Ny Traffic reroutes to Penn National for victory

Friday, June 17th, 2022

Ny Traffic and Edwin Gonzalez (center) fend off Beren (right) to win Friday’s $100,000 Chocolate Town Stakes at Penn National. Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.

Worth the wait.

Ny Traffic, originally pegged for the Commentator Stakes on Big Apple Showcase Day late last month, made a winning return to Pennsylvania and collected his second stakes victory in Friday’s $100,000 Chocolate Town at Penn National Race Course.

The 1-2 favorite in the field of nine, Ny Traffic stalked early before taking the lead on a four-wide run approaching the quarter-pole of the 6-furlong stakes. He shook clear into the lane, idled a bit as eventual runner-up Beren rallied on the outside and responded to jockey Edwin Gonzalez late to win by a half-length at the finish. Ny Traffic won in 1:09.64.

Winning trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. originally planned to run the 5-year-old son of Cross Traffic in the Commentator on Memorial Day but that race didn’t go because of insufficient entries. Joseph rerouted and pegged the Chocolate Town, which was Ny Traffic’s first race in the Keystone State since the horse’s 2-year-old campaign at Parx Racing with former trainer Harold Wyner.

Runner-up in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds and Grade 1 Haskell Stakes as a 3-year-old during the pandemic-delayed run-up to the Triple Crown, Ny Traffic finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and ninth in the Preakness Stakes that season.

Ny Traffic found his niche as a 4-year-old in 2021, winning two of five starts including the Hudson Handicap on Empire Showcase Day to end the season. He returned this year with fifth in the Grade 2 WinStar Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes before returning to his native state to win the Affirmed Success Stakes at Aqueduct.

Owned by John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley, Ny Traffic improved to 6-for-19 with four seconds and two thirds Friday night and boosted his bankroll to $873,340.

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, is 2-4-2 from 14 starts with a bankroll of $144,100. 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 Wyner before being transferred to Joseph’s South Florida string in early 2020.

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