Pandagate storms to victory in Gander Stakes

February 25th, 2024

Pandagate improves to 2-for-3 with victory in $100,000 Gander Stakes at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Christophe Clement shipped Pandagate back to his native state with confidence for the Arrogate ridgling’s first foray into stakes company and was rewarded.

Pandagate overcame a hard bump at the start and powered to a 5 ½-length victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Gander Stakes, improving to 2-for-3 in the process and giving his connections reason to think about bigger things down the road.

“He’s been training very, very well at Payson Park and we were excited to see him run,” Clement said. “Thank you to all the owners to be so patient. He’s a stakes winner and a New York-bred going long on dirt, so it’s a lot of fun for us.”

A 9-length winner in his debut under Dylan Davis during the Belmont at the Big A meeting, Pandagate reunited with that rider for the 1-mile Gander. He was ridden by Victor Carrasco when second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance-optional in early December. Davis liked the reports from Clement and his team and also came into the Gander with confidence aboard the morning-line pick and eventual post-time 7-5 favorite.

“He’s been training down at Payson Park with Clement’s crew,” Davis said. “They did a great job getting him ready. He had a little layoff, but I just wanted to break him well and not get too much distance from the front leaders. That is what the boss said.

“I haven’t seen him in a while, but the Clement crew gave me videos of him working and in the paddock. It was nice to see him again, he’s still the big horse that I knew before, but he was a little more mentally better today. Just hopefully will keep on improving.”

Pandagate wound up squeezed between Bali Amour and Brown Don’t Stop at the break and was last while The Big Torpedo, Liberty Central and Doc Sullivan scrimmaged through the opening quarter in :24.42.

The Big Torpedo, a 10-length maiden winner last time out and the 5-2 third choice, continued on the lead through the half in :48.55. Liberty Central, who hounded the leader most of the way on the backstretch and on the far turn, took the lead just before hitting 6 furlongs in 1:14.15 just as Pandagate found his best stride several paths off the rail. Pandagate widened his advantage all the way through the lane, kept to task by Davis to win in 1:40.67 over the fast track.

Doc Sullivan finished second, a neck in front of Liberty Central with Brown Don’t Stop fourth. The Big Torpedo and Bali Amour completed the field.

Pandagate’s connections celebrate victory in Sunday’s Gander Stakes. NYRA Photo.

“He did get a little bump there at the break but he got into stride, got on the bridle, and switched off, then at the three-eighths pole, I turned him out,” Davis said. “It took a little while to get going but once he did that, he was game. I kept him to task all the way to wire because he is still a young horse that doesn’t know what is going on, but he has a nice big stride and galloped out, not really that tired.”

Clement also heaped praise on Davis’ effort.

“Dylan knows him well and it was a perfect ride,” he said. “He was a little bit lost coming out of the gate and Dylan got him to settle. Then he got into a very good rhythm and when he decided to pick it up, he finished well. He’s a nice horse and by Arrogate – it’s a nice family. Everything seems to be working out nicely, and I’m just very grateful to the owners. I’m delighted to train this kind of horse.”

Bred by Fred Hertrich III and out of the stakes-placed New York-bred Sky Mesa mare Kitty Panda, Pandagate sold to Clement, as agent, for $130,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. He races for Adelphi Racing Club, Madaket Stables, Corms Racing Stable and On The Rise Again Stable.

Pandagate is one of three winners – all New York-breds – out of Kitty Panda. She’s also the dam of three-time winner and $151,380-earner Panster and the two-time winner Countable. Kitty Panda is also the dam of a 2-year-old colt by City of Light. Hertrich purchased Kitty Panda, in foal to Blame, for $160,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale.

Pandagate picked up $55,000 for the Gander victory, boosting his bankroll to $101,650.

Clement didn’t commit to any specific for Pandagate’s next target, but is thinking about some lucrative summer stakes in the New York-bred 3-year-old division.

“At the moment, he just won, so we are going to enjoy that for 24 hours,” Clement said. “The way the program is made, the two New York-bred races going long on the dirt are the New York Derby at Finger Lakes or the Albany at Saratoga. That’s a long way down the road, so let’s try to find him something in late March or early April going long on dirt. Let’s keep him eligible for everything and enjoy this for a moment.”

Whittington Park gets up in time to win Haynesfield

February 24th, 2024

Whittington Park (left) gets past Anejo in the final stages of the Haynesfield. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Whittington Park became a stakes winner in the $100,000 Haynesfield Stakes for New York-breds at Aqueduct Saturday, but it wasn’t easy.

The Midnight Lute 5-year-old broke a step slow from the inside post of a six-horse field and was last after a few strides. He refused to stay there for long, working his way outside and into a settled spot in fourth down the backstretch as the front runners caught up after Mama’s Gold went the first quarter-mile in :23.72 and opened 2 ½ lengths on the field. The pacesetter refused to bow to the early pressure when keeping a half-length on the field through a half-mile pole in :47.80.

By the turn, Mama’s Gold finally gave in as Anejo flew past to quickly open 5 ½ lengths on the field at the top of the stretch. Anejo looked like an easy winner near the wire, but Whittington Park didn’t give up and closed with every stride.

Racing down the center of the track on the leader’s outside for jockey Kendrick Carmouche, Whittington Park got to Anejo just in time to win by a half-length in 1:39.88 for the mile. Dr. Ardito finished third, 11 ¼ lengths behind.

“He just seems like he has a lot more desire and knows what he wants to do,” trainer Jeremiah Englehart said. “You give him a target now and he wants to run the horse down. Last year, a couple races, Kendrick would say he would just wait and make spotty moves. Now, he’s putting himself in the position rather than having to have Kendrick urge him somewhere. A lot of those Midnight Lutes seem to get better as they get older.”

Bred by Marshall Gramm and Clay Sanders, and racing for Gramm’s Ten Strike Racing, Whittington Park improved to 2-for-2 this year with six wins overall and six other top three finishes for $335,810 in 17 starts.

Whittington Park is the third stakes winner for six-time winner See The Forest, also the dam of New York-bred stakes winners Looms Boldly and Critical Value among her seven winners from seven to race. See The Forest is out of dual Grade 1 winner Critical Eye, who saw another daughter produce stakes winner Little Kansas and Grade 3-placed Headline Report.

After a few years without foals reported after Looms Boldly was foaled in 2020, See The Forest produced a New York-bred Constitution colt for Ten Strike Racing last year. The mare visited Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions’ Warrior’s Charge’s last year in his first season at stud.

Mullion has first mares in Foal

February 24th, 2024

Juddmonte homebred Mullion, a son of Into Mischief and full brother to Mandaloun, stands at Sequel Stallions New York. Coady Photography

Press release distributed on behalf of Sequel New York

Mullion, TDN Rising-Star and full-brother to Mandaloun, has first mares confirmed in foal. Mullion is by 4-Time Champion Sire, Into Mischief and out of

the multiple group winning Empire Maker mare, Brooch. Mullion stands at Sequel New York in partnership with Juddmonte Farm. STILLNESS, by Constitution, is a half-sister to G2 Pat O’Brien S. Winner, LAUREL RIVER (Into Mischief), was the first to be reported in-foal for Breeder, Juddmonte Farm. This report was immediately followed by a second confirmed mare in foal. ROCKIN EMMZY, by Tale of the Cat, and half-sister to black-type winner, OCEANIC, was also reported in foal for Richard Kern’s All In The Family Racing.

A full-brother to 2021 G1 Kentucky Derby winner, Mandaloun, Mullion’s speed exceeded even the highest of expectations. In only his second career start, after a 14-month layoff, Mullion showed absolute brilliance when breaking his maiden going a mile at Churchill Downs by 10 lengths. The performance garnered national recognition, a TDN Rising-Star title and an impressive

Mullion blasted a field of maidens off a more than 14-month layoff in early November at Churchill Downs. Coady Photography.

“Mullion is a beast to look at,” trainer Brad Cox said. “He showed freakish brilliance, so much so that we were pointing him to the Grade 1 Malibu after his 10-length romp at Churchill. He was a rare talent.”

The eye-catching performance garnered national recognition, a TDN Rising-Star title and an impressive 4- Ragozin number, faster than Cody’s Wish’s 2023 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile figure.


New York Equine Industry grows to $7 Billion Economic Impact

February 22nd, 2024

Press release distributed on behalf of Saddle Up NY!

According to the New York State Equine Economic Impact Study (a ‘breakout study’ from the American Horse Council National study), the New York equine industry contributes $7 billion to the state’s economy and has a total employment impact of 52,319 jobs. These figures document growth in both economic and employment impact since the prior study conducted in 2016 ($5.3 billion and 42,400 jobs). The economic impact figures land New York in the top 10 states for equine economic impact and reinforce the importance of the New York equine industry as a significant contributor to the overall economy of the state.

Economic impact comes from spending on the horse itself (including feed, veterinary care, training costs, boarding costs, riding supplies, etc.) as well as spending related to involvement with equines. Those related expenditures include land, buildings, tractors, trucks, fuel oil and taxes. The economic impact goes further and includes horse owner and enthusiast spending on travel, dining and lodging while attending and/or participating in events – to the tune of $2.4 billion. Much of that spending is felt in the communities hosting events and competitions.

Demonstrating the variety of equine engagement in the state, the Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeds remain the top breeds in NY while the Quarter Horse Breed showed the most growth in the state. Trail riding landed at the top of household equine participation with just under 10% of households in New York participating in trail riding. The vast majority (87%) do so on public lands.

In terms of number of equines, the American Horse Council report identifies a decline both Nationally and in New York. Nationally, the figure moved from 7.2 Million to 6.7 Million for a 6.9% decline. In NY, the decline was smaller at 4.7% moving the figure from 154,000 to 146,700. New York ranks 16th nationally in total equine population.

Overall, the findings in the New York State Equine Economic Impact Study provide insights useful in understanding the state’s equine industry and the myriad of ways that equines are important to the overall economy and the lives and livelihood of many households in New York.

The New York State Economic Impact study was commissioned by SaddleUpNY! Industry Partners and made possible through the generous contributions of the following Industry Partners and friends: New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Old Field Farm, Ltd, Blue Chip Farm, John Madden Sales, Cornell University Hospital for Animals, New York Farm Bureau, New York State Horse Council, Karin Bump and Timothy Williams, Sally Lynch, Kent Nutrition, and Triple Crown Nutrition. In addition, a linked GoFundMe campaign was also utilized for essential broader support from individuals across the state.

This is the first of a series of press releases focusing on the results of the study. Additional highlights of the New York State Economic Impact study will be released in the coming weeks. Questions can be directed to Dr. Karin Bump, executive director of SaddleUpNY! at

My Mane Squeeze makes it 3 straight in Maddie May

February 18th, 2024

My Mane Squeeze cruises to third straight stakes win in Sunday’s Maddie May at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Buck Butler wryly admits he’d like to see My Mane Squeeze in some big spots, possibly against open company on one of racing’s biggest stages in a race like the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

He’s just not about to get ahead of his skis.

“I do have the dreams, but I have the right people who make the decisions,” Butler told NYRA’s Richard Migliore after his homebred Audible filly won her third straight stakes in Sunday’s $100,000 Maddie May for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies.

My Mane Squeeze made relatively easy work of her nine foes under Jose Lezcano, adding the Maddie May to victories last fall in the Maid of the Mist Stakes on Empire Showcase Day and in mid-January in the Franklin Square. Butler will leave the decision where My Mane Squeeze, a finalist for 2023 New York-bred champion 2-year-old filly honors, will go next.

Meanwhile, he and wife Loretta will continue to enjoy the ride.

“The people I’ve surrounded myself with make it easy for me,” Butler said. “My job, I sign the checks. I went to school in Loyola, but I’m a New Yorker born and bred. I don’t have a plan [for a next start for My Mane Squeeze]. Mike has a plan and I follow Mike’s plan. It’s gotten me here; why should I change?”

The 3-5 favorite off those two stakes wins from the outside post, My Mane Squeeze was content to track the early speed first from Cara’s Time and then Florida shipper and recent claim Blue Eyed Warrior. Running several paths off the rail, Blue Eyed Warrior clicked off the opening quarter-mile in :23.27, ahead of Kentucky shipper Landed down on the rail.

Landed, a half-sister to New York-bred champion Venti Valentine and multiple stakes winner and $516,625-earner Espresso Shot, slipped through the inside to take over approaching the half in :47.59. Lezcano and My Mane Squeeze took up the chase with more pressure from there and the top two separated from the field approaching the stretch.

After passing the 6-furlong split in 1:13.76, My Mane Squeeze took over in upper stretch and edged clear approaching the eighth pole. Lezcano hand rode the filly from there, winning by 4 3/4 lengths and finishing in 1:40.64 over the fast track.

“She broke pretty good, especially (at) a mile it gives you more time to find your stride,” Lezcano said. “I rode her like she’s the best horse in the race and kept her face clean. When I asked her, she kept going and won the race.

“I liked [Landed] and wanted to keep her close to me and see what happens. Stay close enough and when I asked, she kept going and won the race. … She’s pretty versatile.”

Landed, a daughter of Omaha Beach who cost Lael Stable $500,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings, finished second in her stakes debut. She was 8 lengths clear of third-place Bernietakescharge, with Walk With Me fourth. Midnight Concerto, Munny Grab, Cara’s Time, Baroness Bourbon, Rumint and Blue Eyed Warrior completed the field.

My Mane Squeeze earned $55,000 for her Maddie May victory, to boost her bankroll to $293,960 from a record of 4-0-2 in six starts.

Foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, My Mane Squeeze is the fourth foal out of Butler’s Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama.

In Spite of Mama is also the dam of multiple stakes winner and $582,955-earner Rotknee, stakes-placed winner and $170,220-earner Lookin for Trouble, four-time winner and $166,181-earner Mama’s Gold and an unnamed 2-year-old filly by War of Will. In Spite of Mama is also the dam of a New York-bred yearling colt by Runhappy and was bred by popular young New York sire Honest Mischief in 2023.

Carrying Butler’s colors, Rotknee won the Say Florida Sandy Stakes Jan. 28 at Aqueduct to improve to 9-for-17 in his career. A five-time stakes winner, Rotknee joined his younger half- sister as a finalist for champion New York-bred honors. The son of Runhappy is one of four finalists in the male sprinter category.

The New York-bred championships will be presented at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.’s Awards Dinner sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund Monday, May 13 at Sacred Saratoga on the property of GMP Farm in Schuylerville.

Coincidentally that’s five days before the 100th renewal of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

“There’s a joke to that—to the extent that the world wants to get into the Kentucky Oaks or the Kentucky Derby,” Butler said about his dream of winning the Black-Eyed Susan. “I started watching horse racing down at Pimlico in Section AA at Pimlico. I would hang out there on a regular basis. On Fridays, there would be nobody there for the Black-Eyed Susan and I would see these magnificent fillies run. It was a goal I set back then—this is over 50 years ago.

Security Code unlocks first stakes score in Broadway

February 17th, 2024

Security Code holds off Venti Valentine for her first stakes score in Saturday’s Broadway. NYRA Photo.

Phil Serpe never doubted Security Code’s ability, all the way back to the daughter of Frosted’s 2-year-old season. Security Code lived up to that billing in 2022, winning in her second start after a runner-up finish to the talented Maple Leaf Mel in her debut at Saratoga Race Course.

“We’re looking to run her longer as we get down the road,” Serpe told The Saratoga Special in his annual Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour. “She’s a nice filly and we like her a lot.”

Serpe said similar last season, when the bay filly came to Saratoga with one more win and three stakes placings

“I always thought she was going to be a nice horse,” Serpe said in 2023. “She seems like she just doesn’t quite get there in the stakes, but she ran well here and will get another chance before the end of the meet.”

Security Code made the most of that chance – winning a 6-furlong restricted allowance-optional over closing weekend – and ended her run of futility in stakes competition Saturday, holding off her late-running rivals to win the $100,000 Broadway for older New York-bred fillies and mares. Again, to the delight of her veteran conditioner.

“She’s got some fight in her, doesn’t she?,” Serpe said Saturday after Security Code won by a neck over 5-2 favorite Venti Valentine. “We were kind of resigned to the fact that 6 furlongs might be her thing. She did win at 7 furlongs before, but usually you see how good a horse is going to be somewhere into their 3-year-old year.

“She just keeps getting a little bit better and she just seems to be improving. Maybe seven-eighths will be as far as she wants to go, but it’s a good result considering the New York-bred program, which we love and we’re a big part of, so that works out for her.”

Campaigned by Dr. Robert and Laura Vokovich’s WellSpring Stables, Security Code landed her first stakes victory after winning a 6-furlong open-company allowance last month. She won the 7-furlong Broadway in 1:26.77 over the good track under Jose Lezcano.

Security Code improved to 5-for-19 with five seconds and five thirds and earnings of $419,040.

“Dr. Vukovich and his wife, Laura, are great people to train for and it’s always good to win for them,” Serpe said. “It’s good for this filly and she just keeps churning out a lot of good races. It’s funny, Andy Serling mentioned [on America’s Day at the Races] that she just keeps going. She was running here last January and she was running every month into February.”

Bred by Rockridge Stud LLC, Ascendant Farms LLC and Godolphin and out of the Grade 3-placed Montbrook mare Stopspendingmaria, Security Code is indeed proving to be a throwback. Since her debut Aug. 10, 2022, she’s made starts in every month but one (June 2023) since leading up to the Broadway.

Placed in the 2022 Key Cents at Aqueduct and the 2023 Franklin Square Stakes and East View Stakes, both also at the Big A, Security Code went to the post of the Broadway as the 5-1 fourth choice behind Venti Valentine, Kant Hurry Love and Majestic Return.

Lezcano put her in the race early from post six, keeping tabs on early battling leaders Kant Hurry Love and Majestic Return to through opening splits of :23.11 and :47.23. They stayed wide approaching the stretch run and needed to only pass Kant Hurry Love in the lane.

Security Code edged clear of that foe inside the final sixteenth and had enough left to hold off Venti Valentine. Kant Hurry Love finished another 1 ¼ lengths back with Sweetest Princess fourth in the field of seven.

“She broke pretty good and I was happy with the position I got,” Lezcano said. “She’s more comfortable when she’s outside horses. I put her in the clear and she take me from there. When I asked her at the quarter-pole, she kept running. My filly felt the other horse [Venti Valentine] outside and she picked it up again. She pinned her ears back and she wasn’t going to let her go by. She kept running.”

Security Code is one of four winners and two stakes winners out of Stopspendingmaria, originally a $90,000 purchase by Repole Stables at the 2010 OBS Calder sale of selected 2-year-olds in training. She later sold in foal to Outwork to Rockridge Stud for $32,000 at the 2019 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.

Stopspendingmaria is the dam of the Uncle Mo mare No Mo’ Spending, winner of the 2020 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes; stakes-placed $360,765-earner Blewitt, an 8-year-old New York-bred son of Uncle Mo and the winning New York-bred Overanalyze mare Analyzeyurspending.

Stopspendingmaria is also the dam of the 2-year-old New York-bred Malibu Moon filly Maria Moon, who was bred by Rockridge, Ascendant and Spendthrift Farm and sold for $225,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale; and a yearling New York-bred colt by Modernist bred by Rockridge and Ascendant. The same breeders also welcomed a filly out of the mare by Greatest Honour born on Valentine’s Day.

Kinza goes to 2-for-2 in Las Virgenes

February 10th, 2024

Kinza and jockey Juan Hernandez win the Grade 3 Las Virgenes Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita. Benoit Photo.

An impressive maiden special weight winner on debut to end last year, the New York-bred Carpe Diem filly Kinza easily stayed undefeated Saturday with a win in the Grade 3 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Stretching out to 1 mile for her second start, the Bob Baffert trainee went straight to the lead and set an easy pace a length ahead of the rest of the field. Setting early fractions of :22.99 and :46.91, Kinza faced mild pressure for the first time going into the turn when Kopion tried to mount a challenge but Kinza proved to be too good.

Kinza was comfortably ahead throughout the stretch run to win by 2 lengths in 1:37.03 for owner Michael Lund Petersen. The 2024 Las Virgenes was the third win in the stakes in as many years for Baffert, who has eight Las Virgenes winners overall.

“I never asked her to go that fast she was doing it all on her own,” winning jockey Juan Hernandez said “That was the key to win the race, that she was comfortable the whole race. When I asked her at the quarter pole, she picked it up, so I think she is a really nice filly.”

The victory took the undefeated filly to $99,000 in earnings in her two starts with both those wins coming at Santa Anita. Kinza will most likely stretch out even more from here with assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes thinking there is more to come.

“She acts like a filly that can handle (two turns),” Barnes said. “You don’t know until you do it, but she had shown in the morning, in her workouts that she could go further. I was more concerned there was so much speed, with the small field and a lot of speed.”

Bred by JD Business Ventures, Brushy Hill Stables and the Carpe Diem Syndicate, Kinza was sold three times before her debut.

The filly made her auction debut as a weanling when consigned by Schuylerville Thoroughbred Farm and brought $17,000 from Marysue Stable at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale. The following fall, she was purchased as a yearling for $30,000 by Grassroots Training and Sales for $30,000 at the OBS October sale.

Donato Lanni went to $350,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale to purchase her for Petersen as the second most expensive New York-bred of that sale. Kinza is the first foal out of winning Quality Road mare Secret Wonder.

A $100,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase in 2014, Secret Wonder is a half-sister to the stakes placed Mylastfirstkiss. The family also includes Grade 3 winner Gentler Ruler and two other stakes winners under Kinza’s third dam.

Secret Wonder’s youngest foal is a New York-bred Instagrand filly born March 9, 2022.

NYTB Member Exclusive: 2024 Belmont Stakes Presale Access

February 10th, 2024

Dear Members:

All new and renewed 2024 NYTB members are eligible to access the advance ticket presale for the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

This year’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will be contested at Saratoga Race Course for the first time in history to allow for the uninterrupted construction of a new and re-imagined Belmont Park.

The Presale will begin Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 am EST on

Highlighted by the 156th edition of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8, the four-day festival will begin on Thursday, June 6, and continue through Sunday, June 9. The festival will include 23 stakes races with the richest purses since the launch of the multi-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in 2014.

NYRA is operating the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival under many of the traditional Belmont Stakes policies, as such, please note the following as they are different from traditional practices at Saratoga Race Course:

  • On both Friday and Saturday of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, all guests including members and children ages 4-12 will be required to purchase admission in advance of the event.
  • NYTB members can receive a 50 percent discount towards general admission for Friday and Saturday of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival by using the discount code RUNNERClick here to view and unlock the offer using the email address registered with your current and active NYTB membership. Please note there is a two (2) ticket maximum purchase limit per NYTB member (fees apply).
  • Reserved seating and premium hospitality inventory will be extremely limited this year.

All eligible NYTB discount ticket purchases will be verified. To join or renew your NYTB membership for 2024, to take advantage of this special offer, please visit

If you have any questions regarding this year’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival NYTB member discounts, please contact the NYTB membership services team at (518) 587- 0777.

We hope you enjoy these discounted NYTB membership benefits and hope to see you at this year’s historic Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course!

First reported foal for Fire At Will

February 9th, 2024

Fire At Will’s first reported foal, a colt out of Marital Joy. Photo courtesy of Sequel Stallions/Kate Stephenson Photography.

The first reported foal by Sequel Stallions’ Fire At Will was born last week at Fort Christopher’s Thoroughbreds in Fort Edward.

Bred by Horse Haven Racing, the colt is the first foal out of the unraced 4-year-old Practical Joke mare Marital Joy. Marital Joy comes from the family of Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account, dam of Eclipse Award finalist Sharing, the TDN Rising Star and winner of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Fire At Will, a 6-year-old son of Declaration of War out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Flirt, stands for $5,000 at Sequel New York in Hudson. He bred 42 mares in his first season at Sequel.

“The colt has a lot of scope to him. He has a good hind end, like his sire, and is overall very well balanced. This is exactly what we were hoping to see out of the first crop for Fire At Will,” said Sequel’s Becky Thomas

Campaigned by Three Diamonds Farm and trained by Mike Maker, Fire At Will won three of six starts and earned $675,932. Fire At Will won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in 2020 at Keeneland Race Course and the off-the-turf With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga Race Course and Grade 3 Pilgrim on the turf at Belmont Park that same season.

Fire At Will’s dam, Flirt, sold in foal to Lemon Drop Kid for $500,000 at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale. He’s the first foal out of the mare, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Decorated Invader (by Declaration of War), stakes winner Jubliant Girl and stakes-placed Cabral.

NYTB announces 2023 New York-bred divisional championship nominees

February 9th, 2024

NYTB logoNew York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) is pleased to announce the nominees for the New York-bred divisional champions of 2023. A panel of New York Turf writers, broadcasters, handicappers, racing analysts and photographers will vote on the winners of each division and the 2023 New York-bred Horse of the Year.

The 2023 New York-bred divisional champions and New York-bred Horse of the Year will be announced at the NYTB Awards Dinner sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund on Monday, May 13 from 6-9 p.m. at Sacred Saratoga on the property of GMP Farm in Schuylerville.

“Our organization is excited to celebrate this year’s nominees. All are deserving and represent the best in New York breeding and racing. This year’s awards will be a special night at an exciting new location,” said NYTB President Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M.

New York riding legend and NYRA TV personality Richard Migliore will again host the Awards Dinner. Tickets are available $150 for NYTB Members and $175 for non-members – for purchase at or by calling the NYTB Office at (518) 587-0777.

“The New York-bred Divisional Championship Awards is a special night because it recognizes the very best in Thoroughbred breeding and racing in New York,” said Brian O’Dwyer, Chairman of the New York State Gaming Commission and New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund. “On behalf of the New York State Gaming Commission and Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund we are proud to work with NYTB and look forward to celebrating the connections of New York-breds who achieved success representing the New York-bred program last year.”

Also to be honored at the Awards Dinner with 2023 awards will be Broodmare of the Year, Champion Steeplechaser, Trainer, Champion Jockey and Outstanding Breeder.

“NYTB’s annual awards is our marquee event. This year’s nominees are no exception reflecting the quality and strength of the New York-bred program,” said NYTB Executive Director Najja Thompson.

A list of the 2023 New York-bred divisional championship nominees by category follows.

Champion 2-Year-Old Male: Antonio of Venice, El Grande O, The Wine Steward, Wynstock.

Champion 2-Year-Old Filly: Brocknardini, Caldwell Luvs Gold, Cara’s Time, My Mane Squeeze.

Champion 3-Year-Old Male: Allure of Money, Eye Witness, Hejazi, Maker’s Candy.

Champion 3-Year-Old Filly: Downtown Mischief, Gambling Girl, Maple Leaf Mel, Stonewall Star.

Champion Older Dirt Male: Bankit, Dr Ardito, Sherriff Bianco, Straight Arrow.

Champion Older Dirt Female: Classy Edition, Know It All Audrey, Timeless Journey, Venti Valentine.

Champion Turf Male: City Man, Red Knight, Spirit of St Louis, Therapist.

Champion Turf Female: New Ginya, Runaway Rumour, Silver Skillet, Whatlovelookslike.

Champion Male Sprinter: Bold Journey, Today’s Flavor, Rotknee, Thin White Duke.

Champion Female Sprinter: Funny How, Maple Leaf Mel, Rossa Veloce, Sterling Silver.