Venti Valentine ends season with Bay Ridge score

Saturday, December 17th, 2022

Venti Valentine adds the Bay Ridge Stakes to her 2022 resume Saturday at Aqueduct. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

New York-bred champion Venti Valentine returned to her winning ways on Saturday with a 3 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Bay Ridge Stakes at Aqueduct.

Racing at a mile on the dirt as the second choice in the race, Venti Valentine broke strong on the sealed, muddy track before settling a few lengths off the pacesetting Mashnee Girl. Racing a few paths off the rail under Dylan Davis, Venti Valentine easily settled as they raced through early fractions of :23.24 and :46.94.

The complexion of the race changed around the turn when most of the field converged on the leader and Venti Valentine went wide for her challenge. It didn’t take long for the 3-year-old daughter of Firing Line to stick her nose in front with only Know It All Audrey the closest rival as they raced through the stretch. That rival didn’t have enough left to stick with Venti Valentine and she faded to finish 3 3/4 lengths off the winner with Spungie ralling for third and another 6 3/4 lengths back. Venti Valentine won in 1:39.19.

“Everything worked out great today,” winning trainer Jorge Abreu said. “Being in the outside post [helped], too. I don’t think she likes being on the inside. I felt pretty comfortable turning for home and Dylan was just sitting there. He had plenty of horse and everything played out good.”

The Bay Ridge was the second win of the year for the homebred filly for Final Furlong Racing Stable, which bred her with Maspeth Stable and races her with Parkland Thoroughbreds. Venti Valentine won the listed Busher Invitational Stakes in March before finishing second in the Grade 3 Gazelle Stakes. The 3-year-old also finished third in the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes in late August at Saratoga Race Course.

Venti Valentine’s record sits at four wins in 10 starts with three other top-three finishes, including two wins and a second as a juvenile. Saturday’s victory took her earnings to $524,250. Abreu said that the immediate plan for the filly is a winter break, with Venti Valentine heading to Ocala for 60 days off Tuesday.

Foaled at Schuylerville Thoroughbred Farm in Schuylerville, Venti Valentine is one of two stakes winners out of the winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold, whose produce record includes multiple stakes winner Espresso Shot. That mare was also raced by Venti Valentine’s connections and trained by Abreu.

Espresso Shot was sold for $300,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton November Sale three years after Final Furlong purchased Glory Gold carrying Venti Valentine for $13,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. They purchased that mare after being impressed with Espresso Shot, who they purchased for $69,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale.

“The best part of today is the breeders’ awards we’ll get from it,” said Final Furlong Racing Stable’s co-managing partner Dan Zanatta. “Being the breeder of a stakes horse always makes it extra meaningful. We still have the mare [Glory Gold] and she’s in foal to Munnings and will go back to Uncle Mo next year. We’re really supporting her and we have a lot of progeny we’re waiting for. The New York breeding program is great, and we’ve invested a lot of money into the breeding program, not just the racing program. We’re big supporters of it.”

The dam of four winners from five runners overall, Glory Gold had a New York-bred filly by Omaha Beach last year. Bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable, that filly sold for $500,000 to Lael Stables at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings. Glory Gold did not have a foal this season.


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