Team Effort: Showcase Day highlights state’s breeding program

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

Rinaldi, winner of the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple the second day of the Saratoga meet, returns to defend title in Friday’s West Point. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law and Paul Halloran

Friday’s Saratoga Showcase Day card for New York-breds features six stakes worth $1.15 million and five others worth $395,000.

On display at Saratoga Race Course – 110 horses bred in the Empire State by dozens of breeders, conditioned by 62 trainers and owned by scores of owners. That’s what you can see on the overnight, in the Post Parade or Daily Racing Form, or any decipherable website with entries and results.

What most don’t see – like every race day at every track worldwide – is what it takes to get to a Showcase Day.

“I was told a long time ago. I came from the corporate world and I didn’t get it. A friend of mine from Kentucky said ‘this is a lifestyle,’ ” said Tina Bond, riding back and forth from Clare Court to Gridley Street with husband and trainer Jim Bond behind the wheel of the Bond Stable golf cart. “Once you put your head around that it’s easier to digest. We live on a farm, so it is our life. You don’t get away from it. Some days are tough, yes, but I don’t know what we would do that would be so satisfying. There are days that are challenging, but the rewards …”

The Bonds, who own and operate Song Hill Thoroughbreds in Mechanicville, will try for a couple of the day’s major rewards when they run Rinaldi in the $150,000 West Point Stakes and Giacosa in the $150,000 Yaddo. Giacosa is a homebred, a daughter of the Bond-trained Tizway out of the Smart Strike mare Smart Engagement that Jim Bond bought as a yearling for $30,000 and won two races with on the NYRA circuit in 2008 and 2009.

The Bonds spent Tuesday morning training the family’s string out of their private barn on Gridley and another on the main track not far from the Morning Line Kitchen. When they finished there they, like other small-, medium- and large-scale breeders in the state, went to the farm to continue the process of producing the next generation of potential runners to compete at Saratoga.

“Tuesday is a dark day for a lot of people but after this we’re going to the farm to wean some babies off their mares,” Jim Bond said. “We all want to get here. When you’re lucky enough to win at Saratoga with one of them it’s like ‘wow, it came together, finally.’ You have to wait, sometimes, three years, or more for that plan. You talk about a stock market going up and down. It’s a roller coaster someday, one comes in with a temperature, something wrong or whatever it might be. It’s humbling.”

Myhartblongstodady, a homebred for Lawrence Goichman, returns to defend crown in Saturday’s Yaddo. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Lawrence Goichman knows the rewards and what it takes to make it in New York.

He bred last year’s Yaddo winner Myhartblongstodady from a relatively small broodmare band and he finished second in last weekend’s Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes with the 3-year-old New York-bred filly Runaway Rumour.

Goichman is represented by three runners on the Showcase Day card – Myhartblongstodady in her Yaddo defense, Run Curtis Run in the $200,000 Funny Cide for 2-year-olds and Graded On A Curve in the West Point. He owns Myhartblongstodady, but sold Run Curtis Run ($45,000 at 2020 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale) and Graded On A Curve ($80,000 at 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale).

“It’s nice to see horses that I bred run,” Goichman said. “As a breeder, it gives me the chance to visit with the kids who graduated from our program. I can unequivocally say that I’m nervous. I want them all to do well.

“It’s a great program, that’s why I pursue it. It enables you to come up with the income you need to support your program. Unless you’re a member of the ruling class in the Middle East and you have oil wells, you have to make it work financially. I wanted to develop a breeding program and that’s what I did. The goal was to produce some high-quality runners. It’s a lot of fun when it works. Friday is going to be a lot of fun for me, to see three horses I bred all in stakes.”

Make Mischief started her 2021 campaign with a victory in late January at Aqueduct. She bids for her fourth victory – and second stakes – in Friday’s Fleet Indian at Saratoga. NYRA Photo.

Make Mischief, bred by the Martinez family’s Avanti Stable in nearby Greenfield Center, makes her second start at Saratoga this year and a return to Showcase Day after finishing second in last year’s Seeking The Ante. Foaled at Song Hill, the daughter of Into Mischief out of the Speightstown mare Speightful Lady runs in the $200,000 Fleet Indian after finishing eighth in the Grade 1 Test Stakes Aug. 7. She also finished second in last year’s Grade 3 Schuylerville and Grade 2 Adirondack.

“It’s a good day for us, with Make Mischief in the race,” Mario Martinez said. “Speightful Lady (also mother of Speightful Kitten, $220,000 earner) has done very well for us with some great offspring. We stopped selling horses and we are going to enjoy racing them ourselves.

“It’s a good day to spotlight the New York-breds. The New York breeding program has come a long way. It’s an attractive way to induce breeders to keep breeding in New York. There are significant financial advantages. As breeders, it’s important to us that horses stay in New York.”

Hibiscus Stable bred a winner on Big Apple Showcase Day this spring at Belmont Park when Robin Sparkles took the off-the-turf Mount Vernon Stakes. With a broodmare band of about seven, the Hibiscus Stable also bred Yaddo contender and July 24 Saratoga winner Mike’s Girl.

Foaled at Dr. Jerry Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, Mike’s Girl is a 5-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy out of the Salt Lake mare Salt Water Reign who originally sold for $160,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. Hibiscus also bred Funny Guy, who earned $638,645 and won the 2019 Albany on Saratoga Showcase Day, along with the Commentator, John Morrissey and a Stallion Series event in 2020.

“We focus mostly on New York breeding and racing,” said Jon Taisey, of Hibiscus. “We take a lot of pride in our breeding. The Showcase Days are fun. As a breeder, it’s just as much fun as being the owner, when you watch them get to the track and be successful.”

Showcase Day kicks off at 1:05 p.m. Friday with the first stakes – the $200,000 Seeking The Ante for 2-year-old fillies – at 1:41. Miss Alacrity, a daughter of Munnings bred by Milfer Farm who won the Colleen Stakes Aug. 1 at Monmouth Park, drew the rail in the field of six. The $200,000 Funny Cide with a field of eight goes as the fourth at 2:47. Bob Hahn’s homebred Goldencents colt Daufuskie Island figures to vie for favoritism with Rick Violette winner Run Curtis Run, California shipper Montebello and Saratoga debut winners Senbei and Happy Happy B.

Make Mischief and eight others are entered in the 9-furlong Fleet Indian that goes as the seventh at 4:29. Rinaldi defends his title in the West Point, the eighth at 5:03, against the likes of Therapist, Mo Ready and Graded On A Curve. New York Derby winner Americanrevolution, a colt by Constitution bred by Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding, is one of nine entered for the 9-furlong Albany along with Bobby Bo, Bingo John and Purple Hearted. The Yaddo closes the stakes portion of the card as the 10th at 6:13. Defending champ Myhartblongstodady meets Classic Lady, Giacosa, Pecatonica and others in the 1 1/16-mile turf test.


Two-day Pick 4

NYRA will host a two-day $2 Pick 4 with races on Friday’s Showcase Day and Saturday’s Travers Day cards. The wager is available to any location that has access to NYRA content. This is NOT restricted to only NYRA Bets customers. The following are details pertaining to the special wager:

  • NYRA will be the host and settle for the wager, which will have the standard NYRA Pick 4 takeout (24%) 
  • The wager minimum is $2
  • The 2 Day $2 Pick 4 will be a separate event wager in tote under Event Code SQD
  • Mandatory payout of the entire pool on the day of
  • The race order and approximate post times (eastern) are as follows: 

Leg A: Saratoga (Friday)Race 9 (5:39 pm) 

Leg B: Saratoga (Friday)Race 10 (6:13 pm) 

Leg C: Saratoga (Saturday)Race 10 (4:47 pm) 

Leg D: Saratoga (Saturday)Race 12 (6:12 pm)

Free PPs will be available on both and

Equibase will be creating a special race card file for the wager that will be available once the card goes final.

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