NEWS: racing

Upstart kicks off sophomore campaign with dominating win in Holy Bull

Saturday, January 24th, 2015
Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

by Sarah Mace

Last seen finishing a bold third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on November 1 following a rough trip, Ralph M. Evans’ New York-bred Upstart, a ridgling son of Flatter, returned to the races on Saturday bigger, stronger and evidently even more dangerous as a 3-year-old, as he dominated the field of the Grade 2, $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Upstart came into the 1 1/16-mile contest for Kentucky Derby-minded sophomores after putting in a strong six-furlong move in 1:12 on January 18 at Palm Meadows that told his conditioner Rick Violette he was ready to roll after his 84 day break. Bet down to 2-1 second choice at post time behind well-regarded 3-2 Godolphin runner Frosted, Upstart was reunited with regular rider Jose Ortiz.

Though forwardly placed from post eight (of nine) after the break, Upstart was still hung three-wide through the first turn, as he tracked Bluegrass Singer and First Down through a moderate first quarter mile in 24.52 half in 48.82. After First Down weakened, Upstart drew even with Bluegrass Singer and gained the lead through the turn, entering the lane in full control.

With no further challenge forthcoming from the field and full of run, Upstart drew off confidently in the stretch to a 5 1/2-length victory. Frosted, who was bumped at the break and raced in fourth, finished well to get second while Bluegrass Singer held for third. After six furlongs in 1:12.49 and a mile in 1:37.06, the final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.61. According to Trakus statistics, Upstart covered a good deal more ground than the other contenders: 34 feet more than Frosted and 39 feet more than Bluegrass Singer. [HRTV VIDEO]

Coglianese Photos

Coglianese Photos

Jose Ortiz reported that all went according to plan. “The horse broke very well and I was in the position where me and Rick [Violette] planned to be. It was perfect. By the half-mile pole, I let him go and said, ‘Let’s see what we have here,’ and when we turned for home we rolled.”

Continued Ortiz, “He was very good. He jumped into the bit, and I knew he was ready. I want to congratulate Rick and the owner. Rick did a tremendous job and I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to ride this amazing horse. When I saw him today in the paddock, I was very surprised because he looked so much bigger and so much stronger. I think he wants to go a mile and a quarter, so we will hopefully make the Kentucky Derby with him.”

With the victory in the Holy Bull, Upstart moved into third place in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points standings with 16, behind tied El Kabeir and New York-bred International Star, who are tied with 21 points.

Violette’s first reaction was, “I thought it (the pace) would be much quicker. [But,] one speed scratched and Kiaran [McLaughlin]’s horse [Frosted] was between a rock and a hard place (from the rail). They were coming off the bench, too. When they went 24 (seconds for the first quarter), I said, ‘We’re in a good spot.’ When they went 48, I said, ‘We’re in exactly the right spot.’ You couldn’t have asked for a better ride.”

Violette, who took gutsy New York-bred Samraat all the way to the Kentucky Derby last year, also has a pretty clear game plan in mind for this promising youngster.

Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

He commented, “I hope it wasn’t too fast. That’s one of the advantages of running today – you have two weeks to play with. We can go up to the Gotham (March 7 at Aqueduct) or we can come back here in four weeks in the Fountain of Youth (G2, Feb. 21). There is a cushion there if we came off the bench a little strong. We got some points today. If we ran in the Withers (Feb. 7 at Aqueduct) we would have been locked in to four weeks, four weeks, four weeks and there is no wiggle room. So this is a good spot.

Violette continued, “We’ll see how he bounces off this and follow his lead. It could be that we’ll stay here (for the Grade 1 $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby on March 28) to give us the extra two weeks going into the (Kentucky) Derby. That might be the thing to do. It’s nice to have that option.”

Upstart won his 5 1/2-furlong Saratoga debut from off the pace by open lengths on August 15 and followed up just nine days later with a victory when supplemented to the Funny Cide stakes for New York-breds. He finished a wide-trip second to Daredevil in the slop in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont on October 4, for which he earned four Kentucky Derby qualifying points before shipping out west to run third in the Breeders’ Cup (two points). From his three wins, a second and third in five starts, Upstart has earned $701,880.

Bred by Mrs. Gerald A. Nielsen and foaled at her Sunnyfield Farm in Bedford, Upstart is the first winner for his dam Party Silks, an unraced daughter of Touch Gold also bred by Mrs. Nielsen. His second dam Intend to Win (Housebuster) is a stakes-placed Kentucky-bred purchased by Gerald Nielsen for $120,000 at the 2001 Keeneland November sale.

Upstart was purchased by Evans on Violette’s advice at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale from the Summerfield consignment for $130,000. Violette said last summer at Saratoga, “He just had a great shoulder, really well-balanced. He looked like he was going to be a decent size, and he’s actually gotten bigger than we anticipated. He was pretty correct, he had a decent family. As they say ‘he checked all the boxes,’ which he did.”


Captain Serious scores game victory in muddy Hollie Hughes

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

by Sarah Mace

Barry K. Schwartz’s 4-year-old homebred Captain Serious (Successful Appeal) gamely preserved a narrow lead in the final sixteenth to score his second career stakes victory Aqueduct’s Sunday feature, the $100,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes for older New York-breds. The race was contested at six furlongs over a sloppy (sealed) racetrack.

Open-length winner last May of Belmont’s Mike Lee Stakes for trainer Mike Hushion, Captain Serious has since placed in three graded contests, but was still looking for that elusive second stakes score. The Hollie Hughes was his inner track debut.

Captain Serious broke from the outside post of six as the 8-5 post time favorite and immediately set his sights on the front. Advancing to challenge fellow Hushion trainee I’m Stoked, who was hustled out of the gate into the top spot, Captain Serious pressed the leader through a first quarter mile in 23.15 and half in 46.34.

Captain Serious managed to secure the lead late in the far turn and angled out four wide into the lane, but the bay’s hard work was far from over. A resurgent I’m Stoked fought on inside drawing even once again, Geaux Mets charged at the rail, while longshot Crafty Dreamer threatened on the stand side.

With a final determined effort, Captain Serious repelled all three challengers and got free late to secure the victory by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:10.70 over the sloppy going. The next three finished heads apart as runner-up Crafty Dreamer nipped I’m Stoked in third and Geaux Mets fourth. Completing the order of finish were Big Business and Jeter. John’s Island was an early scratch. [VIDEO]

Winning rider Jose Ortiz said, “We had a perfect post; I knew I’m Stoked was going to go [to the front.] I broke good, sat, and everything went perfect. I was pretty confident in the horse when he got that post. He’s so game, and he was ready for today.” Added Ortiz, who has piloted Captain Serious in every start, “I want to thank Mike Hushion and all of the connections for their support.”

Hushion, winner of six renewals of the Hollie Hughes, commented, “I think [Captain Serious] was waiting on horses once he got the lead. It was good to see him back on the winner’s circle.”

Named for Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Captain Serious has compiled a strong 10-race resume. His record of four wins, one second and three thirds includes the Mike Lee and Hollie Hughes victories, a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Dwyer and a pair of thirds in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes and Grade 3 Fall High weight Handicap. His earnings bankroll stands at $320,200

Foaled at Barry Schwartz’s Stonewall Farm in Granite Springs, Captain Serious is one of two winners out of Madame Diva, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Mr. Greeley. A half-sister to Deceptive, the dam of $1.1 million earner Mizdirection, Madame Diva was purchased by Buzz Chace, agent, as a yearling at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton New York select sale for $260,000, before going on to become a stakes-placed runner for Hushion and Schwartz.

Madame Diva’s most recent reported foal is a 2-year-old colt by Mizzen Mast. She was sold to El Aventurero Stables for $55,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale.

 


Dayatthespa near-unanimous choice for Female Turf Champion

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
BC FM Turf (Photo: Skip Dickstein)

BC FM Turf (Photo: Skip Dickstein)

by Sarah Mace

In an all-but-unanimous decision, Eclipse voters made New York-bred Dayatthespa, who became the Empire State’s first Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup winner, the Champion Female Turf horse of 2014. Dayatthespa collected 260 of the 264 votes cast for first place in the division (plus one abstention). Dayatthespa was also a finalist in the Champion Older Female category.

Dayatthespa started just four times in 2014, but raised the bar with each outing. Second to Filimbi in her seasonal debut on August 2 in the De La Rose Stakes, she defeated fellow New York-bred Grade 1 winner Discreet Marq in the Yaddo Stakes on Saratoga Showcase Day on August 24. She next delivered a powerhouse winning performance in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland, before sealing her case for championship honors with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

A chestnut City Zip mare bred by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable, Cracchiolo & Goldsher, Dayatthespa brought $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York preferred yearling sale in 2010 before being purchased privately as a 2-year-old in training by Pete Bradley, who formed a partnership group consisting of Bradley Thoroughbreds, successful Broadway producers Jerry Frankel and Ron Frankel and optometrist Steve Layman. Dayatthespa retired with 11 wins in 18 starts (10 stakes victories), and career earnings of $2,288,892.

The champion will join the elite broodmare band of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stable, who purchased Dayatthespa for $2.1 million at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Not long after the Eclipse announcement, Stonestreet Farm (@StonestreetFarm) sent out an excited tweet: “One of our newest members of the Stonestreet broodmare band wins Female Turf #EclipseAward congrats to @BradleyTBs!”

Here is what the connections had to say:

Co-majority owner Ron Frankel: “This is the best night of my life. How could it not? I want to thank Chad Brown, Javier Castellano, Peter Bradley and, most of all, my brother [and co-majority owner] Jerry Frankel. It’s great.”

Co-owner Steve Laymon: “It’s hard not to thank Chad Brown, but when you buy a New York-bred maiden at 5 1/2 furlongs, you’re sure not thinking Eclipse Award, you’re sure not thinking Breeders’ Cup, but we are so excited and we can’t thank everyone enough for this award.”

Co-owner Pete Bradley of Bradley Thoroughbreds: “Wow. Dayatthespa. What a ride she has taken us on these last three years. We were very fortunate to have a filly like this. They don’t come around very often. Thank you, Chad and his staff and team, his assistants are awesome. Javier, you gave her a great ride. Johnny gave her a great ride. And we’re just very happy to take this award”

HRTV Video of 2014 Champion Turf Female Eclipse presentation.

Previous New York-bred Eclipse winners are: Saratoga Dew (Three-Year-Old Filly, 1992), Funny Cide (Three-Year-Old Male, 1973) and Fleet Indian (Older Female, 2006).


International Star launches sparkling late charge to win Grade 3 LeComte

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography

Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography

by Sarah Mace

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Eclipse Award finalists for breeders and owners of the year, were given an excuse to celebrate early on Eclipse Saturday when International Star delivered a big performance in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at the Fair Grounds, coming off the rail in the stretch to fly home victorious.

The win elevates the bay son of Fusaichi Pegasus to the top of the Road to the Kentucky Derby point standings, where, by virtue of his victory in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine (10 points), a third in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs (one point) and the LeComte victory at the Fair Grounds (10 points), he shares first place with El Kabeir who also has collected 21 points.

Settling in at the rail after breaking from the one-hole under Miguel Mena at odds of 9-1, International Star saved ground through both turns of the one mile and 70-yard tilt, while longshot Hero of Humor (173-1) set the majority of the early pace through fractions of 23.66, 47.07 and 1:13.35, destined to be challenged by Tiznow R J (4-1) and Another Lemon Drop (7-1).

Hemmed in at the rail in upper stretch, International Star shifted out with two athletic maneuvers, finally getting clear at the furlong marker. Taking the lead at the sixteenth-pole, after a stutter-step he charged to the wire a 2 1/2-length winner in a final time of 1:43.62. War Story, bested Tiznow R J by a head for the place.  [VIDEO]

Mena said, “The plan was the save ground on both turns and then he came out at the three-sixteenths-pole and he came rolling.  He was running hard but he kind of pulled himself up a little at the end when he found himself alone on the lead.”

Mike Maker, who trains the colt for the Ramseys, said, “He’s been training very well.  We expected a big race – maybe not that big – but he was coming into the race great.  We’ll bring him back to Florida and take a hard look at the Risen Star.”

Now a two-time graded stakes winner, International Star has earned $320,979 with three wins and two seconds from seven career starts.

Bred by Katharine M. Voss and Robert T. Manfuso and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, International Star was purchased by the Ramseys as a yearling for $85,000 out of the Fasig Tipton select yearling sale in September in Timonium. His dam is Parlez, a multiple winner by French Deputy who has produced five winners in all, including stakes winner Fools in Love by Not For Love.


When opportunity knocked for Sunshine Millions Sprint, Weekend Hideaway answered

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
 Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin

Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin

by Sarah Mace

When the announcement came that entries for Gulfstream’s Sunshine Millions were opened up to horses bred in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as Florida, trainer Phil Serpe immediately thought that the $100,000 Sprint Stakes at six furlongs would be just right for Red and Black Stable’s Weekend Hideaway. The 5-year-old son of Speightstown obliged on Saturday with a resounding four-length stalker’s victory under Javier Castellano.

Breaking sharply from his outside post as the 5-1 third choice, Weekend Hideaway immediately set up shop at the flank of speedy pacesetter and 4-5 favorite Happy My Way, the who broke on top from the rail.

After stalking the leader through an opening quarter mile in 22.76 and a half in 44.96, Weekend Hideaway began his winning bid at the top of the stretch. He took command with a furlong to go and drew off to a no-doubt-about-it four-length victory in a final time of 1:08.64. Grand Shores got up for second, leaving pacesetter Happy My Way to pick up the show [VIDEO].

Castellano said, “The way I handicapped the race, Happy My Way had the speed and the one-hole, so he had to go. I sat right off the pace, and it worked out great. I think the outside post gave me a big plus to win the race.”

Added Castellano, “The way [Weekend Hideaway] did it in the last part, he was very comfortable. I know they went really fast on the pace and it paid off in the last part of the race.”

 Coglianese Photos

Coglianese Photos

Trainer Phil Serpe explained that as soon as he heard about the expanded entries for the Millions, it seemed like the right move: “At that point, it was kind of a no-brainer. We were actually looking for a spot for him. It all worked out well for us.” Serpe also pointed out, “He’s really been touting himself down here. His [four] works [at Gulfstream] were excellent and we really thought he’d run well.”

Weekend Hideaway is now a five-time stakes winner with a career record of seven wins, three seconds and three thirds from 20 starts. His victory in the Sunshine Millions Sprint pushes his earnings over the half-million dollar mark to $507,332

Winner of the David Stakes and Bertram F. Bongard as a juvenile, as well as finishing third in the Grade 2 Futurity, the following year Weekend Hideaway posted a frontrunning victory in the open Gone Fishin overnight stakes at Belmont. He collected his fourth stakes victory at the Spa last summer with a wire-to-wire tally in the John Morrissey

Bred by the late Carl Lizza’s Flying Zee Stables, for whom Serpe was a long-time trainer, and foaled at Highcliff Farm in Delanson, Weekend Hideaway is the first foal and only starter out of New York-bred Apocalyptical, an unplaced New York-bred daughter of Wiseman’s Ferry. Weekend Hideaway was purchased by Michael Hoffman’s Red and Black Stable for $40,000 in the yearling portion of the Flying Zee Dispersal in October 2011.


Willet “nailed it” in Interborough for fifth career stakes victory

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

by Sarah Mace

Willet kicked off her 7-year old campaign by posting her fifth career stakes victory, and the first New York-bred stakes score of the year, when she won Aqueduct’s $100,000 Interborough Stakes for older fillies and mares on Saturday from off the pace.

Willet was looking to get back in the winner’s circle first the first time since the summer, when she recorded a win a state-bred conditioned allowance sprint at Saratoga on July 30, but since that victory had put up a series of strong performances in imposing company. She collected a pair of thirds behind female sprinter Eclipse Award finalist Artemis Agrotera in the Grade 1 Ballerina and Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, and finished second to New York-bred graded stakes winner La Verdad in the Iroquois on Empire Showcase Day. In her most recent start Willet disappointed with a third-place finish third in the slop in the Garland of Roses as the 6-5 favorite. She came into Saturday’s race looking sharp though, with a five-furlong bullet move over the inner on January 11 under her belt.

Breaking from post three (of six) as the 2-1 favorite, Willet ran a reserved race for the first half mile, falling back by as much as nine lengths, while speedier types – Bridgehampton, pursed by Cape Cod Carol and Aireofdistinction – carved out early fractions of 22.57 and 45.41.

Picking up steam around the far turn, the bay mare swung out widest of all at the head of the stretch and steadily picked off rivals. After a perfectly-timed ride by Irad Ortiz, Jr., she reached the finish line with all the momentum and a 1 1/2-length advantage. Aireofdistinction held second, while Expression closed into third. The final time for six furlongs was 1:10.65. [VIDEO]

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Ortiz reported, “I got a pretty good trip. She likes to come from behind. When she broke she was relaxed, and she finished pretty good. She was ready.”

Jimmy Iselin, winning trainer of Willet and co-owner with Charlotte Assoulin and Eli Gindi, said, “It’s great that she should come back after the last race [the Garland of Roses]. That was a little concerning. But after that race, she was flourishing. So we made a decision to race on a great day and a great track. It’s exciting that she came back and showed what she can do.”

Willet’s last stakes victory came in the mud in the Touch of Love overnight stakes for state-bred fillies and mares at Aqueduct on December 2013, the same year she won the Union Avenue and Princess Dixie in back to back starts. In 2012 she dazzled in the mud with a nine-plus-length romp in the Iroquois Stakes.

Only three times out of the money in 23 starts, Willet’s record stands at 9-7-4 with earnings approaching the three-quarter million dollar mark at $746,900.

As to future plans, Iselin said, “We’ll sit down and enjoy today and go back to the drawing board.”

Bred by the late Michael T. Martin and foaled at Highcliff Farm in Delanson Willet is out of Katina K, a winning daughter of Distinctive Pro out of New York-bred Grade 3 winner Darlin Momma (Night Invader). Katina K has produced four winners from four starters, including 10-time winner Dr. Quirk (Tomorrows Cat) who earned $159,305. The mare’s most recent reported foal is a yearling filly by Majestic Warrior and in 2014 she was bred to Warrior’s Reward.


Big Business gets the job done in Alex M. Robb

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

by Sarah Mace

After performing at a high level all year, but having to settle for a string of five second place finishes in stakes races in 2014, including the Grade 1 Forego, Big Business (Eddington) gave his connections a gratifying New Year’s Eve present at Aqueduct on Wednesday with a game victory in a competitive renewal of the $100,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes.

Trained by David Jacobson for Gary Barber, Big Business was last seen taking on the toughest of rivals in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, where he finished fourth after a three-wide trip. Returning to state-bred company in the Robb and partnered with Fernando Jara for the 1 1/16-mile contest, the 6-year-old chestnut gelding was bet down to 5-2 favoritism.

After getting away well from his inside post and saving ground through the first turn, Big Business set up in a prime stalking position behind pacesetters West Hills Giant and Readthebyline, who vied up front through an opening half-mile in 47.55 and three-quarters in 1:11.74.

Big Business began his bid in earnest at the five-sixteenths marker. He swung out three wide into the lane and in midstretch took over the lead from West Hills Giant, who had finally shaken off his rival.

Big Business was then called upon to hold off a strong late charge from Beautyinthepulpit (5-1), and dug in gamely to secure the victory by a head. Next across the line were West Hills Giant, Effinex, Gridley Here, Awesome Vision, Readthebyline, and Sinistra. The winner’s final time was 1:44.33. [VIDEO]

Proud of his charge’s game victory, Jacobson said, “I think he felt Rudy’s horse [Beautyinthepulpit] coming on in the stretch and he fought on until the finish, that’s the kind of horse he is.”

Added Jacobson, “It was a bit frustrating to keep running and finishing second, but that’s a credit to the competition he faced as well.”

Big Business, who also won two allowance races in 2014, finished second in the Grade 1 Forego, and four state-bred stakes: the Commentator Handicap, Hudson Handicap, Evan Shipman Stakes and John Morrissey Stakes. He has compiled an impressive career record of 11 wins, 10 seconds and five thirds from 33 starts and has earned $763,430.

Bred by Henthorn Racing Inc. and foaled at Pucker Ridge Farm in Warrensburg, Big Business is one of two winners out of Spanish Guitar, a multiple stakes winning Texas-bred mare by Birdonthewire. Henthorn Racing purchased the $119,967-earner for only $12,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale in 1999.

Offered for sale twice without meeting his reserve, third time around Big Business brought $115,000 as a 2-year-old in training, purchased by Dr. Mikel C. Harrington, agent at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale.

Jacobson said he does not have any particular race in mind for his charge’s next start: “[Big Business] surprises me all the time and we take one race at a time to see where he will be run next.”

 


Storied Lady closes 2014 with breakthrough stakes victory in Bay Ridge

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Capping a trio of stakes placings earlier this year, Tri-County Stables homebred Storied Lady (Read the Footnotes) broke through with a victory on her final official day as a 3-year-old, winning Aqueduct’s inaugural running of the Bay Ridge Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the New Year’s Eve Card.

Bet down to 6-1 odds the competitive field of 11 fillies and mares, Storied Lady was forwardly placed from post ten after the break, got a four-wide trip around the clubhouse turn and settled in fourth/fifth for the backstretch run. Asked for more after a half-mile she made her way into contention around the far turn – again four-wide.

Offering a direct challenge midstretch to Miss Da Point, who had taken over the lead from early longshot pacesetter Little Rocket, the bay filly gained the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to go and kicked away to a two-length victory under a vigorous hand ride.

Miss Da Point had to settle for second, while a length back Macha, Jcs American Dream, Royal Suspicion and Hot Rendezvous crossed the wire less than a length apart. Rounding out the finishers were Miss Narcissist, Carameaway (half of the favored entry with Dreaming of Cara), Flipcup, Little Rocket and Dreaming of Cara. After a half-mile in 48.06, the final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:47.05. [VIDEO]

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, “She broke great, I had great position along the backside and at the half-mile pole I asked her for a little bit more and she got going. I tried to hand ride her in the stretch, but when I hit her with the whip she responded and gave me another good run.”

Storied Lady added blinkers two starts back on November 22 for the seven-furlong Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Stakes series, where she finished a close-up fourth under Javier Castellano. On December 14, paired for the first time with Ortiz, she won a second level state-bred allowance going 1 mile, seventy yards by four lengths with the equipment.

John Hertler, who trains the filly for Tri Country, said,  “We put blinkers on her [two starts back] and that seemed to move her up. She quieted down and got her act together. She ran a good race with Javier [Castellano that day] and got beat 1 3/4 lengths and then next time she turned it on.”

As to Storied Lady’s immediate future, Hertler added, “I don’t know what’s next for her; the owners want to give her a break, but we’ll see what happens.”

Storied Lady, who was foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, is one of seven winners and two stakes winners out of Wide Barrel, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Broad Brush. Love Abroad (Not For Love), who earned more than $250,000, also won a stakes race routing at Aqueduct and Barrel of Love, a turf runner by the same sire, is a black type performer who has earned nearly $300,000.

Storied Lady, who raced 13 times in 2014, now has four wins, a second and four thirds in 15 career starts and $242,636 in earnings.


Chasing Bubbles upsets Great White Way to complete Posse sweep of NYSS

Monday, December 29th, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

It was déjà vu all over again at Aqueduct Racetrack on Sunday as progeny of New York-based sire Posse (Rockridge Stud) swept a pair of co-featured juvenile stakes. On November 16 Regal Minister and The Lewis Dinner took down the Notebook and Key Cents Stakes, respectively. On Sunday Chasing Bubbles wired the $150,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes series two races after The Lewis Dinner came back with a victory in the Fifth Avenue.

A homebred for Windhorse Thoroughbreds, Chasing Bubbles was let go at odds of 16-1 in the Great White Way, in part due to the presence of heavy 1-2 favorite Disco Partner, and in part due to a class hike. The colt was facing winners for the first time after breaking his maiden by a narrow margin in a $40,000 state-bred claiming race as recently as December 13. In fact, in five prior career starts he had only raced twice at the maiden special weight level and was well-beaten on both occasions.

Ridden aggressively from the bell from post seven by jockey Israel Rodriguez, Chasing Bubbles assumed command of the eight-horse field early and never looked back. As the rest chased two or more lengths back, he carved out a first half-mile in 47.63 and proceeded unchallenged to the wire. Keeping to business as others began to close in mid-to-late stretch, Chasing Bubbles secured the victory by 1 1/2 lengths, completing six furlongs in 1:12.65. Favorite Disco Partner, who stumbled at the start, closed from fourth to finish second, a half-length ahead of Clockwork in third. Following the first three across the line were B. B.’s Remington, Deputy Busterstone, Nick’s Posse, Golden Luck and Gear Jammer. [VIDEO]

Chasing Bubbles began his career by trailing every step of the way in the slop in his August 31 Saratoga debut. In each subsequent start, he has shown good gate speed and, with the exception of another special weight outing on December 3 over off going, carried the speed well. The break-through stakes victory improves his record to two wins a second from six starts and improves his earnings to $124,597,

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Jeff Odintz, who is the assistant to winning trainer Ken McPeek, said, “I think you can’t count his first race at Saratoga, and I don’t think he really likes a wet track all that much, either. The first time he got the lead, [in his third start], he got confident. He’s been good since then. He did throw in a clunker since then, but it was a sloppy track against maiden special weights and he was down on the inside and couldn’t get loose on his own. Then we put him in an easier spot, and he got his confidence back.”

Continued Odintz, “[Chasing Bubbles] looked like the main speed today. I didn’t tell the jockey to send him to the front, I let him make that decision on his own, and that’s what he did.”

Chasing Bubbles, who was bred in partnership by Windhorse Thoroughbreds and Mallory Mort, had a right to succeed with the class hike in the Great White Way. Out of Scottish Bubbly, a Florida-bred stakes-winning router by Cherokee Run, he has three winning siblings from three to start, topped by 2-year-old stakes-winning dirt sprinter Sentimental Lass, who earned over $160,000.

Scottish Bubbly currently has a yearling filly by Freud named Champagne Therapy and was bred back to the same stallion last spring.


The Lewis Dinner takes third helping of victory in NYSS Fifth Avenue

Monday, December 29th, 2014
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

The Lewis Dinner, a daughter of New York sire Posse (Rockridge Stud), romped by open lengths for the third time in a row in the $150,000 Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Stakes series, the first of paired NYSS sprint races for eligible New York-sired juveniles co-featured on Sunday’s card at Aqueduct.

A dominant winner of the Key Cents Stakes on November 16 at Belmont at the same six-furlong distance as the Fifth Avenue, The Lewis Dinner broke her maiden two races back in the mud at Belmont in her fourth career start. Coming into the Fifth Avenue she had won her two prior starts by seven-plus lengths combined.

Reunited with Key Cents jockey Manuel Franco and bet down to 30 cents on the dollar in the field of six, The Lewis Dinner broke a step slowly, but moved right up to challenge early leader Saluda, vying through a first quarter mile in 23.12.

Taking control of affairs in the far turn, The Lewis Dinner entered the upper stretch with a decisive lead. Widening her advantage for the length of the stretch and geared down before the wire, she finished a 4 3/4-length winner, stopping the clock at 1:12.46 after six furlongs over the fast going.

Maiden Kathy’s Humor closed from fourth between horses to capture the place spot in her second career start, and 3 1/2 lengths back early frontrunner Saluda won the photo for third over Omagoddonna. Longshot Shangala completed the order of the finish. [VIDEO]

Jockey Manuel Franco reported, “[The Lewis Dinner] took a bad step out the gate, but after that she took the lead pretty easy. She went well and I think she improved from last time out [in the Key Cents].”

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Gustavo Delgado, assistant Rudy Rodriguez who trains The Lewis Dinner for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith, added, “We’ve always liked her. We thought she ran good; Manny didn’t ask her for much. She didn’t switch leads in the stretch, but Manny said he just left her alone because she was running so well. She was a little difficult to work with at the beginning [of her career], but she showed us she was good. As she keeps running, she gets calmer and better.”

The Lewis Dinner finished a close-up second in her Saratoga debut on July 18. She is now a dual stakes winner and has yet to finish off the board in six races. Her record stands at 3-2-1 with $229,500 in earnings.

Bred by James Lamonica, Lee Sacks, Soave Stables and Posse Syndicate and foaled on February 2, 2012 at Vinery NY at Empire Stud in Hudson, The Lewis Dinner is out of Nick’s Honor, an unraced daughter of Jump Start. Nick’s Honor has produced three winners from three to start, all earners of six figures and stakes performers. Her second foal Kelli Got Frosty by Frost Giant is also a stakes winner. Nick’s Honor has a yearling filly by D’ Funnybone, a weanling filly by Frost Giant and was bred this year to Tale of the Cat.

Changing hands twice at public auction, The Lewis Dinner was picked up by Eisaman Equine at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale for $50,000, and brought the same price when purchased by Dubb at OBS in April after breezing a furlong in 10.0 seconds in the under tack show. The filly was named by Michael Caruso, a partner of Bethlehem Stables and three-time wrestling champion at Lehigh University. The name commemorates the annual end-of-season team dinner begun in 1924 by Roy Lewis, a manager at Bethlehem Steel whose sons were members of the wrestling team.