Ben Z Rolls rocks Ontario County Stakes with upset win

Monday, June 25th, 2018

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Dead last at the head of the stretch and carrying the burden of being the longest shot on the board, Joseph L. Maloney’s homebred Ben Z Rolls (Mission Impazible) swept past his rivals in the lane to capture the 34th running of the $50,000 Ontario County Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Finger Lakes on Monday.

With only three prior starts under his belt, Ben Z Rolls was the most lightly-raced horse in the field of five (reduced from seven by the race-day defection of Tender Boy and My Man Mo). Bettors might also be excused for slighting in the rail-drawn colt and sending him off at odds of 17-1 with all the attention that was focused on a pair of downstate shippers.

Making the trip to Farmington on Monday were Morning Breez, 1-5 at post time, and rival What a Catch, bet down to 3-1, both making Finger Lakes debuts. In five prior meetings on the NYRA circuit, What a Catch got the better of Morning Breez in a pair of meetings in 2017, while Morning Breez finished better in all three meetings this year.

Following the post-break scrum for the top spot, the downstate invaders hooked up before the first point of call, Morning Breez at the rail and What a Catch in the two path. The pair traded the lead through opening fractions of 22.32 and 45.67 while being tracked intently by P J Advantage. Meanwhile Ben Z Rolls chased in last place, as many as seven lengths off the lead.

Late in the far turn the pace began to take its toll on the frontrunners and P J Advantage ranged up menacingly outside the duelers. Ben Z Rolls continued to trail and fanned out widest of all at the head of the stretch.

P J’s Advantage took over the lead in upper stretch while Ben Z Rolls passed his first horse. The Mission Impazible colt hit his best stride around the furlong marker.

Picking off another rival and keeping the final two firmly in his sights, Ben Z Rolls passed What a Catch and P J Advantage in the final jumps and crossed the finish line a half-length winner. He completed the six furlongs over the fast track in 1:11.56 under jockey Kevin Navarro.

P J Advantage, in second, finished two lengths ahead of What a Catch. Completing the order of finish were Morning Breez and Stormy Highway. Ben Z Rolls paid $36.60 to win. Since the favorite finished out of the top the three, the .50 cent trifecta returned $176.25. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Trainer Anthony M. Ferraro unveiled Ben Z Rolls at Finger Lakes on November 13, when the colt broke his maiden by more than three lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs over off-going while being offered for a $15,000 tag. Moving up into allowance company next out, Ben Z Rolls wired the field. He shook off the winter rust after a seasonal break with a close-up fourth in the slop in an allowance for non-winners of three races on May 22 before making his successful foray into stakes company in the Ontario County.

Now a winner of three of four career starts, Ben Z Rolls had earned $48,845. He is the first foal to start out of Toot Z Roll, a Pennsylvania-bred winner. Her other progeny are: a juvenile filly by Emcee named Tara’s Ze Va, a yearling colt by El Padrino named Lo Z Rolls and a new colt by Bustin Stones foaled on April 3, 2018.

The colt’s sire, Mission Impazible (Unbridled’s Song), stands at Sequel Stallions New York for a 2018 stud fee of $7,500.

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