My Boy Tate aces NYSS Thunder Rumble after long break

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

My Boy Tate, a 5-year-old gelding by Boys At Tosconova, did his connections proud Sunday when he returned from a 400-day layoff to defeat a competitive field in the $150,000 Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at Aqueduct Racetrack. Trainer Michelle Nevin, who prepared him for the successful return, is also My Boy Tate’s breeder and co-owner in partnership with Billy Koch’s Little Red Feather Racing.

My Boy Tate began his career in the maiden claiming ranks in January 2017, but quickly moved up where he belonged. After two strong outings in New York-bred maiden special weight races that winter and spring, he graduated by daylight at Saratoga at fourth asking.

The dark bay then proceeded to reel off four more dominant wins, completing his New York-bred allowance conditions in November and December and winning back-to-back stakes: the Say Florida Sandy and Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct in January and February 2018. In three further starts he collected a runner-up finish in the Tale of the Cat at Saratoga in August. Ultimately. he faltered in the Hudson Stakes, where he finished last and went to the sidelines for 13 months.

Returning Sunday on a wet day at the Big A, My Boy Tate seemed, on the one hand, to have a lot going for him. He was a multiple stakes winner with a 4-for-6 record at Aqueduct, had a perfect 3-for-3 tally over off going, and some gaudy Beyer Speed figures in his past performances. He posted a series of sharp works for his return, including a trio of five-furlong bullet moves in October and November. He was also full of himself in paddock on the heels of a three-furlong blow-out on Thursday. The critical question about the return remained, however, and he went off as the 4-1 third choice under Manny Franco in the field of eight, which contained an engaging mix of beloved veterans and intriguing new faces.

However sharp he appeared pre-race, My Boy Tate, rated kindly in fifth in the early stages of the Thunder Rumble, about four lengths behind the dueling Arthur’s Hope and sophomore Dark Money. Binkster and Kazmania pursued in third and fourth through opening splits of 22.91 and 46.51.

Coglianese Photos

Traveling wide along the backstretch, well outside the kickback, My Boy Tate made up ground approaching the turn and advanced between horses into contention in the bend.

Shifting out deftly five-wide for clear running room at the head of the stretch, My Boy Tate kicked into gear. He rolled comfortably past the competition by midstretch and widened his lead on his way to a 1 3/4 length victory.

Hard-hitting stalwart T Loves a Fight, well back early, closed with good energy mid-track to get second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Binkster, who led briefly and stayed well for third. Arthur’s Hope completed the superfecta. Completing the order of finish were Sicilia Mike, Kazmania, Gold for the King, who had won the Thunder Rumble for the past two years, and Dark Money. After six panels in 1:11.82, the final time was 1:24.39 over the sloppy main track.

“I knew there was going to be some pace in front of me, so I didn’t want to be there too early,” said jockey Manny Franco. “My horse doesn’t have to be [at the front], so I sat back and when I asked him in the stretch, he was there for me. He handled the track really well. I think that helped me a lot. He was ready today.”

Reflecting on the long layoff, Nevin said, “He was well worth the wait. He had just been doing so well, breezing like clockwork, and he was always on the muscle.”

Foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, My Boy Tate is one of three winners, and the first to earn black type, from three foals to race out of Backslash, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Sharp Humor who was purchased by Paul P. Pompa Jr. as a Keeneland September yearling in 2009 for $85,000.

With six wins in 12 starts, two secondd and one third and three stakes victories, My Boy Tate has bankrolled $361,400.

Boys At Tosconova, who entered stud in 2013, stood at Questroyal North in 2019 for a $2,500 stud fee.

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