Myhartblongstodady back to winner’s circle in Hettinger

Friday, October 1st, 2021

Myhartblongstodady and Jose Lezcano return to winning ways in Friday’s John Hettinger at Belmont Park. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Lawrence Goichman’s homebred Myhartblongstodady ended a string of defeats and returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in nearly a year in Friday’s $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes at Belmont Park.

A close second to Giacosa last time out in the Yaddo Handicap on New York Showcase Day at Saratoga, Myhartblongstodady slipped past longshot Cara’s Dreamer at the eighth pole in the 9-furlong Hettinger on the way to a three-quarter-length victory under Jose Lezcano.

“Jose knows her very well. I said to Jose, ‘Just play the break and use your judgment.’ And he did,” winning trainer Jorge Abreu said. “They get along pretty good. I was sort of concerned about the mile and an eighth, but this is one of the weakest fields she ran against compared to the ones she ran in before. She got it done.”

Myhartblongstodady won four straight last year, including the Yaddo at Saratoga and Ticonderoga on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont, before a close third to end the season against open company in the Forever Together. The 6-year-old mare lost four straight in 2021 heading into the Hettinger, including a 10th and an 11th in graded stakes outside of her native state.

Those efforts didn’t deter bettors, who sent Myhartblongstodady off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of six.

Pecatonica took the lead early under Jose Ortiz, then relinquished it without much of a struggle to Myhartblongstodady. The eventual winner led through the opening quarter-mile in :24.80 before Cara’s Dreamer and Dylan Davis circled the field to take the lead by open lengths.

Myhartblongstodady improved to 6-for-15 with three seconds and three thirds in Friday’s John Hettinger. NYRA Photo.

“I let her pass,” Lezcano said of Cara’s Dreamer. “I didn’t want to go head-and-head with her.”

Cara’s Dreamer, coming off a win on the final Saturday of the Saratoga meet and making her stakes debut, led by 2 1/2 lengths after a half in :49.44 while Myhartblongstodady and Two Cent Tootsie chased in second and third with Pecatonica, Dancingwthdaffodls and Ice Princess further back. Cara’s Dreamer still led by a length turning for home while Myhartblongstodady started to rev up in the stretch. The two raced together outside the eighth pole before Myhartblongstodady took over at the eighth pole. Ice Princess made a late run to finish second, a length ahead of Cara’s Dreamer. Myhartblongstodady won in 1:48.20 on the firm inner turf course.

“She did everything right,” said Lezcano, aboard for Myhartblongstodady’s four-race win streak last year and last time out in the Yaddo.

Abreu and Goichman said after the race that Myhartblongstodady would head to the breeding shed in 2022, with one more race on her agenda.

“Hopefully, she comes out of it in good shape and goes to the Ticonderoga,” Abreu said. “That will be her last race and then we will send her to be a broodmare.”

Goichman bred Myhartblongstodady out of his Elusive Quality mare Elusive Ruler. Foaled at Edition Farm in Hyde Park and a second generation homebred for Goichman, Myhartblongstodady is a half-sister to Grade 2-placed stakes winner Runaway Rumour and $201,350-earner and recent Belmont Park optional winner Scuttlebuzz.

Elusive Ruler is also the dam of an unraced 2-year-old More Than Ready gelding Ripe for Mischief, a $75,000 purchase at the OBS April sale who is in training with Jim Bond at Saratoga, and a yearling colt by Oscar Performance that was a $180,000 RNA at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale in August.

Myhartblongstodady improved to 6-for-15 and picked up $68,750 in the Hettinger to boost her bankroll to $442,966.

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