Tribecca notches first stakes victory in Leon Reed

Monday, October 7th, 2019

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By Sarah Mace

Recent claim Tribecca stole the show at Finger Lakes on Monday when he notched his first stakes victory in the featured 12th running of the $50,000 Leon Reed Memorial Stakes. This was Tribecca’s second win since being claimed by Chris Englehart for Ronald A. Brown out of a winning effort at Saratoga on August 4. A 5-year-old Bustin Stones gelding, Tribecca is in career form in 2019 with five wins from nine starts for three different barns.

Tribecca began this year in the barn of Rudy Rodriguez racing in the colors of Red Storm Stable et al, for whom he won a second level state-bred allowance on January 27. The chestnut was claimed on April 10 by John Toscano, Jr. on behalf of Bran Jam Stable for $40,000 out of his second victory for the year at the same level. In his second start for Toscano, while being dangled for $25,000 in a 6-furlong sprint at the Spa, Tribecca won again and was astutely scooped up by Englehart.

When he made his first start for his new connections on September 18 – also his Finger Lakes debut – Tribecca utterly demolished an allowance / optional claiming field by 11 1/2 lengths, earning the right to take a shot in the Leon Reed.

This year’s renewal of the Leon Reed attracted some of the top Finger Lakes sprinters. Saratoga Giro, last year’s Finger Lakes Horse of the Year for trainer Paul Barrow, was entered, along with his uncoupled stablemate P J Advantage, winner last out of the George W. Barker on June 3, and looking for a third straight win. Winston’s Chance, who won the Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes on August 19 won the Leon Reed last year for Debra Breed, her fourth training victory in the race in four years .  Leap to Glory was the 18-1 longshot of the field and Royal Asset was scratched.

Exiting post two as the 4-5 favorite under John Davila, Jr., Tribecca was out a step slower than Leap to Glory, but gunned his way to the front and opened a length on his rival for the trip along the backstretch.

Widening his advantage to three lengths through the far turn after a quarter in 21.77 and half in 44.98, Tribecca continued to hold sway unchallenged. Meanwhile late-running Winston’s Chance uncoiled his rally from the back of the pack and, at the top of the stretch, commenced a five-wide charge.

Flying late, Winston’s Chance passed the rest of his rivals but was unable to catch Tribecca, who held firm under a drive to get the win by three-quarters of a length. P J Advantage finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Winston’s Chance, followed by Saratoga Giro and Leap to Glory, who weakened after contesting the pace. The final time was 1:11.03. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Bred by Laurel Least and Joseph Lech, Tribecca is one of two winners out of Heck, by Heckle, a three-time winner bred in New York by JMJ Racing Stables. She currently has a weanling by Revolutionary.

Tribecca was originally purchased by his first conditioner Gary Sciacca for Dan and Michael A. Henning for just $10,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic October yearling sale. A consistent and hardy competitor, Tribecca has earned $415,721 from nine wins, four seconds and four thirds in 32 career starts.

The Leon Reed Stakes is run in honor the Finger Lakes assistant starter who tragically lost his life in a starting gate accident in 2005.


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