NEWS: racing

Fourstar Crook continues to roll in John Hettinger Stakes

Sunday, September 25th, 2016
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

Four-year-old Fourstar Crook (Freud) has gotten awfully good – so good that she has gone undefeated since October 2015, when she broke her maiden at fourth asking in open company at Belmont Park.

Since then the turf router galloped though her New York-bred and open allowance conditions and won her stakes debut, the Yaddo at Saratoga on August 26. On Sunday, she won her sixth straight race, and second stakes contest, when she annexed the 1 1/8-mile $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares. Chad Brown, who trains the filly for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith, sees open company stakes competition in the filly’s future.

Sent off as 5-4 betting favorite under Javier Castellano to go nine furlongs for the first time from post two, Fourstar Crook settled near the back of the field in the two path as she rounded the clubhouse turn, while Invading Humor was hustled to the front to set moderate fractions of 24.72, 50.15 and 1:14.35, with Old Harbor on the chase.

NYRA/Susie Raisher

NYRA/Susie Raisher

Cruising along unhurried at the rail along the back stretch, and beginning to gear up rounding the far turn, Fourstar Crook angled out four wide at the head of the stretch and commenced her rally. Getting through in-between horses in upper stretch, she had clear running room for a surge the final sixteenth, when she lengthened her stride and spurted clear. She secured the 2 1/4-length victory in 1:49.27.

The Tea Cups rallied from last to finish second and Selenite, who raced steadily throughout, got the show. Old Harbor, Swear By It and Neck of the Moon followed in close succession, separated by a neck and a nose respectively. Invading Humor, Flipcup and Jc’s Shooting Star completed the order of finish. [VIDEO]

Javier Castellano said, “The way she did it today was very impressive. Her first time going two turns a mile and eighth. I was a little concerned with the lack of pace in the race, you could see the fractions were slow but the way she closed was very impressive.”

Winning trainer Chad Brown explained how the decision to give Fourstar Crook time to grow up has been key to the filly’s recent successes.

Said Brown, “Michael Dubb and I were commenting in the paddock before the race about how much she has developed. When the horse was first sent to us as a 2-year-old, she was kind of a small, immature-looking horse who trained OK. She got to the races a little bit, and then we kicked her out. Thankfully Mike and all his partners were so patient. We just let the filly grow and develop over time, and man, did she fill out! She looks nothing like she did when she was younger. It’s nice to see a horse develop this way.”

Brown concluded, “Along the way we’ve managed her responsibly; we’ve asked her to take small steps, we just didn’t throw her in the deep end of the pool. She went through her conditions and now she’s still with state-breds, but the way she ran today, down the road I could see this filly run in open company. She’s pretty good.”

Bred by Kathleen M. Feron and foaled at Akindale Farm in Pawling, Fourstar Crook is a graduate of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, where she was purchased for $55,000 by Allied Bloodstock. She next changed hands for $110,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Spring sale of 2-year-old after failing to meet her reserve for $70,000 at the Fasig-Tipton March sale.

Fourstar Crook is out of an unplaced John Hettinger-bred mare Avril a Portugal by D’Accord, who has produced six winners to date. Her Jump Start gelding Coaltown Legend earned over $320,000. The mare currently has a weanling filly by Freud and was bred back to the same stallion this year.

With a record of six wins and a one second from nine starts Fourstar Crook has earned $349,050.

Kharafa turns millionaire with third Ashley T. Cole score

Saturday, September 24th, 2016
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch’s 7-year-old Kharafa (Kitalpha) became a member of the millionaires’ club at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon, when he won his third $125,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes by three-quarters of a length. The gelding, who has 12 wins – including seven stakes victories – 11 seconds and five thirds from 38 career now boasts a bankroll of $1,026,997.

Still looking for his first victory of 2016, Kharafa delivered extremely strong performances in his last two outings. He finished second by neck in the Grade 3 Oceanport on July 31 to Blacktype, who came back to win the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday. Next out he finished second by a nose in Saratoga’s 1 1/16-mile West Point on August 26 to arch-rival King Kreesa, who went gate to wire to win the contest. Kharafa stood to profit from the longer 9-furlong distance of the Cole, and also sported a strong Belmont Park resume coming in: 7-6-2 from 19 starts.

For first three-quarters of a mile of the Cole, the front end belonged to the two longshots of the field.

Latigo Trail, 39-1, led the way. The uncoupled stablemate of Tapitation was presumably entered to discharge “rabbit” duties.  Another outsider Harbor King (23-1) followed in second and King Kreesa tracked in third. The early fractions were unexpectedly tepid, though, for a rabbit: 24:95, 50.98 and 1:15.38. Meanwhile Kharafa lurked in the pocket at the fence in fourth, three lengths behind the leader.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Asked for run as he angled out two-wide into the stretch, Kharafa responded and took over with a little more than a furlong to go. All out in the final sixteenth, he held off the charge of Offering Plan, who closed into second from fifth and Tapitation, who rallied from well off the pace. Completing the order of finish were King Kreesa, who ran out of steam in the final sixteenth, Latigo Trail and Harbor King. After a mile in 1:38.81 over the “good” going, the final time of the race was 1:50.61. [VIDEO]

Jockey Anthony Gallardo, leading rider at Presque Isle Downs and making his Belmont Park debut, said, “I had a really good trip. I knew my horse, I rode him at Monmouth [in the Grade 3 Oceanport] and I feel really comfortable with him.”

Continued Gallardo, “Watching his race at Saratoga [the West Point] he tried all the time. He had good patience inside and a really good trip. In the clear he was full of run. He felt really good. You could see it in the form and with a little give in the ground the conditions were perfect for him today.”

Trainer Tim Hills said, “I wish all horses could be as consistent as he is. He gets good this time of the year; it’s like clockwork. He has two breezes before each race and he shows up ready to run. Ultra-consistent. If all goes well we’ll look at the Mohawk [October 22, Belmont Park].”

Kharafa was bred by Lawrence Durocher, Jr. who campaigned the gelding for first part of his racing career. After Durocher passed away in 2013, Kharafa won the Ashley T. Cole for the first time for Durocher’s estate and was then was sold by Durocher’s daughter Kate to Braverman, a Boston investment manager.

Foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Kharafa issues from the first North American crop of Kitalpha, a full brother to Kingmambo. He is out of Kentucky-bred Exquisite Cassie (King of Kings [IRE]), unraced, but a half-sister to multiple stakes-winning New York-bred Lovely Amanda ($376,450).

Exquisite Cassie, who has produced one other winner, was sold to Chadds Ford Stables for $20,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale, and currently has a juvenile colt by E Dubai and a yearling colt by Union Rags. She was bred to Tapiture in the spring of 2016.

Fox Rules wins third straight Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes by a nose

Monday, September 19th, 2016
SV Phtography

SV Phtography

By Sarah Mace

For the third year in a row Langpap Stables homebred Fox Rules got his picture taken following the 1 1/16-mile, $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes, which was Monday’s featured race at Finger Lakes. With Pedro Rodriguez in the irons, Fox Rules’ Genesee Valley win rider in 2014 and 2015, the 7-year-old gelded son of Roman Ruler held off Empire Dreams in the shadow of the wire to win the close photo by a nose.

Trained by M. Anthony Ferraro, Fox Rules came into the race in sharp form, with two blowout front-running victories at Finger Lakes on June 9 and July 29, and a runner up finish last out at the same venue on September 3. At post time, the gelding was third choice of five in the betting at odds of 5-1 behind 7-5 favorite Crackerjack Jones, last year’s Genesee Valley runner-up, and 5-4 second choice Empire Dreams, who was making his first 2016 start.

At the bell, Fox Rules caught a flyer from post 2 and outbroke the field, but just as quickly Crackerjack Jones, who broke a little awkwardly from post one, rushed up the rail to assume command.

Crackerjack Jones led the field through moderate opening splits of 24.75 and 49.17 under a hold, while Fox Rules pressed the pace at his flank. At the quarter pole Fox Rules drew even with his rival and, though the pair drifted wide approaching the head of the stretch, came away with the lead.

Challenge-minded veteran Empire Dreams, geared up from third three-wide, passed Crackerjack Jones and all but caught Fox Rules as heads bobbed at finish line while both horses drifted out. The photo revealed that Fox Rules held on to win by a nose. After a mile in 1:38.40, the final time for the race was 1:45.02. Crackerjack Jones finished four lengths back in the third, keeping a head in front of Sundae on Sunday. Peter’s Project wrapped up the order of finish in fifth. [VIDEO]

A winner of 11 of 14 starts at the Farmington oval, topped by the 2012 New York Derby and three editions of the Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes, Fox Rules has 15 wins, four seconds and two thirds from 42 starts. Fox Rules also finished second to Talk Therapy in the 2013 running of the Genesee Valley. He has earned $484,101 in all.

Bred by Langpap Stables’ Dennis and Deborah Petrisak and foaled at Cornell University Research Park in Ithaca, the gelding is out of the Petrisaks’ homebred champion Shesastonecoldfox. Voted top New York-bred 2-year-old filly in 2001, Shesastonecoldfox won three stakes races that year, headlined by a victory over males in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes. Also winner of the Joseph A. Gimma at Belmont and the Lady Finger at Finger Lakes, she went on to compete in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

As a broodmare, now residing at Tom and Mia Gallo’s Blue Stone Farm in Cambridge, Shesastonecoldfox has produced five winners from five starters. Her first foal Elusive Fox (E Dubai) was stakes-placed, and Fox Rox (Officer) won the 2013 Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes.

Shesastonecoldfox foaled a colt by Curlin this year and was bred to Lookin At Lucky in the spring.

Old Harbor sets new turf course record in Delaware’s Rosenberger Memorial

Saturday, September 10th, 2016
Hoofprints, Inc.

Hoofprints, Inc.

By Sarah Mace

Joseph Birnbaum’s homebred mare Old Harbor, a 5-year-old daughter of former New York sire Raffie’s Majesty, won the $75,000 George Rosenberger Memorial at Delaware Park on Saturday while setting a new course record for 1 1/16 miles over the turf.

It did not take long after the break for the 3-1 second choice under jockey Brian Ricardo Chiappe to tip her hand, adopting the same race strategy that earned her a victory in the John Hettinger stakes a year ago: head to the lead and let the rest try to run her down.

For the first three-quarters of a mile, Old Harbor, who broke from post two, was pressed through strong splits of 23.87, 47.22 and 1:10.57 by 3-2 favorite Catcha Rising Star to her outside. Opening up two lengths early along the backstretch run, any time the would-be challenger encroached, she darted forward, gaining back any ground lost and comfortably preserving her advantage.

Swinging out into the two path in upper stretch, Old Harbor re-broke and spurted ahead. She out-finished runner up Tela, ultimately opening up to a 4 1/2-length victory. Divine Dawn finished third. The final time for the race of 1:39.95 for the over the firm turf set a new track record for a mile and a sixteenth. The previous record was held by Whale who covered the distance in 1:40.51 in 2005.

Old Harbor, who is trained by Russell Cash, is now a three-time stakes winner and adds the Rosenberger to victories in the 2014 edition of the Cupecoy’s Joy Division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park, and last year’s John Hettinger at the same oval. Old Harbor’s career record sports seven wins, four seconds and four third from 23 starts with earnings of $481,335.

Old Harbor’s dam is Royal Mast, a New York-bred daughter of Roy, who was purchased by Cash for Birnbaum as a weanling for a mere $8,500 in 2001 at the Fasig-Tipton December mixed sale. A debut winner, as a broodmare Royal Mast has produced five winners from six foals to start. Her first foal, Shipwreckstreasure, by Service Stripe, is a multiple stakes-placed runner and earner of $254,336. Royal Mast’s final foal is a 3-year-old Cash-trained colt by Girolamo named New Harbor who has yet to hit the board for Ocean View Stables.


Pat On the Back rallies inside to take Aspirant Stakes by a nose

Saturday, September 10th, 2016
SV Photography

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Pat On the Back (Congrats) rallied at the fence to score a nose victory over 2-1 favorite Macho Miah in the $120,950 Aspirant Stakes for New York-bred juveniles at Finger Lakes Saturday. Pat On the Back’s pilot Dylan Davis had a terrific day at the Farmington oval, also piloting Ribbonite, who is trained and co-owned by his father Robbie, to a romping score in the Lady Finger Stakes earlier on the card.

Trained by Ken McPeek for Harold Lerner LLC, AWC Stables, Scott K. Akman and Nehoc Stables, Pat On the Back had raced on the pace to break his maiden second out at Saratoga on August 29. On Saturday, he was outrun early, racing off the rail in seventh as Freud’s Friend, who caught a flyer at the break, led the way through a grueling quarter mile in 22.14 and half in 45.34.

Patiently handled along the backstretch and advancing through the turn, Pat On the Back took full advantage as the vanguard fanned toward the grandstand side at the head of the stretch. The chestnut colt gained fourth as he launched his bid at the fence, while Macho Miah, closing from third, gathered steam on the outside.

SV Photography

SV Photography

Both contenders charged for the wire several paths apart. With a final surge under a vigorous hand ride, Pat On the Back got a nose in front of Macho Miah to win the photo. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:11.43. Fourth choice in the betting at odds of 5-1, Pat On the Back paid $12.20 to win.

Finishing a length back in third was Ethan Hunt, just a head to the good of Eddie’s Gift, who completed the superfecta. Finishing next in order were: Freud’s Friend, Silver Mission, Our Twist of Fate, Ursula’s Fury and Expediter. [VIDEO]

Bred by Sugar Maple Farm, Pat On the Back is out of the unplaced Kentucky-bred Awesome Again mare Accomplished. Purchased by Dan Haydon at the 2004 Keeneland November sale for $40,000, she has produced eight winners from eight foals to start. Her filly by Performing Magic named Sarah Accomplished won the 2008 Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes series.

Pat On the Back is a graduate of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, where Ken McPeek collared him for $70,000.  From his pair of victories in three starts, the colt has earned $120,020

Maiden Ribbonite romps in Lady Finger for Davis family

Saturday, September 10th, 2016
SV Photogrphy

SV Photogrphy

By Sarah Mace

Ribbonite is a maiden no more after scoring a front-running victory in Saturday’s $116,775 Lady Finger Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies at Finger Lakes. The daughter of Griffinite also put one in the win column for two members of a popular New York racing family: trainer and retired jockey Robbie Davis, who also co-owns the filly with Paddock Proud, and his jockey son Dylan.

With competitive performances under her belt in two sprints at Saratoga on July 22 and August 15 in which she finished second and fourth, respectively, after setting the pace, it seemed reasonable to suppose that Ribbonite would employ her speed once again at Finger Lakes. She also came into the Lady Finger off a pair of sharp interim works on the Oklahoma training track, the most recent of which was a best-of-25 four-furlong bullet move on September 3.

SV Photography

SV Photography

Breaking well from post four to go six furlongs, Ribbonite immediately challenged and passed Market Music, who broke even a half-step faster to lead for the first dozen strides. Ribbonite then opened up a length on her seven rivals through a first quarter mile in 22.41. Extending her lead through the far turn, Ribbonite entered the stretch four furlongs to the good, before being ridden out a 6 3/4-length winner. [VIDEO]

SV Photograpby

SV Photograpby

After clocking a quarter in 46.09, Ribbonite, who was the third choice in the betting at odds of 7-2, stopped the clock at 1:12.36. Running second after gliding up the rail was Very Fashionable, who was followed across the line, 3 1/4 lengths, back by Ransome Drop and Market Music, who finished noses apart, to complete the superfecta.

Bred by Dr. Bernardo Mongil’s Monhill Farm, Ribbonite is one of three winners, and the most recent reported foal, out of New York-bred winner Western Lariat, who was bred this year to Well Noted.

Ribbonite changed hands twice at public auction. After selling for only $2,300 to Rick Lopez at the 2015 OBS Winter Mixed sale, she was picked up by Paddock Proud earlier this spring at the OBS Spring juvenile sale for $25,000. She has earned $88,316 from her three career starts.


Doctor J Dub upsets G3 Turf Monster at Parx

Monday, September 5th, 2016
Bill Denver/Equi-Photo

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo

By Sarah Mace

Drawing Away Stable’s Doctor J Dub is carving out a niche for himself as a surprise package. Front-running winner of Gulfstream Park’s Umphrey Turf Sprint at odds of 28-1 in July, he worked the same magic at the graded level at Parx Racing four starts later on Labor Day Monday, wiring the Grade 3, $300,000 Turf Monster at 23-1.

Doctor J Dub broke from the gate with good energy under Sheldon Russell, and within a dozen strides struck the front, accompanied on the backstretch by second choice Pool Winner. Meanwhile, 8-5 favorite Power Alert stumbled badly at the break, compromising his chances.

Opening up a little more daylight between himself and Pool Winner on the far turn, Doctor J Dub then had everything his own way to the finish line.

The gelding shook clear in the stretch and kept host of closers at a comfortable distance, among them runner up 35-1 Notch Road. Doctor J Dub’s win margin was a 1/2 length, and the final time for the 5-furlong dash over the firm sod was :56.73. The exacta paid $943.60 for a $2 wager.

The 6-year-old gelding is trained for Drawing Away by Jena Antonucci. With the victory he improved his record to six wins, six seconds and five thirds from 26 starts, and his earnings now total $335,395.

Doctor J Dub was bred by Dr. Patricia S. Purdy in partnership with Edwin and Mara Edelberg and foaled at Patricia and Chris Purdy’s Ivy League Farm in Ithaca. He is one of three winners and first stakes winner from three starters out of Anotherbusride (Delineator), who is a half sister to Grade 1 winner Tali’sluckybusride. The mare was purchased by Purdy at the 2007 Keeneland January sale for $28,000 and has since been resold.

The gelding passed through the auction ring three times, gaining value at each transaction. He sold as a weaning for $50,000 at Keeneland November in 2010, as a yearling for $110,000 at Keeneland September and ultimately for $195,000 at the OBS select 2-year-old sale in 2012.

Doctor J Dub was claimed by Drawing Away Stable for $16,000 at Gulfstream Park in January.

Royal Posse wins second straight Evan Shipman

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Royal Posse (Posse), a 5-year-old gelding claimed for $20,000 by Rudy Rodriguez for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith in May 2015, continues to go from strength to strength.

In the midst of an astonishingly successful run, in which he has finished first or second in every race since the claim, the bay added another stakes victory to the win column on Friday when he took the 1 1/8-mile, $100,000 Evan Shipman for New York-breds for the second straight year.

Winner last out of the open Alydar Stakes at Saratoga on August 7 at the same trip, for which he earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 101, Royal Posse was the bettors’ top choice of the five who lined up for the Evan Shipman at odds of 5-4. He broke from post three with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons.

In the early stages of the race, Royal Posse raced in fourth position from well off the pace – at one point as much as 12 lengths behind aggressively-ridden and loose-on-the-lead pacesetter Crackerjack Jones. Crackerjack Jones traveled the first quarter-mile in a challenging 23.17, went a half in 46.85 and six furlongs in 1:11.01, while being chased by Wake Up in Malibu.

After saving ground in the clubhouse turn, and moving out into the two path on the backstretch, Royal Posse was asked for run midway around the far turn and angled out.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Advancing on the grandstand side, while the field, which was spread out early, tightened up, Royal Posse and three others were in with a chance. He picked off other rivals, then tackled Crackerjack Jones. In the final sixteenth Royal Posse took over and pulled off decisively to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Crackerjack Jones hung on to nose Ostrolenka for second. Wake Up in Malibu and Good Luck Gus completed the order of finish.

After a mile in 1:36.61, the final time for the nine furlongs was 1:49.44. [VIDEO]

Said jockey Ortiz, “They were going pretty fast up front. I just let my horse be comfortable and let him go at his speed like last time [in the Alydar]. Last time, the pace was a little slower, but he always tries hard. No matter how fast they’re going ahead, he always tries hard. At the half-mile pole I was asking him a little more but he was ready. Rudy did a good job with him.”

Rodriguez confessed to feeling a little more anxious from the sidelines. “I thought we were in trouble. The pace was very, very fast. Sometimes, when they go that fast they change the setup,” the conditioner said. “I thought we were going to be maybe third [early], sitting in a good position. Then, when I saw our horse that far back and we went pretty wide, I said, ‘Come in, I don’t know if we’re going to get there.’”

Rodriguez continued, “When they were turning for home at the quarter-pole I said, ‘Man, it doesn’t look like they’re stopping.’ The stretch at Saratoga is pretty long and as soon as he started moving in, he started picking it up. He’s a talented horse.”

Royal Posse has earned $571,400 since he was claimed, and his entire bankroll now stands at $721,245. The gelding’s record is now stands at nine firsts and 10 seconds in 32 starts.

Bred by Richard J. Troncone Senior and Junior, and foaled at Mill Creek Farm near Stillwater, Royal Posse is one of four winners from six starters out of Struckbylightning, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Cryptoclearance. Her one other black type performer is Ampart Ridge by Cactus Ridge, who earned $176,000.  The mare’s most recent reported foal is a 2-year-old filly by Desert Party who has not started.

The Evan Shipman is named for the racing columnist who died in 1957. The Spanish Civil War and World War II veteran covered thoroughbred and standardbred racing for the Morning Telegraph.


Haveyougoneaway gets Grade 1 glory with Ballerina score

Saturday, August 27th, 2016
NYRAChelsea Durand

NYRAChelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Gary Barber and Sequel Racing’s Haveyougoneaway thrilled both her fans and connections when she won the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina by a half-length over By the Moon on Travers Day. With the victory, the 5-year-old daughter of Congrats earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Two other New York-breds have won the Ballerina in the modern era: Artemis Agrotera in 2014 and Rightly So in 2010.

Already a multiple stakes winner, Haveyougoneaway added her first graded black type to her resume earlier in the Saratoga meet, when she won the six-furlong, Grade 2 Honorable Miss stakes by a neck on July 27. Partnered for the first time with John Velazquez for the Ballerina, Haveyougoneaway was drawn in the outside post of 10, and went off as fifth choice in the betting at odds of 10-1.

In the early stages of the seven-furlong race, Haveyougoneaway settled in fourth on the outside of runners as Paulassilverlining and Carina Mia battled it out up front through a reasonable first quarter in 23.39 and quickening half in 45.54.

Coming under urging in the three path on the far turn, Haveyougoneaway spun out five wide into the stretch and set her sights on the top pair. Gaining the lead at the sixteenth pole, the mare also had enough momentum to out-finish a fast-closing By the Moon to her inside, who finished second. Carina Mia was a length back in third. Haveyougoneaway’s final time for the seven furlong over the fast going was 1:21.63. [VIDEO]

Coglianese Photo

Coglianese Photo

Said John Velazquez, “Perfect trip. She broke well and got in good position. I was just trying to follow Joel Rosario there [on Carina Mia]. Then, all of a sudden, he took off at the half-mile pole and I sat there and decided to wait. I didn’t want to make a premature move. When I asked at the quarter-pole she responded right away.”

Velazquez then reiterated his astute decision-making process: “I was right next to Carina Mia so I knew we were going a bit slow. When she went on at the half-mile pole, I was just patient. I didn’t want to get involved early, so I waited to the quarter-pole and it worked out good.”

Winning trainer Tom Morley said, “There was a question mark about [the pace] and I said to Johnny [Velazquez] in the paddock, ‘I don’t know whether they’re going to go a rattling good pace here. There’s no signed-on speed. There’s fillies that have been prominently placed before.’ This filly, she’s good enough to win going six [furlongs] and she’s got plenty of gears; you can be tactical with her. We knew she’d stay; she’d only just got there in the Honorable Miss and she ran a very good second to Bar of Gold going a mile at Belmont. The seven-eighths is absolutely her wheelhouse and Johnny had her in the right spot the whole race. It was a great ride and a great result.”

NYRA/Susie Raisher

NYRA/Susie Raisher

The conditioner already has some thoughts about Breeders’ Cup competition. “Now obviously we’ll have to plot our route to California carefully,” said Morley. “She’s run three times in pretty quick succession. She ran at the back end of Belmont and won a stake, came up here and won opening week and then came back and won the Ballerina in just under four weeks. She’s had three big efforts in relatively quick succession, so we might just train up to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Morley, for whom this was a first Grade 1 victory, was, needless to say, delighted with the achievement: “I’m dripping in sweat. I’m glad my assistant hosed me down. What a thrill. You can’t beat that. It’s Saratoga, we just won a Grade 1. It’s as good as it gets, it really is.” He added later, “First one means everything. It’s the Ballerina, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. It’s Travers Day, we’re here in Saratoga. That’s the icing on the cake.”

Bred by Andy and Susan Beadnell and foaled at Bead Land & Cattle Company in Pottersville, Haveyougoneaway sold as a $50,000 weanling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed sale in 2011. The following year she brought $105,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale.

As it happened though, she changed hands once more before beginning her career out of state, going for a mere $1,200 when purchased by Champion Racing Stable when she was offered as a racing or a broodmare prospect at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. She went on to earn $402,425 for her first owners, winning the Flashy Lady Stakes at Remington Park in September 2015, and, earlier this year, nearly sweeping the filly and mare sprint series at Oaklawn Park, with wins in the the American Beauty and Spring Fever Stakes and a second in the Carousel.

Purchased privately this year by Sequel Racing, who has now partnered with Gary Barber on the mare, Haveyougoneaway has collected three stakes victories and a second in four starts in her native New York: a second in the Critical Eye Stakes at Belmont Park on May 30, a win in the Dancin Renee on July 3 and now victories in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss and Grade 1 Ballerina in Saratoga.

Haveyougoneaway is the most accomplished by far of two winners out of One Wise Cowgirl, an unraced New York-bred daughter of Wiseman’s Ferry also bred by the Beadnells. Her career record now stands at 11 wins, four seconds and six thirds from 26 starts with earnings of $897,425.

Currently One Wise Cowgirl has a 2-year-old filly by Girolamo, who has not yet raced, a yearling filly by Take Charge Indy and a weanling colt by Central Banker. She was bred this year back to Congrats.

Super Surprise overcomes traffic to win Fleet Indian Stakes

Friday, August 26th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Bill Heller

Repole Stable’s Super Surprise, the 4-5 favorite in the field of nine under John Velazquez contesting the mile-and-an-eighth $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes for three-year-old New York-bred fillies on Saratoga Showcase Day Friday, seemed buried in traffic around the far turn and into the top of the stretch. Then Velazquez saw a way through. He yanked Super Surprise outside of Riot Worthy and Joel Rosario, and found a seam. Once he did, Super Surprise came barreling down the center of the course, passing seven fillies in front of her to win the Fleet Indian Stakes by four lengths going away for her third consecutive victory.

She also gave the Pletcher/Velazquez team their fourth winner of the afternoon. “We’ve been together for a long time,” Velazquez said. “Winning four races with Todd today is just like the old days.”

Pletcher said, “He (Velazquez) said in the middle of the turn he was worried for half a second. But she grabbed him at the quarter pole and he said, `Now we’re fine.’”

Riot Worthy, who went off at 7-2 under Joel Rosario, nipped 8-1 Highway Star and Jomar Torres by a head for second. Mecke’s Madalyn was just another half-length back in fourth at 34-1.

Allen Hallett bred Super Surprise, a daughter of Giant’s Surprise out of Miz Lynne Kelly who sold for $55,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August, 2014.

Super Surprise finished third in her maiden debut last year and second in the $200,000 Seeking the Ante Stakes at Saratoga. She finished fourth in another stakes, then broke her maiden in the $250,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes at Belmont, her final start as a two-year-old. She made her three-year-old debut here and won an allowance race handily as the 5-2 favorite.

Super Surprise was seventh and eighth early as 15-1 Roman Ceres and Junior Alvarado set the pace and 5-1 Frosty Margarita chased in second through a :23.25 first quarter, a half-mile in :47.70 and three-quarters in 1:12.05.

Then Highway Star, who had been fifth, rallied strongly. So did Riot Worthy. Velazquez, meanwhile, was desperate to find a way through with Super Surprise. When he did, Super Surprise unleashed a furious rally, zooming up to the leaders and then past them for another impressive victory. [VIDEO]

Super Surprise is now three-for-six with one second, one third and more than $360,000 in earnings.