Today’s Flavor collects first stakes in Affirmed Success

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

Today’s Flavor rolls to front-running victory in Sunday’s Affirmed Success at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Manny Franco learned his lessons last time riding Today’s Flavor.

“He’s a nice horse,” said Franco, the Aqueduct sprint meet’s leading rider after Sunday’s $100,000 Affirmed Success Stakes. “He showed us last time in the Grade 1 Carter with the quick pace in front of him that he still gave it to me in the end and just lost by about a length.”

Today’s Flavor, officially beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Doppelganger that day in the 7-furlong Carter, found things more favorable in the Affirmed Success and rolled to victory shortening up to 6 furlongs. The 5-year-old son of Laoban won for the fifth time in his last six starts for Reddam Racing and trainer George Weaver, and picked up his first stakes win in the field of six.

“Today, with the New York-bred company, I was so confident in him because I knew that he was the best horse in the race,” Franco said. “I just rode him like that and he got it done. It was the plan to just let him roll. It was a sloppy track and I didn’t want to get dirty.”

Franco didn’t come close to being dirty in the Affirmed Success, putting Today’s Flavor on the lead through splits of :22.47 and :45.53 en route to a 3 ¾-length victory over Sheriff Bianco in 1:09.58. Amundson finished another 1 ½ lengths back in third with Scocciatore, My Boy Tate and Lobsta completing the field.

Bred by Joseph Calvo, Today’s Flavor made his stakes debut 22 days ago in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets. He finished fourth that day, after winning a maiden and three straight allowance races last fall and this past winter at Aqueduct.

The 3-5 favorite in the field of six, Today’s Flavor picked up $55,000 for the Affirmed Success to boost his bankroll to $284,830.

Today’s Flavor is the first stakes winner out of the winning Speightstown mare Evangelical, a half-sioster to stakes-placed Worship the Moon from the family of graded stakes winners Knights Templar and stakes winners For All Seasons and Dial A Song.

Today’s Flavor was an $80,000 RNA at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. He’s a half-brother to Garey Park, a New York-bred gelding by Trappe Shot who went 3-6-2 in 21 starts and earned $50,243.

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