Battle Station wins the war in Rego Park Stakes

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

NYRA Photo

By Sarah Mace

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Battle Station (Warrior’s Reward) scored a determined and disciplined victory Sunday in Aqueduct’s featured $100,000, Rego Park Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds. After dueling speedster Stoney Bennett into submission in the first half-mile, the colt outgamed determined challenger Morning Breez in the stretch to register the win by a neck.

Turning back from a mile to six furlongs, Battle Station was drawn at the rail in the evenly matched field of five – the post-time odds for for the quintet fell within the range of 2-1 to 5-1.

The dark bay colt broke third, but was gunned to the front by jockey Martin Garcia to challenge early pacesetter Stoney Bennett. Up the back stretch and around the turn Battle Station and Stoney Bennett dueled furiously through hot early fractions of 22.09 and 45.59.

Meanwhile, Morning Breez at the rail, who raced in tandem with New York Hero along the backside, gained a clear third in the turn and ranged up beside the pace-setters three-wide approaching the quarter pole, ready to make them both pay in the stretch.

After Battle Station put away Stoney Bennett for good, Morning Breez came knocking and headed Battle Station in mid-stretch. Battle Station surged again, came back with gusto and secured the victory by a neck in a final time of 1:12.30 over the muddy (sealed) racetrack. It is a credit to both horses that they raced true to their paths in very close quarters under utmost urging.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

For third, New York Hero hit his best stride late to pass Stoney Bennett. Analyze Your Luck, who started poorly, completed the order of finish.

Martin Garcia, who had the call for the first time aboard Battle Station from trainer Wesley Ward said, “I was pretty excited since the day I worked him. I had confidence today. I knew he was not going to give up because I knew he was a fighter, and I knew he was going to come back. Even though [Morning Breez] passed me, my horse just got up.”

Garcia also praised Battle Station for handling his first encounter with sloppy conditions so well. “I think horses can be surprised sometimes when they see the mud, but he is really professional. It didn’t matter where he was, I think he was just ready to win today.”

Winner of his Saratoga bow in wire-to-wire fashion at Saratoga last year on the grass, Battle Station replicated the performance on dirt in the Bertram F. Bongard at Belmont in September. Eighth in the Sleepy Hollow, he wrapped up the year with a close second in an open optional-claiming race on November 25. In his seasonal debut, Battle Station checked in fourth in the one-mile Damon Runyon on January 15. From his three wins a second in six starts, the colt has earned $211,334

Bred by Lansdown Thoroughbreds, Battle Station is out of Uriel, an unraced daughter of Unbridled, who has produced six winners from seven starters.

Battle Station was purchased in utero by Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock when Uriel brought $17,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale. In November 2015 at Keeneland Ken and Sarah Ramsey bought Battle Station as a weanling for $50,000 from Consignor Kearney Park.


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