Doc Sullivan delivers for Lostritto in Mike Lee; Clear the Runway: Landed wins Bouwerie

Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Doc Sullivan and Javier Castellano roll to victory in Sunday’s Mike Lee at Saratoga. NYRA Photo.

As he celebrated Doc Sullivan’s win in the Mike Lee Stakes on New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course Sunday, Joe Lostritto had one concern.

“This is the major league,” Lostritto said. “This is make believe. This is not real. I’ll wake up tomorrow and say, ‘What a hell of a dream I had.’ ”

Not to worry, Joe, it is indeed real and your horse is a stakes winner.

Doc Sullivan, a 3-year-old son of Solomini, enjoyed a perfect trip in the Saratoga slop under Javier Castellano, taking the lead at the three-eighths pole and gradually extending it down the stretch to win the $125,000 stakes by 4 lengths in 1:22.61.

“Once he got the lead, he looked really tough,” trainer Mike Miceli said. “He was laying in a good position down the backside. Javier had him within range. When he asked him to run, he had a lot of horse. I said to myself at the head of the lane, ‘they’re going to have to run to get by him because I could see Javier hadn’t asked him to run.’ ”

Castellano was relieved that his horse behaved better on the racetrack than in the paddock, when he was a bit obstreperous when being saddled.

“He kind of reacted a little bit in the walking ring when they put (the saddle) on,” he said. “But before the race he was well-behaved today. He warmed up really good.”

The fifth foal and first stakes winner out of Queen Frostine, Doc Sullivan was bred by Seamus Coughlan. He went for $58,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton 2022 New York Bred sale and Lostritto and his son, Glenn, who race as Tristar Farm, bought him for $59,000 at last year’s OBS June 2-year-olds in training sale. Doc Sullivan became the latest stakes winner by Solomini, a 9-year-old son of Curlin who stands for $7,500 at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughreds in Saratoga Springs.

Lostritto, a former trainer who has a 50-acre farm in Old Brookville on Long Island, said the horse was named for a medical doctor friend of his and a professor his son had at Penn State. “I think he named him more after his professor than I named him after the doctor. But he was also a doctor of teaching,” he said.

Doc Sullivan broke his maiden and romped in an allowance at Aqueduct before running second in the Gander Stakes for New York-breds and the New York Stallion Series. He came back with a solid win in an allowance in his last start before the Mike Lee for Miceli, whose Saratoga entries always deserve a second look.

“You just have the right horses because this is always a tough place,” he said. “So we like to try to come here with a loaded gun.” – Paul Halloran

Landed gives her dam Glory Gold a second Showcase Day victory in Sunday’s Bouwerie Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Jetta Vaughns/NYRA Photo.

• Landed looks like she’s on her way to bigger and better things after her 1 1/4-length win in Sunday’s $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes for owner Lael Stable and trainer Wesley Ward. The 3-year-old filly by Omaha Beach broke well and sat close to the pace set by Sunday Girl on the backstretch through fractions of :22.15 and :44.83. Under jockey John Velazquez, Landed started to inch her way clear as the field arrived at the top of the stretch and was able to hold off the late rallies from Caldwell Luvs Gold and Tricky Temper to get her first stakes victory in 1:23.61 for the 7-furlong distance on the main track.

“I didn’t think I was going to be in the lead, but I wanted to make sure she came out running,” Velazquez said. “She was misbehaving a little bit in the gate. All of a sudden I was close to the lead and I just left her alone.”

Velazquez noted that Landed did have to regain concentration late in the stretch after she had opened a gap on her competition, but once she realized there was still work to do, she was all business.

“Coming down the lane, she’s by herself and easing up, and I said ‘OK, we’ve got to get focused here,’ ” Velazquez said. “I went left-handed and kind of drifted out a bit so she could feel the competition and then she did it pretty handily after that.”

Co-breeder Shaun Nettleton of Final Furlong Racing Stable was in the winner’s circle to celebrate the win after having already won as an owner with the filly’s half-sister, Venti Valentine, earlier on the card in the Critical Eye Stakes. As one can imagine, he was thrilled.

“It’s a true honor,” he said. “We bought the mare for $13,000 on a whim. We owned Espresso Shot who was a great New York runner, turned around and had Venti Valentine who has given us the ride of a lifetime, and now to watch her younger sibling just keep following those winning ways on the New York circuit, we are thrilled to support the family and couldn’t ask for any more.”

Nettleton hopes that Landed can make a step forward into deeper waters.

“It looks just like her sister Venti where she could start stepping into bigger shoes, step into an open competition and start stretching out and see what life has in store for her,” he said. “We are excited for the future.”

It certainly seems like the race for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies is going to be a stepping stone to Landed’s future.

“We’d love to get some open black-type for her, and she’s just the horse to do it,” Nettleton said. “She has a great ownership and trainers behind her, so we wish them the best of luck and we love it.”

Landed is out of the winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold. Lael Stables purchased Landed for $500,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings out of the Eaton Sales consignment. – Alec DiConza

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