Newly Minted makes added distance look easy in Fleet Indian

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

NYRA/Janet Garaguso

By Sarah Mace

Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Newly Minted came into the $200,000 Fleet Indian for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies with one big question to answer. Although her resume already sported three wins in four careers starts including two stakes victories, how would she take to racing 1 1/8 miles around two turns when her longest race so far was seven furlongs?

When the dust settled, Newly Minted was all alone at the wire with a much-the-best victory over a competitive field. The Fleet Indian kicked off the stakes portion of the Saratoga Showcase Day card. The companion race for 3-year-old males, the Albany Stakes would be run near at the end of the card to bookend the stakes sequence.

A daughter of Central Banker, Newly Minted was unraced as a juvenile, but ever since she burst onto the scene on April 13 for trainer Linda Rice has been a force to reckon with. That day she broke her maiden on a muddy track at Aqueduct by open lengths, only to wheel right back seven days later to capture the Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes (NYSS). The combined margin of victory for the two wins was 13 1/4 lengths. Next out Newly Minted switched up her front-running tactics, stalking and pouncing to prevail in Belmont’s Bouwerie on May 27 by 2 1/2 lengths.

Newly Minted got her first taste of defeat in her fourth race. Making a turf experiment in the NYSS Cupecoy’s Joy on June 23, she finished third as a beaten favorite. Trainer Linda Rice regrets the decision in retrospect, joking “I hate talking about that.” Rice explained, “It was the best opportunity in front of us at the time. She had breezed well on the turf and Central Bankers had been running well on the turf, but she clearly did not like it. I wish we could erase that from her form, but what’s done is done.”

Rice freshened Newly Minted for 61 days before the Fleet Indian, opting not to ship to Finger Lakes for the New York Oaks on July 24. She said, “Mentally and physically [Newly Minted] needed a little more time to recover. I saw some things in her in the paddock in the Bouwerie. Her nerves were a little on edge.”

Newly Minted exited post two cleanly under Jose Lezcano as the odds-on favorite and embarked on a tracking trip in the two-path 1 1/2 lengths behind Maiden Beauty (11-1), who broke from the rail and carved out swift early fractions of 22.99 and 46.66.

Brought along patiently until the far turn, Newly Minted came up to challenge Maiden Beauty, took over the lead with three furlongs to go, then took the rest of the field to school.

Cutting the corner, she effortlessly opened up an insurmountable margin, ultimately crossing the wire a nine-length winner. Kid Is Frosty (7-2) closed into second, 5 3/4 lengths ahead of Elegant Zip in third. Completing the order of finish were Wait a Minute, Maiden Beauty and Behind the Couch. After one mile in 1:36.99, the final time for nine furlongs was 1:50.63. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Jose Lezcano, aboard for all five of Newly Minted’s starts, reported, “We got a very good trip. She broke good. I wanted to be forwardly placed and she was there. I was slightly concerned in the first half, we were moving at a pretty good pace, but she was the best filly in the race. She’s very talented. I think she can run in open company now. She’s very nice and does everything right. Whatever you ask her to do, she does it. Linda does a great job with her.”

Rice, for her part, was very confident that the extra distance would not be an issue, saying, “This filly had trained so well into this race, and conformationally, she’s built like a filly that would get two turns, so I was pretty comfortable running her at the distance today.”

As far as the way the race unfolded, Rice said, “Going into the first turn, Jose was trying to get position and the put up a :22 and four quarter and I was a little nervous about that and the half mile was pretty fast, but she’s a nice filly. Jose did a beautiful job of getting her in position in the first turn and I was happy with what he did there despite the fractions.”

The two-turn success opens up some more doors for Rice, but she is in no hurry to rush into open competition before next year. “I just want to take one step at a time. Maybe open company and then a graded stakes next winter, as she’s turning four would be a good thing. But we’re just going to try and let her come along. I’m trying to take baby steps with her.”

Newly Minted has earned $346,350 from four victories, including her three stakes wins, and a third for Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, who purchased her for $110,000 at the 2018 OBS March sale.

Bred by Chester and Mary Broman, Newly Minted is the second foal out of the couple’s homebred two-time winner Newbie (Bernardini), both of whose offspring to start have won. She has a juvenile filly by Carpe Diem named Coco Cookies, an unnamed yearling filly by Speightstown and foaled a filly by Classic Empire on April 29. She has been bred to American Pharoah.

Newly Minted’s sire Central Banker stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs. His 2019 stud fee was $7,500.


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