NEWS: racing

Good Luck Gus overcomes outside draw to capture Damon Runyon

Sunday, December 14th, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Good Luck Gus (Lookin At Lucky), dominant winner of the New York Breeders’ Futurity for New York-bred juveniles at Finger Lakes on October 4, became a two-time stakes winner on Sunday afternoon when he overcame the widest draw of all in a field of 11 New York-bred 2-year-olds to take down Aqueduct’s $100,000 Damon Runyon Stakes.

When Good Luck Gus drew post 12 to go one mile, 70 yards around two turns over the Aqueduct inner track (post 11 after the scratch of Navy Blue), both trainer Rudy Rodriguez and majority owner Michael Dubb considered scratching, and doubts lingered, at least in Dubb’s mind, until post time. Ultimately, though, Rodriguez felt going in that the draw could be an advantage.

Good Luck Gus finished fifth last out as the 3-5 favorite in the Notebook Stakes on November 16. “If you watch the race, he was jumping and climbing the whole race,” Rodriguez said. “At the top of the stretch, he checked and almost clipped heels, and then when he got to the outside, he started moving along. I think he got very scared when the dirt hit him in the face.” Rodriguez felt that even if his horse lost ground in the Damon Runyon, the wide draw would allow him both to get good position and avoid getting dirt in his face.

Bet down to the 9-2 fifth choice at post time, Good Luck Gus broke well and set up for a stalking trip in the early stages under jockey Ruben Silvera, as pacesetter Regal Minister sailed through early splits of 23.21 and 48.17 seconds. Advancing to third in the three-path along the backstretch run, Good Luck Gus made a successful bid for the lead in the far turn and hit the quarter pole in front. Asked for more in the stretch, Good Luck Gus held off the closers to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:45.80.

A fast-finishing Bullheaded Boy, who has danced all the stakes dances for New York-bred juveniles this year, closed well to nip Tizquick for second by a head. Completing the order of finish were Fleeting, Regal Minister, Saint Joseph, Possilicious, Thrown of my Own, Masons Dream, J C’s Not Brown, and Che La Luna. According to Trakus, Good Luck Gus traveled 39 feet more than the runner up. [VIDEO]

Rodriguez was thrilled with Good Luck Gus’s performance. “Since we got him he’s been very special to us. He’s been training very, very well. The post position was a little hard; we were thinking of scratching, but I think we made the right decision, and he proved it today. I told Silvera not to worry about losing ground, just be well placed. He fought on, and looked like he could handle 1 1/8 miles today.”

Michael Dubb, who purchased the colt at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale for $97,000, said, “I liked this horse so much I wanted to run in the [Grade 2] Jerome [on January 3]. This horse is by Lookin At Lucky; he wants to go two turns. When we drew the number 12, I said to Rudy, ‘I would be fine waiting’ because I have that much confidence in this horse. He’s two turns, and getting better.”

Dubb was also quick to acknowledge his trainer’s better judgment in opting not to scratch. “Just 10 minutes before the race we were kidding around,” said Dubb. “I said, ‘Rudy, what are you going to tell the jockey?’ And he said, ‘Fourth on the outside, no dirt in the face.’ And he said, ‘What would you tell the jock?’ And I said, ‘Well, I would have scratched.’ Which shows you what the dumb owner knows.”

As to the future, Dubb added, “We’re really excited about this horse. He keeps going and is training great. To win from out there, you’re several lengths the best. We might look at something open next for him.”

A maiden-breaker at Saratoga in the slop second out on July 28, Good Luck Gus won the New York Breeders’ Futurity two starts later before running second to Ostrolenka in the Sleepy Hollow at Belmont. Blinkers added for his last four starts have helped overcome some greenness, which led him to hop tire tracks in his first two outings. From three wins and second in seven starts, Good Luck Gus has earned $330,059.

Bred by Fred W. Hertrich III and foaled on April 28, 2012 at Majestic View Farms in Gardiner, Good Luck Gus is one of two winners, and the only registered New York-bred foal, out of Tacticmove, a daughter of Deputy Minister out of multiple Grade 1 winner Strategic Maneuver who was unplaced in one start. The mare, who also is a half-sister to Group 3 turf winner Ishiguru (Ireland) and Grade 2 dirt route winner Cat Fighter, was purchased by Hertrich at the 2011 Keeneland November sale for $35,000 and has since been resold.


Freudie Anne dominates East View in frontrunning style

Sunday, December 14th, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Freudie Anne chalked up another stakes victory for New York’s leading sire Freud, the stallion’s eighth for the year, when she dominated the six-horse field of the $100,000 East View Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies by more than nine lengths at Aqueduct on Sunday afternoon. The one-mile 70 yard, two-turn contest on the inner oval was co-featured with the Damon Runyon for males.

Trained by Eddie Kenneally for Marc Detampel, Freudie Anne was starting for the fourth time in the East View following a 4 1/2-length score in an off-the-turf, first-level allowance at a mile over Aqueduct’s main track on November 19. The East View was also the filly’s second stakes appearance. A debut maiden breaker at Belmont Park in a turf sprint on September 7, she had a poor outing second out in the seven-furlong Joseph A. Gimma on September 21 in the mud.

Kenneally reported, “She didn’t break sharp [in the Gimma] and got discouraged early on when the dirt hit her in the face; nothing went right for her. She’s a filly who’s grown up a little bit since then.”

Freudie Anne did end up breaking break well on Sunday as she exited post four as the narrow 7-5 favorite over 8-5 Building Permit. Outsprinting the field early, she crossed over and assumed the lead by the time the fillies entered the clubhouse turn.

Maintaining a comfortable lead over her closest pursuer My Super Nova along the back stretch run, Freudie Anne widened her lead from two to five lengths in the turn with little apparent effort, and entered the home stretch in full command. Widening her advantage under a bit of drive in the stretch, she crossed the finish line geared down a 9 3/4-length winner.

Hot City Girl, a half-sister to star sprinter La Verdad, closed to grab second by a half-length over Building Permit. Completing the order of finish were My Super Nova, Sweetpollypurebrd and Classic Aussie. Able to clock steady fractions throughout, Freudie Anne stopped the clock at 1:44.50. [VIDEO]

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz felt that the sharp break and the opportunity to set a moderate pace were the keys to victory. “She broke good,” said Ortiz. “It seemed like there was a lot of speed in the race, but my filly was so game, and broke really sharp. I was able to get the lead easy; I thought I would have to go :23, :47 to get the lead, but everyone took back. My filly relaxed very well, and when I asked her to go I had a lot of horse.”

Kenneally said, “I think she’s a versatile filly. Originally, we scheduled to run her on dirt on closing weekend at Saratoga, but it didn’t work out, and the next maiden race that came up happened to be on turf. She’s as good or better on the dirt, and she showed that today.”

Bred by Delaney Stable and foaled on March 31, 2012 at Keane Stud in Amenia, Freudie Anne was, in retrospect, 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. Three-for-four lifetime, Freudie Anne has now earned $141,500.

Freudie Anne’s unraced dam Lake Toccet (Toccet) is a half-sister to turf stakes-placed Irish Princess and both of her foals to start are winners. Her yearling filly by Frost Giant brought $18,000 this fall at the Fasig-Tipton fall mixed sale and she produced a colt this year by Giant Surprise.

 


Finger Lakes concludes 2014 racing season

Saturday, December 6th, 2014
Dreamboat (Freud) takes FLGR closing day feature (SV Photography)

Dreamboat (Freud) takes FLGR closing day feature (SV Photography)

By David Mattice

FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) concluded the 2014 season on Friday with Dreamboat taking the feature race of the Closing Day card. Pedro Rodriguez guided the 3-year-old gelding owned by Langpap Stables to the two length victory.

Dreamboat covered the one mile and one-sixteenth distance of the seventh race in a final time of 1:44.20. The M. Anthony Ferraro-trainee registered his third triumph in his ninth career start.

Top Performers

The 2014 FLGR “Horse of the Year” was also from the barn of Langpap Stables and M. Anthony Ferraro. Fox Rules won all three of his FLGR starts this year to earn the award.

The 5-year-old gelding achieved all of his 2014 victories under the direction of Pedro Rodriguez. His most notable FLGR victory was a gate-to wire score in the $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes on July 4.

Crackerjack Jones was also a nominee for “Horse of the Year”. The Christopher Progno-trainee broke a long standing track record on Wednesday, November 7. He won the eighth race by six and one-half lengths in a one mile and one-quarter time of 2:05.10. The $184,930 earner broke the 27-year-old mark set by Caramba, who established the record on July 11, 1987 with a time of 2:05.20.

Jaime Rodriguez won his second consecutive FLGR title. He completed the 2014 meet with a total of 160 victories.

The 23-year-old from Carolina, Puerto Rico won two FLGR stakes this season, including the $127,063 Aspirant Stakes with Tiz Time to Shine on September 6.

Chris Englehart continued his dominance in the FLGR trainer standings. He was the top conditioner for the twelfth consecutive year. Englehart saddled 97 winning horses to earn his fourteenth career trainer title.

2014 Highlights

Trainer Michael S. Ferraro notched his 3,000th career win at FLGR on Wednesday, November 12. He reached the milestone when Sweet Sweet Afleet scored a two and three-quarter length victory in the eighth race under jockey David Lopez.

Ferraro is the second F.L.G.R. trainer to reach the prestigious mark of 3,000 wins. His horses have won 47 stakes and amassed a sum of over $23 million in purse earnings.

The 18-time leading trainer from Buffalo, New York finished third in the local trainer standings after completing the meet on a hot streak. During the final two weeks, horses saddled by Ferraro won at an approximate rate of 50 percent.

Tom Cooley was the 2014 inductee into the FLGR Hall of Fame. Cooley held the position of Track Photographer at FLGR since 1970.

The Canandaigua, NY native has taken over 63,000 photos of winning horses at FLGR. He was recognized for his many years of exceptional work and professional service.

Finger Lakes will remain in operation during the winter months for simulcast wagering with up to seven tracks per day. Live thoroughbred action will resume in April with the start of the 2015 meet.


Chief Kitten just up to capture Pulpit Stakes

Saturday, November 29th, 2014
Photo: Natalie Fawkes

Photo: Natalie Fawkes

By Sarah Mace

Chief Kitten, a dark grey 2-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy, became a stakes winner in his fourth career start when he capped a rallying trip with a bold late surge to capture the $76,500 Pulpit Stakes by a nose at Gulfstream Park West on Saturday afternoon.

For the first half mile of the one-mile turf event, Chief Kitten (5-1 second choice) had only two of 11 rivals beaten, but had been guided deftly to the hedge early by jockey Edgard Zayas to enjoy a groundsaving trip though the clubhouse turn.

Maneuvering out into the three path along the backstretch run and advancing several spots before entering the lane, Chief Kitten and eventual runner-up Croninthebarbarian were stuck behind horses, but the seas parted in upper stretch and Chief Kitten was able to follow Croninthebarbarian through the seam.

Chief Kitten then dug in, caught up with Croninthebarbarian and won a bob at the wire, while Night Prowler who menaced to his outside, grabbed third just a neck back. After longshot Kutuzov on the lead clocked a fast first half-mile in 46.33, Chief Kitten stopped the clock at 1:37.35 over the firm going.

Edgard Zayas, Gulfstream Park West’s leading rider, said, “I think he had a perfect trip. He broke a little slow. He’s not that fast early. I let him stay back and stayed on the inside and once I got to the backstretch, I got the third lane between horses.”

Photo: Leslie Martin

Photo: Leslie Martin

Continued Zayas, “He just got a perfect trip. In the stretch, they opened up for him. Once he saw the hole, he started running. I knew I got it. Right at the wire, his head went down and the other horse’s went up, and I said, ‘I got it.’”

A homebred for Ken and Sarah Ramsey trained by Chad Brown, Chief Kitten debuted in a 1 1/16 miles state-bred maiden special weight on turf at Saratoga, finishing second to subsequent Grade 2 With Anticipation winner Startup Nation. An odds-on Belmont Park maiden breaker at a mile on September 14, he was unplaced in his stakes debut on October 5 at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes. Working steadily interim at Belmont Park and Palm Meadows, Chief Kitten won the Pulpit Stakes on 55 days’ rest. He has now earned $95,512.

A May Day foal, Chief Kitten is the first starter for his dam Laca, a dirt sprint winner by Cherokee Run. His second dam is Group 3 turf route winner Ibuki Perceive (JPN) who earned $1.3 million abroad. Laca was claimed by the Ramseys for $45,000 on August 14, 2008 and raced four more times before retiring. She currently has a yearling colt by Bluegrass Cat, a weanling filly by Talent Search, and was bred back to Kitten’s Joy this year.


Readthebyline wins NYSS Thunder Rumble off the reclaim

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Readthebyline, a 5-year-old gelding by Read the Footnotes reclaimed by trainer Michelle Nevin and owner Vincent Scuderi for $40,000 out of his most recent start, instantly rewarded his connections by scoring his first career stakes victory gate-to-wire in the seven-furlong, $125,000 Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes series. The race was co-featured at Aqueduct on Saturday along with the NYSS Staten Island division for fillies and mares.

Readthebyline was originally acquired by Nevin and Scuderi in March for $30,000 from trainer David Jacobson and Black Swan Stable. The horse won his single start for the barn on May 7 by open lengths, going a mile at Belmont and earning career-high a Beyer Speed Figure of 109. Claimed out of this race by conditioner Bruce Brown for La Marca Stable for $25,000, four starts later on October 10 Nevin and Scuderi capitalized on the opportunity to get him back for $40,000.

Hustled out of the gate by Jose Ortiz, Readthebyline (5-1, co-second choice with two others) struck the front and never had an anxious moment to the wire. Leading by two lengths through a solid first half-mile in 45.70, the bay cornered neatly, and charged home without facing a serious challenge, securing the victory by 2 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:23.85 for seven furlongs over the fast going. Odds on favorite West Hills Giant closed from well back to win a photo with Geaux Mets for place. Finishing in order after the top three were John’s Island, Gridley Here, Loki’s Vengeance, Chapman, Sire Leslie and Belief System. [VIDEO]

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Ortiz said, “Michelle [Nevin] gets all the credit. She knows him and he runs good for her. I was pretty lucky when she got him back and put him in a stake. I got the easy lead, and he did it.”

Nevin said spotting the gelding in the Thunder Rumble was just a matter of serendipity. “We weren’t particularly pointing to this race, it just happened to come up.”

Nevin continued, “He does have a ton of speed coming out of the gate, so I was just hoping that nobody else would go with him out too soon, to where he would use himself up. He seems to do his best running up front.”

Bred by Gavin Murphy and Catherine Donavan and foaled at Hidden Lake Farm in Otisville, Readthebyline is one of six winners and the first stakes winner out of Seattle Byline, a sinning daughter of Slew City Slew who last changed hands when purchased by Questroyal Stable at the 1998 Keeneland January sale for $46,000. As far as names go, a mating with Read the Footnotes was a match made in heaven.

The gelding has been a consistent check-earner, mostly in the allowance ranks. He earned his first black type in 2013 with a third place finish in the Evan Shipman and his record now stands at seven wins, five seconds and seven thirds from 35 starts with $413,335 in earnings


Lubash triumphs in G3 Tropical Turf Handicap, crosses $1 million earnings threshold

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
Natalie Fawkes

Photo: Natalie Fawkes

By Sarah Mace

Aliyu Ben J Stables’ homebred Lubash (Freud) became New York’s latest millionaire as well as a multiple graded stakes winner on Saturday afternoon when he captured the Grade 3, $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West under a confident ride by Brice Blanc in the final start of his 7-year-old campaign

Sharp out of the gate, 3-2 favorite Lubash was allowed to settle comfortably in fourth place at the hedge in the early stages of the nine-furlong race, while Reporting Star clocked a moderate first half-mile in 50.34.

Beginning to pick up steam in the far turn, Lubash angled out at the head of the stretch and began a four-wide rally. Cruising by his competition inside the final furlong, the bay secured his victory over Reporting Star by a half-length stopping the clock at 1:50.72 after a 1 1/8 miles over “good” turf.

The victory was Lubash’s eighth career stakes win and second Grade 3 victory. A model of consistency, he has finished first or second in seven starts this year, has not been off-the-board since August 2013 and has now earned $1,010,599.

Photo: Lauren King

Photo: Lauren King

Blanc said, “I had the perfect post. The two speed horses were inside and outside of me at the break. Actually, he broke really sharp and kind of put me in a really good spot. Then, like [trainer] Christophe [Clement] said I just kind of bide my time and see how soft the ground will be.”

Continued Blanc, “[Clement] told me to just be patient because he’s got a great turn of foot, so just try to follow a good path. Pretty much, that’s how it came up. I got around the turn and I was riding between horses. I followed a couple of the horses in front of me and eased out, and when I straightened away he just kicked for me right away.”

Clement explained his decision to take Lubash on this rare out-of-state road trip. “His last race was so good, I decided to come here for the stake before he is turned out. He’s a fun horse because he really, really wants to win. He always runs a good race and makes me look good. I like that.”

The conditioner said that Lubash will turned out for the winter and return to the races next as “a young eight.” Added Clement, “I think the way we campaign, we look after them, and obviously he’s very sound. It’s fine.”

Photo: Natalie Fawkes

Photo: Natalie Fawkes

Lubash was trained at three and four by James Ryerson, for whom he won his first three stakes victories (the NYSS Cab Calloway Division, open Fifth Marine Stakes and open Monarch’s Maze). After moving to the Clement Barn in 2012 he has gone from strength to strength, led by his Grade 3 victories in the Tropical Turf Handicap and Belmont’s Fort Marcy in May 2013. His career record now stands at 12 wins, nine seconds and four thirds.

Foaled at Carapan Farm, Lubash is the most successful offspring of Nasty Cure, a stakes-placed daughter of Cure the Blues ($153,122), who has produced five multiple winners including stakes-placed New York-bred Netcong by Meadow Flight, who started 87 times and banked $327,924.


Disco Rico’s Vicki’s Dancer dons blinkers, repeats in NYSS Staten Island

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

For the second year in a row Vicki’s Dancer came home with the laurels in the $125,000 Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Stakes series for New York-sired fillies and mares. The seven-furlong race was co-featured at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday afternoon along the NYSS Thunder Rumble division for males.

A 5-year-old daughter of Disco Rico, Vicki’s Dancer had not won a race since last year’s Staten Island, but had not run a bad race in eight starts since, including a second and three thirds in stakes competition and another runner-up finish in an allowance. For her twenty-sixth career start, she sported blinkers for the first time and was bet down to the 3-1 second choice in the field of nine.

Breaking from midpack, Vicki’s Dancer set up in a classic stalking position behind Uncle Southern, who shot straight to the lead from post two. Pursing the leader down the backstretch through early fractions of 23.24 and 46.37, Vicki’s Dancer began to press in earnest through the far turn, drawing even with Uncle Southern, dropping back a little from the added ground and drawing even again.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

At the head of the lane Vicki’s Dancer took over the lead, and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. took a look around and went to work. The dark bay mare kept hold of her advantage under a drive for the length of the stretch, winning by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:25.12. Saythreehailmary’s passed Uncle Southern in the final strides to grab second by a half-length. Uncle Southern in third was followed across the line by Storied Lady, 2012 Staten Island winner Sunny Desert, Royal Suspicion, Champagne Ruby, Skye Saratoga and Just Catty. [VIDEO]

Ortiz reported, “My trip was good. [Trainer Rudy Rodriguez] did a great job with the filly, adding blinkers today. It was a good change. She improved with the blinkers, and I think it helped a lot. She put me in a great position, and took off when I asked her.”

Rodriguez added, “I thought with the blinkers on, she’d be a little closer. She hung in there pretty good. She’s nice and sound, so we try to keep her happy. At Saratoga, she looked like she was hanging, hanging, hanging. [Co-owner] Mr. [Michael] Dubb suggested we put blinkers on and it worked.”

One of six winners out of Love That Glitter, an unraced daughter of Glitterman, Vicki’s Dancer was bred by Robert Jarras and foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia. Vicki’s Dancer was claimed by Rodriguez for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith from her breeder in May 2013 for $50,000. She has now won two Stallion Stakes series races, compiled a record of six wins, five seconds and eight thirds from 26 starts and has earned a robust $439,025.


Regal Minister holds sway in Notebook, Posse progeny take down both NYB stakes at AQU

Sunday, November 16th, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

DATTT Stable homebred Regal Minister gave his New York-based sire Posse (Rockridge Stud) his second progeny stakes winner of the day with a frontrunning open-length victory in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Notebook stakes at 6 furlongs for New York-bred juveniles. The Lewis Dinner, who wired the filly division of Sunday’s new New York-bred stakes races, put one in the win column for Posse earlier on the card.

Making just his second start on the heels of a determined debut sprint victory on October 6, Regal Minister got out of post two sharply at generous odds of 8-1 and outsprinted One Eyed Ray, who broke on the fly from the outside post, for the early lead.

Settling into a good rhythm with One Eyed Ray prompting at his flank, Regal Minister carved out early fractions of 23.15 and 47.64. A host of challengers lined up in the turn, but Regal Minister shook everybody off at the head of the stretch, and opened up all the way to the wire on his way to a dominant 3 3/4-length victory in a final time of 1:12.27.

Breakin the Fever, over-eager early and repeatedly checked inside to prevent clipping heels, switched out to the two path in the stretch to get up for second at longshot odds of 36-1, while Bullheaded Boy (7-2), who made a big five wide move on the turn, finished third. Completing the order of finish were Clockwork, odds on favorite Good Luck Gus, Tizquick, One Eyed Ray and Navy Blue. [VIDEO]

Jockey Manny Franco, who also piloted The Lewis Dinner to victory in the Key Cents, said, “My horse has some pace. He broke good and took the lead, and I just tried to keep him nice and easy. When I asked him, he went. I tried to settle him a little bit because he’s strong when he takes the bit. He relaxed pretty good.”

Mark Hennig, the chestnut colt’s conditioner, said, “He’s a neat kind of horse; he’s always trained well. He’s willing to go easy, but when a horse comes to him he’s competitive. He’s not a flashy horse in the morning, but he’s well meant.”

Hennig said that Regal Minister will pointed next to the six-furlong Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes series for New York-sired New York-bred 2-year-olds at Aqueduct on December 28.

Regal Minister, foaled at Gallagher’s Stud in Ghent, is the first foal out of Dattts Regal, an unraced daughter of Mr. Greeley, who currently has a yearling colt by Freud and a weanling full sister to Regal Minister. She was bred to Warrior’s Reward this year.


The Lewis Dinner serves up frontrunning victory in Key Cents

Sunday, November 16th, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

The Lewis Dinner, a five-plus length maiden breaker in her fourth start exactly a month ago, ratified that victory with a frontrunning score in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Key Cents Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies co-featured at Aqueduct on Sunday afternoon with the Notebook later on the card for males.

A wire-to-wire winner last out, The Lewis Dinner had the challenge of facing other speedy types in the six-horse field, not least odds-on favorite My Super Nova. In the event My Super Nova stumbled at the start and the other speed did not materialize, so that after breaking sharply from post four, within a matter of strides the 7-2 second choice had taken control of the lead. Sandra pressed the pace to her outside.

The Lewis Dinner continued to lead by a diminishing length though early fractions of 22.52 and 46.47, until she was confronted by Sandra at the head of the lane. She then found another gear and kicked away to a 3 3/4-length victory, accompanied by some hallmark tail swishing, in a final time of 1:11.04. Sandra finished second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Sweetpollypurebrd, who closed from fourth into the show spot. Completing the order of finish were Alexandrie, the unfortunate My Super Nova and Dunn Listening. [VIDEO]

Rudy Rodriguez, who trains The Lewis Dinner for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith, said, “When the horse to beat doesn’t break, it’s always a good thing. I was very comfortable [when The Lewis Dinner got the lead]. I told [jockey] Manny [Franco] to send, and put her near the lead and see what happens from there. We weren’t going to let [My Super Nova] go anyway. It worked out good.”

Franco added, “I’m proud of my filly. Rudy told me to send her out of the gate, and when I saw [My Super Nova] stumble out of the gate, I went.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

This was the first opportunity The Lewis Dinner has had to race over a fast track since her runner-up finish to Graeme Crackers by just a half-length on debut at the Spa on July 18. Third to Bar of Gold in a second appearance at the Spa on August 14 over “good” going, she followed a second place finish to Quezon, next out winner of the Maid of the Mist, with her maiden-breaking effort, both times over a sloppy (sealed) racetrack. Never off the board in five career starts, The Lewis Dinner has now earned $139,500.

Foaled on February 2, 2012 at Vinery NY at Empire Stud in Hudson, The Lewis Dinner is a daughter of Posse (Rockridge Stud) bred by James Lamonica, Lee Sacks, Soave Stables and Posse Syndicate. Her dam Nick’s Honor, an unraced daughter of Jump Start, has produced three winners from three to start, all earners of six figures and stakes performers. Her second foal Kelli Got Frosty by Frost Giant is also a stakes winner. Nick’s Honor has a yearling filly by D’ Funnybone, a weanling filly by Frost Giant and was bred this year to Tale of the Cat.

Changing hands twice via public auction, The Lewis Dinner was picked up by Eisaman Equine at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearlings sale for $50,000, and brought the same price when purchased by Dubb at OBS in April after breezing a furlong in 10.0 seconds in the under tack show.


Trainer Michael S. Ferraro notches 3000th career win

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
SV Photography

SV Photography

By David Mattice

FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Trainer Michael S. Ferraro notched his 3000th career win at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) on Wednesday, November 12.  He reached the milestone when Sweet Sweet Afleet scored a two and three-quarter length victory in the eighth race under jockey David Lopez.

Ferraro began his career in 1971 at Fort Erie. He dominated the local trainer standings after winning his first F.L.G.R.title in 1975. The elite horseman from Buffalo, New York has been the top conditioner at F.LG.R a record 18 times.

Fio Rito, a 28 time winner and F.L.G.R. Hall of Famer, was the most notable horse from the barn of Ferraro.  He set multiple track records and was the first New York-bred to win a Grade 1 Stakes.

“You have to respect (Ferraro), he’s been a constant for 30 years,” said trainer James Acquilano. “He’s still at the barn every day and does everything right.”

Acquilano was the groom of Fio Rito while working for Ferraro in the 1970’s.

“He is the best horseman on the grounds,” said trainer Sal Iorio, Jr. “I always knew turning for home I would have plenty of horse.”

Ferraro registered 2,869 of his 3,000 wins at F.L.G.R. Sal Iorio, Jr was formerly a jockey that won 137 races for Ferraro.

Ferraro is the second F.L.G.R. trainer to reach the prestigious mark of 3,000 wins. His horses have won 47 stakes and amassed a sum of over $23 million in purse earnings. Chris Englehart, who currently has 3,612 career wins, was the first to accomplish this achievement.