NEWS: racing

Crashing Connie takes Niagara Stakes for fourth 2018 Finger Lakes win

Monday, June 18th, 2018

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

In a 6-furlong dash that developed into a thrilling match race, Joseph Gentile’s homebred Crashing Connie got the bob at the wire to win the $50,000 Niagara Stakes for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies. At three, the bay daughter of Questroyal Stud’s Courageous Cat has taken Finger Lakes by storm, winning all four of her 2018 starts.

Morgan’s Z Va got a jump on the 8-horse field and led the way through an opening quarter in 22.61 while Crashing Connie chased in second, grabbing the rail spot from post three.

In the approach to the far turn Crashing Connie advanced and overtook the pacesetter. Early on the bend, New Girl in Town, a Finger Lakes-based filly riding her own two-race winning streak, ranged up three-wide from fourth to grab second. This pair hooked up while straightening away for the stretch drive as the half ticked by in 46.50.

The two new leaders went at it hammer and tongs, Crashing Connie at the rail and New Girl in Town two-wide, as they charged for home, opening six lengths on the rest of the field.

Crashing Connie appeared to have a slight edge as they battled in the final furlong, but at the wire the two heads were bobbing up and down on nearly even terms, leaving the winner to be decided by an examination of the photo. In the end, Crashing Connie won the thrilling duel by a nose in a final time of 1:12.64 over the “sloppy (sealed)” racetrack.

Post-time favorite Indy’s Lady finished four lengths back in third, followed by narrow second choice I Still Miss You in fourth. Completing the order of finish were My Last Million, Always Kissable, Morgan’s Z Va and Twice Proven. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Trained by James Wright, Crashing Connie raced twice at two, finished second in her second try on November 17 going 5 1/2 furlongs. The filly returned to the races on April 23 ready to roll, winning a 4 1/2-length state-bred maiden special weight by two lengths. She followed up with a pair of allowance victories at five furlongs, then six, winning by four lengths on May 14 and 3 1/4 lengths on June 9 before wheeling right back nine days later for the Niagara.

Crashing Connie, who has earned $77,410 from four wins and a second in 6 starts, is out of Crashing Through, a New York-bred winner of 12 races in 40 starts and earner of nearly $100,000 who went on to compile an an impressive record as a broodmare.

Crashing Through produced eight winners from eight foals to start, three of whom (all by New York sires) earned six figures: Flowersonyourback by Key Contender, Crashing Colby by Catienus and Caleb’s a Survivor by Stonesider. Crashing Connie is her first foal to earn back type. The mare has one more reported foal, a juvenile colt by Stonesider named Excavator.

Crashing Connie’s sire, Grade 1 winner and millionaire Courageous Cat, entered stud at Lane’s End in 2012 before relocating in 2013 to Questroyal North where he stands for a 2018 stud fee of $6,000. He has sired four black type winners to date.


Split Time overcomes rough start to win Laurel’s Alma North Stakes

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club

By Sarah Mace

New York invader and Linda Rice-trainee Split Time made a Saturday trip to Laurel Park well worth the effort for owner Tic Stables. The bay 3-year-old daughter of Take Charge Indy parlayed a difficult start into a driving victory to earn her first open company win and second career black type score in the $75,000 Alma North Stakes run at seven furlongs.

Winner of the Maddie May Stakes on March 24 when she split horses and got up in the final strides, Split Time had yet to finish off the board in five career starts coming into the Alma North. The owner of tactical speed as well as grit, she was sent off as the 3-1 third choice in a competitive field of six.

Split Time ended up behind the eight ball only a few strides into the race. Elevenses to her inside, the 6-5 favorite, came out at the break, bumped her hard and crossed over, pinching her back. She then spent the first half-mile at the caboose of the field, seven lengths or so off the pace. Up front, Elevenses, then Almond Roca, then Limited View led the pack through fast splits of 22.41 and 45.25.

Picking off horses in the turn two-wide, Split Time advanced to third by the head of the stretch and began to carve a path between Limited View, who went very wide coming out of the turn, and Almond Roca at the fence.

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club

Powering onward and gaining the lead inside the furlong grounds, Split Time staved off a late threat by 47-1 longshot Norma’s Charm who was charging hard far out on the grandstand side, to win by a half-length, completing the 7-furlong distance in 1:24.48 over a fast main track. Norma’s Charge was followed across the line by Limited View, Almond Roca, Aggreator and Elevenses.

Jockey Horacio Karamanos focused first on the troubled start. “We got a bad break out of the gate. [Elevenses] was coming out and crossed in front of me and my filly lost her action but then she started to pick it up nice and easy.”

Continued Karamanos, “I saw they were going so fast [up] front … but she was able to give me a nice kick and kept going strong to the wire. I think if she didn’t have that kind of trouble in the beginning she could have won it easier.”

Trainer Linda Rice’s assistant Chris Sankar commented, “Every time you lead her over she gives you everything she’s got, and once again she got it done. Anytime you leave state-bred company there’s no free lunch, but she’s got the heart and the talent, and everything worked out today.”

Rice, the 2017 Laurel winter-spring meet co-champion, added in a text, “We are very pleased with her effort today. She had a troubled start but a strong finish.”

Split Time, now a winner of four races in six career starts with one second and a third has earned $195,700.

Bred by Sequel Stallions New York and foaled at Sequel’s farm in Hudson, Split Time issues from a productive New York-bred family. Her winning dam Speed Dating, out of Near and Dear, is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and $693,500-earner Saratoga Snacks.

Speed Dating has an unnamed 2-year-old colt by freshman Sequel stallion Alpha and a yearling filly by Freud named Afreud of a Storm.

Picco Uno hoofs it in Dancin Renee

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Kennesaw Mountain Racing’s Picco Uno (Macho Uno), a sharp, successful runner in 2017, regained her winning form at Belmont Park on Saturday with a frontrunning victory in the fifth renewal of the 6-furlong, $125,000 Dancin Renee Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares. The race honors the 1997 New York-bred horse of the year who was named by owner/breeder Sanford Bacon after his mother-in-law – a “Ziegfeld girl” in her youth.

From December 16, 2016 to August 17, 2017, Picco Uno, won five of six starts for trainer Jason Servis, culminating in her first stakes score in the 6 1/2-furlong Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga. Since then, albeit racing in tough stakes company, her form had tailed off, particularly in the first two starts of her 5-year-old campaign. In the Dancin Renee, however, she could look forward to some class relief after the Grade 3 Distaff on April 6 where she finished fifth.

Partnered with jockey Manny Franco, aboard for her last two starts, Picco Uno was the first to show the lead, establishing a one-length advantage over Cozzy Spring to her inside from post three. Holiday Disguise, the 4-5 favorite, settled in third as the quarter went in 22.25.

Continuing to be pressed along by Cozzy Spring along the backstretch run and around the far turn, Picco Uno was shaken up by Franco around the quarter pole.

The gray obliged, opened up a comfortable margin in the lane and cruised across the finish line to win with ease. Four lengths back Cozzy Spring and Holiday Disguise finished second and third a half-length apart, followed by Absatootly, Bluegrass Flag and Bobby’s Song. Still There was scratched. After a 45.23 half mile, the final time for the Dancin Renee was 1:09.60. Picco Uno paid $12.40 to win. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

“Coming into the race, the plan was to break out of there and get involved early,” said Manny Franco. “The other horse with speed [Cozzy Spring] was inside of me but I broke better than him and took advantage. My last two races aboard, we tried different tactics but today, [Jason Servis] wanted to be right there up front in the lead or second, nothing further than that. Thankfully, it worked out getting on the lead early and she did everything from there easy.”

Servis added, “We told Manny not to take anything away from her. She always breaks sharp and he was able to go on with it. She ran a really great race and we’re just thrilled”

The trainer explained how Picco Uno’s form began to turn around. “Two months ago, [this race] wasn’t even on the radar. She had some issues this winter and it took a long time to get her going. But she really started to turn around the last couple of weeks and she had a really good breeze the other day, so we thought we’d take a shot.”

Picco Uno is under consideration to defend her title in the Union Avenue at Saratoga.

Bred by Topsmeade LLC and Adena Springs and foaled at Irish Hill Century Farm, Picco Uno is one of two winners from two foals to start out of Piccola Isola, a winning New York-bred daughter of Western Expression. She has earned $413,667 from seven wins, four seconds and two thirds in 17 starts.

A $35,000 short yearling at Keeneland in January 2014, Picco Uno was purchased by Kennesaw Mountain Racing at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale for $27,000. From


Belmont-loving Disco Partner successfully defends Jaipur title

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Frank and Patricia Generazio’s homebred Disco Partner, by late New York sire Disco Rico, brought high expectations and a record of seven wins from 11 tries over Belmont turf into Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes, a race he won last year in world record time.

The bettors’ pick in a classy field of eight, Disco Partner obliged, mowing down his rivals in the lane after a stalking trip. With his $220,000 winner’s share of the purse, the 6-year-old grey became a millionaire into the bargain.

Last seen in the winner’s circle on October 7 when he won the 6-furlong Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, Disco Partner wrapped up the year by making the trip to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint where he finished third, just a half-length shy of winner Stormy Liberal, who was also signed on for Saturday’s Jaipur. In his first start back this year on April 7 in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Shakertown, Disco Partner was a well-beaten third over yielding turf, which he may not have relished.

Teamed up with regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., Disco Partner set up in fifth/sixth from post five shortly after the bell and made his way inwards into the two-path, three lengths behind stablemate and fellow Generazio homebred Pure Sensation. The pacesetter clocked the opening quarter mile in 22.16 pressed along by Conquest Tsunami and Pocket Change.

Asked for more run once he was well into the far turn, Disco Partner geared up, angled six-wide and was set down for the drive with five horses still to pass. Passing his first rivals around the furlong marker and in the clear, Disco Partner hit his best stride.

NYRA/Dave Alcosser

Like a grey streak, he powered the remaining three horses, hit the front with six strides to go and went on to score a convincing one-length victory. When a photo sorted out the blanket finish behind the winner, Conquest Tsunami finished second, a head in front of Pure Sensation. Another head back, Holding Gold and Pocket Change — in fourth and fifth — were separated by a nose.

After a 44.03 half-mile, Disco Partner’s final time for 6 furlongs was 1:06.74, the second-fastest running of the Jaipur when run at this distance, a mark bested only by his own record time in the race last year of 1:05.67. The Jaipur is a “Win and You’re In” in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series for Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

“He broke so good and sharp and put me in a good spot,” said Ortiz. “I held him together and in the mid-pack, I made my move …, got him in the clear and … in the stretch, and he took off.”

The pilot continued, “He always tries hard. He is a nice horse and it’s nice to see him back from his layoff after [the Shakertown] in Keeneland, where he didn’t have a good race on the turf – he wasn’t comfortable on the soft turf.”

Clement said, “Basically, everything worked out great. He was a bit closer to the pace today. The other horse [Pure Sensation who set the pace] actually ran a great race because he grabbed a quarter pretty bad and still managed to finish third.”

“My first feeling when you win these kind of races, it’s a great credit to Mr. and Mrs. Genarazio. They have a wonderful program and they are great owners and breeders to work for. I’m just a lucky guy to train those kind of horses.”

Clement has won the Jaipur three years running with Pure Sensation in 2016 and twice with Disco Partner.

“I’m very happy,” he said. “I’m thrilled. I’ve won the race two or three times in the last few years and I’m delighted.”

Disco Partner moved to Clement’s barn in 2017 following a successful three-year run with trainer Jimmy Ryerson from 2014-2016. Last year he won four of six starts, headlined by Jaipur. In addition to victories in the Elusive Quality and Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, in a tour de force performance for a confirmed sprinter, Disco Partner also successfully stretched out to a mile to win the Forbidden Apple Stakes.

A third-generation product of Patricia and Frank Generazio’s breeding program, Disco Partner was foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia.  The grey is out of Lulu’s Number (Numerous), a New Jersey-bred multiple winner of over $200,000 trained by Ben Perkins, Jr. Disco Partner’s second dam Mary Lou’s Magic (Concord Dream) was bred in Florida and trained by Frank.

As a broodmare, Lulu’s Number has produced five winners from seven starters, including Don Six’s Number (Don Six), a stakes performer and earner of $212,686. Lulu’s Number has yearling colt by First Samurai and foaled another colt by Into Mischief on May 20, 2087.

The Jaipur repeat on Saturday brings Disco Partner’s earnings to $1,153,810, making him the second New York-bred to attain millionaire status during the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. Fourstar Crook reached the goal on Friday with her victory in the Grade 2 New York Stakes.








Fourstar Crook upsets favorite in Grade 2 New York, turns millionaire

Friday, June 8th, 2018

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

In an oddly-run race where the pacesetter put more than 20 lengths between herself and the bulk of the field over the first half-mile, Fourstar Crook under a cool-headed Irad Ortiz, Jr. got the first run at the leader and held off 3-5 favorite Sistercharlie to win the Grade 2, $600,000 New York Stakes presented by NYRA Bets at 1 1/4 miles on the turf at Belmont on Friday.

The $330,000 winner’s share of the purse sent her lifetime earnings shooting past the million-dollar mark to $1,213,166.

Second choice in the accomplished field of nine at odds of 4-1, Fourstar Crook was the “other” Chad Brown horse in the race and looking to turn the tables on her stablemate Sistercharlie. When they last met in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland on April 14, Fourstar Crook had to settle for second.

After the break, Fahan Mura threw down the gauntlet from her rail post and by the first point of call had put more than eight lengths between herself and her nearest pursuer Esquisse, and 16 lengths between herself and the third horse. Fourstar Crook raced in fifth with the bulk of the field, while Sistercharlie, who was squeezed at the start, lingered in last, 28 lengths behind the leader after a half in 46.39.

The complexion of the race changed in the far turn, after the 1:10.36 time for six furlongs took its inevitable toll on Fahan Mura. Fourstar Crook angled out three wide for the stretch drive, while Sistercharlie geared up from last. After being shuffled back rounding the turn, the favorite had her work cut out for her.

NYRA/Zoe Metz

Fourstar Crook got the first run at the top spot and took over command inside the furlong grounds. Sistercharlie came flying in the end, diving down to the inside of Fourstar Crook to try to run her down, but to no avail. The gritty Fourstar Crook dug in and held off the leader, prevailing by head in a final time of 1:59.21, the fastest New York since 1993, when Aquilegia covered the 1 1/4-mile distance in 1:59 flat. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. described his winning (and patient) strategy.

The speed horses opened up way too much, so I didn’t pay attention to that,” said Ortiz. “I just rode my filly. She was comfortable, so I didn’t try to do anything crazy. I kept her covered up, saving ground, like the owner and Chad wanted. I just rode my filly and she was there. I kept riding her and she held on. Sistercharlie was flying, but she held on.”

Chad Brown, who trains the 6-year old daughter of Freud (Sequel Stallions) for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable and Gary Aisquith, said, “Fourstar Crook, hats off her. Michael Dubb deserves a lot of credit and his partners. Mike is the one who decided to race her at six which is not always the in thing to do and Mike loves this horse as do his partners. They are great partners, Mike Caruso [of Bethlehem Stable] and Gary Aisquith. They agreed to let us run her at six and they were rewarded today.”

Bred by Kathleen M. Feron and foaled at Akindale Farm in Pawling, Fourstar Crook has won 11 races with three seconds and a third in 17 starts. Her $1,213,166 earnings bankroll enrolls her on the ever-growing roster of New York-bred millionaires (48 and counting). Her stakes victories include the Grade 2 Hillsborough, the Grade 3 Dr. James Penney Memorial, and four New York-bred stakes, the Yaddo, Mount Vernon and two editions of the John Hettinger.

The bay mare sold as a yearling to Allied Bloodstock at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred sale for $55,000. A $70,000 buyback when offered at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old sale, she was purchased by owner Michael Dubb for $110,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic sale. Fourstar Crook has a juvenile full-sister named Kitty’s Legacy and an unnamed yearling full-brother.

Saratoga Giro scores decisive victory in George W. Barker Stakes

Monday, June 4th, 2018

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

The racing season at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) is still young, but for the time being the torch of sprint division leader in Farmington has passed from three-time FLGR Horse of the Year Breakin the Fever to Saratoga Giro.

On Monday, Saratoga Giro, a 5-year-old of son of former New York sire Girolamo, scored a decisive victory in the 34th running the $50,000 George W. Barker while getting the better of his 6-year-old rival for the second time this year. Breakin the Fever won the Barker in both 2016 and 2017.

Looking for his third victory of 2018, on May 12 Saratoga Giro won the sprint allowance at Finger Lakes that served as the unofficial prep for the Barker by 4 1/4 lengths, besting two Barker rivals, Manipulated (second) and Breaking the Fever (third).

On Monday Saratoga Giro was sent off by bettors to go six furlongs over the “good” (sealed) track as the 4-5 favorite in a field of five. Second choice at 3-2 was Belmont-based Mighty Zealous, while Breakin the Fever was 3-1 at post time. Manipulated was let go at 15-1.

Bounding out gate from his outside post, Saratoga Giro was the first to show the lead, and crossed over. Shortly he was joined by Breakin the Fever to his inside, who grabbed rail spot from post three. The pair raced in tandem along the backstretch through the first quarter in 22.15 while Mighty Zealous stalked two lengths back in third.

Part of the way round the far turn, Saratoga Giro put a head in front while clocking a half-mile in 44.76. Opening his lead to one length by the head of the stretch and set down for the drive, Saratoga Giro kicked clear and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths without an anxious moment for jockey Jeremias Flores.

Manipulated finished well in the center of the track to grab second, leaving Mighty Zealous three-quarters of a length further back in third. Completing the order of finish were Sundae On Sunday and Breakin the Fever. Final Chapter was a race-day scratch and the final time was 1:11.20. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Bred by Mendean Jonath Inc. and owned by Henry Steadman in partnership with Saratoga Giro’s trainer Paul Barrow, Saratoga Giro has been a consistent runner on the NYRA circuit and at FLGR. The Barker is his first stakes victory, but in each of the prior years he has picked up placings in the Ontario County Stakes (second to Love that Jazz in 2016) and Leon Reed Memorial (second to Breakin the Fever in 2017). In 26 career starts the dark bay has won ten races with six seconds and one third and earned $295,202.

Saratoga Giro is the most successful offspring of Florida-bred Silver Deputy mare White Slippers, who has produced three winners from three foals to start. A two-time veteran of the sales ring, Saratoga Giro was purchased by Woodford Sales at the 2014 OBS August yearling sale for $27,000. He brought the same price in 2015 when purchased by Steadman at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale.

Subsidiary first winner for Central Banker

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

By Sarah Mace

Gabe Grossberg’s Subsidiary aced her Woodbine debut Saturday, a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race, to become New York freshman sire Central Banker’s first winner. Trained by Mark Casse, the chestnut filly was sent out at odds of 10-1 in a robust field of 10.

Out of the gate well from post eight, Subsidiary was hustled to the front and gained control by the first point of call, clocking the first quarter-mile in 23.46.

Pressed along by Einstein’s Babe around the far turn, Subsidiary shook free at the top of the stretch. Hand-ridden home by jockey Gary Boulanger, the chestnut stopped the clock in a final time of 53.53 over Woodbine synthetic oval, a 1 1/2-length winner over Einstein’s Babe.

Subsidiary was bred in Ontario by James and Janeane Everatt and Arika Everatt-Meeuse. Her dam Wouldthisbemagic is a half-sister to graded winner Street Magician by Clever Trick, and is a graduate of Chester and Mary Broman’s broodmare band. Consigned by Sequel on the Bromans’ behalf at the 2015 New York fall mixed sale, Wouldthisbemagic was purchased in foal for $16,000.

Subsidiary was purchased by Gabe and Jess Grossberg for $70,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky summer yearling sale and RNA’d this spring at the OBS March sale for $95,000.

Central Banker stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs for a 2018 stud fee of $7,500. The McMahons bought him at the 2014 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale for a session-topping $400,000.

A Grade 2-winning sprinter by Speightstown out of multiple stakes winner Rhum, Central Banker recorded three triple digit Beyers at 3 and 4, including his lifetime best 107 Beyer for his victory in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes. By the time he retired, Central Banker won or placed 9 times in 13 starts at 9 different racetracks.

Central Banker’s juveniles have been well-received at the 2-year-old sales this spring. Seventeen were bought for an average of price of $69,000, topped by a $260,000 colt purchased by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC at the OBS March Sale. Central Banker has 74 foals of racing age.

JCGC winner Diversify rebounds with outstanding Commentator score

Monday, May 28th, 2018

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

A wire-to-wire winner of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup last October and returning to state-bred company for the first time after a trio of graded races, Lauren and Ralph Evans’ Diversify was unquestionably the class of Monday’s $200,000 Commentator Stakes at Belmont Park.  Still, on paper at least, the 5-year-old Bellamy Road gelding did not appear to be a shoo-in to win the capstone of the Memorial Day Big Apple Showcase card at Belmont Park. What’s more, he had a big question to answer about his most recent effort.

First, the dynamics of the one-turn, one-mile race on paper seemed tricky for Diversify, whose most effective weapon is speed. He was destined to have plenty of company on the front end, with at least four rivals likely to come out gunning. Diversify did catch one break, however, with the race-day scratch of veteran Weekend Hideaway, who wired the last two runnings of the Commentator and beat Diversify by a nose in last year’s renewal.

Diversify also needed to prove that his performance last out in the Charles Town Classic on April 21, his first start back after a winter break, was a fluke. In his first experience with Charles Town’s “bull ring,” the gelding perplexed everyone by running dead last as the 6-5 favorite. Trainer Rick Violette found nothing wrong with him after the race and could only conclude, as he told NYRA commentator Maggie Wolfendale, that the 5-year-old was too smart for his own good. Unaccustomed to the 3-turn format of the race he appeared to rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. to have pulled himself up after two turns

Even with these factors at play, bettors made Diversify their 2-1 favorite and went to Pat On the Back, who was arguably the best closer in the field and going out for the first time for Jeremiah Englehart, as the 4-1 second choice

Partnered with the Jose Ortiz on Monday, Diversify did not have an auspicious start, stumbling after the bell. Recovering efficiently, however, he set up as a stalking third in the three path, tracking Jewel Can Disco at the rail and Mr. Buff in the two-path two lengths off the leader.

After the pacesetter clocked a half-mile in 45.22, just past the three-eighths pole Diversify pulled even with the front pair and gained a narrow lead, emerging at the quarter pole a half-length to the good and the horse to catch after six furlongs in a testing 1:09.33.

Ortiz knew the closers would be on their way and urged his horse to open up a little more ground as a cushion in upper stretch.

In the final furlong Pat On the Back closed menacingly on the outside, eating into Diversify’s lead with every stride and coming to within a half-length with a sixteenth to go.

Diversify’s answer was to dig in and give his all. His gameness was rewarded by a nose win after a fast mile in 1:34.34. Pat On the Back in second finished 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Uncle Sigh, who closed from midpack to finish third. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“[Diversify] stumbled out of [gate],” said Jose Ortiz. “I didn’t want to take him out of his game. He relaxed pretty well. At the three-eighths pole, I went after them, and when he made the lead, he pricked his ears, so I knew he had something left in the tank. [Pat On the Back] ran a very good race. Any other day, we would’ve won by ten.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Violette found the race a bit of a nail-biter even after the finish. “I thought we won it, then I watched the replay again and ‘whoa’.”

Continued Violette, “When [Weekend Hideaway scratched], it actually was a good scratch for us. That led to us to either having to take hold or commit if he had stayed in there, so it worked out well.”

The conditioner also pointed out that Diversify is more versatile than one would think: “He’s certainly very effective on the lead, but he doesn’t have to be there. The 1-2-3 all had pretty good speed, and with the post position, you see what develops, and if they tap on the brakes like everybody did last year, it works out well.”

As to the winning move in the far turn, Violette said, “I was worried about the whole [field] joining the fray. I thought, ‘well, it’s a little early,’ but Jose [Ortiz] was right, sometimes you got to let the horse do it.”

Violette will point Diversify next to the Grade 2 Suburban on July 7.

Bred by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding and foaled at Majestic View Farms in Gardiner, Diversify is one of two winners out of Rule One, a placed daughter of Street Cry (IRE), whom Hertrich bought at the 2010 Keeneland November sale for $57,000. On February 16 of this year Rule One foaled a colt by More Than Ready.

Diversify is a graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred preferred yearling sale, where he sold to Maverick Racing for $150,000. Unraced at two, Diversify flashed talent as soon as he got to the racetrack, opening his account in 2016 with four straight front-running route victories and earning a “TDN Rising Star” designation after September 22 allowance win for WinStar Farm LLC.

Offered as a racing prospect at the 2016 Keeneland November sale, Diversify was purchased by Lauren and Ralph Evans for $210,000 and opted to stay with Violette, the gelding’s original trainer.

Approaching the million-dollar threshold with $934,425 in earnings, Diversify has won eight times and finished second twice. The Commentator is his fourth stakes victory, to be added to the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Saginaw Stakes and Evan Shipman.

Diversify’s New York-based sire Bellamy Road, currently stands Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater.





Offering Plan’s awesome rally gives Dubb his third Showcase win

Monday, May 28th, 2018

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Bill Heller

If you look up “Good day at the racetrack,” don’t be surprised if there’s a picture of owner Michael Dubb there. Dubb scored his third New York-bred Showcase Day stakes victory Monday at Belmont with Offering Plan, the six-year-old horse he owns in partnership with Nantucket Thoroughbreds, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith, in the 40th running of the one-mile $125,000 Kingston Stakes on grass. Rallying from last under Javier Castellano in early stretch, Offering Plan, who was the 4-5 favorite in the field of nine, won his second consecutive race and his second consecutive Kingston Stakes by a length and three-quarters in 1:35.11 on the “Good” Widener Turf Course.

Rapt, who was 21-1 with Manny Franco in the irons, also rallied to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of 19-1 Kharafa and Dylan Davis. Dot Matrix, who was 7-2 under Jose Ortiz, was just another neck back in fourth.

CW Swann & Cygnet Farm bred Offering Plan, a son of Spring At Last out of Rosalie Road by Street Cry who is trained by Chad Brown.

“This is a hard-hitting horse,” Dubb said. “We debated about racing him at Pimlico, but we made the decision to stay here where he’d be even-money. That was Chad’s wish. I leave everything to Chad. I just show up and take pictures.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Through much of the Kingston, favorite bettors had to be wondering if Offering Plan was going to show up at all. He raced in next-to-last on the backstretch until Rapt passed him.

Up front, Fox Rules, who was 23-1 under Kendrick Carmouche, held a clear lead through a solid pace: a first quarter-mile in :23.16, a half-mile in :46.50 and three-quarters in 1:10.65. When Fox Rules tired late, the race was wide-open and the horse closing fastest of all on the far outside was Offering Plan, who made a spectacular run past the entire field. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“If we keep him with state-breds, he’s supposed to be the boss,” Dubb said. “This time, I think we made the right decision.”

Castellano agreed. “When I asked him to run, he was there for me,” Castellano said. “He gave me a nice run.”

And Dubb is on the run of a lifetime.

Offering Plan is now seven-for-19 in his all-grass career with three seconds, three thirds and earnings of just under $575,000.

Michael Dubb claim Analyze the Odds wins Mike Lee at 20-1

Monday, May 28th, 2018

NYRA/Annette Jasko

By Bill Heller

Talk about a quick return on an investment.

Michael Dubb, who plays the claiming game in New York as good as anyone, hit a grand slam with Analyze the Odds Monday on New York-bred Showcase Day at Belmont Park. On April 20 at Aqueduct, Dubb claimed Analyze the Odds for $80,000 when he finished fifth by 9 ¼ lengths as the 7-5 favorite under Manny Franco. Just 5 ½ weeks later in his debut for Dubb and new trainer Jason Servis, Analyze the Odds, who was eighth in mid-stretch under Junior Alvarado, rallied past Morning Breez and Javier Castellano to win the 39th running of the seven-furlong $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes – named for the legendary turf writer for the Long Island Press – by three-quarters of a length at odds of 20-1.

Morning Breez, who was 6-1 in the field of eight, was a clear second, four lengths ahead of 3-1 Retonova and Jose Lezcano. Sea Foam, who was 5-2 under Joel Rosario, finished another head back in fourth. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Dubb made $75,000 in purse money with Analyze the Odds’ score, and he may have made up the remaining $5,000 on his investment at the mutuel windows.

Dubb and Servis had already won one of the five other Showcase Days when their five-year-old mare Feeling Bossy, whom Dubb claimed for $62,500 on Oct. 8th, won the $125,000 Mt. Vernon Stakes on grass as odds of 8-1 off a seven-month layoff. She had finished seventh in the $200,000 Ticonderoga Stakes on Oct. 21st in her first start for her new connections before a lengthy rest that obviously paid dividends Monday.

And who knew that Dubb would get his third Showcase winner Monday a half hour after the Mike Lee when Offering Plan, whom Dubb owns with Nantucket Thoroughbreds, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith, scored in the $125,000 Kingston Stakes?

Heck, Analyze the Odds wasn’t even going to race in the Mike Lee. “When I claimed him, I was hoping for a two-turn, Saratoga type of three-year-old horse,” Dubb said. “I thought he needed a freshening, which was the plan. It wasn’t our plan to run him today, but he was doing so well, Jason said, `Let’s take a shot and see if we can get a piece.’ I never dreamed that piece would be the big piece. He’s really done an incredible job with the horse.”

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Lansdowne Thoroughbreds bred Analyze the Odds, a son of Overanalyze out of The Sense Angel by Mineshaft who sold for only $15,000 in October, 2016. He had won a stakes race previously at Finger Lakes last September.

Alvarado, who was riding Analyze the Odds for the first time, let him settle in sixth as 24-1 Ultimate Enticement and Kendrick Carmouche and Aveenu Malcainu, who was adding blinkers and went off the 8-5 favorite under Jose Ortiz, dueled on the front end through a half-mile in a testing :45.07.

Aveenu Malcainu then took the front, but he couldn’t hold off Morning Breez, who rallied from fourth to take the lead. Morning Breez opened a three-length lead and looked home free until Analyze the Odds, closing furiously on the far outside, hit his best stride. “When I asked him to run, he was there for me,” Alvarado said. “He gave me a nice run.”

Analyze the Odds is now four-for-11 with one second, one third and earnings of more than $320,000.