Favored My Boy Tate makes it two straight stakes wins in Hollie Hughes

Monday, February 19th, 2018

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

Sent off as the prohibitive 1-2 favorite to score a second straight stakes victory in Monday’s $100,000 Hollie Hughes for New York-bred sprinters, My Boy Tate obliged his backers with a one-length win from off the pace under Dylan Davis. The young second-generation jockey has been a “Big A” powerhouse over the last two days, winning six races on Sunday, including the Gander Stakes, and three more on the President’s Day holiday card.

Making his eighth career start, My Boy Tate has gone undefeated since his broke his maiden at fourth asking at Saratoga on August 13 with a wire-to-wire win. Off until November 12, the dark bay picked up right where he left off with a 6 3/4-length frontrunning allowance win, then doubled down with a stalking victory in a second-level state-bred allowance on December 9. He capped the series with another strong frontrunning score in his stakes debut, the Say Florida Sandy on January 13.

After the starter sprang the latch on the fortieth renewal of the Hollie Hughes, things began to unfold a little differently for My Boy Tate this time around. Drawn in post seven of eight, he broke outwards and raced seven paths out along the backstretch, before advancing to fourth and moving toward the inside as the field approached the far turn.

Meanwhile Eye Luv Lulu (13-1) showed the way up top, leading the field through an opening quarter in a snappy 22.45, pursued by Tribecca in second, whose performance from start to finish belied his 50-1 longshot odds.

According to Davis, “When [My Boy Tate] broke, the track is kind of heavy, so it took him a couple of strides to get running. Also, I wanted to come out running and there was a lot of speed in here the way it unfolded, but he had no problem getting back into the pace.”

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Gaining third in the turn, My Boy Tate caught up to the leaders and made it three across the track at the quarter pole as the half went in 45.63. In upper stretch Eye Luv Lulu soldiered on at the rail, Tribecca held second between horses and My Boy Tate menaced in the three-path.

“I was a little worried,” said Davis. “Kendrick [Carmouche on Tribecca] was doing the best he could there laying second, but I didn’t feel like it was enough pressure on Jason [Servis]’s horse [Eye Luv Lulu], so I ended up getting to Kendrick as early as I could with ease and I just tried to attack a little earlier and he got it done.”

The other two were game in the stretch, but in the final sixteenth My Boy Tate poked a head in front and edged off to win by a length. Eye Luv Lulu in second checked in 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Tribecca and Saratoga Giro completed the superfecta. The final time for six furlongs over the muddy and harrowed track was 1:10.23. [VIDEO REPLAY]

A gelded son of New York-based sire Boys at Tosconova (Questroyal North), My Boy Tate was bred by his trainer Michelle Nevin, who is also a co-owner in partnership with Billy Koch’s Little Red Feather Racing.

Nevin said that having bred My Boy Tate gives her an edge in the trainer’s role. “I feel like my experience around him, and how he has come along, so you kind of know his habits before he even comes to you, so it is an advantage.”

Even so Nevin visualized the race a little differently beforehand (“I thought we’d be a little bit closer, but we didn’t plan on being on the pace today”) and credited her jockey with a skillful ride.

“I think he [Dylan Davis] did an excellent job,” said Nevin. “It came a little closer than it has been in his previous races. But I think Dylan did a really smart move by not rushing early. I would have hated to see him get caught in a speed duel and fall apart at the end. He really gave him a great ride.”

Nevin thinks that open competition may well be in My Boy Tate’s future.

Davis, for his part, commented on his nine trips to the winner’s circle in two days, “I did the best I could. I’m happy to come out with three winners. It’s a great day again following a six-win day. It’s incredible.”

Foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, My Boy Tate is one of two winners, and the first to earn black type, out of Backslash, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Sharp Humor campaigned by Paul P. Pompa Jr. who purchased her for $85,000 in 2009 at the Keeneland September yearling sale. The mare has a 3-year-old unraced Bluegrass Cat colt named Charlie McCoy, a yearling colt by Big Brown and foaled a colt by Micromanage on February 4, 2018.

From five wins, a second and third in eight starts, My Boy Tate has earned $252,300.

Leave a Reply