By Sarah Mace
Blue Bison Stable’s 4-year-old Loki’s Vengeance, winner of the New York Stallion Stakes series (NYSS) Times Square division as a sophomore and the Affirmed Success stakes last May, captured his third career black type score at Aqueduct on Sunday when he posted a game victory in the seven-furlong, $125,000 NYSS Thunder Rumble division for older New York-sired horses. He is sired by Frost Giant (Keane Stud).
Loki’s Vengeance came into the Thunder Rumble in good form. Two starts back he captured a third-level open allowance, defeating, among others, Green Gratto, winner of last Thursday’s Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap. In his prior start, the Hudson Handicap, Loki’s Vengeance finished sixth by 3 3/4 lengths to Palace, second in the Fall Highweight. Well-supported by bettors, the dark bay went to the post under Jose Ortiz on Sunday as the 3-1 second choice behind 3-2 Empire Dreams, recent winner of the Empire Classic.
Breaking well from post two, Loki’s Vengeance settled back into third position in the three path, 1 1/2 lengths behind Readthebyline, who scooted up the rail from his inside post to lead the field through early fractions of 23.38 and 46:68. The grey, Geaux Mets (Posse), got out of gate first but was now in hot pursuit two wide in second.
Coming under urging midway around the far turn, Loki’s Vengeance drew up even with Readthebyline and Geaux Mets, now racing in tandem, and gathered momentum in upper stretch for the drive.
Engaging new leader Geaux Mets with three sixteenths to go and gaining a narrow lead, Loki’s Vengeance battled Geaux Mets to the wire. Empire Dreams (Patriot Act) mounted a strong rally to join the fray.
Loki’s Vengeance held gamely to win by a half-length over Geaux Mets, while Empire Dreams finished third, just missing the runner-up spot by a nose. After three-quarters of mile in 1:11.01, the final time for seven panels over the fast track was 1:24.13. Completing the order of finish were early pacesetter Readthebyline, John’s Island, Comandante and West Hills Giant. [VIDEO]
Winning rider Jose Ortiz, “It was a perfect trip. I broke good and got a good spot on the turn in the clear. That was the plan, so it worked out great. I want to thank the owner and the trainer, the horse was 100 percent ready.”
Mike Hushion, the winning trainer, said, “He’s consistent in the mornings. He keeps himself looking like a million dollars. Everybody always says, ‘boy, you’ve got him looking good today,’ but he always looks good. A lot of good horses stay like that, tough horses.”
Hushion continued, “Jose rode him just right. He didn’t have to take too much hold of him, he didn’t have to move too early on him so it worked out well to get that seven-eighths. I was glad Jose could ride him today. We have a lot of good young riders around here and it’s really a pleasure.”
With his third stakes victory Loki’s Vengeance boosted his career record to 6-4-2 from 17 lifetime starts with the victory and increased his earnings to $393,409.
Bred by Andrew Cohen, whose Sunrise Stables stands Frost Giant at Keane Stud, and foaled at Vinery New York in Hudson (now Rockridge Stud), Loki’s Vengeance is the first foal out of Subtle Sweetness (During) who was bred in New York by Thomas-Narlinger, LLC and Dennis Repp and won two of three lifetime starts.
Subtle Sweetness has five foals on the ground, all sired by Frost Giant: 3-year-old gelding How Frosty It Is, 2-year-old colt Chilly Bon Bon and a pair of unnamed fillies. The mare was bred back to Frost Giant this year.
Loki’s Vengeance is a graduate of the 2012 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale where he was purchased by Blue Bison Stable for $35,000.