Les Bon Temps wins NYSS Park Avenue via DQ

Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

Les Bon Temps (outside) comes up a nose short in Sunday’s Park Avenue but wins via the disqualification of Little Linzee (inside). Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

Jose Ortiz felt like Les Bon Temps was going to run past Little Linzee in deep stretch of Sunday’s Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes and he wasn’t alone.

The stewards agreed with Ortiz in the minutes following the Park Avenue and bumped Les Bon from second to first – at the expense of unofficial winner Little Linzee – in the $200,000 restricted stakes for offspring of nominated stallions standing in the Empire State.

“The inside filly [Little Linzee] clearly drifts out,” Ortiz said after Les Bon Temps came up just a nose short in the 6 1/2-furlong Park Avenue. “It cost me the race, so it was worth it 100 percent to claim foul, so I did. It was a disqualification and we got put up. I feel bad for Katie [Davis, aboard Little Linzee]. She works very hard in the morning and it’s a big deal for her to lose the win. Sometimes, it is what it is. I’m happy for my connections. I feel it was worth it to claim foul and I did and it worked out.”

Little Linzee looked on the way to possibly ending a string of five defeats following her debut maiden score last summer at Saratoga, and also collect her first stakes victory. The daughter of Honorable Dillon cut the corner turning for home, opened up on early leader Honest Banker and dug in down the lane to cross the finish first.

Les Bon Temps, already the winner of the Fifth Avenue division of the NYSS in mid-December, made a sustained rally from third early to reach contention approaching the stretch. The 3-year-old daughter of Laoban looked ready to roll past Little Linzee in midstretch before that foe drifted out and made contact a few times inside the final furlong.

Trainer Linda Rice and Sheila Rosenblum, who campaigns Les Bon Temps in the name of her Lady Sheila Stable along with Pura Vida Investments LLC, Cindy Hutson and Brett Setzer, thought they were second best after the first two hit the finish in 1:18.96 over the muddy and sealed track.

“It was very close as we were watching and thought, ‘oh we were second,’ but then I saw the head-on and it looked like she was getting bothered,” Rice said. “Jose was sure and he said ‘I was going right by her and she definitely interfered.’ ”

Les Bon Temps, a finalist for champion 2-year-old New York-bred honors in 2022, improved to 4-for-9 with the adjudged victory. She also collected $110,000 to boost her bankroll to $604,260.

Les Bon Temps won last year’s Maid of the Mist Stakes on Empire Showcase Day during the Belmont at the Big A meeting, and placed in two other stakes. She came into the Park Avenue off a second in the Maddie May in mid-February and a third in the East View in late March, both at Aqueduct.

Rice liked the way the filly out of the Tapizar mare Winsanity trained before the Park Avenue and came in confident in the 2-1 second choice.

“Pretty well, and actually better right now than she was prior,” Rice said. “She’s run well on a wet track; I was happy with that. I was a little concerned the distance was a little short for her, but I think the wet track certainly helped.”

Midtown Lights, the even-money favorite in the field of seven reduced by the early scratches of Maggie T and Our Rosie Diamonds and the gate scratch of Athena Beach, finished 1 3/4 lengths behind the first two in third. Dream On Cara, Clover Street, Hypnocurrency and Honest Banker completed the field.

Bred by Southern Equine Stables, foaled at Irish Hill Century Farm in Stillwater and the second foal out of the unraced Winsanity, Les Bon Temps was purchased by Deuce Greathouse and Pura Vida Racing for $65,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

Winsanity’s first foal, the New York-bred 4-year-old Bodemeister gelding The Man to See, is 1-2-0 in 11 starts with $39,934 in earnings. She is also the dam of an unnamed 2-year-old full brother to Les Bon Temps and a yearling filly by Honest Mischief. The latter two foals were bred by Cypress Creek Equine.

Rice said Les Bon Temps could wind up on grass in the near future, most likely in the $150,000 Cupecoy’s Joy division of the NYSS going 7 furlongs June 18 at Belmont Park, with another start on dirt before that.

“A lot of the Laobans do seem to like the grass, and I think we’ll probably try seven-eighths on the turf in the next stallion stake,” she said. “So maybe the Bouwerie (May 29 at Belmont) into that race.”

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