Ny Traffic runs to odds in Affirmed Success

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Ny Traffic improved to 3-for-3 at Belmont in Friday’s Affirmed Success Stakes. NYRA Photo.

Ny Traffic stayed unbeaten at Belmont Park and unbeaten against fellow New York-breds Friday in the first stakes of Big Sandy’s spring-summer meeting with a front-running victory in the $97,000 Affirmed Success.

The 5-year-old gray son of Cross Traffic won the Affirmed Success by 3 3/4 lengths under Jose Ortiz for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., adding the 6-furlong stakes to his victory in last year’s Hudson Handicap on Empire Showcase Day and an allowance-optional last spring. The three wins have come by a combined 19 1/4 lengths.

“He just loves this track,” said John Fanelli, who co-owns Ny Traffic with Cash is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley.

Ny Traffic came into the Affirmed Success off a distant fifth in his only start of 2022, the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile March 5. Bettors weren’t put off by Ny Traffic’s effort and sent him off as the 2-5 favorite against his four opponents in the Affirmed Success.

Ny Traffic broke a head quicker than his rivals and Ortiz wasted no time putting him on the lead from the inside post.

“He’s known for not liking the kickback, so I was very aggressive with him out of the one-hole,” Ortiz said. “I knew [Reggae Music Man] had speed and the other horse outside of me [Bank On Shea] had speed, so I knew I had to move forward. I couldn’t break thinking about it or be 50-50. I went all in and it played out well.”

Ny Traffic led Lobsta by a half-length through the opening quarter-mile in :22.66 and maintained that advantage into the far turn. They led by a length over Lobsta through a half in :45.50 while Reggae Music Man and Bank On Shea tried to chase behind the top pair.

Ny Traffic dispatched the stubborn Lobsta in the lane and opened up approaching the eighth pole with a 2 1/2-length lead. They widened from there as Lobsta held a clear second, 6 ¾ lengths in front of Reggae Music Man with Bank On Shea fourth and Hold the Salsa fifth. Ny Traffic won in 1:09.54.

“I had a nice comfortable lead with him and he finished up very well,” Ortiz said. “I had a lot of horse underneath me passing the wire. He’s a very nice New York-bred.”

Bred by Brian Culnan and foaled at Gallagher’s Stud in Ghent, Ny Traffic is the first foal out of the winning New York-bred Graeme Hall mare Mamie Reilly. Mamie Reilly’s second foal, the 4-year-old Normandy Invasion gelding Purple Hearted, improved to 2-4-2 from 13 starts with a bankroll of $142,750 after a fourth in a starter allowance at Aqueduct April 10. He also finished to eventual New York-bred Grade 1 winner Americanrevolution in last year’s New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

A $27,000 RNA at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, Ny Traffic started his career at Parx Racing with Harold Wyner before being transferred to Joseph’s South Florida string.

Ny Traffic put his name in the Triple Crown picture in 2020 with a victory for Joseph at Gulfstream before placings in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, Grade 3 Matt Winn and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. He finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and ninth in the Preakness Stakes. Freshened after that effort, Ny Traffic returned in 2021 with his two Belmont wins along with a second in the Grade 2 Salvator Mile at Monmouth.

“Cutting back in distance, I was confident he’d have the stamina to stay on,” Joseph said. “Once he made the lead, I felt much more comfortable. I was very uneasy with the draw and didn’t think he would have that kind of speed. Once he broke on the lead, I felt much more confident.

“This horse likes New York and Belmont. Hopefully, it’s the start of a good meet for us. We’re going to have 16 horses there and we’re thankful to be there.”

Joseph said the $200,000 Commentator at 1 mile May 30 at Belmont Park would most likely be Ny Traffic’s next start.

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