Ny Traffic scores first stakes victory in Hudson

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

Ny Traffic, a veteran of last year’s Triple Crown series, notches first stakes victory in Saturday’s Hudson Handicap at Belmont Park. NYRA Photo.

By Mary Eddy

Ny Traffic earned the fourth win of his career in Saturday’s $150,000 Hudson Handicap at Belmont Park, collecting his first stakes victory for owners John Faneli, Cash Is King, LC Racing, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley.

Returning to sprinting after a sixth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic at 9 furlongs Aug. 27, Ny Traffic impressed in the 6 1/2-furlong Hudson over a sloppy and sealed main track, coasting home 8 3/4 lengths clear of late-closing Chestertown with Jemography third and Foolish Ghost third.

After a slight delay at the start when Foolish Ghost hesitated to take his place in the gate, Ny Traffic broke from post 8 under Irad Ortiz Jr., who also piloted the 4-year-old colt to his last victory in May. Kept mid-pack and in hand by Ortiz, Ny Traffic raced five-wide behind pacesetter Foolish Ghost through an opening quarter in :22.24 before being hurried along the outside of his rivals in the turn. Taking command at the top of the stretch, Ny Traffic never looked back, stopping the clock in 1:17.51.

Though the Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee was a bit distracted around the far turn, Ortiz was still confident Ny Traffic would deliver in the stretch.

“When I turned for home, I had the horse but he was looking around a little bit,” said Ortiz. “So, I hit him a couple times to stay straight and make him go forward and after he did, I wrapped it up.”

Of the nine tracks Ny Traffic has visited in his 16-race career, it seems Belmont Park is where the colt likes it best.

“He does like it here a lot,” said Sarah Shaffer, Joseph’s assistant. “He’s familiar with the surface. It’s nice to get the horse back in good form and see him back to his winning ways.”

It’s been a long road to a stakes victory for Ny Traffic, who finished on the board in five stakes since February 2020.

A popular participant on the road to last year’s rearranged Triple Crown series, Ny Traffic flashed his talent with a trio of runner-up efforts in graded stakes company in the first half of his sophomore campaign.

The gray son of Cross Traffic finished second in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, where he was defeated just a nose by eventual Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic.

After off-the-boarded finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last fall, Ny Traffic returned to the races in May with an allowance victory at Belmont and another graded placing in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park. His victory in the Hudson Handicap boosted his earnings to $754,920.

The first foal from the New York-bred Graeme Hall mare Mamie Reilly, Ny Traffic was bred by Brian Culnan and foaled at Gallagher’s Stud in Ghent. Mamie Reilly’s second foal, the 3-year-old Normandy Invasion gelding Purple Hearted, earned his first victory in March and has finished in the money in five other starts. Purple Hearted finished second to Americanrevolution in this year’s New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

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