Bavaro captures Hollie Hughes fresh off the claim

Monday, February 18th, 2019

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

All In the Family Racing had good reason to celebrate President’s Day, when new acquisition Bavaro, who was claimed on their behalf by Linda Rice on January 11, handily won the featured $100,000 Hollie Hughes for older New York-breds at six furlongs. The win was a first stakes victory for All In the Family Racing and the third straight win for the 5-year-old grey son of by Freud (Sequel Stallions).

The field of the Hollie Hughes Stakes got quite a makeover after scratches. Would-be contenders Honor Up and Syndergaard raced the day before, finishing one-two, just noses apart, in a memorable renewal of the Haynesfield Stakes. Also scratched were likely favorite Build to Suit, a talented Chad Brown trainee, and Runaway Lute. Among the six horses left in the mix, there was a preponderance of early speed.

After the break, Eye Luv Lulu, Sudden Surprise and Tribecca took part in the early scrum, before Tribecca, prevailing, emerged to lead the group through an opening quarter in 22.65 pressed along by Eye Luv Lulu.

Bavaro, too, looked to get into the action in the relatively early stages. After recovering from a bobble and a bump at the break, he advanced confidently under Junior Alvarado along the backstretch and approach to the turn. Making his way into second early on the bend, he engaged Tribecca and took over as the field neared the quarter pole.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

As the half ticked away in 46.22, Bavaro scampered clear. Digging in to discourage any possible challengers, he posted a one-length victory unmolested in a final time of 1:11.78. Celtic Chaos, a one-run closer, got up for second with an energetic rally, while Eye Luv Lulu hung on for third. Next across the line were Tribecca, Sudden Surprise and Bluegrass Express. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Bavaro began his career auspiciously, winning his 2-year-old debut for Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm and trainer Gary Sciacca by more than five lengths and, next out, upsettjng the New York Stallion Stakes series Great White Way. Winless as a sophomore, however, he moved his tack to the barn of Jeremiah Englehart but didn’t find the winner’s circle again until May 2018, by now racing in Englehart’s colors at Finger Lakes.

Following a strong season, in which he won five of ten starts in all, Bavaro returned to the NYRA circuit and was dangled twice at Aqueduct for a $25,000 tag. When he won by more than four lengths on December 8, he was able to return to his own stall after the race. Following an even more impressive 8 1/2-length blowout on January 11, however, the claim box routed him to Linda Rice’s barn.

“I was pretty excited about running him here today off the claim,” said Rice. “He had been training really well coming into the race.”

She added, “I was a bit concerned there was a lot of speed in here. He didn’t break that sharp today, but Junior [Alvarado] rode him beautifully so we’re very excited. This was the first stakes win for All In The Family Racing, so I’m very happy for them as well.”

“We were hoping to go to the lead,” said Alvarado, who has now ridden Bavaro to three straight victories. “He’s been winning on the lead. I thought that was his best shot. He kind of missed the break a little bit there, so I had to go plan B. Good thing he didn’t try to run off right away. I let him settle in, put him on the outside; then after that, from the half-mile pole, he pretty much took me all the way around.”

Bavaro was bred by a partnership of Hidden Lake Farm (where he was foaled), Gunston Hall Farm and Anthony Grey. His dam Chantess, an unraced daughter of Unbridled’s Song, was a $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase in 2004, and last changed hands at public auction when purchased by JMJ Racing at the 2007 Keeneland November sale for $150,000.

The grey is one of three winners for Chantess and the first to earn black type. She has an unraced 3-year-old gelding by Honorable Dillon named Michael Connor, a juvenile filly by Medal Count, an Into Mischief yearling colt and was bred in 2018 to More than Ready.

Bavaro sold as a weanling to Machmer Hall for $20,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga mixed sale in Saratoga, before being picked up by Parcells the following year for $85,000 at the Fasig-Tipton preferred New York-bred yearling sale. From nine victories with one second and two thirds from 20 starts, Bavaro has netted $312,605 in earnings.


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