New York Showcase Special

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

New York Oaks winner A Bit o’Irish Sass tries to make it three in a row in Friday’s Fleet Indian. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

The biggest day of the Saratoga season for New York-breds – and easily one of the most anticipated of the year – unfolds Friday with New York Showcase Day.

Eleven races are on tap, including six stakes worth $1.15 million. Everything starts at 1:05 and the first stakes, the $200,000 Seeking the Ante for 2-year-old fillies, goes as the second race at 1:41. The team at The Saratoga Special and This Is Horse Racing wanted to preview all the action and present the New York Showcase Special to set the stage. And we’ll be back with another edition for Empire Showcase Day this fall at Belmont Park.

Here’s wishing everyone in the New York Thoroughbred industry a safe Showcase Day and prosperous rest of the year.


Worth Repeating

“New York Showcase Day is the flagship event on the calendar for our state’s breeders and owners. We’re proud to partner with NYRA to feature an all New York-bred card at the premier racing meet in the country with lucrative purses and six state-bred stakes totaling $1.15 million.”
New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Executive Director Najja Thompson.

“It showcases exactly what New York is all about. We can raise a good horse and compete at the highest level at Saratoga. There’s nothing better. Needless to say, Rinaldi, he just came out of a Grade 3. We looked at the Fourstardave and I felt like maybe it was too tough for him.”
Trainer Jim Bond on Rinaldi, winner of last year’s West Point and back again after winning the Forbidden Apple the first Friday of the meet

“Pecatonica, she’s got a fighting chance. Hopefully she’ll give Castellano a good feel and he’ll ride her hard. She has to be ridden, she’s very willing but she still has to be ridden to get something done. She’s doing well. Really well.”
Trainer Tom Bush on Berkshire Stud’s homebred Pecatonica, who runs in the Yaddo

“It took me six months to convince Charlie Frock and Gerald Burns to come back to New York. They finally shipped up here and she won the allowance. There’s no better time to try a stakes race with her. She’s training well and she has a shot. I think she’s going to try to put in the best race of her career.”
John Taisey, breeder of Yaddo entrant Mike’s Girl through his Hibiscus Stables

“I can unequivocally say that I’m nervous. I want them all to do well.”
Lawrence Goichman, breeder of three stakes runners on Showcase Day including last year’s Yaddo winner Myhartblongstodady


By the Numbers

4: Horses bred solely or in partnership by the three breeders most-represented on the card – Dr. Jerry Bilinski, McMahon of Saratoga, and Sequel.

6: Offspring of the late Effinex, who stood at Questroyal North, entered to lead all sires. War Dancer, now at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views, leads among active stallions with five.

7: Horses entered Friday by trainer Christophe Clement, most of any conditioner on the card. Jeremiah Englehart is second with six.

12.75: Combined margin of victory for the Milfer Farm-bred Miss Alacrity in her two starts prior to Friday’s Seeking the Ante Stakes.

62: Trainers with runners on Showcase Day.

110: Horses entered on Showcase Day.

$677,865: Earnings for 6-year-old Freud gelding Therapist, most of any runner on the Showcase Day card.

$800,000: Total spent at auction for three fillies in the Seeking the Ante – $500,000 Velvet Sister, $150,000 Miss Alacrity and $150,000 Laoban’s Legacy.

$1,545,000: Purses for the 11 races on Showcase Day.


Names of the Day

Baudi Moovan, fifth race: The 3-year-old Twirling Candy filly is named for lead character in the pandemic hit documentary Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.

Exact Change, fifth race: Daughter of Central Banker out of Precise Lady also runs in the 5 ½-furlong maiden on the grass

Mosienko, sixth race: Stacy Lalman’s 4-year-old Hat Trick filly, bred by Anthony Grey, is named for former NHL star credited with fastest hat trick in history – 21 seconds.

Byhubbyhellomoney, seventh race: Daughter of Effinex goes in the Fleet Indian.

Purple Hearted, ninth race: Epona Racing Stable’s gelding by Normandy Invasion finished second to Americanrevolution in the New York Derby. Salute to all the veterans.


Tiz the Law autograph session 

Fans have the opportunity to celebrate 2020 New York-bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male Tiz the Law, last year’s Belmont Stakes and Travers winner, during a special autograph session with owner Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stables, trainer Barclay Tagg and jockey Manny Franco.

The trio will offer autographed editions of a commemorative Tiz the Law poster at the Jockey Silks Room Porch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a recommended donation to the Backstretch Employee Service Team and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy. Tiz the Law hats and t-shirts will be available for an additional donation.

Tiz the Law posters are free throughout the day at NYRA Bets Squad kiosks and Guest Services locations, while supplies last.


The Showcase Special

Saratoga Race Course. Race 1. 1:05 p.m. Full group of 10 2-year-olds, plus a couple main track only runners, for 5 1/2-furlong turf maiden.

November Rein, a winner in her second start July 16 at Saratoga, goes in the Seeking the Ante. NYRA Photo.

Saratoga. Race 2. 1:41. The $200,000 Seeking the Ante. Miss Alacrity, daughter of Munnings bred by Milfer Farm Inc., comes in with wins by 10 lengths at Belmont Park in May and 2 ¾ in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park Aug. 1. She’ll be tough from the rail against November Rein, Laoban’s Legacy and Velvet Sister.

Saratoga. Race 3. 2:15. Back to the grass for two-turn maiden for 3-year-olds and up. Barrage, a son of New York-based sire War Dancer, tried divisions of the New York Stallion Series in his last two starts and returns to the main ranks for Danny Gargan. Merrylegs Farm North homebred Yarrow and Gallaghers Stud homebred Sandro the Great look to graduate.

Saratoga. Race 4. 2:47. The $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. Eight entered for 6 1/2-furlong stakes, including California shipper and $400,000 yearling Montebello, Rick Violette Stakes winner Run Curtis Run and debut maiden winner Daufuskie Island.

Saratoga. Race 5. 3:23. Back to the grass for 5 1/2-furlong maiden for 3-year-olds and up. Mark Casse sends out Sinfully Sweet, daughter of Twirling Candy who cost Tracy Farmer $320,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. Gary Sciacca continues his quest for 1,000 wins and could get to 999 with Caumsett in her eighth start.

Saratoga. Race 6. 3:55. Sort out this group of 11 fillies and mares for 7-furlong allowance and there should be some type of reward.

Saratoga. Race 7. 4:29. The $200,000 Fleet Indian for 3-year-old fillies kicks off run of four straight stakes. A Bit o’Irish Sass won the New York Oaks last time at Finger Lakes and looks to make it three in a row for trainer Rick Schosberg. She’ll need a top effort if Make Mischief, a competitor in seven graded stakes in her 13-start career.

Saratoga. Race 8. 5:03. Excellent group of older turf horses for the $150,000 West Point Stakes presented by Trustco Bank. Rinaldi, winner of the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple and 4-for-5 on the grass at Saratoga, leads the cast. Connections considered the Grade 1 Fourstardave but opted instead for title defense here. They take on multiple stakes winner Therapist, City Man, Graded On a Curve and Mo Ready.

Americanrevolution gave Luis Saez plenty to smile about in the New York Derby. SV Photography.

Saratoga. Race 9. 5:39. Americanrevolution blasted the field in the New York Derby last month and looks to add another prize in the $250,000 Albany. Trained by Todd Pletcher, son of Constitution rides two-race win streak into 9-furlong headliner. The main threats look like Bobby Jo, son of Speightster who ships in from Southern California off a win at Del Mar; and Anejo, winner at the track and trip Aug. 11.

Saratoga. Race 10. 6:13. Another title defense on the line with Myhartblongstodady returning to the state-bred ranks in the $150,000 Yaddo Handicap. One of the best fixtures on the New York-bred racing calendar, 1 1/16-mile turf stakes also attracts last year’s third-place finisher Classic Lady, Saratoga Dew winner Dancing Kiki, Chocolate Cookie and Giacosa.

Saratoga. Race 11. 6:47. Don’t hit the exit just yet. A maiden claimer on the grass with a full field of 12, along with three AEs and an MTO, closes the card.

Leave a Reply