at Saratoga Racetrack.

Once Palace suffered a miserable start, however, the 8-year-old’s task became much easier. He seized opportunity by the forelock and proceeded to control the pace solo for an impressive wire-to-wire victory for his third stakes win.

The 6 1/2-furlong Morrissey, which originally attracted eight, was contracted by scratches. Last year’s winner Weekend Hideaway scratched in the morning and, once a heavy rainstorm reduced the track to a sloppy (sealed) condition, Ostrolenka defected. Moonlight Song, unraced since his winning the 6 1/2-furlong Hudson Handicap at Belmont Park on October 18, 2014 for trainer Charlton Baker, went postward under regular rider Jose Ortiz as the second betting choice after Palace.

Unlike his unfortunate rival Palace, who stumbled at the start and spotted the field two lengths, Moonlight Song exited post five sharply and took control of the race. He led the field through strong fractions of 22.03 and 45.20, with Readthebyline a length behind in second. Palace meanwhile managed to make his way up into third.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Set down unchallenged in upper stretch, Moonlight Song widened his advantage to as many as four lengths and, though tiring somewhat, held well to stave off any closing threat. A 1 1/4-length winner in a final time of 1:17.69, Moonlight Song was followed across the wire by John’s Island, who closed with an energy from last to second, Palace, Noble Cornerstone, Readthebyline and Smooth Bert. [VIDEO]

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz reported, “My horse broke great and he went to the lead pretty easy. When I asked him to run by the quarter pole he responded very well. The horse was 100 percent. The horse has to take all the credit. I was just the passenger. [Trainer] Charlie [Baker] does a tremendous job with him. He always shows up.”

Charlton Baker added, “It was a great trip. He went all the way so it was pretty easy as far as I was concerned. He trained good for the race and I’m excited.”

As to the weather, Baker said, “We were happy to see the rain. He’s five out of six in the slop so that was a lot of help there. I thought we were faster on paper, but it was a help to see the one [Weekend Hideaway] and three [Ostrolenka] scratch, less pressure. I told [Jose Ortiz] not to slow it down too much. I wanted him to chase hard, so I didn’t want him to slow it down too much for them to sit on his heels.”

Trainer Linda Rice supplied a report on Palace. “The horse next to him was acting up in the gate and he just kind of fell out of there and grabbed himself with a hind foot. He tried to recover, but you can’t give that type of horse five or six lengths in the mud or an easy lead. I also don’t think Palace runs his best races in the mud, either. It’s not really his best, but that’s racing.”

Moonlight Song, a late bloomer and otherwise lightly raced due to physical issues, added the Morrissey win to victories last year in Belmont’s Hudson Handicap and Aqueduct’s Gold and Roses. Now a stakes winner at all three NYRA tracks, his record now stands at eight wins, two seconds and third from 17 starts with $474,294 in earnings.

Moonlight Song is the third foal, and one of four winners out of Moonlightandbeauty (Capote), also bred by Fried, who purchased her dam, Stolen Beauty (Deputy Minister), for $30,000 at the 1990 Keeneland September yearling sale. Stolen Beauty won the Grade 2 Demoiselle in 1992 in her third career start, and won or placed in seven stakes races, earning earned $299,451.

Stolen Beauty’s daughter Moonlightandbeauty, a stakes winner and $228,053-earner trained by Rick Schosberg, began her broodmare career with a bang, producing Giant Moon (Giant’s Causeway) as her first foal, also trained by Schosberg. 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 dollars ($502,586).

Moonlightandbeauty produced a filly by Street Cry (IRE) this year.

Sudden Surprise, first runner for NY sire Giant Surprise, impressive winner of sloppy unveiling

Thu, 2015-07-30 16:29

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Sudden Surprise, a handsome bay 2-year-old son of New York freshman sire Giant Surprise, delivered a strong performance in his unveiling over the sloppy main track at Saratoga on Thursday, emerging as the much-the-best wire-to-wire winner of a New York-bred maiden special weight at 5 1/2 furlongs and giving his young sire a first progeny winner.

A homebred for Mike Repole trained by Todd Pletcher, Sudden Surprise went post seven (of ten) under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez as the fourth betting choice at odds of 9-2.

Getting a jump on his rivals at the bell, Sudden Surprise shot to the lead in the opening strides of the race and never looked back. Carving out splits of 22.67 and 46.06 as he traveled comfortably over the sloppy going with a one-length lead, the colt negotiated the turn unchallenged in the two path and swung out three-wide for the drive. Sudden Surprise widened his lead in the stretch, and kept to his task to the wire, where he stopped the clock at 1:05.15 a 2 3/4-length winner. [VIDEO]

Pletcher said he was not surprised to see Sudden Surprise delivered such a strong debut performance. “He trained pretty well and we’d learned a few things about him his last couple breezes,” said Pletcher. “It seemed like he was a speed horse and wants to run freely. When it came up sloppy especially, we just wanted to make sure he got away alertly and utilize his speed.”

According to Pletcher, who also trained the colt’s sire Giant Surprise, the apple did not fall far from the tree. Said Pletcher, “Mike [Repole]’s got a handful of these giant Surprises and they’ve all been training pretty well, but I told him [Sudden Surprise] one is the most physically similar [to his sire].”

Foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Sudden Surprise is the first foal out of Ready and Good, a placed Florida-bred runner by Ready and Good, also trained by Pletcher, who had a lone career start for Repole. She has visited Repole stallions exclusively, and has a yearling filly by Overdriven and a weanling filly by Stay Thirsty. She was bred this year to Uncle Mo.

Giant Surprise, who stands at Rockridge Stud in Hudson for $2,500, won his lone start for Repole-Pletcher four years ago by 4 1/4 lengths in a much-anticipated debut at Saratoga. He completed the six furlongs in 1:10.23 and earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Unfortunately his career was cut short prematurely after he suffered a non-displaced, condylar fracture in that start.

Bred in Kentucky by George and Charles Bolton and purchased by Repole from the Lane’s End consignment at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling sale for $130,000, Giant Surprise is the first foal out of the unplaced A. P. Indy mare Twisted Sis. His second dam Twist Afleet, by Afleet, was a multiple Grade 1 winner of $659,240. Twist Afleet produced stakes-winner A New Twist and three stakes performers. The third dam Twist Her (Nativo) was also a stakes winner and multiple stakes producer.

La Verdad sizzles in Grade 2 Honorable Miss

Wed, 2015-07-29 17:59

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Still reaping the benefits of a planned winter vacation that lasted from late November until mid-April, millionaire La Verdad drove up her 2015 record to a perfect four-for-four when she delivered a sizzling frontrunning performance in the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss for fillies and mares on a hot Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga Racetrack.

La Verdad, who is owned by Sheila Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable and trained by conditioner Linda Rice, kicked off her 5-year-old campaign with a dominating five-plus length victory in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct on April 18. The six-furlong specialist (11-for-14) then stretched out her speed an extra half-panel in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap, which she won by a half-length on May 16. Returning to state-bred company and six furlongs on June 28, she annihilated a field of state-breds in the Dancin Renee on June 28, winning by more than seven lengths.

Second choice in the Honorable Miss at 6-5 odds behind odds-on reigning champion female sprinter Judy the Beauty, La Verdad shot out of the starting gate at the break and claimed the top spot from the get-go. Judy the Beauty, who had little choice in the matter once La Verdad threw down the gauntlet, followed a half-length behind in pursuit.

After running a quarter-mile in 22.47 closely attended by the champion, La Verdad widened her advantage two lengths and completed a half in 45.03, while Judy the Beauty ceded second to Street Story.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Asked for run at the head of lane, La Verdad kicked into gear and built an insurmountable advantage on the way to the finish line, which she crossed a four-length winner in a final time of 1:09.14. Street Story finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Judy the Beauty. Enchantress and Ultimate Shopper completed the order of finish.

Victorious jockey Jose Ortiz said, “La Verdad broke great today and she did her job. I was cruising at the quarter pole and I let her run. You always expect a great horse like Judy the Beauty to put in a challenge.” Ortiz added, “[La Verdad]’s my favorite horse. She’s very special and she has given me a lot of good memories.”

As to the way Judy the Beauty attended the fast pace, Ortiz commented, “I can understand that because if [jockey Joel Rosario] wants to win he can’t let me go that easy in front. He put pressure on me early and still got beat. If I would have gone easier early, maybe I would have won easier.”

Linda Rice said, “Judy the Beauty is a very great horse and intimidating filly. Obviously today went very well. I was nervous running against that type of filly.  I knew she was going to be a real tough competitor.”

Owner Sheila Rosenblum waxed enthusiastic, as always:.”Oh, my gosh, what a race!” said Rosenblum. “What competition! What a trainer! What a jockey! What a groom! She’s incredible. La Verdad is some joy.”

Last year at Saratoga La Verdad could do no better than fifth on a pair of starts in the Honorable Miss and Ballerina. This year La Verdad will head into the Grade 1 Ballerina having beaten the reigning female sprint champion. Said Rice, “La Verdad is at her best right now and this is great because we are going into the Ballerina. We’re going after that elusive Grade 1 victory.”

A winner of nine stakes races and owner of a 14-2-0 record in 20 starts, La Verdad has now earned a whopping $1,170,700. In addition to New York-bred stakes victories in the Critical Eye, Iroquois, Broadway and Dancin Rene (twice) she has won the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap twice, the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap and the Honorable Miss. According to her connections, she will retire next year to the breeding shed.

Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC and foaled at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown farm in Chestertown. La Verdad was purchased privately by (Lady) Sheila Rosenblum following her second allowance victory in November 2013.

She is one of three winners out of Noble Fire (Hook and Ladder), 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. Noble Fire’s two other winners, are N. F’s Destiny (Cuvee), an eight-time winner of over $335,000 and Lady Sheila Stable’s stakes-placed six-figure earner Hot City Girl (City Zip).

Noble Fire currently has a yearling filly by Freud and was not bred last year. This spring she went to Will Take Charge.

NYTB presents Nielsen and Molloy Winkler scholarships on Saratoga College Day

Wed, 2015-07-29 16:29

L to R: Jeff Cannizzo, Tate Morris, Mrs. Joanne Nielsen (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 second race at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 29, which was the seventh annual College Day presented by Toyota at Saratoga Race Course.

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, the $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 Tate Morris. Originally from East Lyme, Connecticut, Morris graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Vermont as a Community Entrepreneurship major. After completing his Vet-Med prerequisites at the University of Connecticut, he attended the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and graduated this spring.

Morris now seeks a year-long veterinary internship at either a university or in private practice to continue his education, then hopes to go on to pursue a residency in Equine Surgery or Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation with the ultimate goal of becoming board certified. Professors have described him as a “star” with outstanding personal and professional attributes.

Morris said, “I am truly honored to have been chosen to represent the legacy of Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr., the New York Thoroughbred Breeders and the New York racing industry as a whole. I would like to thank all of those along the way that have made me deserving of this recognition especially the professors, clinicians, and technicians at Cornell-CVM.”

Morris, who still competes on roping teams, added, “With a cow pony background it has been a circuitous route to Thoroughbreds.  I have grown to admire their athletic prowess and look forward to a future of challenges in regards to preventing, diagnosing, and treating upper airway disorders and breakdown injuries.”

L to R: Jeff Cannizzo, Courtney O’Connell, Ken Malloy (NYRA/Adam Coglianese)

The Debby Malloy Winkler Scholarship was awarded to Courtney O’Connell, who has just completed three years of course work at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and will begin her clinical rotations in the fall.

A native of Ithaca, New York and graduate of the St. Paul’s School in Concord New Hampshire, O’Connell graduated with a double major in Biology and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she was a Mary Lyon Scholar. An accomplished rider with extensive experience in the world of show horses and Thoroughbreds, O’Connell has worked as a veterinary Student Technician and Research Assistant at Cornell.

Said, O’Connell, “I am very grateful to have won the Debby Malloy Winkler New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship to help me pursue my veterinary education. I have grown up working with thoroughbreds and I have always admired their athleticism and intelligence. I have learned so much from the thoroughbreds that I have been lucky enough to ride and I look forward to the opportunity to help care for them as a veterinarian.”

Mrs. Malloy’s son Ken represented the family at the presentation ceremony and O’Connell’s father John and sister Isabelle were in attendance.

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

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

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

2014 Nicolina Foti (read more)

School Board Prez first winner, first stakes winner for Courageous Cat

Sun, 2015-07-26 09:03

Courageous Cat (Lane’s End)

by Sarah Mace

School Board Prez, a dark bay or brown 2-year-old filly by Courageous Cat, jumpstarted her sire’s stud career on Saturday by giving him both his first progeny winner and first stakes winner after defeating ten rivals in the $75,000 Miss Ohio Stakes at Thistledown Racetrack in her first career start.

Trained by Doug Matthews, ridden by Jerome Lermyte and tabbed at 12-1 on the morning line, School Board Prez, was bet down to 5-2 favoritism by post time and more than justified the support with a professional and determined performance in the 5 1/2-furlong tilt.

After breaking from post 10, School Board Prez settled patiently in sixth in the early stages, five lengths or so off the lead while Ibelieveinmiracles set the pace, running a quarter in 23.04 and a half in 47.80.

Making up ground along the backstretch, and advancing between horses in the turn to fourth, School Board Prez entered the stretch four-wide and was asked for run.

Passing all her remaining rivals save for tenacious frontrunner Ibelieveinmiracles, the filly then steadily eroded the leader’s margin and surged in the final jump to secure the victory by a head in a final time of 1:06.86.

Bred in Ohio by her owner John W. Royer, School Board Prez is out of Torrent of Song, a winning daughter of Torrential who has produced seven winners from nine foals to start, led by multiple stakes-placed Dad Are We Here (Pure Prize), who finished 29 times in the money from 50 starts and earned over $350,000.

Grade 1 winner and millionaire Courageous Cat, a handsome 9-year-old son of Storm Cat, is out of multiple Grade 1 winner Tranquility Lake and a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner and sire After Market. He won six races for his breeders, Martin and Pam Wygod, led by the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. He also captured the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S., the Grade 3 Canadian Turf S. and the Grade 3 Poker S. and fell just a neck short of winning the Grade 1, $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile S.

On-the-board in 11 of his 15 career starts, Courageous Cat retired with earnings totaled $1,165,760 and entered stud at Lane’s End in 2012. He relocated in 2013 to Questroyal North in Stillwater where he has been popular with New York breeders, breeding over 100 mares this spring for a current fee of $6,000.

Meadowview homebred Lemon Liqueur takes Spa debut

Fri, 2015-07-24 17:48

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

After having to wait out a stewards’ inquiry into the stretch run of the second race at Saratoga on opening day, the connections of Lemon Liqueur (Exchange Rate), a 2-year-old homebred for Len Riggio’s My Meadowview Farm, were finally able to lead the dark bay filly into the Saratoga winner’s circle to celebrate a strong debut victory in a 5 1/2-furlong dash for New York-bred juvenile fillies.

Breaking from post one (of ten) under Jose Ortiz as the 2-1 favorite, Lemon Liqueur settled in at the fence two lengths off the pace set by Freud firster Freudsalm, who clocked sharp early fractions of 22.86 and 47.27.

Saving ground through far turn, Lemon Liqueur shifted out at the top of the stretch and, after bumping twice lightly with Here Comes Rosie (7-1), shifted into high gear with a furlong to go. Gaining command in the final sixteenth, Lemon Liqueur worked her way clear to secure the victory by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:06.23. Here Comes Rosie (Congaree) finished second, while pacesetter Freudsalm (Freud) stayed on for third. [VIDEO]

Trainer Rick Violette he chose Saratoga opening day to unveil the filly because “The timing was right and this was the right place.”

Awaiting the result of the inquiry

Violette admits to experiencing a few nerves about the outcome of the inquiry. “It looked like a bump. I don’t even think they made contact, but they were taking a long time to look at it.” Violette then quipped, “I have to go up and talk to Larry Collmus: it sounded like [the outcome] was going to be different: there was a pregnant pause when he said, ‘the Stewards have announced they will . . . not make any changes.’”

Violette said he will consider Lemon Liqueur for the $200,000 Seeking the Ante Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs on August 28. She is one of several juvenile homebreds in Violette’s care from My Meadowview Farm, which owns and bred New York-bred multiple graded stakes winner Samraat ($883,300). Violette said, “She’s a nice filly, but we might have a couple other bullets for Mr. Riggio.”

Foaled on March 13, 2013 at the Riggios’ farm in Water Mill, Lemon Liqueur is the first winner for her dam Limoncella, a multiple stakes-placed Kentucky-bred daughter of Lemon Drop Kid purchased by My Meadowview for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fasig-Tipton Kentucky, November Selected Mixed Sale. The mare currently has a yearling colt by Afleet Alex and no foal this year.

Wonderment much the best in Lynbrook

Sun, 2015-07-19 22:32

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Wheeling back just ten days after overcoming a difficult trip to achieve a debut maiden victory, Wonderment, a grey/roan daughter of New York sire Cosmonaut (Saratoga Stud, LLC), delivered a professional performance for her first black type score when she took the $125,000 Lynbrook Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies by a decisive six-plus lengths.

Running for a second time without Lasix and breaking well from post four for the six-furlong contest, Wonderment (8-5 second choice) immediately set up in the two path at the flank of Young Anna Lee, another sharp breaker to her inside. The pair separated themselves from the other four fillies and cruised their way through a quarter-mile in 22.96 and a half in 46.64.

Wonderment drew even and raced in tandem with Young Anna Lee through the latter half of the far turn before swinging out three-wide into the lane for the drive. Taking over in upper stretch she drew off to a much-the-best 6 3/4-length factory in a final time of 1:11.47. Young Anna Lee held on for second, followed 2 1/2 lengths back by first-time starter Bag of Tricks, half of a favored Broman entry (3-2). [VIDEO]

Joel Rosario rode Wonderment to her maiden victory, but did not anticipate her being entered in the Lynbrook so took the call on the Bag of Tricks. Jockey Javier Castellano, who picked up the mount, emerged with a very positive impression. “It was perfect,” said Castellano. “She broke well out of the gate. She’s a smart filly, she put me in a good spot in the race and I just went with the flow. She was very professional. I’m very blessed to ride these kinds of horses.”

Castellano continued, “I felt I had a lot of horse and didn’t want to use her too much because it’s so hot today; I didn’t want to ask her early. She responded so well and kicked very well at the top of the stretch. I think [she could go farther]. She galloped out steady and strong. I don’t think she’ll have a problem with an extra furlong in the future.”

Trained by Ken McPeek, Wonderment is owned jointly by Sherri McPeek’s Magdalena Racing and Chris Sterbenz. McPeek said he decided to run the filly back relatively quickly because she came out of her debut well and there wasn’t another race for her until the Seeking the Ante Stakes at Saratoga on August 28.

“She didn’t run on Lasix, and she did that basically off one half-mile breeze,” McPeek said. “We didn’t do a whole lot with her. There are not many opportunities for something like that. We figured it wasn’t going to hurt her.”

After the Lynbrook, McPeek’s assistant Jeff Odintz said, “She came in great. We had run her ten days ago, but she was ready to go. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have run her. She won this for fun. She actually did it a lot easier than I thought she would. She’s a nice filly, she can run.”

Bred by Michael S. Landers and foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Wonderment sold as a weanling to Baccari Bloodstock for $24,000. At the 2014 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, she did not attain her reserve when bid up to $47,000.

An earner of $111,000 from her two victories, Wonderment is one of three winners from three foals to start out of A Wonder She is, a winning daughter of Three Wonders from the family of Videogenic. She is also the dam of six-figure earner Persuasive Devil by Closing Argument. The mare currently has a yearling filly by Twirling Candy named Arabesque and weanling colt by Discreetly Mine.

Broman firster Manipulated takes Rockville Centre

Sat, 2015-07-18 23:33

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Manipulated, a first-time-starting homebred for Chester and Mary Broman, came from off the pace to emerge as the decisive winner of the $125,000, six-furlong Rockville Centre for New York-bred 2-year-olds at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon.

Conditioned by Jimmy Jerkens and piloted by Luis Saez, Manipulated (Malibu Moon) represented half of a coupled entry for the Bromans in the field of eight juveniles along with Spin Cycle (Hard Spun) for trainer John Kimmel and jockey John Velazquez. The Malibu Moon colt posted a bullet three-furlong blow-out on July 15 and the pair were bet down to odds-on favoritism by post time.

Ridden along out of the gate, Manipulated was outrun in the early stages traveling more than six lengths behind Love that Jazz and Dr. Shane, who vied for the lead and carved out a first quarter mile in 22.80 and half in 47.01.

As Lucky Lurie joined the fray and Love that Jazz began to weaken, Manipulated began a bid midway around the far turn, made up ground and swung five-wide into the top of the stretch. After picking off rivals, he took over inside the furlong marker and worked his way four lengths clear by the wire in 1:12.67 over a “good” main track. Lucky Lurie finished second, a length in front of Dr. Shane. [VIDEO]

Saez reported, “We had a little trouble when we broke. First, a horse came in and another one came out. I was trying to be patient and get a better position so I put him in the clear. At the half-mile pole, I knew I had a lot of horse and at the three-eighths, I asked him a little and he just took off. He won easy.”

Jerkens said, “It’s not often you run in a stakes with a first-time starter, but there were a few of us in the same boat. He’d been training well in the morning, and there was a lot of money hanging out there, so why not take a shot? He blew out good the other morning and we thought if he cooled out well, we’d go, and it worked out.”

Manipulated became the second winner for his dam Silver Knockers, a stakes winner and multiple graded stakes performer by Silver Deputy who earned nearly $250,000 on the racetrack. Chester Broman purchased the mare in foal to Unbridled’s Song for $320,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November sale. That first foal, Knockher Off, has earned $186,656. Silver Knockers has a yearling filly by Bernardini named Spa Treatment and a foal this year by Desert Party.

Saratoga Snacks wins sprint to wire in Saginaw

Sat, 2015-07-18 22:29

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Saratoga Snacks, winner of the Empire Classic in 2013 and sharp in the first three starts of his 6-year-old campaign for owner/trainer Gary Sciacca, delivered a gritty performance to win the inaugural Saginaw Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, clawing his way to victory after yielding the lead in the stretch to main rival Empire Dreams.

Partnered with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez for the first time and bet down to 4-5 favoritism, Saratoga Snacks broke sharply from post three and headed to the front, accompanied to his inside by Eye Luv Lulu. As the pair hooked up and traded the lead along the backstretch run, 2-1 second choice Empire Dreams bided his time in last, but only three lengths or so from the duelers through a first half mile in 48.73.

The frontrunners’ duel lasted until midway on the far turn, but when Saratoga Snacks began to get the edge, he was joined to his outside by Empire Dreams who made a sweeping three-wide move, and Notacatbutallama who advanced between horses in the two path.

Empire Dreams, who had the best momentum, briefly took over the lead at the head of the stretch, but Saratoga Snacks dug in, reclaimed the top spot in the final furlong and outsprinted Empire Dreams to the wire, a three-quarter-length winner in a final time of 1:43.98 for 1 1/16 miles over a track labeled “good.”

Gridley Here closed to finish 4 1/2 lengths back in third, followed across the line by Notacatbutallama, who was making in a rare main track appearance, and Eye Luv Lulu. [VIDEO]

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Velazquez reported, “I had a perfect trip: Broke well, got a good position and just kind of sat against him. That gave him a chance for the first part of the race. I kind of waited for Javier [Castellano]’s horse [Empire Dreams] and I was like, ‘let’s make this a sprint race down the lane and see who is best.’ I turned out to be the best one.”

Sciacca contrasted Saratoga Snacks’ effort on Saturday with his close-up third place finish to Empire Dreams last out in the Commentator on May 25. “He ran well. I think if he had run this way last time it would have been a different ballgame. He did everything right. He had an easy first quarter, picked it up a little bit for the next quarter, and made it a horse race. [Empire Dreams] got in front of him, I was just hoping he had something left.”

Continued Sciacca, “I got a little nervous at the eighth-pole because [track announcer Larry Collmus] said, ‘[Empire Dreams] is making a bold move on the outside.’ He came to him, but [Saratoga Snacks] took off again. I’m proud of him.”

Bred by Mrs. Gerald A. Nielsen, “Snacks” (Tale of the Cat) was purchased by Sciacca for Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton New York Preferred yearling sale for $60,000. Sciacca trained Saratoga Snacks for the early part of the ridgling’s career before the horse was transferred to the barn of Bill Mott for his 2014 campaign. Sciacca purchased the horse before his 2015 campaign.

Winner of the Alex M. Robb in 2012, and the Shy Groom Stakes and Empire Classic in 2013, Saratoga Snacks now sports a record of nine wins, four seconds and four thirds in 21 starts with $652,000 in earnings.

His dam Near and Dear, a multiple winner by Red Ransom ($80,400) bred by Mrs. Nielsen and her husband Gerald, has produced three other winners: six-figure earner Speed Dating (Not For Love), Rajman (Thunder Gulch) who placed twice at the Group 3 level in Peru, and Hurricane Jackie by Stormy Atlantic.

Sciacca is considering either the Alydar on August 9 or the Evan Shipman for New York-breds on September 4 at Saratoga for Saratoga Snacks’ next appointment with the starter.

Final sustaining payment for 2015 Finger Lakes Futurity Series due July 31

Thu, 2015-07-16 07:54

by Sarah Mace

The deadline for final sustaining payment for New York-bred juveniles nominated to the 2015 Futurity Series at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (Foals of 2013) is July 31.

The Finger Lakes Futurity Series consists of three stakes races for New York-bred 2-year-olds: the $100,000 (estimated) Aspirant Stakes for colts and geldings (September 18), the $100,000 (estimated) Lady Finger Stakes for fillies (September 18) and the $225,000 (estimated) New York Breeders’ Futurity for all horses (October 17). All three races are run at six furlongs.

The first supplemental payment of $425 was due on May 31. The second supplemental payment of $650 is due on or before July 31. Horses may also be supplemented to individual races (see fees below). Late payments are not accepted.

For questions, please contact the Finger Lakes Racing Secretary’s office at 585-924-3232 ext. 388 or email

Final Sustaining Payment for the 2015 Futurity Series: July 31, 2015:

$650 to maintain eligibility for both races
$400 New York Breeders’ Futurity
$250 Aspirant (colts/geldings) or $250 Lady Finger (fillies)

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

Finger Lakes Racing Association
ATTN: Michele Fish
PO Box 25250
Farmington, NY 14425

Click here for Payment Form.

G1 winner Dublin sires winner from first starter

Sun, 2015-07-12 14:07

Spendthrift Farm’s New York-based freshman sire Dublin, the Grade 1-winning juvenile by Afleet Alex, sired his first winner from his first starter when 2-year-old colt Dr Blarney turned in an impressive 3 1/2-length debut win Sunday at Monmouth.

Trained by Thomas S. McCooey, Jr for owner Alfred DiRico, the chestnut colt was sharp in the stretch of the five-furlong heat, widening his margin to win going away in 58.82 seconds over a fast local main track.

Dr Blarney was bred in Massachusetts by Joseph DiRico, and hails from the Capote mare Dr. Capote, a half-sister to multiple stakes winners Dr Disco and Dance Gal Dance.

On the track, Dublin scored his biggest win in the Hopeful S. (G1) as a 2-year-old just a month after impressively breaking his maiden in 1:09 2/5 at Saratoga. His Hopeful time of 1:23 2/5 was faster than that of his champion sire Afleet Alex, who also captured the Hopeful five years prior. At three, Dublin placed in all three major Kentucky Derby preps at Oaklawn Park, including the Arkansas Derby (G1), and retired with earnings of $438,949.

Dublin hails from the Storm Bird mare Classy Mirage, a Grade 1 winner and five-time graded winner in New York.

Dublin recently completed the 2015 breeding season as a Spendthrift stallion at Keane Stud in Amenia, NY where he stood for a 2015 fee of $6,500, and was a participant in Spendthrift’s Share The Upside and Breed Secure programs. He has 70 2-year-olds in his first crop.