Bossmakinbossmoves, Fingal’s Cave shine in sophomore Showcase Day stakes

Friday, August 26th, 2022

Bossmakinbossmoves delivers big win for his connections in Friday’s Albany Stakes on Saratoga Showcase Day. NYRA Photo.

By Paul Halloran

If the East Avenue Racing people thought they were a lock for Most Raucous Winner’s Circle at Saratoga Race Course this year, the Clear Stars Stable folks would like a word.

Two weeks after East Avenue turned up the volume in their celebration of Vallelujah’s state-bred allowance win, Michael Sternklar and his group from Clear Stars raised the roof when Bossmakinbossmoves overcame a terrible start to win the Albany Stakes for 3-year-olds on Saratoga Showcase Day.

“One time in the paddock another trainer came up to me and said, ‘If I don’t win I hope you guys do because there’s nothing like watching your team celebrate,’ ” Sternklar said.

Hopefully, that trainer was around Friday.

By Laoban out of the Bernardini mare Marshtini and owned by Clear Stars Stable, Mitre Box Stable and trainer Rick Schosberg, Bossmakinbossmoves hopped at the start of the 1 1/8-mile Albany and was immediately trailing the four-horse field by 2 lengths. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. allowed the gelding to get into his stride while not losing touch with the field down the backstretch.

“He jumped at the break,” Ortiz said. “Our plan was to let the speed go and make the last move, so I don’t panic. I let the horse get his stride and let him do his thing. He was moving on his own and doing good.”

Ortiz had Bossmakinbossmoves, who was bred by McMahon of Saratoga and Spruce Lane Farm and foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, about 5 lengths behind the triumvirate of Price Discipline, Barese and Montebello, who were all 2-1 odds or less, down the backstretch. He made an inside move on the turn, then swung wide and powered past Barese and Montebello at the sixteenth-pole to win by three lengths in 1:51.29 and ignite the mayhem.

Bossmakinbossmoves, a $52,000 purchase at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale, was bought by Clear Stars for $75,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midtlantic May 2-year-old sale. The third winning foal out of Marshtini, he broke his maiden in the mud at Aqueduct last December, but lost seven straight heading into the Albany. Schosberg removed the blinkers for the previous race, resulting in a second behind Price Discipline, giving the connections some confidence.

“We took the blinkers off,” Schosberg said. “We took a lot of the equipment off of him and he’s settled down. We’ve been training him at Clare Court and he’s really relaxed over there. I think he’s matured and his last race showed it, but this was a wonderful surprise.”

Sternklar started Clear Stars 17 years ago on a suggestion from his best friend and University at Albany roommate Rich Honen.

“We were splitting $5 bets and Rich said, ‘some day, we’ll be able to own horses,’ ” Sternklar said. “In 2004 or 2005 he calls me up and says, ‘you know, we’re not poor anymore. We can actually do this.’ I guess we can.”

Equine artist Michael Geraghty introduced Sternklar to Schosberg and they have been together since. Their first win was with Zippy Shannon in the Schenectady Stakes at Belmont Park in 2006 and they won the inaugural Seeking the Ante Stakes in 2014 with Myfourchix. Last year, A Bit o’Irish Sass brought home the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes.

Nothing, however, compares to what occurred on Union Avenue Friday.

“Of all of them this is the best,” Sternklar said, “because this is Saratoga and it’s a horse that, frankly, no one thought was going to win. “These people around me, this community we’ve built at Clear Stars, I love them all.”

Clear Stars has 14 horses in training, all New York-breds.

“What isn’t appealing about the NY program?” said Sternklar, a Saratoga Springs resident and CEO of a healthcare benefits company. “If you’re going to race in New York, financially there are such benefits. You can race for purses that are bigger than stakes races in 47 states around the country. This is a friends and family group. If you’re into a community of people who like to feel like you’re an owner and not just an investor, That’s who we are. We’re about having fun.”

That was evident Friday.


Fingal’s Cave stays perfect in Fleet Indian

Fingal’s Cave runs record to 4-for-4 with gritty score in Fleet Indian on Showcase Day. NYRA Photo.

David Donk has given John Velazquez a leg up on many a winner, so he was feeling pretty anxious when the Hall of Fame jockey aboard Let Her Inspire U led the field into the stretch of the Fleet Indian Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies Friday.

“She had to work for it today,” said Donk, wearing his customary New York Jets hat in the winner’s circle. “That’s a Hall of Famer in front.”

Jose Ortiz is pretty good in his own right and he had enough horse underneath him to catch the frontrunner and keep Fingal’s Cave’s record a perfect 4-for-4 in the Fleet Indian.

“You don’t plan on them being undefeated,” Donk said. “We know she is a nice horse. She’s got a lot of class.”

By Carpe Diem out of the Mineshaft mare Barbie On a Budget, Fingal’s Cave was bred by Chester and Mary Broman and foaled at their Chestertown Farm in Chestertown. Alifyfe Racing bought her privately for $85,000 after she was bought back for $75,000 at the 2021 OBS April 2-year-olds in training sale.

“I worked with bloodstock agent Marette Farrell,” said Alistair Fyfe, who owns the racing partnership. “She thought she was a very nice mover.”

Fingal’s Cave had some minor issues and was sent to Kentucky to Becky Maker, who recommended giving her time to develop. She won a state-bred maiden special at Belmont in May and an allowance in June by a combined 17 1/2 lengths. Donk stretched her to 1 1/8 miles to win an open allowance at Saratoga July 29, setting her up for the Fleet Indian start.

“David still thinks there is a lot to come,” said Fyfe, who has been in the ownership game for about 20 years and won his first stakes Friday. “We haven’t been really pushing her. We’ll probably take a little swing for fences next time and see where we can go.”

Let Her Inspire U set honest fractions of :24.19, :48.15 and 1:12.34 while maintaining a half-length lead over Fingal’s Cave down the backstretch. Velazquez extended the lead to a length around the turn as Ortiz took aim and favorite Venti Valentine drooped back. Fingal’s Cave finally got a head in front at the sixteenth pole and won by a half-length in 1:15.59.

“When we hit the three-eighths pole, things started getting serious,” Ortiz said. “ The other filly kept engaging with me. Every time Johnny asked her she kept on giving it. Finally, I got head-to-head with the other horse. My filly had run a mile and an eighth, the other one hasn’t. So, I rode her with a lot of confidence from the eighth pole to the wire and she got the job done.”

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