NEWS: racing

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 had enough momentum at the same time to outfinish 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 continued, “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.

King Kreesa holds off closers inside and outside for a gutty West Point win

Friday, August 26th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Bill Heller

You can’t teach a horse courage or class. It’s either in their DNA or not. Gerald and Susan Kresa’s seven-year-old King Kreesa is loaded with both and he demonstrated that again on Saratoga Showcase Day Friday. After breaking awkwardly, he quickly made the lead under Jose Ortiz, then held off challengers on his inside and outside to win the 37th running of the mile-and-a-sixteenth $150,000 West Point on grass by a nose over Kharafa and Joe Bravo on his inside. On his outside, Offering Plan and Irad Ortiz Jr. was just a neck behind Kharafa in third. And the beautiful gray Tapitation and Joel Rosario were just another neck back in fourth.

It was an epic renewal of the West Point.

Bettors saw the West Point as an even race and both Offering Plan on the rail and Tapitation from the three post went off at 2-1. In between them from the two post was King Kreesa at 3-1. Immediately outside of Tapitation, Kharafa was 4-1 in the field of seven.

Horse Partners bred King Kreesa, a son of King Cugat out of Storm’s Advance by Storm Creek who is trained by David Donk. King Kreesa had made his three previous starts in open company, finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Poker, winning the $144,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes by a nose and then finishing a front-running fourth in the Grade 1 Fourstar Dave just six days earlier.

Maybe that’s why he broke a bit awkwardly. Regardless, Jose Ortiz handled it perfectly, allowing King Kreesa to get his balance before streaking for the early lead as he usually does.

“He didn’t break good but was fast enough to get the lead anyway,” Jose Ortiz said.

King Kreesa took a narrow lead on 13-1 Brother O’Connell, who also broke well from the outside post in the field of seven under Javier Castellano. With Exultation, who was 20-1 under Manny Franco, got away third and Tapitation was on his outside in fourth. Offering Plan was close, too.

King Kreesa led Brother O’Connell by a head after an opening quarter in :24.61 and by three-quarters of a length after a half-mile in :49.67 and three-quarters in 1:14.00. Then Offering Plan gained quickly on the outside and Kharafa charged up on King Kreesa’s inside.

Both Kharafa and Offering Plan had dead aim on the front-runner, but King Kreesa dug in and held them both off to win in 1:37.18. “We set slow fractions and that was the difference,” Jose Ortiz said. “He could feel the other horse (Kharafa) coming to him, and when he did, he gave me another gear. He always tries heard. He’s got a huge heart and that made the difference today.” [VIDEO]

Donk may be King Kreesa’s biggest fan. “Listen, this is a really good horse,” he said. “I’m just lucky to have him. It’s special.”

King Kreesa’s victory was his 11th in 33 starts with seven seconds, four thirds and earnings of more than $1,370,000.

Fourstar Crook takes Yaddo from off the pace

Friday, August 26th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

After scratching into the main body of the field from the “also-eligible” list and being bet down to 2-1 favoritism, Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stable’s Fourstar Crook (Freud) came from off the pace to best a large and formidable field in Friday’s $150,000 Yaddo for New York-bred fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf course.

The 4-year-old Chad Brown trainee, who was looking for her fifth straight victory dating back to a maiden-breaking score at fourth asking last October 8 at Belmont Park, was partnered with Javier Castellano.

Breaking from the outside post of ten and settling in sixth in the two-path behind pace-setter Invading Humor for an opening half-mile that went in 48.65, Fourstar Crook began her advance by moving out a path in the far turn, passing horses and swinging out yet wider for the stretch drive.

Charging for home with a bevy of rivals, she dug in and outfinished the group in the final furlong to secure the win by three-quarters of a length. The first five to finish were only separated by 1 3/4 lengths. Flipcup, a fast-closing runner-up, finished a neck ahead of The Tea Cups in third, who finished three-quarters of a length head of Neck of the Moon and Freudie Anne who finished noses apart. The final time over the yielding turf was 1:43.56. [VIDEO]

“It was the first time I rode her and I felt great,” said Castellano. “I stuck to the inside on the first turn and saved a little ground. I stepped up a little to the outside after that. She’s a very straightforward filly. Everything she does is nice and easy. When I asked her, she took off. I’m very happy with the way she did it today.”

Trainer Chad Brown said, “We had sent her to Barry Eisaman in Ocala to lay her up [over the winter]. She had no issues, we were just focused on a campaign this year as a 4-year-old. She’s a New York-bred grass horse, there was no reason to race her down in Florida. Mike Dubb and his partners were so patient, they came up with a plan. We just gave her a break and she’s clearly responded. She’s come back bigger and stronger. She appreciated the time we gave her and she hasn’t looked back since.”

As to the future, Brown said, “We really weren’t looking past today. The opportunity came up to wheel her back on a short rest [19 days]. Given it’s Saratoga and we’re all trying to win and it looked like a logical spot for her. So we did that, now I’ll give her more time. She’s clearly a good one, she deserves it.”

Bred by Kathleen M. Feron and foaled at Akindale Farm in Pawling, Fourstar Crook was a $110,000 two-year-old purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Spring sale.

The filly is out of an unplaced New York-bred mare Avril a Portugal by D’Accord, who has produced five 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.

Iron Mizz wins dirt debut in $200,000 Seeking the Ante

Friday, August 26th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Bill Heller

Barry Schwartz’s home-bred filly Iron Mizz, who had won one of three starts on turf, made quite an impression in her dirt debut on Showcase Day Friday at Saratoga. Rallying late under John Velazquez, Iron Mizz edged Code Red and Dylan Davis by three-quarters of a length in the 6 ½ furlong $200,000 Seeking the Ante Stakes for two-year-old New York-bred fillies.

In doing so, Iron Mizz gave Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher their third victory of the day.

“We definitely felt like she’s better on the turf, but her experience of having three races under her belt paid off today,” Pletcher said. “Her experience and the conditioning in those turf races really helped her in the final eighth of a mile.”

Tiznow’s Smile, who was adding blinkers and Lasix, finished third, a length and a half behind Code Red while a length and three-quarters ahead of Twist ‘n Shout and Irad Ortiz Jr.

Iron Mizz was 3-1, Code Red 8-1, Tiznow’s Smile 2-1 and Twist ‘n Shout 5-2 in the field of seven.

Iron Mizz is a daughter of Mizzen Mast out of Iron Goddess by More Than Ready who began her career by finishing fifth in an open maiden grass race at Belmont Park, May 29th. Switching to New York-breds, Iron Mizz broke her maiden on July 3rd. Iron Mizz then shipped to the Jersey shore, where she finished second in the open Colleen Stakes.

Pletcher changed surfaces and Iron Mizz had solid dirt works for her debut on the main track.

Twist ‘n Shout took a narrow early lead over Wilburnmoney, who was 8-1 with Luis Saez. Velazquez had Iron Mizz on the outside of that pair for a clear run. Twist ‘n Shout nursed a neck lead through an opening quarter in :22.24 and a half-mile in :45.92.

Then the pack closed in.

NYRA/Adam Mooshian

NYRA/Adam Mooshian

Velazquez rallied Iron Mizz on the outside and she and Code Red advanced on the leaders. Iron Mizz kept coming and out-finished Code Red for the victory in 1:19.50. [VIDEO]

Iron Mizz has already earned more than $170,000 with victories on grass and dirt. Her future seems limitless.

“This opens up plenty of options as well as giving us the added confidence in the event a race would come off the turf,” Pletcher said. “I believe her best surface is turf, but it’s nice to see her win a nice race like this on the dirt as well.”

Velazquez was pleased, too. “It was the first time on the dirt, and it was very good,” he said. “Normally when they come to the dirt they don’t run as well. She might not have been used to getting hit in the face with dirt, but thankfully it worked out good.”

Hit It Once More strikes again in Albany

Friday, August 26th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Riding the tide of a front-running, 6 1/2-length victory in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 23, where his final time was just 0.12 seconds off the track record and worthy of a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, Hit It Once More was at one time under consideration for this weekend’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes. Instead, trainer Gary Sciacca opted to go the state-bred route for now, and his colt answered the call Friday by acing the $250,000 Albany Stakes on Saratoga Showcase Day with another front-running triumph.

A son of Hard Spun owned by Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, Hit It Once More was seeking his fourth win in five starts. Kendrick Carmouche, the Albany win rider, had the assignment and the colt was bet down to ninety-five cents on the dollar by post time while spotting his rivals six-to-seven pounds.

Hit It Once More broke running from post six of seven and, in command from the start, gained the two path by the clubhouse turn and edged away from his pursuers along the backstretch.

While Hit It Once More continued around through the far turn under hand urging, Extinct Charm took a brief run at him, but the bay opened up again under a drive. He and swept to the wire to win by 3 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:50.30. Extinct Charm finished second, followed nearly eight lengths back by Celtic Chaos in third. [VIDEO]

Carmouche said, “He got out to the lead and was running nice and easy and when the other horses came up to him he responded. At the top of the stretch, he exploded and it was over. If they wanted to come with us they weren’t going to keep up with us. We wanted to just go and improve our position.”

Added Carmouche, “I would like to say congratulations to coach [Bill Parcells] and Gary Sciacca for their first win of the meet here. I know how hard it is to win at Saratoga but it’s a good race to win.”

Sciacca said, “He ran a great race up in Finger Lakes and came he came right back and did it again, so he’s for real. He could have sat right off it, but he runs better that way. He comes from last – it doesn’t matter. He can run anywhere he wants. But they didn’t go that fast, so that put him right in the driver’s seat.”

Continued Sciacca, “We liked him earlier and then he got little problems here and there, growing pains. But he got a little older and started doing really well after that. Then as we stretched him out, he started doing really well. The farther he was going, the better he was running.”

Hit It Once More will be pointed next to the Pennsylvania Derby.

Hit It Once More has four wins, all in state-bred company, in ten starts for earnings of $355,202. Bred by JMJ Racing Stables and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, the colt was purchased as a yearling for $105,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale, before he was picked up by Sciacca for $90,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale. His dam, stakes winner Sunday Geisha, has a yearling colt by Freud, weanling colt by Oxbow and was bred to Violence this year.

Syndergaard scintillating in Funny Cide

Friday, August 26th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Syndergaard, named after New York Mets’ All-Star pitcher Noah Syndergaard, delivered an all-star performance to kick off Saratoga New York Showcase Day Friday, winning the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong contest for New York-bred 2-year-olds, by double-digit lengths.

Hoping to make good on the promise of his debut, which he won by three lengths on August 8 in front running style while earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure, the Todd Pletcher-trainee teamed up once again with John Velazquez.

Bet down to seventy cents on the dollar in the short field of four, Syndergaard broke from the outside post, was urged to the front and led the field in the three path through swift splits of 21.52 and 44.35.

Never facing a serious challenge on backstretch and turn, by upper stretch it was all over but the shouting as the Majesticperfection colt opened up under a hand ride to win by 10 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:16.75. Bobby On Fleek finished second, followed across the line by Gold for the King and Tribecca [VIDEO]

Velazquez reported, “We knew he was fast so the plan was to let him break and wherever he lands, we’d just go and try to finish. He has a bright future. He’s a nice, big horse, so hopefully we can keep him going.”

Todd Pletcher commented, “We were optimistic coming in. The horse trained very well and ran well in his debut. We felt like Bobby On Fleek was very impressive in his debut, so it was going to be an interesting matchup. He’s just got so much early speed that I think he kind of forced everyone to chase him a little bit. Yeah, he came with the heater today.”

Added Pletcher, “As fast as he’s going he’s doing it in a pretty relaxed fashion. Even though he was rolling along, he was doing it within himself and had his ears pricked and felt comfortable and we weren’t going to take away what comes easy.”

When asked about the Grade 1 Champagne on October 8 as a possible next start, Pletcher said, “I think so. He’s run well enough in both of his starts, it’s worth the conversation. He ran well enough in his maiden that had this race not been here we might have considered a race like the Hopeful. But you feel like you want to take what’s obvious in a situation like this; it’s back in 18 days; it was a quick turnaround, but everything he did between the races indicated to us he was going to come back in good shape and thankfully he did.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Owned in partnership by Eric Fein, Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Harris, Guri Singh, and Jerry Walia, Syndergaard has earned $81,900 from his two victories.

Bred by Burleson Farms and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, Syndergaard commanded the top New York-bred selling price at this year’s OBS April sale, when he was purchased by Eric Fein for $450,000 after breezing one furlong in a co-bullet :9 4/5.

Syndergaard is out of Magic Belle, a New York-bred multiple winner and six-figure earner by Gold Case, who was purchased by Lyn Burleson at the 2010 Keeneland January sale for $26,000.

The mare herself brought $425,000 as an OBS 2-year-old in 2004 and has since produced four winners from four foals to start. The colt’s second dam is stakes placed Magical Thinking and there is abundant black type under the fourth dam Roar N’ Honey. Magic Belle was bred this year to Fast Anna.

Disco Partner rockets home a winner in Troy Stakes

Saturday, August 20th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Patricia Generazio homebred Disco Partner (Disco Rico) passed four rivals in the final furlong of Saratoga’s $100,000 Troy stakes on Saturday afternoon and, with a last surge among a host of closers, got up in time to win the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint by a neck.

An eye-catching runner-up two races back when he motored home to finish just a neck behind Pure Sensation in the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes at odds of 16-1, Disco Partner was looking for redemption after his July 9 race, a seven-furlong open turf sprint allowance, when he could not manage better than fourth after being compromised by a poor start.

Bet down to 4-1 third choice in the field of seven while cutting back to distance he had not raced since last summer at the Spa, Disco Partner settled in fifth for the opening portion of the race, but never more than three lengths or so from early pacesetter Spring to the Sky, who clocked a challenging opening quarter mile in 21.79 with Rainbow Heir in hot pursuit.

The grey was asked in earnest for his bid when spun out five wide into the lane. In the clear toward the grandstand side, full of run and joining a cavalry charge for home, he passed four rivals to his inside, and outfinished 2-1 favorite Green Mask who was closing to his outside to secure victory in a blazing final time of 1:00.93.

Only 2 1/4 lengths separated the entire field at the finish. Green Mask and and Rainbow Heir finished noses apart to complete the trifecta, followed a half length back by Long On Value. Calgary Cat, Spring to the Sky and Songsational completed the order of finish. [VIDEO]

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said of his excellently-timed ride, “Today we broke very clean. We took a good position and had a perfect trip. You have to give [trainer] Jim [Ryerson] all the credit, he had him trained well. I’m very happy that I could get it done for him.”

Continued Ortiz, “There was some speed in there. He broke really clean, that was our concern. He had broke poorly before [July 9], but we got it done.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Ryerson added, “With five-and-a-half [furlongs], he probably has to lay a little closer than he would like, but Jose [Ortiz] did a great job and got him up, and that is all that counts. I told him to try to get him in the clear for the run. He’s not the type of horse you want to pick your way through while saving ground and waiting for a seam. He really has to get that momentum sweeping off that turn. That seems like his best race.”

In addition to his runner-up finish in the Jaipur, 4-year-old Disco Partner has been knocking on the door in stakes competition on and off ever since his second career start, when he finished second in the Great White Way division of the NYSS in December 2014. Third in his sophomore debut in April 2015, the Times Square division of the same series, he transitioned from dirt to turf competition and he added a third place finish in the Quick Call at Saratoga.

With five wins, four seconds and two thirds from 14 career starts, this hard trying and consistent runner has earned $359,310. Disco Partner’s conditioner is eyeing the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational on October 8 for his next start.

Disco Partner is one of five winners from five starters out of Lulu’s Number, a multiple winner of over $200,000 by Numerous bred by Patricia Generazio in New Jersey. Her first foal Don Six’s Number (Don Six) is a stakes performer and earner of $212,686. The mare’s offspring combined have earned over $940,000 in purses.

Currently Lulu’s Number has a 2-year-old New York-bred filly by Pomeroy named Lulu’s Pom Pom who is in training at Belmont Park and a yearling filly by Posse named Lulu’s Partner. Lulu’s Number was bred to First Samurai this year.


Union Avenue all Hot City Girl

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Looking for her first win of 2016 in her Saratoga debut, last year’s champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly Hot City Girl (City Zip) had everything her way on Thursday afternoon at the Spa, when she wired the 6 1/2-furlong, $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Out of post five a half-step faster than her rivals, by contrast with rival speedster and projected frontrunner Court Dancer who hit the gate and spotted the field six lengths, odds-on favorite Hot City Girl got over to the rail and quickly put some daylight between herself and early pursuer Hot House Rose while running a first quarter mile in 22.46.

Maintaining a one-length lead along the backstretch and extending her advantage to two lengths through the far turn, Hot City Girl geared up for the drive at the top of the lane. Challenge-minded Quezon swung out and set her sights on the leader, but gave futile chase, as Hot City Girl was roused in upper stretch, maintained her lead unopposed and cruised to a 1 3/4-length victory.

After completing six furlongs in 1:08.67, Hot City Girl stopped the clock at 1:15.03. Runner up Quezon (2-1) finished more than seven lengths ahead of California invader Dr. Fager’s Gal (7-2). Completing the order of finish were: Hot House Rose, the unlucky Court Dancer and Familyofroses. [VIDEO]

Jockey Jose Ortiz said, “Plan ‘A’ was to sit second but the other horse with speed [Court Dancer] didn’t break well so I took charge when she was taken out of the race and she did it.”

Linda Rice who trains Hot City Girl for Lady Sheila Stable, said, “I was concerned about the speed of the number four [Court Dancer], obviously, but we were on the outside. Jose and I talked about it. Our intention was there was a good chance we were going to need to sit second off the four, but we had a good post for that. It’s obvious on [Hot City Girl’s] past performances that she has won most of her races on the lead, so if we get that option that is plan A. When [Court Dancer] didn’t break, it certainly made it easier for us.”

Hot City Girl, a half sister to champion sprinter La Verdad, earned over $450,000 last year. She won the 2015 Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks and Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel, then completed her 3-year-old campaign with a game second-place effort behind Birdatthewire in the Grade 1 La Brea at Santa Anita. In her two 2016 starts she finished fourth in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie in February, and after a freshening, ran third in the Dancing Renee at Belmont Park.

Said Rice, “Last time [in the Dancin Renee] I ran her a bit short [on conditioning], but I tried to make the race because I thought it would be a good prep for bigger and better things. It didn’t pan out as well as we would have liked; we were a bit disappointed. We took a step back and had more time to get her ready for this. She ran well today.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Of the filly’s fine first performance at Saratoga, Rice said, “She has never run over this course. I had her in the Prioress last year. I elected to scratch her; she was in the one-hole in a 12 or 14-horse field at about 30-1. We scratched her and raced in the Grade 3 at Charles Town, which she won. I was hoping she would like the course, but just because La Verdad did, didn’t mean she would.”

Rice may point Hot City Girl next to the Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont on October 1. “It might be a nice spot for us,” said Rice. “It’s a nice purse and La Verdad won that race last year and this filly has run well at Belmont also.”

With six career wins, including three stakes victories, three seconds and a third in 15 starts, Hot City Girl has earned $588,150.

Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC, and foaled, like La Verdad, at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Hot City Girl is out of Noble Fire, a stakes-placed runner bred by Chester and Mary Broman also trained by Rice.

Rice bought Noble Fire for Eklektikos for $115,000 at the 2007 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. In addition to champion sprinter La Verdad and Hot City Girl, Noble Fire is the dam of black type performer N. F.’s Destiny, who has earned over $300,000. Altogether, the mare’s offspring have earned over $2.4 million and she was crowned 2015 New York broodmare of the year . Currently Noble Fire has a weanling colt by Will Take Charge and was bred this year to Pioneerof the Nile.

Jules N Rome parlays outside draw into victory in the Saratoga Dew

Monday, August 15th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Jules N Rome, who was claimed on July 27 from Midwest Thoroughbreds and trainer Danny Gargan for $62,500 by Rudy Rodriguez for owner Michael Dubb, overcame an outside draw to score a decisive first stakes win over nine rivals in the 1 1/8-mile, $100,000 Saratoga Dew Stakes at the Spa on Monday.

Partnered for the first time with Javier Castellano for her eighteenth career start, Jules N Rome (3-1 second choice) got away alertly and quickly made her way toward the inside to save ground through the first turn, traveling in fourth in the two path behind pacesetter Isabelle.

Getting back out to the three path on the backstretch and continuing to stalk the pace, the grey was asked for more late in the bend and swung out four wide into the lane. Advancing to second in upper stretch, Jules N Rome overhauled Isabelle in the final furlong and drew clear, to hit the wire a 1 3/4-length winner. After a half mile in 48.52 and a mile in 1:38.09, the final time for the race was 1:50.98.

Pacesetter Isabelle (10-1) finished second, followed 1 1/2 lengths back by Jc’s Shooting Star. Flipcup, the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth. [VIDEO]

Castellano reported, “I really like what this horse did last time [when she finished third going nine furlongs on July 27 at Saratoga]. Watching replays, it looked like she just got tired a little bit but still showed a good effort. Today, we had to overcome the outside post. I had to save ground the first turn to cover her up a little bit, and I think that was the key to winning the race. Once I put her back outside turning for home she really responded and took it to the field. Rudy told me it was a tricky post, being way outside, and not to use too much horse in getting position so she would have something left at the end. Thankfully, we got it done.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Rudy Rodriguez said after the race, “I was concerned about the outside post, but Javier [Castellano] gave her a perfect ride. He was able to save ground early. She shows up all the time.”

Of the decision to claim the 4-year-old Dunkirk filly, Rodriguez said, “We always liked her. We looked at her for a long time; we wanted to claim her for $40,000 [last October] but a couple of the [potential] owners didn’t think she had the numbers. When they put her in for $62,500 [on May 30], we talked to Michael Dubb, and he said ‘Take her.’ That’s why he is who he is in this game.”

Bred in partnership by Harry L. Landry and Constancia Farm and Dunkirk Syndicate, Jules N Rome is out of Pretty Honoree, a chestnut Florida-bred winner who has produced two winners from three starters.

Jules N Rome, who is Pretty Honoree’s first stakes winner, has compiled a record of seven victories, five seconds and a third from 18 starts and earned $376,182. The filly changed hands twice at public auction. She was purchased by Kirk Wycoff for $19,000 as a weanling at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton fall mixed and horses of racing age sale. The following year she brought $77,000 when purchased by Xavier International at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.