NEWS: racing

Caledonian gutsy winner of open Jimmy Winkfield

Monday, February 20th, 2017
NYRA/Robert Mauhar

Caledonian in blue shadow roll (NYRA/Robert Mauhar)

By Sarah Mace

Curragh Stables’ Caledonian is developing a flair for the dramatic holiday statement. Winner of the Lost In the Fog Stakes in deep stretch by a determined neck at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day, the grey son of Concord Point rallied from last and split horses in the stretch to win the 6-furlong, $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield for 3-year-olds on Monday’s special President’s Day card at the Big A.

After the break, the compact but salty field of five engaged in an all-out scramble for the lead. Caledonian, a closer and the longshot of the field at 10-1, brought up the rear, four lengths behind pacesetter and 4-5 favorite Bavaro, who led fellow speedster Shoe Loves Shoe by a length on the backstretch through a first quarter in 22.90.

As the field approached the far turn, Caledonian advanced into fourth at the rail and saved ground through the turn before angling out for the drive.

Bavaro yielded to Shoe Loves Shoe, Caledonian moved up with 3-2 Sal the Turtle to his outside to the outside of “Shoe,” and threaded his way through the narrow gap between them with a furlong to go.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

In the final stages Even Thunder launched a menacing bid on the far outside, but Caledonian dug in gamely to save the victory by a nose. Sal the Turtle finshed third, 1 1/2 lengths back. The two speeds, Shoe Loves Shoe and Bavaro, completed the order of finish. After a half in 46.80, the final time for the race was 1:12.19.  [VIDEO REPLAY]

“We missed a couple of breezes with him coming in, so we thought he might be a little bit short for this,” said winning trainer John Terranova, “but he had such a great breeze the other day working against a really nice horse of ours we have in the barn, and did it well so we felt very confident coming in. We thought he was going to run a big race, we just weren’t sure if he was fine-tuned enough to get it done, but he’s just been a honest horse…tough, gutsy and tries hard.”

Terranova also felt that the race developed according to plan. “We got the pace setup we wanted. I told Eric [Cancel] to just sit back and wait for it and hopefully they’ll set a good pace up front and we’ll close into it. He gets up. He worked hard for it and kept on fighting.”

Cancel, aboard for four out of Caledonian’s five career starts, said, “I knew there were better horses out there this time compared to [the Lost In the Fog]. I had to really get after him. Last time, I let him get comfortable. I knew today I needed to get after him earlier.”

Also, the finish was so close, Cancel was unsure about the outcome: “I thought I got beat because by the angle I had. [Even Thunder] looked in front. But thankfully we ended up with a victory.”

Bred by Kaleem Shah Inc. and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Caledonian broke his maiden for a $50,000 tag second out on September 21. He has won two of three subsequent starts, both stakes races, and finished second by only a neck in a starter allowance, bankrolling a total of $156,565.

Caledonian is the first foal out of Dazzling Display, a Kentucky-bred winner by Dehere, purchased by Bob Baffert for Shah, at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton February juvenile sale for $250,000.

Dazzling Display has produced two full siblings to Caledonian: an unnamed 2-year-old filly and a yearling colt called Kaluga Bob. She was bred in 2016 to Self Control.

 

 

 

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Wilburnmoney springs 20-1 upset in Franklin Square

Sunday, February 19th, 2017
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

by Sarah Mace

At longshot odds of 20-1, catchily-named Wilburnmoney (Wilburn) delivered a strong gate-to-wire performance Sunday to upset a robust 10-horse field in the third running of the $100,000 Franklin Square sprint stakes for New York-bred sophomore fillies at Aqueduct

Drawn in the outside post, Wilburnmoney broke on top under Angel Arroyo, then settled in fourth, a couple lengths off the pace set by Bluegrass Flag (7-2), who moved aggressively from post two and established a one-length lead over favorite Maple Mo through an opening quarter in 22.67.

Cruising down the backstretch five wide, Wilburnmoney worked her way closer to the fence through the turn, and swept into contention three-wide deep after a half mile in 46.46.

Wilburnmoney took over the lead in upper stretch and even though Bluegrass Flag battled back gamely at the rail, Wilburnmoney was just too good and ultimately drew off to record her first stakes victory by two lengths in a final time of 1:11.88.

Nearly six lengths back Luna Rising won the photo for show, nosing out Overnegotiate in fourth. Completing the order of finish were Toni Tools, Maple Mo, Bertranda, Passporttovictory, Out of Trouble and Treatherlikestar. Wilburnmoney paid $42.80 for a $2 win bet. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Jockey Angel Arroyo reported, “She broke great. I got the best trip. In the final stretch at the eighth-pole l knew I had horse and she rallied all the way to the finish. This filly today ran really good. She wanted to run today and it was really easy.”

Gary Gullo, who conditions Wilburnmoney for Bob Peterson’s Stables, LLC and Frank Bellavia, said he told Arroyo “to get her on the bit a little bit early on and just use your own judgment.”

Wilburnmoney won her Belmont unveiling last June 16 by two lengths, following up the maiden score a month later with a runner-up finish behind runaway winner Miss Freeze in the Lynbrook Stakes. Following a pair of off the board finishes in stakes company in August and November, she came back after a brief freshening to run a solid third in first-level state-bred allowance in her inner track debut on January 15.

“I thought she ran great,” commented Gullo after the Franklin Square. “She was coming into the race very good. She’s had a few issues with heat and the second time and third time she ran, it was very hot out and she didn’t run that well but today she ran good. I’ve always liked this filly.”

Bred by Clark Brewster and foaled at Questroyal Stud in Stillwater, Wilburnmoney is the second foal, and second winner of two to start, out of Lady in the Money, a six-figure-earning Virginia-bred purchase by Brewster for $32,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale.

Wilburnmoney changed hands twice via public auction, selling as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton New York Fall mixed sale for $26,000 to Palermo Farm, then going to Anthony Melfi for $70,000 at the New York-bred preferred yearling sale in Saratoga in 2015.

Lady in the Money has an unnamed 2-year-old filly by Boys At Tosconova, a yearling colt by Courageous Cat and was bred in 2016 to Magna Graduate.

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Hot City Girl best in Broadway

Saturday, February 18th, 2017
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

For Lady Sheila Stable’s Hot City Girl, the third time – third time off the layoff, that is – was the charm. Returning to action following four months on the bench with back-to-back stakes placings in November and December, on Saturday the 5-year-old half sister to sprint champion La Verdad scored a victory in Aqueduct’s featured $100,000 Broadway Stakes for older New York-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs as the odds-on favorite.

The victory leaves owner Sheila Rosenblum with an attractive quandary, as to whether to send her mare to the breeding shed fresh off a win, or keep her in competition in sharp form.

Hot City Girl came out swinging under jockey Manny Franco, latching on to pacesetter Court Dancer’s flank to prompt the pace through hot splits of 22.55 for the opening quarter mile and 45.25 for the half.

The top pair remained separated by three-quarters of a length along the backstretch and around the turn, until Hot City Girl came under the whip at the head of the stretch, and took over as they approached the furlong marker.

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

After opening up daylight, Hot City Girl began to look a little leg-weary nearing the wire, but had enough left in the tank to hold off a bevy of closers and register a 1 1/4-length win in a final time of 1:11.56 over the fast Aqueduct inner track.

Jet Majesty, last of eight for the first half-mile, closed with energy to grab second money at odds of 23-1, while She’s All Ready kicked home third a length back, a neck ahead of Splendid Gold in fourth, who got a head in front of Roman Ceres in fifth. Play Me a Memory, Court Dancer and Flatterywillgetyou completed the order of finish. (VIDEO REPLAY)

“Before the race, [trainer] Linda [Rice] told me Court Dancer had a lot of speed,” said jockey Manny Franco, following his successful maiden voyage astride Hot City Girl.

“I just tried to measure her as much as I could. She broke strong, but I was able to stay with the plan [and] sit just off of Court Dancer. I had the favorite horse in the race, and thankfully she got a good trip and we did it. She had a long stride heading towards the finish. She ran good.”

Owner Sheila Rosenblum of Lady Sheila Stable, who also campaigned La Verdad, communicated some thoughts about future plans for the mare. “We’re not sure [if she’ll continue racing or retire]. We want to hear about her Beyer Figure. It’s a good option to have: breeding shed or racing, which one will it be? Being that she’s mine, I can make that decision quietly, not tonight. But if she didn’t race well, we knew the answer.”

Concluded Rosenblum, “This was a very important win and [Manny Franco] rode her beautifully. And we had some good speed competition there. We’re proud.”

The Broadway score is Hot City Girl’s fourth stakes victory. As a sophomore, she won the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks and open Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel Park, and last summer took the Union Avenue Stakes at the Spa. She has six more stakes placings to her credit including a runner-up finish to Birdatthewire in the Grade 1 La Brea at Santa Anita in 2015. From a record of seven wins, three seconds and three thirds from 18 starts, Hot City Girl has compiled a $668,150 bankroll.

Bred by Eklektikos Stable LLC, and foaled at Chester and Mary Broman’s Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Hot City Girl is out of Noble Fire, a stakes-placed runner also trained by Rice, who was bred by Chester and Mary Broman.

Rice bought Noble Fire for Eklektikos for $115,000 at the 2007 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. In addition to champion sprinter and $1.5 million-earner La Verdad (Yes It’s True) and Hot City Girl, Noble Fire is the dam of black type performer N. F.’s Destiny, who earned over $330,000 and Noble Freud, an impressive first-out winner just two days ago at Oaklawn Park.

Altogether, Noble Fire’s offspring have earned over $2.6 million and she was crowned 2015 New York broodmare of the year. Currently the mare has a yearling colt by Will Take Charge. Bred last summer to Pioneerof the Nile, she unfortunately  did not bring the foal to term.

 

 

 

 

 

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Candid Desire wins first stakes in Hollie Hughes

Sunday, February 12th, 2017
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

(NYRA Communications/Brian Bohl)

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Amanda Laderer and Gary Downey’s Candid Desire overtook Loki’s Vengeance in deep stretch and outkicked Celtic Chaos at the wire to win the 39th running of the $100,000 Hollie Hughes for New York-bred 4 and up on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Candid Desire, trained by Gary Sciacca, won his first stakes in his 31st career start, completing six furlongs in 1:10.19 on the inner track. It was the second consecutive victory for the 5-year-old bay colt, who improved to 4-2-1 in 12 inner dirt starts at the Big A.

Bustin It set the early fractions, going a quarter-mile in 22.67 seconds and a half-mile in 45.31. Jockey Antonio Gallardo kept Candid Desire off the pace and surged from midpack out of the turn, angling four-wide to gain the lead before winning by a neck.

“I had a really good trip,” Gallardo said. “I saw there was a lot of speed and that’s really good for me because my horse will be coming off the pace. He gave me a really good kick. He’s a really good horse and he’s better on the outside when he can be in the clear. I could feel a horse trying to go between me and the other one and it got a little bit tight [in the stretch] but it was nothing.”

Off at 5-1, Candid Desire paid $12.80 on a $2 win bet and improved his career earnings to $305,814. Sciacca won the Hollie Hughes for the first time since Appealing Guy captured the 1990 edition.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

“He ran great, he had a great pace,” Sciacca said. “Antonio did a great job sitting right off it. I saw the horse open up turning for home, and he [Gallardo] said, ‘the horse did it all.’ He was ready to go.

“He seems like he’s just getting himself together right now,” he added. “The owners have been very patient with him. It’s just great to have success for them.”

Celtic Chaos, for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, was the runner-up for his best stakes finish. Drama King came in third.

West Hills Giant, Loki’s Vengeance, Bust Another, Bustin It and Bond Vigilante, the favorite, completed the order of finish. Full of Mine was scratched.

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Send It In captures thrilling edition of Haynesfield

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

(NYRA Communications/Brian Bohl)

Paul Pompa, Jr.’s Send It In picked up his eighth career win with a nail-biting victory in the $100,000 Haynesfield for New York-breds going 1 1/16 miles.

Sent off as the 1-9 favorite, the 5-year-old Curlin homebred settled in the three-path early behind Iron Power and the pacesetting Fox Rules, who took the field through an opening quarter-mile in 24.74 and the half in 48.84.

Send It In, under a drive from jockey Manny Franco, put away Iron Power as the field reached the top of the stretch and caught up with the leader near the sixteenth pole. An obstinate Fox Rules dug in and the pair locked up down the lane. The pacesetter could not hold off the heavily favored Send It In, who ultimately prevailed, getting his nose down on the wire for the win.

The winner, trained by Todd Pletcher, completed the route in 1:43.83 and returned $2.30 for a $2 win wager. The victory was the eighth from 15 career starts for Send It In, including his 3 ¾-length score in the Alex M. Robb on December 31 last time out. Saturday’s win boosted his career earnings to $398,414.

Repent Twice closed for third, followed by Iron Power and Eden Ridge to round out the order of finish.

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Biogio’s Rose Stakes on Super Bowl Sunday goes to Super Surprise

Sunday, February 5th, 2017
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

Repole Stable’s Super Surprise, a 4-year-old daughter of Repole stallion Giant Surprise (Rockridge Stud), added to an already impressive resume on Super Bowl Sunday at Aqueduct when she parleyed a stalking trip into victory in the $100,000 Biogio’s Rose Stakes for older New York-bred fillies and mares.

Super Surprise was sent off as the second betting choice in the field of six at odds of 5-2, while Isabelle, drawn just to her inside in post three, was favored at even money. The last time the pair met, in the Bay Ridge Stakes on December 11, Isabelle outfinished her rival by five-plus lengths at the same at 1 mile and 70-yard trip over the Aqueduct inner track.

Minded to be involved from the first, Super Surprise settled just off the flank of an eager Isabelle, who tossed her head some in the early stages. Super Surprise then kept close tabs on her rival round the clubhouse bend and along the backstretch as Isabelle clocked an opening half mile in 49.06.

Jose Ortiz aboard Super Surprise began to shake up his mount in the far turn. When they pulled even with Isabelle approaching the quarter pole, Ortiz set her down for the serious business of the drive.

Isabelle put up a brave fight at the rail, but Super Surprise was destined to turn the tables this go-around, and began to edge ahead. Fully in command in the final sixteenth, Super Surprise drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths stopping the clock at 1:44.59 after a mile in 1:37.95.

Jules and Rome (5-2), who did not get off to a particularly good start, got third three-quarters of a length further back, followed across the line by Daisy Cutter, Legally Bay and Dream On. [REPLAY]

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

“I thought she got a good trip,” said Byron Hughes, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “The idea was for Jose to play the break and let her run into the first turn and go from there. He put her in a good spot right outside Isabelle and we got the better of her this time. Isabelle had a ground saving trip the last time we ran into her [in the Bay Ridge] and we went wide on the turn, but Isabelle’s still a good horse and we got the good end of the deal this time.”

Jockey Ortiz reported, “Super Surprise] broke great. [Jules N Rome] didn’t break, which surprised me a little bit. Kendrick [Carmouche, aboard Isabelle] went ahead and I sat in control and tracked the whole way. I knew heading for home that we both had a lot of horse. He was going easy and I was going easy, so by the three-eighths pole, I made my move and I’m glad it worked well. I just appreciate the opportunity. She was very good today, just perfect.”

Concluded Ortiz, “She’s a really good filly. The last time, the other filly [Isabelle] ran her eyeballs out and she got there. Today, like a match race, I felt like, and we won. Turned the tables a little bit. Todd [Pletcher] always does a great job with her and she was ready.”

Bred by Allen C. Hallet, and foaled at Hallet Thoroughbreds in Cato, Super Surprise is one of four winners from five foals to start out of Miz Lynne Kelly, a seven-time winner and six-figure earner by Langfuhr. Miz Lynne Kelly has a two-year-old by Soaring Empire named Captain Empire, and in 2016 was bred to Palace.

Mike Repole purchased Super Surprise for $55,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale. Now a winner of three stakes races, after scoring in the the Maid of the Mist in 2015 and Fleet Indian in 2016, she has a record of four victories, two seconds and two thirds from nine starts and has earned $462,300.

 

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Dublin Girl splits horses to capture Maddie May

Sunday, January 29th, 2017
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

It took Joemar Racing Stables homebred Dublin Girl three tries to put it all together to break her maiden, but she handled the tough test of facing winners for the first time on Sunday like a true professional.

The blaze-faced chestnut stalked the leaders, spilt horses and drew off to capture the second running of the featured $100,000 Maddie May for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies, while giving her sire Dublin (Keane Stud) his first stakes winner.

Third in the slop in her October 22 Belmont unveiling, and second in early December at Aqueduct in another New York-bred maiden special weight sprint, Dublin Girl romped by four lengths in her two-turn debut on January 2. On Sunday, she was drawn in post three to go the same 1 mile and 70-yard trip.

Second choice in the betting at 5-2, Dublin Girl settled in fourth just to the inside of narrow favorite Bree’s Got Heart, while Treatherlikestar led the field through opening fractions of 24.89 and 50.71 pressed along by Bliss to You.

The configuration of the runners remained unchanged through the far turn, until Bliss to You went a little wide at the head of the lane, gained a narrow lead, but also opened up a gap between horses. Dublin Girl geared up and threaded the needle just past three-sixteenths pole.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Dublin Girl gained the front and drew off in the final furlong to post a one-length victory in a final time of 1:46.46. Toni Tools, winner last out of the NYSS Park Avenue division with a dramatic last-to-first run on December 18, closed with conviction to get second, while Bree’s Got Heart had to settle for third 1 3/4 lengths back. Rounding out the finishers were Cha Cha Heels, Bliss to You and Treatherlikestar. [REPLAY]

“I was just sitting patient hoping something would open up. I was dedicated to the spot,” said jockey Kendrick Carmouche, aboard on Sunday and for the filly’s maiden win. “She ran on and I’d just like to say thanks to the owners for picking this spot out. It was very successful.”

Winning trainer Dominick Schettino commented, “She’s learning and maturing. She’s handled two turns very well. Her running style is to sit back and stay off the pace. I’m very happy with the race she ran well.”

The conditioner added, “I think the two turns helped her today and moved her forward. She handled the step up in class. It was a team effort.”

Dublin Girl, whose earnings total $110,000 from two wins, a second and third in four starts, is one of four winners, and first stakes winner out of Carson City Girl, a New York-bred winner of nearly six figures by Carson City.

Carson City Girl, who was purchased by Joseph Parisi for $200,000 at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, has a yearling filly on the ground by Alpha and was bred in 2016 to Giant Surprise.

 

 

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Broman homebred “hauls anchor” to win Gander Stakes

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s Haul Anchor, comfortable wire-to-wire winner of the Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct on December 29 at 1 mile and 70 yards, delivered an encore performance at the same trip on Saturday at the Big A with thoroughly convincing victory in the $100,000 Gander for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and reunited with Runyon jockey Cornelio Velasquez for the afternoon, the Bernardini colt broke sharply from his inside post and established position at the rail. Favorite Bavaro, an undefeated Freud colt campaigned by Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, also broke well and settled at Haul Anchor’s flank as the pair separated themselves from Carradine in third going into the first turn.

There was little change along the backstretch, as Haul Anchor maintained a three-quarter length lead over his rival and as the pair rounded the far turn, Haul Anchor began to draw off.

Haul Anchor kept steadily to his business in the lane, while Carradine, who had gained ground in the turn, took over second position in upper stretch. Carradine chased Haul Anchor persistently to the wire, but chased in vain as Haul Anchor garnered the win by 1 1/2 lengths. After solid fractions of 23.47, :47.14, 1:12.07, he stopped the clock at 1:38.95.

Bourbon Empire had leapt up at the start, hitting the gate, and trailed the leaders by more than 13 lengths after a half-mile. He finally got the chance to do some running in the stretch and got up for third. Bavaro was fourth. Caledonian, the field’s fifth horse was scratched. [REPLAY]

“My horse is a free runner,” commented Cornelio Velasquez. “I didn’t send him but he went out to the lead, so I let him go. The other day [in the Damon Runyon], it was the same thing. He tries hard, but he likes to be out there [in front]. He goes easy on the lead, he can run second, but he doesn’t want to be choked too much.”

McLaughlin’s New York assistant Joe Lee said, “He’s really matured and come into his own the last couple of months, so this effort today was encouraging. The plan coming in was to just break well and get into a good position leaving the rest to Cornelio.”

Continued Lee, “Coming into the race, I thought we might get into a speed duel with some of these other horses coming out of sprint races but we were confident in the way he’s been training in the mornings, and the trip and ride worked out great for us today.”

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Haul Anchor, who improved his record Saturday to three wins and three seconds from seven career starts with $203,000 in earnings, began his career with a pair of solid runner-up finishes at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course in July and August, before breaking his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs at the Spa on September 1.

Back downstate, the colt dead-heated for second two lengths behind Mirai in the Bertram F. Bongard at Belmont, but then threw in a clunker in the sloppy Sleepy Hollow on Showcase day, fading after flashing early speed in his route debut. After a brief freshening, the colt rebounded to take the Damon Runyon in style.

Chester Broman purchased Haul Anchor’s dam Whichwaydidshego (Storm Cat) for $425,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November sale. A winning half-sister to the multiple Grade 2 winner Fed Biz, she issues from the family of Minardi, Tale of the Cat and Johannesburg.

Whichwaydidshego has worked out well for Bromans, already producing multiple stakes winners Mark My Way (Noonmark) and Hard to Stay Notgo (More than Ready). On the ground are a 2-year-old full sister to Haul Anchor named Turn and Bern and a yearling filly by Will Take Charge. The mare was bred to Malibu Moon in 2016.

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Wonder Gal runs away with Ladies Handicap

Friday, January 13th, 2017
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Friday afternoon’s 146th running of the $100,000 Ladies Handicap for older fillies and mares at Aqueduct Racetrack belonged entirely to Wonder Gal, who broke fastest and only improved from there. The 5-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful sailed home comfortably, a no-contest winner by double-digit lengths.

The one-mile, 70-yard race was rescheduled for Friday from last Saturday, when snow forced NYRA to cancel the Big A card. The same five horses showed up, but were shuffled around by the draw, and Wonder Gal, who has ample early foot, had the good fortune to move from post four right to the rail to run on a track that in recent days has favored inside speed.

The strapping dark bay mare, highweighted at 118 pounds and favored to win at odds of 3-2, broke on top after the bell. Charging confidently around the first turn, she opened up a length on her competition, then improved her advantage to two lengths on the backstretch.

At one point Always On My Mind tried to reel Wonder Gal in, but got no closer to her rival than three-quarters of a length. Wonder Gal spurted away in the far turn.

From this point on, it was all over but the shouting, as Wonder Gal opened up her lead to five lengths by the quarter pole, then 10 lengths and more in the stretch, finally crossing the wire all alone, a 13 1/2-length winner.

Chorus Line at 12-1 outfinished the other relative longshot in the field, New York-bred Jet Majesty, also 12-1, for the place. Rounding out the order of finish were Highway Star and Always on My Mind. After a half-mile in 47.73 and a mile in 1:38.04, the final time for the race was 1:42.45. [REPLAY]

“I wanted to get to the front. I had the one-hole, and the best thing is to see if you can get position and see if everyone is scattering behind you,” said jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who was also aboard Wonder Gal for her two prior starts.

Carmouche continued, “Once I got to the half-mile and I heard the guys scramble back there, I just opened up. I said it was going to be a do-or-die situation. It worked out today. I just want to say congratulations to [trainer] Leah Gyarmati and her team.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Carmouche especially enjoyed being able to give Gyarmati, whose most recent win had come on October 9, a lift with the victory. “It’s tough when trainers go through a drought without winning and you really just want to pull that one through to make their situation better,” said Carmouche. “I’m just grateful for the chance to ride the horse. They canceled last week. Everything works out for a reason. They gave me the mount back and I made it successful.”

Wonder Gal has had a fairly demanding campaign since she came off the bench on September 2 to romp in a 6 1/2-furlong state-bred sprint allowance at Saratoga. In October she finished fifth after an outside trip in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, in November finished mid-pack after getting mixed up with some traffic in the Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, and then rebounded in December with a strong third-place finish in the Grade 3 Go For Wand Handicap, only a neck behind winner Highway Star. Campaigned up to that point by Treadway Racing Stable, Wonder Gal raced Friday in the colors of new owner Clearview Stable LLC, who purchased her privately.

Gyarmati said, “Obviously, her performance today was spectacular. She seemed like she did it so easily. She ran that big race up at Saratoga [on September 2] and she was training so well heading into that race. It kind of set her back a little bit, but going into this race she started having those same works as she did back then. I’m just so thankful for this performance.”

Wonder Gal was purchased by Jeffrey Treadway at the OBS March Sale of 2-year-olds for $210,000 after a :10 1/5 breeze. She was the top-selling New York-bred filly, and fourth highest-priced New York-bred juvenile overall at that auction.

The Ladies Handicap is Wonder Gal’s third stakes victory and first in open company, having previously won the Empire Distaff and Lynbrook Stakes. She has placed in eight additional stakes, including runner-up finishes in the Grade 1 Frizette and Grade 1 Mother Goose. She also ran third in the 2014 Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies and Grade 1 Acorn Stakes. Overall, from four wins, two seconds and six thirds in 17 starts she has earned $887,145.

Bred by Apache Farm LLC and foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, Wonder Gal is out of Passe, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Dixie Union. Out of stakes winner and graded stakes performer Gal on the Go (Irgun), Passe is a half-sister to Social Queen, a multiple graded winner by Dynaformer ($344,164). The mare has a 2-year-old filly by Jimmy Creed and a yearling colt by Tiznow. She was bred in 2016 to Palace Malice.

 

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Up just in time, Caledonian turns tables on Always a Suspect in open Lost in the Fog

Sunday, January 1st, 2017
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Curragh Stables’ Caledonian (Concord Point), celebrated turning three on New Year’s Day by winning the first NYRA stakes race of 2017, the open six-furlong, $100,000 Lost in the Fog. In deep stretch after a long drive, the grey colt overtook Always a Suspect, who last out on November 24 had beaten Caledonian by a neck in an open starter allowance at Aqueduct.

Caledonian, who is trained by John Terranova, was teamed up Sunday for the third time in four career starts with jockey Eric Cancel, and went off as the 3-1 third choice in the field of five. Always a Suspect was favored at odds of 3-2.

Despite getting away a little off balance, Caledonian settled solidly in third well off the rail after the bell, a length and a half behind pacesetter Mabrouk, who took the field through an opening quarter mile in 24.05 pressed along by Always a Suspect.

Caledonian began to gear up in the far turn and got set down for the drive in the three path. He moved into second behind new leader Always a Suspect in upper stretch after a half mile in 47.71.

Despite not changing leads until just outside the furlong marker, Caledonian ground down the favorite, engaged him in the final sixteenth and got up in the last few strides to a capture the victory by a determined neck. The rest of the field, consisting of Butch Walker, Cape Lookout and Mabrouk, finished six lengths and and more behind the top two. The final time for the race was 1:12.08.

“I just wanted to stay close to [Always a Suspect and Mabrouk] on the lead,” said jockey Eric Cancel. “My plan was to get close to them and not be too far out of it, so when he kicked, I had a good shot to get there in time. It took him a little bit of time to get there, but he did. It worked out. He was prepared. He’s been training good. I had no doubt he had a chance to win.”

Trainer John Terranova said, “Always a Suspect and Caledonian] look like they’re pretty equal, just traded turns today, I guess. This time, it looked like [Always a Suspect] got the jump, he was little bit more forwardly placed, but our guy keeps grinding, he kept coming at him. Nothing surprising, almost a repeat of last race, just flip flopped a little bit.”

Terranova continued, “I was going to run [Calledonian] in a starter this week, but I don’t know if it was going to go or not, because he still had that condition. Now he’s wiped that one out, so now we’re stuck in stakes, but there could be a lot worse things. I’m happy to be competitive here and can win these races this time of year. We’ll just see how he improves.”

Terranova is considering the $125,000 Rego Park, a 6-furlong sprint for New York-bred 3-year-olds on January 21, for Caledonian’s next start.

Caledonian, who broke his maiden for a $50,000 tag second out on September 21, has earned $96,565 from two firsts and a second. Bred by Kaleem Shah, Inc., he is the first foal out of Dazzling Display, a Kentucky-bred winner by Dehere, purchased by Bob Baffert for Shah, who just announced they have parted ways, at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton February juvenile sale for $250,000.

Dazzling Display has also produced two full siblings to Caledonian: a newly-turned 2yo filly and a yearling colt. She was bred in 2016 to Self Control.

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