NEWS: racing

Tax Package wraps up a victory in Spa debut

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
Adam Coglianese

Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Tax Package, a colt by Pioneerof the Nile, kicked off Saratoga’s first Sunday card with a strong performance in a 5 1/2-furlong, $73,000 maiden special weight for New York-bred 2-year-olds.

Owned by Klaravich Stables Inc. in partnership with William H. Lawrence and trained by Chad Brown, Tax Package came into his debut with a steady series of Saratoga drills behind him dating back to early May, including two solid moves out of the gate.

One of six first-time starters in the field of eight, Tax Package settled in fourth after breaking from post six under Irad Ortiz, Jr., then moved into third as Navy Blue shot to the front from post two and opened up daylight on the field through a strong opening quarter-mile in 22.37.

Rounding the far turn Tax Package advanced in company three-to-four wide, and took over the lead in upper stretch before becoming locked in battle with second-time starter Thank You, who had moved up from sixth in the turn.

In the final stages Tax Package managed to shake off his stubborn rival with a quick burst of speed and went on to get the win by a decisive 1 1/2 lengths. Thank You in second just kept a nose in front of advancing Broman homebred Thirst for Glory who finished third. Following Thirst for Glory across the line were Navy Blue, Cosmo Storm, Desert Million, G R’s Giant and Sandler. The final time for the 5 1/2 furlongs over a fast track was 1:05.87; the win by Tax Package put his trainer Chad Brown on the board with his first victory of the meet. [VIDEO]

Bred by Grapestock LLC  and George Reeb and foaled on February 4, 2012, Tax Package is the first offspring of D’ Country, a stakes-placed Ontario-bred daughter of out of D’wildcat who won going both short and long at Woodbine. The colt was purchased by Nick de Meric for $170,000 at last summer’s Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale.

Currently D’ Country has a yearling filly by Posse and a weanling colt by Soaring Empire.

Graeme Crackers scores determined debut victory on opening day at Saratoga

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Adam Coglianese

Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace
[Updated 7/19]

Ralph M. Evans’ homebred Graeme Crackers (Macho Uno) took the first New York-bred juvenile filly race of the 2014 Saratoga meet, out-battling fellow first-time starter The Lewis Dinner in the stretch to secure the victory by a determined half-length. The 5 1/2-furlong dash was run as race 6 on the opening day card for a purse of $73,000.

Trained for Evans by Rick Violette and drawn in the outside post of seven, Graeme Crackers had jockey Jose Ortiz in the irons, looking for his third victory of the day. After breaking alertly, the grey/roan filly set up outside pacesetter In Spite of Mama, who led by a diminishing length for the first three-eighths of a mile.

On even terms with In Spite of Mama at the head of the stretch, Graeme Crackers was asked for run in upper stretch only to face a new challenger in the form of The Lewis Dinner. As the two battled to the finish, Graeme Crackers stubbornly held on to a narrow advantage, crossing the wire a half-length winner. The final time for 5 1/2 furlongs was 1:05.42. Full Tap, finished third, followed by In Spite of Mama, Serious Happiness and Loon River. Saluda went to her nose at the start and lost jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Both horse and rider appeared to escape injury in the incident. [VIDEO]

Violette said later, “She’s done everything right without being a star. She’s probably a grass horse and wants to go longer. Two half-siblings have been very good grass horses, but you have to get your career started. She’s supposed to stretch out, being by Macho Uno. She was very game, and that was probably the best thing. She got hooked, she got headed, and she came back.”

Foaled on April 14, 2012 at Victory Lane Farm in Millbrook, Graeme Crackers is out of Graeme Central, a multiple winner by Graeme Hall bred in New York by Sez Who Thoroughbreds and trained by Violette. All three of her starters are winners, led by the City Zip colt Ampersand who earned $223,904.


Bustin It crushes it in Rockville Centre

Sunday, July 13th, 2014
Adam Coglianese

Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Maiden runner and second-time starter Bustin It (Bustin Stones) caught a flyer at the bell and never looked back, scoring a much-the-best victory in the inaugural running of Belmont’s $125,000 Rockville Centre Stakes* for New York-bred 2-year-olds, the final stakes race of the Belmont spring/summer meet.

Five juveniles lined up for the Rockville Centre after the early scratch of Cosmo Storm. A narrow second choice in the betting (1.05-1), Bustin It debuted a very strong runner-up in open company to Nonna’s Boy (Distorted Humor) over a muddy (sealed) track at Belmont on June 13. Nonna’s Boy is a top Pletcher/Repole prospect scheduled to make his next start in the Sanford Stakes on Saratoga’s opening weekend. Post time favorite (even money) was International Star (Fusaichi Pegasus), who broke his maiden well for Mike Maker and Ken and Sarah Ramsey in an open turf sprint in his unveiling on June 21. Since his debut, Bustin It had posted a pair of bullet works at three and four furlongs for trainer Mike Mareina, who co-owns the blaze-faced chestnut colt with S J Bee Stable and Kuehne Racing.

Exploding out of the gate under jockey Rajiv Maragh, Bustin It quickly opened up daylight on the field even before most of his rivals were properly into stride.

International Star pursued in second and mounted a bid three furlongs out, but Bustin It let it out another notch under a motionless Maragh, and extended his lead, ultimately winning by seven lengths on cruise control.

After clocking early fractions of 22.87 and 45.93, Bustin It stopped the clock after six furlongs at 1:11.69. Following runner-up International Star across the line were Midnight Nick, Elusive New Yorker and Essence at Noon. [VIDEO]

Maragh said, “I think the experience had a lot to do with [the improvement in his second start]. He’s a typical 2-year-old, still learning the ropes, but it was a drastic improvement from his first race to today. He was much more focused, and he knew what it was about today. He left the gate, willing. He’s naturally fast.”

Trainer Mareina added, “I thought he ran well. It worked out just like I wanted. I told [jockey] Rajiv [Maragh] to open up out of the gate – he’s super quick – then once you open up sit on him and maintain a couple length lead; don’t burn him up early. Rajiv rode him absolutely perfect, and when he asked he kicked away and was throttled down.”

If all goes as planned, the chestnut colt, now a $90,000 earner, will start next in the $200,000 Funny Cide on Saratoga Showcase Day.

Bustin It, bred Casey Newick LLC and foaled at Meadow View Thoroughbreds in Canajoharie, is the third runner and third winner out of I Drink Alone, a winning New York-bred daughter of Intidab bred by Phil Trowbridge and Kip Elser. Out of stakes performer Grab Gingerly, I Drink Alone is a half-sister to stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Pavo ($304,991). Her second foal May Shares (Stonesider) is also a stakes winner, having beaten the boys as a juvenile in the Island Sun overnight stakes last October.

Bustin It, the second stakes winner for his sire Bustin Stones who stands at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, was purchased by Kuehne Racing for $70,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred preferred yearling sale.

*Rockville Center, for which the stakes is named, is a village located just southeast of Belmont Park named for Mordecai “Rock” Smith, an 18th century preacher, community leader, blacksmith, farmer, and justice of the peace.


Hangover Kid makes the grade in Bowling Green thriller

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

by Sarah Mace

After knocking on the door against graded rivals ever since his third-place finish in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth last summer, Hangover Kid earned his first full-blown graded victory when won a tight photo in the Grade 2, $200,000 Bowling Green for older horses. Run at 1 1/2 miles on the Widener Turf Course, the Bowling Green was the final graded stakes of the Belmont spring/summer meeting,

A 6-year-old horse by Lemon Drop Kid and homebred for Steve Taglienti’s Four Tags Stable, Hangover Kid was last seen finishing second in the Grade 2 Monmouth with big closing move. For the Bowling Green he was reunited after nearly two years with jockey Jose Lezcano, who rode him seven times before, including for his maiden-breaker in 2011. Although he was stretching out from nine furlongs to a mile and a half, he had previously recorded a victory at 1 3/8 miles, and, because he is a strong closer, the extra furlong seemed well within his scope.

Third choice in the six-horse field at 9-2, Hangover Kid was content to save ground from his inside post, tracking the pace in third as the race unfolded. Meanwhile, 18-1 longshot Horvat Clan enjoyed an uncontested lead, clocking comfortable fractions of 25.63, 51.93, 1:17.53 and 1:42.03 for a mile.

Caught behind a wall of horses in upper stretch, Hangover Kid found a seam just inside the eighth pole and scooted into second behind the new leader and 3-5 favorite Grandeur, who had rallied three wide.

Hangover Kid and Grandeur battled head to head to the wire, with Hangover Kid just getting the nod. It was another 3/4 lengths back to Sky Blazer, who rallied into third while Boisterous, Reflecting, and Horvat Clan completed out the order of finish. The final for 12 furlongs was 2:28.18.  [VIDEO]

Lezcano said, “I know the pace was slow, and [Servis] told me to keep him right there. When I asked him, he gave me a very good kick. I prayed it would open up for me, and when [John Velazquez aboard No. 3 Boisterous] went out a little bit, my horse took off.”

Jason Servis reported by telephone, “It was thrilling; I wish I could have been there. I felt really good having Lezcano on him; he’s been riding unbelievable. The only thing I told him is ride him like you own him.”

Servis also has big plans for Hangover Kid for later on in the year. “We’d like to go to the Breeders’ Cup with him,” Servis said. “This race – being a graded stakes – got him points. I don’t know where he’ll go next, but the Breeders’ Cup is the ultimate goal.”

Winner of the West Point Stakes for New York-breds last summer in Saratoga, Hangover Kid last year secured two graded stakes placings at long odds. He came from last in a field of 12 to finish second in Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at odds of 23-1, and mounted a strong late rally to finish third in Monmouth’s Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at odds of 47-1 in a field of eight. His runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes last month came at odds of 19-1.

Hangover Kid, whose record now stands at 7-7-3 from 24 starts with $625,203 in earnings, is the most successful of four winners out of Absolute Patience, an unraced Maryland-bred daughter of Rakeen. Absolute Patience currently has a 2-year-old filly by Munnings named Hold the Nutmeg and a yearling colt by Looking at Lucky named Revive and Resurge, both registered New York-breds. Revive and Resurge is catalogued for the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale in Saratoga this summer (Hip 218). Although she did not produce a foal this year, according to Bruce Grossman, who manages Four Tags Stable,  Absolute Patience was bred back to Lemon Drop Kid in 2014.

Flipcup on top in exciting 3-way finish in New York Oaks

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
SV Photography

SV Photography

by David Mattice

The Finger Lakes card on Saturday concluded with a three horse photo finish in the 28th renewal of the $75,000 New York Oaks. Flipcup scored a narrow victory over a stubborn Alwaysinstilettos and a closing Storied Lady.

The bay filly trained by William Mott completed the one mile and one-sixteenth route in a time of 1:46.55 She was directed to the neck triumph by John Davila, Jr.

The $214,209 earner registered her fourth career victory and paid $4.30, $2.70 and $2.10. Alwaysinstilettos returned $6.80 and $3.50 for finishing second and Storied Lady paid $2.60 for third.

Team Penny Racing, Wachtel Sable and Brous Stable were the winning owners that were presented a trophy by trainer Eileen Muller. Muller won the 2013 running of the annual test for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies with Miss Rubycubes.

Galiana strikes again at Delaware Park with Sweet and Sassy score

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

by Sarah Mace

Galiana (Stonesider)’s love affair with Delaware Park showed no sign of cooling off on Saturday when she won the $100,000 Sweet and Sassy Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, to run up her record over the Wilmington oval to 6-5-1-0, including two stakes victories.

Owned and trained by Rodolfo Romero, Galiana saved ground early in third under jockey Abel Lezcano before moving into second at the head of the stretch. Game under a long drive, she wore down pacesetter Winning Image, took the lead one-sixteenth of a mile from home and opened up to get the win by 1 3/4 lengths in a sharp final time of 1:08.92.

A maiden breaker for a $7,500 tag at first asking at Delaware Park in June 2013, and upset winner of Delaware Park’s Tax Free Shopping Distaff for Delaware-bred or Certified fillies and mares the following September, Galiana won the Dashing Beauty this year on June 12 by two lengths. Returning for her fourth race in five and a half weeks in the Sweet and Sassy, she ran up her career record to 8-1-1 from 13 starts with $289,540 in earnings with the victory.

A 4-year-old daughter of Stonesider, who stands at Saratoga Stud LLC in Stillwater for a 2014 fee of $3,500, Galiana was bred by John T. Behrendt and Charles Marquis and foaled at Anne Morgan and Tim Little’s Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater. Galiana is the only North American winner to date out of Baby Jess, an unraced Argentinian-bred daughter of Interprete (ARG).

Favorite Empire Dreams obliges in New York Derby

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
SV Photography

SV Photography

by Sarah Mace

Heavily favored Empire Dreams (Patriot Act) earned his second career stakes victory for owner West Point Thoroughbreds on Saturday when he ran down Fox Rox in late stretch in the $161,000 New York Derby for New York-bred 3-year-olds run at Finger Lakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Drawn in the outside post of the six-horse field, 1-2 favorite Empire Dreams escaped unscathed when Fox Rox veered out sharply at the break from post one, affecting three horses to his outside. The favorite then took back into fourth to enjoy a comfortable trip in the two path, four lengths behind pacesetter Lady’s Smart Alec.

Gearing up around the far turn under jockey Manuel Franco, and moving into second four wide by the head of the lane, Empire Dreams set his sights on new leader Fox Rox, who inherited first after pressing the pace.

The new leader proved a stubborn foe, but Empire Dreams poked a head in front at the sixteenth marker before spurting off to a 2 1/2-length victory. Fox Rox, second across the line, was demoted to fifth after a jockey’s objection and a stewards’ inquiry. Completing the order of finish were Eye Luv Lulu, Let’s Discuss, Free Mugatu and pacesetter Lady’s Smart Alec. Effinex was a late scratch. The final time was 1:45.55 over the fast going. [VIDEO]

“This is my first time in this race”, said a grateful Franco. “I am thankful to the trainer for the opportunity.”

Trained for West Point by Tom Albertrani, Empire Dreams improved his record to 3-4-1 from nine starts and increased his earnings to $320,500 with the win. His second stakes victory, on top of the six-furlong Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes run at Aqueduct last November, was his first race beyond seven furlongs.

On the board in all four starts this year, Empire Dreams ran second to Loki’s Vengeance in the NYSS Times Square on closing day at Aqueduct, and last out was a solid runner-up in the Mike Lee at Belmont behind the talented Captain Serious, who went on to finish a strong second in the Grade 2 Dwyer last weekend.

Bred by Pegasus Dream Stable and foaled at Donna Sammons’ Farm in Elizaville, Empire Dreams was purchased by West Point for $35,000 at the 2013 OBS spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Out of Ascended Dreams, an unraced daughter of Thunder Gulch, he has four winning siblings from four to start, including stakes-placed Court of Dreams by Powerscourt (GB).


Treadway’s Wonder Gal dazzles in Lynbrook unveiling

Sunday, July 6th, 2014
wonder gal3Lynbrookby Sarah Mace

Wonder Gal (Tiz Wonderful) began her career with an exclamation point on Sunday, winning the inaugural running of the $125,000 Lynbrook Stales at six furlongs for New York-bred juvenile fillies. After making a dramatic last-to-first move in the far turn, she opened up double-digit lengths to score the victory under a light hand ride.

Trained by Leah Gyarmati for Treadway Racing Stable – the connections of last year’s Grade 1 Spinaway winner Sweet Reason – Wonder Gal was drawn on the outside of six fillies for her first start. Considering that Belmont’s first race for New York-bred juvenile fillies was run only last Wednesday, it is not surprising that the Lynbrook field was dominated by first time starters (Saluda, Jessica’s Ride and Wonder Gal) and maidens (Accelebrate, a Delaware shipper). Two other fillies had broken their maidens out of town (Harlan’s Honor, Jiggin Witit).

Apparently outrun in the early stages under jockey Taylor Rice, 4-5 favorite Wonder Gal settled in sixth, eight lengths off the lead behind Harlan’s Honor and Saluda, who vied for the lead through a first quarter-mile in 22.19.

Beginning her charge in the first part of the far turn, Wonder Gal inhaled three rivals from the inside at the rail, then angled out athletically into the three path at the five-sixteenths marker.

By the head of the stretch the dark bay filly had dispatched the two leaders and proceeded to open up, running the run the rest of field virtually off the screen before securing the victory by 14 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:11.14 under light encouragement. Following her across the line were Accelebrate, Saluda, Harlan’s Honor and Jiggin Witit. The flashy Jessica’s Ride was a late scratch after trouble in the gate. [VIDEO]

Winning Pilot Taylor Rice, niece of trainer Linda Rice, said, “I had been on her a few times in the morning, so I was hoping an effort like this was coming, but you never really know. She’s a big mare, so I just wanted to let her break and settle. I think she’ll definitely be better going longer.”

Gyarmati voiced a wise trainer’s cautious optimism. “We hope she lives up to our expectations. She’s young, still. She’s big, but she’s still young. You have to keep that in mind. There are bound to be some bumps along the way.”

Wonder Gal was purchased by Treadway at the OBS March Sale of 2-year-olds as the top-selling New York-bred filly, and fourth highest-priced New York-bred juvenile overall for $210,000 after a :10 1/5 breeze. She came into the Lynbrook off a solid-looking series of works dating back to late April, capped by a five-furlong bullet move out of the gate on June 28 on the Belmont training track in one minute flat.

Bred by Apache Farm LLC and foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, Wonder Gal is the only reported foal to date out of Passe, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Dixie Union. Passe is out of stakes winner and graded stakes performer Gal on the Go (Irgun), and a half-sister to Social Queen, a multiple graded winner by Dynaformer ($344,164).

Plenty of Empire-bred fireworks for Belmont’s Stars & Stripes Day

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Zivo wins G2 Suburban

by Sarah Mace

Over the past few years it has become a matter of course for New York-breds to make lots of noise on the biggest racing days in New York. During the Fourth of July weekend in 2010 Haynesfield won the Grade 2 Suburban on Saturday, Franny Freud triumphed in the Grade 1 Prioress on Sunday and Rightly So completed the sweep of all three holiday graded stakes at Belmont Park by winning the Grade 3 Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses Handicap on Monday.

This year New York-breds once again celebrated the nation’s birthday in a big way, delivering standout performances all day long in world-class company on Belmont’s inaugural Stars & Stripes Day card. Represented in four of the day’s five graded stakes races, Empire-breds collected a victory (Zivo), a pair of runner-up finishes (Palace and Captain Serious), a third (Summer Solo) and a dead-heat for fourth (Moonlight Song).

The graded stakes portion of the Stars & Stripes card kicked off with a “serious” Empire-bred performance in Race 4, the Grade 3, $200,000 Dwyer Stakes for 3-year-olds contested around one turn at the distance of 1 1/16 miles. Captain Serious (Successful Appeal), unbeaten in three prior starts against New York-breds including a three-length victory in Belmont’s Mike Lee last out on May 31, passed a definitive class and distance test for trainer Mike Hushion with flying colors. The Barry Schwartz homebred, who is named for Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, set a strong pace and lasted well under Jose Ortiz before being caught by coupled entrymate Kid Cruz (owned in part by Sheryl Schwartz) just before the wire. Before the race Hushion said, “We’re looking to hopefully develop a nice horse. You got to take a step forward.” Captain Serious did just that.

Race 6 saw Palace, a 5-year-old son of City Zip trained by Linda Rice for Antonino Miuccio, who also happens to be a $20,000 claimer-turned-graded-stakes-winner, rally late under Cornelio Velasquez at odds of 4-1 to grab second in the Grade 3, $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship. The winner of the race, Clearly Now, delivered a career performance, setting a new track record of 1:19.96 for seven furlongs. A half-length behind Palace, Albert Fried, Jr.’s late-blooming homebred Moonlight Song (Unbridled’s Song), a half to New York-bred champion Giant Moon and a stakes winner in his own right, held on after setting a sharp pace for the first half-mile to dead heat for fourth in the race at 17-1 for trainer Charlton Baker.

Two races later in the Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Stakes (Race 8), Zivo wrote the biggest New York-bred headline of the day, scoring his sixth consecutive victory and first graded stakes win under Jose Lezcano. Trained by Chad Brown for owner/breeder Thomas Coleman, the 5-year-old son of True Direction rallied from last to first to snatch away the prize from a pacesetting Moreno at odds of 13-1. He earned a career-high Beyer of 100 for his effort. Read more.

Race 9 on the card was the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational, a Breedersʼ Cup designated “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade 1 Filly and Mare Turf. Sarah Leigh’s homebred Summer Solo by Arch, an undefeated filly testing stakes company for the first time for trainer Christophe Clement, finished third after rallying from midpack under Cornelio Velasquez to cross the wire 3 3/4 lengths behind winner Minorette at odds of 33-1. Clement, who also trained the runner-up Sea Queen, tweeted “Two great performances by both horses!”

New York-breds also left their mark on Belmont’s rainy Fourth of July card that led into Saturday’s festivities, collecting a pair of runner-up finishes in the co-featured one-mile races over a boggy turf course. Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch’s even-money Kharafa took a good run at Shadwell’s Sayaad in the $150,000 Forbidden Apple, but had to settle for second money behind the determined winner. Very Un Stable’s Mount Vernon upsetter Mah Jong Maddnes (Freud) assumed the lead in the stretch of the $100,000 Perfect Sting at 4-1, but was run down by a rallying Joy.

In the first half of the year, the Derby exploits of New York-bred sophomores Samraat and Uncle Sigh grabbed most national attention. Considering the way the top-notch performances by New York-breds of all ages were spread over routes and sprints and on both dirt and turf this weekend, the second half of the year holds great promise for more distinction across all the divisions in open and graded competition.

Zivo rallies from last to first at 13-1 to upset Grade 2 Suburban

Saturday, July 5th, 2014
Adam Coglianese

Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Thomas Coleman’s talented late-running homebred Zivo, as honest as the day as long and looking for his sixth straight victory, rallied from last-to-first to collar the field of Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park for his first graded score.

Relatively dismissed by bettors in his graded stakes debut at odds of 13-1, the Chad Brown trainee was last seen winning the Commentator Handicap on the Big Apple Showcase card by a neck with a dramatic last-to-first bid from midway on the far turn under Jose Ortiz.

This time around the 5-year-old son of former New York sire True Direction was partnered with the hot-handed Jose Lezcano, who was having a career day. Earlier on the Stars & Stripes Day card, Lezcano piloted Clearly Now to a course record-setting victory in the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship and Mr. Speaker to a win in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational.

Zivo, who was stretching out a furlong further than in previous starts for the 1 1/4-mile Suburban, began the race in a characteristically unhurried fashion, taking back and lingering in last through strong early fractions of 23.58 and 46.92.

Adam Coglianese

Adam Coglianese

Passing his first horses along the inside around the far turn, Zivo advanced quickly, making his way between rivals into fourth, leaving only three lengths to make up in upper stretch. Diving back down toward the rail, he continued his relentless rally to the front, cleared the pacesetting Moreno in the final furlong and secured the victory by three lengths. The final time for the 1 1/4 miles over the fast main track was 2:00.43. [VIDEO]

Jose Lezcano said, “Chad told me the horse was doing very good. He told me to let him break and sit and make one run. He gave me what I needed to win the race. I had plenty of horse. [Moreno] kept going, but my horse came running.”

Brown elaborated, with praise for his jockey. “Jose rode [Zivo] perfectly,” said Brown. “We’ve always put him in races we think fit him. This horse has really come around well and it was time to step out of New York-bred company and try him in an open company race with a big purse.”

Brown continued, “Tom Coleman, the owner, who bred the horse, we work as a team. He said, ‘Let’s just enter and look.’  All the way until this morning, he wasn’t really committed to coming in from the Hamptons. He said, ‘You want me to come?’ I said, ‘Let’s try it. The horse is training well enough and he loves Belmont, let’s try it.’ Once I saw the strong pace, I knew he’d come running. That last eighth was definitely as strong as I’ve seen from him. But then again, he’s a horse that’s only gotten better.”

Adam Coglianese

Adam Coglianese

Never out of the exacta in 15 career starts and a winner of four of six Belmont starts, Zivo has now won four stakes races: the Grade 2 Suburban and Commentator at Belmont as well as the Whodam and King’s Point this winter at Aqueduct – all featuring last-to-first drama. His record now stands at 9-2-4 and his bankroll stands at over three-quarters of a million dollars ($782,300)

Foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, Zivo is out of American Skipper, a three-time winner by Quiet American bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones and campaigned by Stronach Stables ($202,211). American Skipper has produced three winners from three foals to start. Her only other registered New York-bred foal is a winning 4-year-old Officer filly named Clean Eleven. Zivo’s sire True Direction stood in New York from 2007 to 2008 at Keane Stud.