NEWS: racing

Kharafa parlays checks, tight trip into improbable victory in Elkwood Stakes

Sunday, July 5th, 2015
Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo

Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo

by Sarah Mace

Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch’s Kharafa (Kitalpha), sent off as 6-5 favorite to go one mile on the turf while making his Monmouth Park debut in Saturday’s $75,000 Elkwood Stakes, experienced a nail-biting trip for his connections and backers – checked multiple times and in tight into late stretch – but in the end pulled off the improbable victory by the margin of a neck.

Breaking mid-pack from post seven in the 11-horse field, Kharafa, usually closer to the pace, settled well back in eighth through swift early splits set by Plainview (22.03, 45.16) and got a groundsaving trip through the clubhouse turn.

Continuing at the rail along the backstretch run, but surrounded by horses as the pack tightened up, the 6-year-old gelding suffered his first serious check in the middle of the ruck early on the far turn, losing momentum and ground.

Recovering his stride, Kharafa passed several rivals as he swung out entering the stretch, but ended up in fifth with walls of horseflesh in front and around him and three lengths still to make up.

Desperately looking for a seam in mid-stretch under jockey Paco Lopez and having to check again with a furlong to go, Kharafa and his pilot finally saw the seas part, gamely squeezed though and in a blanket finish involving the first six finishers got a neck in front by the wire. After three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.51, Kharafa stopped the clock after a mile at 1:34.39. [VIDEO]

Lopez said, “I didn’t think I would ever find a hole, but finally there was an opening and he just went on through. I kept him down on the inside the whole way. I didn’t want to get caught wide, so I had to sit and wait and luckily it all worked out.”

Conditioner Tim Hills said, “I was sick to my stomach as they came around the far turn. He had to check a few times and somehow found a small spot to go and got there just in time.”

Added Hills, “He has been training well here since he was a 2-year-old and this is the first time we ran him at Monmouth. He just knows how to get to the wire first.” The conditioner indicated that he will look next to the Grade 3 Oceanport on Haskell Day, August 2.

Kharafa, who won a Keeneland allowance in his seasonal debut and came within a length of Lubash in a runner-up finish in the Mohawk on May 25, has five turf stakes victories on his resume, two in open company and three in the tough New York-bred turf male division. From 28 career starts, his record stands at ten wins, eight second and four thirds, with earnings amounting to $756,137.

Kharafa was bred, and campaigned in the first part of his career by Lawrence Durocher, Jr. After Durocher passed in 2013, Kharafa won the Ashley T. Cole for Durocher’s estate and was then was sold by Durocher’s daughter Kate to Boston investment manager Paul Braverman.

Foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Kharafa issues from the first North American crop of Kitalpha, a full brother to Kingmambo. Kharafa’s unraced dam Exquisite Cassie (King of Kings [IRE]), who is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winning New York-bred Lovely Amanda ($376,450), has produced one other winner.

Sold to Chadds Ford Stables for $20,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed sale, Exquisite Cassie currently has a juvenile full sister to Kharafa named Saratoga Sassy who is a registered New York-bred. The mare also has produced a yearling colt by E Dubai, and a weanling colt by Union Rags.

Effinex edges Tonalist in thrilling Suburban

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

On the heels of a nightmare trip in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational on Belmont Day, Effinex, Tri-Bone Stables’ accomplished son of Mineshaft, rebounded in a big way on Saturday when he edged multiple Grade 1 winner Tonalist in Belmont Park’s Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap in a thrilling finish

Starting for the fourth time this year in the Suburban, Effinex had won his first two starts of 2015 commandingly at Aqueduct – an allowance/optional claimer at one mile and 70 yards in his seasonal debut and the Grade 3 Excelsior at 1 1/4 miles on April 25, for each of which he earned a triple digit Beyer. In the Brooklyn on June 6, however, he bolted to the outside rail on the far turn after trying to get out along the backstretch, and was eased.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who on Saturday added a bit designed to correct a horse that lugs in or gets out, said, “Today he wore a Houghton bridle, which gives you more control. But I’m sure he would have been fine with the other bridle; he was a different horse today. Maybe the crowd on Belmont Day got him all worked up, or he was in a sour frame of mind with the long post parade; that might have had something to do with it. He was as kind as could be today, the whole time.”

Another change for Effinex on Saturday was a new pilot, Junior Alvarado.

Going off as the 6-1 third choice in the six-horse field, Effinex enjoyed a ground-saving trip in the early stages of the 1 1/4-mile race, settling in fifth in a strung-out field behind a blistering pace set by longshot Street Babe with Coach Inge in hot pursuit (22.80, 46.13). The one horse who trailed Effinex was 8-5 favorite Tonalist, who also loped along at the rear.

Advancing closer to the leaders at the rail along the backstretch, but not moving with real urgency yet, Effinex allowed Tonalist begin his bid in earnest alone as the field entered the far turn, only beginning to move on his own account midway through the bend.

Coming off the rail into the three-path as he entered the stretch, and advancing into second to the inside of Tonalist in third, Effinex set his sights on new leader Coach Inge.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Tonalist nearly kept pace with Effinex and in the final sixteenth the pair passed Coach Inge on almost even terms. The New York-bred then dug in for the finish of his life, keeping a head in front for the victory. The top two finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Coach Inge in third. After one mile in 1:35.02, the final time for the ten furlongs was 2:01.55 [VIDEO]

Successful jockey Junior Alvarado said, “I got a great trip. They went really fast up front, which helped me to not fight with him too much, because he can be a little tough. I just tried to save ground as much as I could, and by the five-eighths pole I saw Johnny [Velazquez, aboard Tonalist] start to pick it up a little bit, so I kind of moved a little bit just to make sure I still had a good position, but I didn’t want to move that early.”

Of the final drive, Alvarado said, “I just waited a little bit and when we turned for home I saw Johnny push and push, but I didn’t see [Tonalist] picking it up. Tonalist kept fighting because he’s a good horse, but my horse fought back, too, and we got it done.”

Jerkens added, “During the stretch run, I was just happy he was going to run good. If he got beat by Tonalist, that wasn’t going to be a crime. And then when he gutted it out, golly, and Junior got the stick over in his left hand, and that’s what made the difference.” Jerkens’ final assessment: “[Today was great] for him, a New York-bred. He couldn’t get out of his two other than condition last spring, now he’s beating a horse like Tonalist. That doesn’t happen every day.”

Bred by Tri-Bone Stables’ Dr. Russell Cohen, Effinex is the only foal out of multiple stakes-winning Tri-Bone homebred What a Pear by E Dubai. Tri-Bone purchased What a Pear’s dam Perfect Pair as a juvenile at OBS in 1999 for $28,000.

The winner of last year’s Empire Classic in addition to his scores this year in the Excelsior and Suburban, Effinex owns six wins, one second and two thirds in 15 starts and has earned $782,250.

Jerkens indicated that he would look next at the Grade 1 Whitney on August 8 for Effinex or the Grade 1 Woodward on September 5 in Saratoga.

Force upsets New York Derby, Temper Mint Patty delivers in New York Oaks

Friday, July 3rd, 2015
SV Photography

SV Photography

by David Mattice

FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Force won the 43rd running of the $161,425 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR) on Friday. He covered the one mile and one-sixteenth route for New York-bred 3-year-olds in a final time of 1:45.49.

The dark bay/brown colt owned by John Oxley was assigned an outside post but maneuvered to the rail to attain a ground saving trip. He stalked the early pacesetters under John Davila, Jr. and overtook his rivals in the stretch. He edged away from his challengers to win by a margin of two lengths for trainer Mark Casse.

“He ran against older at Churchill and he has been training really well”, said Casse “He seems to be getting better.”

SV Photography

SV Photography

Force [bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and JMJ Racing Stables] recorded his second victory in his eighth lifetime start and improved his career earnings to a sum of $147,850. The talented colt by Flatter out of Forever Valentine was successful in his first start in a race restricted to New York-breds.

“We had him in California and then he faced Commanding Curve”, said Casse “I knew he would be pretty good against State-breds.”

The 13-1 outsider was overlooked in the wagering and paid $29.40, $11.80 and $12.80. Battle of Evermore was second and returned $9.00 and $8.90. Intelligence rallied to be third and paid $25.80. [VIDEO]


SV Photography

SV Photography

Temper Mint Patty was an easy winner of the $75,000 New York Oaks. The Jeremiah Englehart –trainee was guided to the nine and one-quarter length triumph in the third race by John Velazquez.

The classy filly [by Congrats out of His Beauty, bred by Gallagher’s Stud and] owned by Mark Stanley completed the 29th renewal of the one mile and one-sixteenth test in a time of 1:46.12. She notched her third victory in her ninth career start.

The $274,050 earner was the heavy favorite in the event for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies and paid $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10. Jc’s Shooting Star was second and returned $3.00 and $2.30. Hail Mary’s Gold was a distant third and paid $3.40. [VIDEO]

John Velazquez was a fan favorite at FLGR and signed autographs before the convincing victory in the New York Oaks. The Hall of Fame jockey is the all-time leading rider in North America for career earnings.

La Verdad hoofs it in Dancin Renee, cracks $1 million earnings mark

Sunday, June 28th, 2015
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Linda Rice spotted Lady Sheila Stable’s La Verdad in Belmont’s $100,000 Dancin Renee for New York-bred fillies and mares Sunday to give her multiple graded stakes winner a strong foundation heading into the Saratoga meet and, with any luck, an easy victory. The conditioner got everything she wanted from the “prep.” The 5-year-old mare hoofed it to a 7 1/4-length victory in the slop for a third win in as many starts this year and pushed her earnings beyond the million dollar threshold.

Drawn in post six to go six furlongs over the sloppy (sealed) Belmont main track, La Verdad was slated to pay ten cents on the dollar, as she looked for her second consecutive victory in the Dancin Renee.

After the break, she wasted no time – just a dozen strides or so – in asserting her command of the field, confidently in front by the completion of the first quarter-mile in 22.91.

Unchallenged through a 45.85 half-mile, and leading by three lengths at the quarter pole, the bay mare opened up at will in the stretch to win by seven-plus lengths victory in a final time of 1:10.27 under a hand ride, leaving the rest to fight it out for the minor awards. Make the Moment got second by a neck over Miss Da Point. Here’s Zealicious finished fourth, followed across the line by Hot Rendezvous, Court Dancer and Uncle Southern. [VIDEO]

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Regular rider Jose Ortiz, who gave his mount’s mane a stroke at the wire, said, “She broke well and I just went out there and she did what she needed to do. She handles a sloppy track great all the time, so I’m very happy with her. Linda bought her in at 100 percent and I want to thank all the connections for giving me the opportunity to ride this horse.” La Verdad has won six of eight starts over off-going.

Linda Rice talked about the impact of the victory on Spa plans. “I was happy she won as easily as she did because, frankly, this is a race we were just trying to use to get her to Saratoga in better condition than we were last year, going toward the Honorable Miss [Grade 2, $200,000, July 29] and hopefully the Ballerina [Grade 1, $500,000, August 29].”

Last year La Verdad finished fifth in both races, mired down inside in a sloppy running of the Honorable Miss and fading after setting the early fractions in the Ballerina.

Rice continued, “We didn’t want it to be a hard race on her, and elected to stay here rather than go to the [Grade 2] Princess Rooney [at Gulfstream]. We had also considered running her in the [Bed o’ Roses], but in her last race she had worked pretty hard to keep [Bed o’ Roses entrant] Room for Me at bay. [The Bed o’ Roses] was a pretty strong race, so I’m really glad we’re going to Saratoga off an easy effort.”

A winner of eight stakes races, and owner of a 13-2-0 record in 19 starts, La Verdad became the latest New York-bred to cross the million dollar threshold in earnings with $1,050,700. She has capped New York-bred stakes victories in the Critical Eye, Iroquois, Broadway and Dancin Rene (twice) with two wins in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap and, last out on May 16, the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap.

Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC and foaled at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown farm in Chestertown. La Verdad was purchased privately by (Lady) Sheila Rosenblum following her second allowance victory in November 2013.

She is one of three winners and two stakes performers out of Noble Fire (Hook and Ladder), a stakes-placed runner bred by Chester and Mary Broman also trained by Rice. Rice bought Noble Fire for Eklektikos for $115,000 at the 2007 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Noble Fire’s two other winners, are N. F’s Destiny (Cuvee), an eight-time winner of over $335,000 and Lady Sheila Stable’s stakes-placed six-figure earner Hot City Girl (City Zip). The mare currently has a yearling filly by Freud.

Lucky Lurie first progeny winner for Girolamo

Friday, June 26th, 2015
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Girolamo, Darley’s Grade 1-winning son of A.P. Indy who began his stud career in 2012 at Becky Thomas and Dennis Narlinger’s Sequel Stallions New York, got his first progeny winner on Thursday when 2-year-old Lucky Lurie captured a five-furlong New York-bred maiden special weight at Belmont as 6-5 favorite.

Breaking from post six under Rajiv Maragh, Lucky Lurie moved up quickly to contest the pace with Love That Jazz. Pressing his rival in the two-path through the far turn after a sharp opening quarter mile in 22.62, Lucky Lurie got a head in front with a furlong to go and fought on with determination to the wire, securing the victory by a neck in a final time of 58.51. [VIDEO]

Bred by Tony Grey, owned by Alan Brodsky and trained by Mark Hennig, Lucky Lurie is out of Holy Freud, an unraced daughter of Freud who has produced two other winners. The mare is also the daughter of star producer Holy Wish, dam of ten winners in all, including three black type winners led by graded stakes winner Wishful Tomcat, who earned over $700,000. Brodsky purchased Lucky Lurie for $50,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred sale.

Girolamo likewise broke his maiden as a juvenile on debut, in his case in at Saratoga going seven furlongs. His best on-track performances came at three and four. He reeled off three straight wins to start his sophomore campaign, including the one-mile Grade 2 Jerome Handicap at Belmont. At four he won the Grade 1 Vosburgh and, in his last career start, finished third in the 2010 renewal of the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, finishing just one-half length behind the winner and scoring a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 110. He retired with earnings totaling $443,800.

Girolamo’s dam Get Lucky, a Grade 3-winning daughter of Mr. Prospector, has produced nine winners out of nine foals to race, including Grade 2-winner Daydreaming, a full sister to Girolamo, and graded winner Accelerator, a full brother. Girolamo’s full sister Supercharger is the dam of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. Another full sister She’s a Winner is the dam of former top New York sire Bluegrass Cat.

Girolamo was well-supported by New York breeders at Sequel, breeding 117 and 85 mares, respectively in 2012 and 2013 before relocating to Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky in 2014.

Dreamboat Annie re-rallies to capture Cupecoy’s Joy

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

by Sarah Mace

Dreamboat Annie, a 3-year-old daughter of Freud (Sequel Stallions New York) with an eye-catching big white blaze, improved her career record to three wins in four starts and added a main track victory to two prior turf scores on Sunday when she won the seven-furlong, $100,000 Cupecoy’s Joy division of the New York Stallion Stakes series at Belmont Park under a well-measured ride by John Velazquez.

Taken off the turf and contested over a track which improved to “good” over the course of Sunday’s card, the Cupecoy’s Joy was reduced to a field of five after the scratches of Amazing Anne, Cosmic Serenity, Kacy Lauren, Laura’s Patriot, and Twin Lights. Dreamboat Annie went off as the 2.25-1 narrow second choice behind last-out turf route winner Freudie Ann at 2-1.

Out of the gate eagerly and setting up position in second at the rail, Dreamboat Annie took back into fourth as many as five lengths off the lead late along the backstretch run for a breather, as The Lewis Dinner showed the way, pursued by Perfect Freud through splits of 23.19 and 46.67.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Angling out into the three-path in upper stretch, Dreamboat Annie began a relentless rally to the front in the lane, challenging game new leader Perfect Freud in the final furlong and drawing off to a three-quarter length victory in a final time of 1:25.64. Perfect Freud in second was followed 8 1/2 more lengths back by The Lewis Dinner, Loon River and Freudie Anne. [VIDEO]

John Velazquez, who has ridden Dreamboat Annie in all four career starts, explained his tactics. “It was a little bit uncomfortable because there was no speed in the race and I was trying to rate her. She was a little bit rank for the first part of the race, but the other horses moved outside and that made it easier for me. From the quarter-pole home, it opened up for me and it was perfect.”

Velazquez continued, “I didn’t want to be on the lead because I knew she’d be running off and would waste too much energy, so I wanted to get her behind horses. Finally, when I got her behind horses she relaxed and came with a good run.”

Leah Gyarmati, who trains the filly for co-owners Crown Stable, Who Wudda Thunk Racing, and Debora Kinns, had nothing but praise for Velazquez’s skill in rationing out his mount’s speed. “It was a great ride. [John Velazquez] did a wonderful job of getting her back there. I think if she’s inside, and being pushed, and head-and-head dueling, it might be a repeat of that Aqueduct race where [she] got a little weary.” Dreamboat Annie’s only defeat came two starts back, when she finished third after setting the pace in the Park Avenue division of the NYSS on April 26.

Continued Gyarmati, “Luckily, he was able to get her back and outside, and it was perfect. We’ll have a lot of fun with her at Saratoga – turf, dirt, 3-year-old filly, New York-bred, maybe can go open also. You have so many choices it will make for a fun summer.”

Bred by Michael Spielman, Dreamboat Annie whose earnings now total $131,200 from three wins and a third, is the third winner of three foals to start out of Extra Impact, a winner of nearly $100,000 by Honour and Glory bred in New York by Albert Fried, Jr. The mare currently has a juvenile filly by Frost Giant named A Little Extra, a yearling colt by the same sire named Iampoe and a filly this year by Posse.


Possessed well clear in the off-the-turf Spectacular Bid

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

by Sarah Mace

Trainer Charlton Baker was curious to find out whether Possessed, winner of the Times Square division of the New York Stallion Stakes on April 26 over the Aqueduct main oval, would also flash talent on turf. Ultimately, however, he had no grounds of complaint when the 3-year-old colt scored a resounding victory in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid division of the stakes series on Sunday after the race came off the grass and was contested over a harrowed main track listed as muddy.

Sired by perennial top-two New York sire Posse (Rockridge Stud) and bet down to 3-5 favoritism in the scratch-shortened field of four, Possessed was looking to rebound from a poor interim trip last out in the Mike Lee Stakes on May 25.

Possessed was content in the early stages of the seven-furlong tilt to let early leader Secured Position set opening splits of 22.82 and 46.49 while fending off an early challenges by Ex Ex Ex and Fenwick Hall.

After a three-wide trip through the far turn, Possessed, now in third, drew up alongside Secured Position and Fenwick Hall approaching the quarter pole. He did not take long to take charge in upper stretch. Kicking away, the colt drew off to a much-the-best 6 3/4-length victory. Secured Position finished second, 4 1/2 lengths clear of Fenwick Hall. Ex Ex Ex tired to fourth. After six furlongs in 1:11.56, the final time for seven panels was 1:25.17. [VIDEO]

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Winning rider Jose Ortiz, who also piloted Possessed to his Times Square victory, said, “We broke well and the 6 horse [Ex Ex Ex] went to the front and then the 2 horse [Secured Position] went out there. I was in the perfect position and moving well on the outside. When I asked my horse to go, he responded very well. I think Charlie Baker’s done a tremendous job with this horse. He was 100% today and we got it done.”

Baker, who co-owns the colt in partnership with Dan Hayden said, “We got a little luck, the race came off the grass and there were a lot of scratches. We got a great ride and it was a great race.”

Baker added that a turf try for the colt was still on the cards. “I’m going to eventually try to run him on the turf; I think there’s another Stallion Series in Saratoga (the NYSS Cab Calloway division at one mile on August 10). Maybe we’ll try that spot, but we’ll definitely try the grass to see where he’s at.”

Possessed has collected three wins, three seconds and a third in nine career starts and earned $195,575. Bred by Grapestock, LLC and foaled at Vinery New York at Empire Stud in Hudson, the colt is the second black type winner out of Ibetyouwishyouknew (Mr. Greeley), whose first foal I Bet Toni Knows by Sunriver also won a division of the NYSS. Ibetyouwishyouknew currently has a yearling by Soaring Empire and was bred last year to Graydar.


King Kreesa comes up aces to win second Poker

Saturday, June 13th, 2015
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

by Sarah Mace

Gerald and Susan Kresa’s King Kreesa (King Cugat) earned a ticket to the Grade 3, $300,000 Poker Stakes winner’s circle for the second time in his career at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon after a frontrunning victory. The 6-year-old gelding won the race for older turf runners, run at one mile on the Widener turf course, for the first time in 2013.

Making his third start of the season, King Kreesa was last seen finishing third to perennial New York-bred turf rivals Lubash and Kharafa in the Kingston Stakes on Big Apple Showcase Day (May 25) following an unplaced start in the open Elusive Quality on April 29. In the competitive Poker line-up King Kreesa was slighted by bettors, going off at odds of 17-1.

Breaking well from post three under jockey Jose Ortiz, King Kreesa quickly established himself on the lead, and in the absence of any direct challenge for the top spot, even from the speedy Heart to Heart in second, increased his advantage to a comfortable two-length margin during the run along the back stretch.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Clocking early fractions of 23.69 for the first quarter mile and 47.76 for the half, King Kreesa and Ortiz continued on an uncontested lead through the far turn and into the stretch. Even though the closers began to rev up in the final furlong, King Kreesa never had an anxious moment, crossing the finish line three-quarters of a length in front of a fast-closing Vyjack, who was making his turf debut and first start for trainer Bill Mott. Chilean sensation and 9-5 favorite Il Campione finished well to capture third. After three-quarters of a mile in 1:10.97, the final time for the mile over the firm Widener sod was 1:33.48. [VIDEO]

King Kreesa was piloted on Saturday not by his regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., who took the mount on Il Campione, but by his brother Jose, aboard the gelding for the first time. Jose said, “I was surprised to get the lead early, the four horse [Heart to Heart] looked like a fast horse on paper, his last race he went a half in :44 but you know, different track, different strategy. I think things set up well for me.”

Continued Ortiz, “I saw that Irad rode him well previously and looking at it, I just tried to ride him like he rode him. I think a mile is his best distance, maybe he could stretch out a little bit, but a mile is perfect.”

King Kreesa’s $180,000 winner’s share of the $300,000 purse pushes his earnings very close to the $1 million mark (to $985,370). A winner of five other stakes in addition to his pair of Poker victories, King Kreesa began his career in the barn of Jeremiah Englehart, for whom he won the Grade 3 Poker the first time, the open London Company, the Kingston and Mohawk Stakes for New York-breds and the Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes series.

Following an unplaced start in the in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile on December 8, 2013 at Sha Tin, King Kreesa moved the barn of trainer David Donk, for whom he won his first start off the bench, the West Point for New York-breds in Saratoga. King Kreesa’s resume, which sports an impressive eight wins from 24 starts, also includes eight stakes placings. In 2013 King Kreesa was voted champion New York-bred turf male and champion New York-bred older male.

Winning owner/breeder Gerald Kresa said after this Poker win, “He did great. They gave him the lead. Once he can relax, he has all kinds of energy at the end and he can open up on them. He held everyone off with no problem. We’re very pleased with him.”

Kresa also indicated where his star gelding might turn up next. “We could look at the Forbidden Apple maybe and if he comes out of that one good, we might consider the Fourstardave after that.”

Bred the Kresas under the banner of Horse Partners, King Kreesa was foaled at Carlland Stables in Avon. He is the most successful of four winners out of Storm’s Advance, a Florida-bred daughter of Storm Creek who was a multiple winner and stakes-placed on turf ($94,652). Another foal, four-year-old Lady Kreesa, by Stonesider, is a multiple winner and has placed in a division of the New York Stallion Stakes series.

Storm’s Advance currently has a 2-year-old colt by Malibu Moonshine named Moonsurge.

King Kreesa’s sire King Cugat, a multiple Grade 2-winner and millionaire by Kingmambo, stood in New York in 2008 and 2009 under the management of Questroyal Stud.

Dreamsgonewild earns second stakes tally in Monmouth’s John McSorley

Sunday, June 7th, 2015
Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

by Sarah Mace

Dreamsgonewild, a 6-year-old gelded son of top New York sire Freud, won his second turf sprint stakes on Sunday afternoon, besting nine rivals in the (about) 5 1/2-furlong $62,400 John McSorley Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Following the scratch of several speedsters, Dreamsgonewild (9-2) and jockey Trevor McCarthy wasted no time in executing owner/trainer Bruce Alexander’s strategy, breaking alertly and getting situated forwardly where they hooked up with an eager El Botas (18-1) to their outside.

Alexander said, “The couple of scratches in there kind of dictated what we were going to do. Trevor got him out of the gate good and rode him perfectly.”

Vying with the leader through the far turn, Dreamsgonewild took command at the top of the lane and opened up a two-plus length lead. Scout’s Honor put in an energetic late bid in the middle of the track, but the blaze-faced dark bay had enough left in the tank to hold off the potential challenger, securing the victory by one length in a final time of 1:02.24. [VIDEO]

Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Winning jockey Trevor McCarthy said, “He broke great and was good going to the lead even though he was tested to his outside.”

Added McCarthy, “He handles pressure really well. That’s the great thing about him. Once we got to the straightaway, he had a good amount left in him to close hard.”

Alexander said, “I purchased this horse as a yearling. He’s really good.” Alexander signed a sales ticket for Dreamsgonewild for $22,000 at the 2010 OBS select yearling sale.

Now a two-time stakes winner, having also defeated nine rivals, including the legendary Ben’s Cat, in the six-furlong Laurel Dash in his stakes debut last September 27, Dreamsgonewild sports a record of eight wins, four seconds and three thirds. His earnings bankroll stands at a robust $363,688.

Bred by Ed and Diane Gregory’s Carapan Farm LLC, Dreamsgonewild is the first black type winner out of Twin Stroller, a winning Ontario-bred daughter of Strolling Along. Twin Stroller has been a solid producer since being purchased by Carapan for just $5,500 at the OBS Fall mixed sale in 2001, producing no fewer than five winners from five foals to start. The mare’s first foal, Island Reversal (Tactical Advantage) is also a six-figure earner. A 4-year-old full brother to Dreamsgonewild named Piranha Pete has not yet started.

Frisky Warrior takes Barker in the slop

Friday, June 5th, 2015
SV Photography

SV Photography

by David Mattice  

FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Frisky Warrior won the 31st renewal of the $50,000 George W. Barker Stakes at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR) on Friday. The 6-year-old gelding owned and trained by Ralph D’Alessandro [and bred by Ted Taylor Thoroughbreds] took the six furlong dash for New York-breds 3-years-old and upward in a final time of 1:10.52.

The 2013 FLGR Horse of the Year stalked the early pace under jockey Jaime Rodriguez before surging passed his rivals in the stretch. He went on to win the eighth race by a margin of three and one-half lengths.

The chestnut gelding achieved the victory over a sloppy surface that was caused by a downpour during the sixth race. He has had a successful history in wet conditions and now has four wins in five starts on wet tracks.

Frisky Warrior registered his 14th victory in his 37th career start and improved his lifetime earnings to a sum of $306,228. He was the second choice in the wagering and paid $8.80, $3.10 and $2.60. Marriedtothemusic overcame a slow start to be second and returned $3.20 and $2.70. Bigshotinthenews rallied to be third and paid $6.40.