Rossa Veloce keeps hot barn rolling in Correction

Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Rossa Veloce, who hadn’t run in a stakes since the Franklin Square in early 2021, dominates Saturday’s $100,000 Correction at Aqueduct. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

Rossa Veloce continued her ascent since being claimed last summer at Saratoga Race Course and kept trainer Rob Atras’ barn clicking with a victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Correction Stakes at Aqueduct.

The 5-year-old daughter of Girolamo cruised to a 5 1/4-length victory Prodigy Doll in the 6-furlong Correction under Manny Franco for her second straight victory and first stakes score. She also gave Atras a seventh winner from his last eight starts at Aqueduct.

“It’s racing. I lose way more than I win,” Atras said. “Obviously, we want to keep winning all the time. We went three weeks without winning a race with some seconds and thirds. But we never got down, we were happy and everyone was doing well. This week we got the horses in the right spots, we got the right trips and tracks. It just happened to work that way and that’s where racing goes. You can’t get too down and you can’t get too high. You just have to keep it level and hope for the best all the time.”

Atras did come into the Correction with confidence. Bettors backed it up, hammering Rossa Veloce down to 2-5 from her 6-5 price on the morning line.

“Our plan was to break sharp and get out there and if we can hold our own on the front, we’ll do it,” Atras said. “If someone wants to go, Manny is smart and knows what to do. He made the right decision. That was his plan from the get-go, when he established the lead. He took pressure, but I thought he had enough and the way she had been doing, I thought she would kick clear.”

Rossa Veloce led Fouette by a half-length through opening splits of :23.28 and :46.93, well in hand by Franco, before putting that rival away approaching the stretch.

Franco kept Rossa Veloce a few paths off the rail turning for home, gave her a few reminders with his right-handed whip and drew off. Prodigy Doll closed from third to claim the runner-up spot, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Fouette with Easy to Bless fourth. I’m Buzzy, Secret Love and Big Tentations completed the field. Rossa Veloce won in 1:11.16 over the sloppy and sealed main track.

“My filly was doing what she liked – to be in front,” Franco said. “She went with her ears pricked up and waited for my call. When I called on her, she was there for me and she got it done.”

Rossa Veloce, who hadn’t run in a stakes since finishing fourth in the Franklin Square in early January 2021 at Aqueduct, picked up $55,000 to pad her career bankroll to $476,510. She also improved to 9-for-25, with four seconds and two thirds, including a runner-up in the Key Cents Stakes back in November 2020.

Atras and owner Bob Derr claimed Rossa Veloce for $32,000 out of a fourth going 6 furlongs Sept. 1 at Saratoga. She won back-to-back starts after the claim, at the Belmont at the Big A meet and at Aqueduct, before a runner-up finish on New Year’s Eve at Aqueduct in an open allowance-optional. Rossa Veloce started her 2023 season with a victory in a similar open allowance-optional Jan. 27 at Aqueduct.

“Bob Derr called me about the filly last summer at Saratoga. I looked at her and it looked like she had some really good races,” Atras said. “She had gone off form, but he liked her. I got to give full credit to him. I get a little gun-shy when you see a horse going the other way. You really don’t know if you want to claim them, but he wanted to take a shot at her. She looked good that day so we took a shot and it worked out.”

Bred by John Scott Rogers and foaled at Millstone Stable in Bridgehampton, Rossa Veloce is the second foal out of the winning Hard Spun mare Spuntastic. Rogers also bred Spuntastic, a New York-bred who won twice and earned $103,677 on the NYRA circuit. Rossa Veloce originally sold for $12,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale and was owned by Blue Streak Racing and Ray Handal, who also trained the filly, early in her career.

Spuntastic’s first three foals made the races – Rossa Veloce and her older half-sister Tina Burner, a New York-bred daughter of Noble Mission who has a win and six placings in 17 starts. Spuntastic is also the dam of the 3-year-old New York-bred Astern filly Strictly Taboo who sold for $40,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale and a colt by Honor Code born Feb. 28 in New York. Rogers bred Strictly Taboo and the Honor Code colt.

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