Spirit of St Louis adds Mohawk to growing resume; Amanda’s Folly splashes to Ticonderoga win

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

Spirit of St Louis wins second straight turf stakes in Sunday’s Mohawk to kick off Empire Showcase Day. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Manny Franco came away impressed with Spirit of St Louis when he rode the then first-time starting son of Medaglia d’Oro to victory in a 1-mile state-bred maiden on a sloppy track in mid-February at Aqueduct.

He’s even more impressed now, with Spirit of St Louis 5-for-7 with a pair of stakes victories on the turf in 2023.

“He’s super horse on the grass,” Franco said after Spirit of St Louis fended off a late run from New York-bred champion City Man to kick off the stakes portion of the Empire Showcase program in the $194,000 Mohawk Stakes Sunday. Spirit of St Louis won the 1 1/16-mile Mohawk, run over Aqueduct’s turf labeled firm but with some cut after morning rains, by a half-length over City Man with Jerry the Nipper along for third in the field of five.

Spirit of St Louis added the Mohawk to his victory in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes – also at the expense of City Man – Oct. 6 at the Belmont at the Big A meeting. The full-brother to New York-bred Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Bar of Gold also improved to 3-for-4 on grass in the Mohawk.

The 6-5 favorite after the scratches of Call Me Harry, Kaz Sugar Bank and Noble Huntsman, Spirit of St Louis won in 1:44.90. Franco, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ champion jockey in 2019 and 2020, celebrated his 2,000th victory in the Mohawk.

“I feel great. I had that on me the whole week, so I’m glad to do it early,” said Franco, who also recorded his 200th stakes victory on Spirit of St Louis. “I’m a little calm now and happy to do it. Every win means a lot, so right now, I can’t pick one [favorite]. Every win is a blessing. I’m just happy to do this.

Jockey Manny Franco earned milestone in Sunday’s Mohawk Stakes aboard Spirit of St Louis. NYRA Photo.

“I feel great and blessed. I just try to keep going strong and I’ll keep working hard to keep winning races.”

Bred by Chester and Mary Broman and foaled at their Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Spirit of St Louis is out of the Grade 3-winning New York-bred Lemon Drop Kid mare Khancord Kid. Bar of Gold, New York-bred champion female sprinter and older dirt female in 2017, won seven of 25 starts and earned $1,551,000 for the Bromans.

Khancord Kid is also the dam of the stakes-placed New York-bred duo Land Mine and Homeland among five winners from five foals to race, including the two-time winning New York-bred 3-year-old Justify filly Im Just Kiddin.

A second-generation Broman-bred, Spirit of St Louis sold for $300,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September yearling sale. He made his first two starts for owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown – winning that maiden and finishing second in a 9-furlong allowance – before being sold for $280,000 at this year’s Keeneland April horses of all ages sale.

Still trained by Brown and racing for Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Richard Schermerhorn, Spirit of St Louis raced in second early as longshot Ruse set the pace through splits of :24.90, :51.57 and 1:16.37.

Spirit of St Louis and Franco came with a three-wide run into the lane and took control about a furlong from home, just as $1,204,870-earner and graded stakes winner City Man kicked in under Joel Rosario. Spirit of St Louis held that foe off in deep stretch to pick up $110,000 for his connections and boost his bankroll to $370,650.

“He helped me a lot because he jumped out of there running,” Franco said. “I saw Jose [Ortiz, aboard Jerry the Nipper] take back and he was pulling me forward, so I just let him do what he wanted to do because I know the pace wasn’t fast in front. I just kept my position and he was there for me the whole way.”

City Man held second by three-quarters of a length over Jerry the Nipper, with Ruse and Dakota Gold completing the field.


Decked out in cheek pieces again, Amanda’s Folly heads to the winner’s circle after the Ticonderoga Stakes. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

• Linda Rice’s run of success with claims this spring and summer – which helped provide her a share of the Saratoga training title – continued on Empire Showcase Day when Amanda’s Folly got up in time to win the off-the-turf $194,000 Ticonderoga Stakes for fillies and mares.

A $16,000 claim out of a win in late April at Aqueduct, Amanda’s Folly won for the third time since with her first stakes victory. Owned and trained by Rice, Amanda’s Folly slipped past 4-5 favorite Silver Skillet in deep stretch under Jose Ortiz to win by a neck.

Amanda’s Folly, a 3-year-old daughter of Mendelssohn, drew into the race as a main track only runner when the Ticonderoga was taken off the turf early on the Empire Showcase Day program. She won the 1-mile event in 1:37.80.

“This filly has a lot of stamina and a mile and an eighth suits her just fine,” Rice said. “I was a little concerned about shortening up to the mile that she would struggle with that a little bit, but she wore the leader [Silver Skillet] down. I was thrilled when it came off.”

The 8-5 second choice in the field of five reduced by the scratches of Can’t Fool Me, Runaway Rumour, Spungie, Waterville and Whatlovelookslike, Amanda’s Folly and jockey Jose Ortiz were content to track Silver Skillet through splits of :23.91, :47.57 and 1:12.39 over the muddy and sealed track.

Silver Skillet, winner of the Suzie O’Cain two starts back and second in the Memories of Silver last time out, still led by a length in midstretch but couldn’t hold off Amanda’s Folly in the final 50 yards. Siler Skillet finished 3 lengths clear of Sweetie for the place spot, with Itsakeyper and Saratoga Chrome completing the field.

Amanda’s Folly improved to 5-for-17 and the $110,000 first-place check boosted her earnings to $334,630.

Amanda’s Folly edges favored Silver Skillet late in the off-the-turf Ticonderoga. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

Bred by Roy Lerman’s Lamholm and foaled at Sequel Stallions New york in Hudson, Amanda’s Folly originally sold for $100,000 as a weanling at the 2020 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group bought her for $80,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale and she raced for that owner and trainer Rudy Rodriguez for her first six starts.

Trainer Carlos Martin and Hammer Time Stable claimed Amanda’s Folly for $25,000 out of a fifth in a state-bred maiden claiming race January 6 at Aqueduct and Rice claimed her four starts later.

Amanda’s Folly won an off-the-turf state-bred allowance race May 4 at Belmont Park in her first start for Rice. She added another 9-furlong allowance-optional in state-bred company early in the Saratoga meet before a second there behind stablemate Ichiban in the Fleet Indian on Saratoga Showcase Day. Off since a fifth in an open-company optional on closing day at Saratoga, Amanda’s Folly came in ready under Jose Ortiz.

“She was a claim and she has done amazing for Linda and for me,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been riding her for a while now and I’m very happy for the whole team. It’s a very good team. I get on a lot of horses for her in the mornings and we have good results in the afternoon. Linda has always been a winner. She’s got good stock and good horses. They’re quality horses.”

A Florida-bred daughter of Notebook who raced for owner, breeder and trainer Lerman, Privacy won three of 20 starts with three placings and earned $68,065. One of the victories came at Saratoga, in a 7-furlong claiming event during the 2009 meeting.

Privacy’s second foal, the New York-bred Kantharos mare Ancient Secret, was a $225,000 purchase at the 2015 OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training by bloodstock agent Steve Young and went on to a graded stakes-winning career that saw her win five of 16 starts and $439,434.

Privacy is also the dam of the Grade 3-placed $232,448-earner Jais’s Solitude, winner Seclude and the unraced Omaha Beach 2-year-old filly Summer in Toga, a $170,000 purchase by Young at last year’s Keeneland September sale. Now 19, Privacy didn’t produce a foal in 2022 and is the dam of a weanling full sister to Ancient Secret, also bred by Lamholm.

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