Venti Valentine highlights big day for Final Furlong, Maspeth

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

Venti Valentine cruises to victory in the $250,000 Maid of the Mist Saturday at Belmont Park. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable enjoyed a big Empire Showcase Day Saturday at Belmont Park with two top-three finishers out of their mare Glory Gold led by Venti Valentine’s easy victory in the Maid of the Mist Stakes.

“After Espresso finished third to have her sister go off and win the way she did, everybody is over the moon,” Final Furlong Racing Stable’s Vince Roth said of Venti Valentine.

Winning by just a nose in her debut at 6 furlongs in September when running into trouble, Venti Valentine showed that a mile was more her style on the sloppy and sealed main track.

Breaking on the rail a step slow, she hurried through the field to protect that spot as she settled in fourth about 3 lengths behind the leading Sandy’s Garden. The pacesetter covered the first half in a relatively unpressured :46.68 before the field made its way around the turn and she was urged to pick up the pace.

That filly had done all she could do by the time they hit the top of the stretch and a hole opened in front of Venti Valentine to give her an easy route to the lead.

Irad Ortiz Jr. was just along for the ride as Venti Valentine galloped away from the field with no one able to go with her. The late-running Captainsdaughter was able to cut the winner’s lead down to 3 3/4 lengths in the end but she was the only one within 7 1/2 lengths of the Firing Line filly. Venti Valentine won in 1:39.78.

“She got left at the gate first time out and she overcame that,” Ortiz said. “She came running six-wide. I told the trainer, ‘Look, she came running.’ So, he ran in the stake and it turned out great.”

The filly is owned by her co-breeder Final Furlong Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds, who also co-owns the filly’s half-sister Espresso Shot, third in the Iroquois Stakes on Showcase Day. Both are trained by Jorge Abreu.

Abreu confirmed that Venti Valentine would be staying in New York for the winter but said they don’t yet have her racing schedule planned out. Espresso Shot’s next target has already been decided – the Iroquois was her final race before heading to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale in just over a week.

Connections celebrate Venti Valentine’s victory in the Maid of the Mist. NYRA Photo.

“All good things have to come to an end and [Espresso Shot] owes the partnership and all the owners nothing,” Roth said. “She’s given the partners a ride of a lifetime, she’s won a stakes every year we’ve owned her, she deserves to go be a mom now. But to have her half-sister go on and hopefully follow in her footsteps or maybe do even better is super exciting.”

Venti Valentine is the second stakes winner for Glory Gold after the aforementioned four-time stakes winning Espresso Shot.

By Mission Impazible, Espresso Shot was purchased by Final Furlong Racing as a yearling. The filly impressed her owners enough that when Glory Gold came up for sale in the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale while carrying Venti Valentine, Final Furlong Racing snapped her up for $13,000.

“I have to commend Mike Recio, unfortunately he passed away this year, as an advisor to us, Espresso had finished second in the stakes as a 2-year-old a couple of years back. He pointed out that her dam was in the sale and we should buy her. She was in foal with Venti at the time, and we did,” Roth reflected of their choice to buy Glory Gold.

A winner herself, Glory Gold has seen four of her foals visit the winner’s circle with Final Furlong Racing also buying her New York-bred Speightstown daughter Goldtown and adding her to their breeding program. For Roth, the choices to buy into the family all came down to Espresso Shot, who he also credited for Venti Valentine’s victory.

“We really have [Espresso Shot] to thank for Venti Valentine in the first place because had she not done well like she did in her first two races, we would have never gotten the advice to buy her dam in foal with Venti Valentine,” he said. “So, it’s really thanks to her on her day of retirement that we’re starting a new chapter.”

Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable bred Glory Gold to Omaha Beach in 2020 with the mare producing a New York-bred filly from the stallion’s first crop Feb. 11. That filly is set to join Espresso Shot at Fasig-Tipton on November 9 in their November Sale.

Glory Gold is still part of their broodmare band and was bred to both Flatter and Authentic this year.


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