Nonna Jo, a first time starter by Majestic Warrior, outdueled speedy fellow-firster Myfourchix (Henny Hughes) in the stretch to win a five-furlong maiden special weight for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies at Saratoga Racetrack on Wednesday afternoon.
Nonna Jo broke alertly from post two under jockey Jose Ortiz, but ceded the lead in the early stages to Myfourchix to her inside, who broke from the one-hole.
Tracking the pacesetter a length back through rapid early fractions of 22.15 and 45.40, Nonna Jo engaged Myfourchix in midstretch, dueled with determination in the final furlong and pulled away in the final sixteenth to the get the victory by 1 1/2 lengths. The final time for five furlongs over the fast going was 58.45. [VIDEO]
Neal Terracciano, who trains the bay filly for Lianna Stables Inc., said that Nonna Jo’s strong performance on debut came as no surprise, saying that she “was working great” at Belmont.” With recorded works dating back to mid-April, Nonna Jo posted two strong gate moves, including a five-furlong bullet on June 29. Terracciano did express concern about her being drawn near the inside though.
“I watched two dirt races and the inside was dead,” said Terracciano. “I knew [Myfourchix in post 1], being by Henny Hughes, would have speed. Once [Myfourchix] took over, I knew I was OK, because being inside today is a little bit tough, so far from what I’ve seen. I told the jock, ‘You break good, she’s fast. Just keep her on the outside.’”
In high spirits, Terracciano added “I’ve got a great owner, I’ve got a great team, I’ve great people on the farm. I’ve got everything. It’s so good. It’s Italian-American day so I had to win one of them!”
Bred by Vincent A. Vivolo, Jr. and foaled on March 11, 2012 at Summit View Farm in Greenwich, Nonna Jo is the first winner for her dam Spenny, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Menifee who won three dirt sprints. Spenny currently has a yearling colt by Girolamo named Mr Curiosity and a weanling filly by Marsh Side.