Espresso Shot carries juvenile momentum into sophomore year with Busher score

Saturday, March 9th, 2019

NYRA/Jasko Viola

By Sarah Mace

Espresso Shot (Mission Impazible), winner of the East View Stakes in her juvenile finale, got her sophomore campaign off to rousing start when she passed rivals in the stretch to win the $250,000 Busher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Saturday.

Campaigned by NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable, Espresso shot earned 50 qualifying points toward a start in the Kentucky Oaks. This was the second year in a row that a New York-bred found the Busher’s winner’s circle, after Midnight Disguise rallied to win the race last year.

The 4-1 third choice in the robust field of 10, Espresso Shot exited the gate cleanly to go the one-turn mile under jockey Eric Cancel, the same trip and rider as the East View.

The bay filly was content to occupy the rear guard in the early stages of the race while Excess Capacity led the way through an opening quarter in 23.51, and was joined on her outside by Filly Joel, Please Flatter Me and Orra Moor.

Coming off the rail on the backstretch and gaining a couple of spots on the closely-bunched group, Espresso Shot went three-wide in the far turn. Up front, as the half went in 46.58, Excess Capacity yielded the lead to Filly Joel.

Advancing into contention by the quarter pole and widest of four fillies stacked up across the track, Espresso Shot moved in tandem with a fifth contender Oxy Lady. Both had Please Flatter Me, Orra Moor and Filly Joel Still to run down after six furlongs ticked by in 1:11.44.

Wearing down her rivals, Espresso Shot struck the front just in advance of the sixteenth pole and edged off to win by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:37.69.

The stewards were called upon to adjudicate an incident in the stretch when Oxy Lady had to check in close quarters around the three-sixteenths pole, but there was no change in the order of finish. Oxy Lady ended up second, 3-2 favorite Orra Moor finished a head back in third, followed by Please Flatter Me, another head back. Completing the order of finish were Filly Joel, Enliven, Dovey Lovey, Excess Capacity and Ujjayi. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“To be honest, I had a wonderful trip,” said jockey Eric Cancel. “I had it all planned out in my mind. I mean, it worked very well. The filly broke there with them. I was just trying to get her to a comfortable position, where we were both happy. I did have the trip, once I started getting closer to the three-eighths, I just swung her out a little bit, and just let her cruise around. Once I got to the quarter pole, it was ‘let’s go.’

Cancel added, “I was very confident. [Trainer] Jorge Abreu knows what he’s doing; he does a good job. She’s a very talented filly. I didn’t have any doubt that I had a shot to win the race.”

Speaking for the large group of partners that crowded the winner’s circle after Expresso Shot’s victory, Daniel Zanatta, managing partner NY Final Furlong Racing Stable, said, “It’s so exciting to go from winning a [restricted] stakes with a New York-bred to come into open company and basically ensure a spot in the Kentucky Oaks. It’s pretty special. We only buy New York-bred fillies. My dream is not to win the Kentucky Derby, my dream is to win the Kentucky Oaks with a New York-bred filly, and we’re on our way, so it’s very exciting.”

Zanatta continued, “”We were one of the first owners with Jorge Abreu two years ago. We’ve done fantastic with him. He helped us pick this filly out along with Brandon and Ally Rice. She’s never missed a beat. She’s been on the track training as a 2-year-old since April 1 and she’s never missed a breeze. She trained perfectly, and it’s great to get this big win with a young trainer just starting out. We were all in the winner’s circle jumping up and down and to have her come wide and be six or seven lengths off of it, it was the best way to win a stakes race.”

In six career starts Espresso Shot has only had one sub-par outing. Third on debut at Saratoga on August 16 in a turf sprint, the bay came back on September 14 to break her maiden going 1 1/16 miles in an off-the-turf event. Following a tough outing in the Grade 2 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland where she finished last after being steadied in the first turn, Expresso Shot aced the Key Cents stakes before a brief freshening at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida. From three wins, a second and a third the filly has earned $262,975.

Bred by Twin Creeks Farm and sired by New York-based third-crop sire Mission Impazible (Sequel Stallions), Expresso Shot is out of Glory Gold, a winning daughter of Medaglia d’Oro bred in New York by Dr. Lance G. Bell. Glory Gold was purchased by Twin Creeks Farm for $125,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale and has since changed hands twice, most recently when snapped up by Final Furlong Racing for $13,000 at this year’s renewal of the same sale. On February 14, 2019 she foaled a filly by Firing Line.

Espresso Shot, originally sold as a short yearling at the 2017 Keeneland January Sale for $22,000, before being purchased later that year by Final Furlong Racing for $69,000 at the Fasig-Tipton preferred New York-bred yearling sale in Saratoga.


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