NEWS: racing

On a roll, Pauseforthecause runs streak to three in Garland of Roses

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

A commanding 3 1/2-length winner of the Iroquois Stakes for state-breds on Showcase Day in October, Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Pauseforthecause took her sharp form straight to open foes in Sunday’s $100,000 Garland of Roses at the “Big A.”

Scoring a facile 2 1/2-length front-running victory in the 6-furlong sprint over the main track, the 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway ran up her win streak to three.

Co-favored with Our Circle of Love at odds of 6-5 at post time, Pauseforthecause had a little tougher assignment than her main rival. Drawn at the rail, the speedy filly’s hand would be forced, while Our Circle of Love, also a speedster, had the tactical advantage of the outside post.

The third horse out of the gate, Pauseforthecause and Manny Franco – aboard for the first time – immediately forged their way to the lead with supreme confidence.

As the quarter ticked by in 22.61 and the half went in 46.28, Pauseforthecause kept a measured 1 to 1 1/2-length advantage over Our Circle of Love in second.

Ultimately never challenged, Pauseforthecause cruised comfortably under the wire with a 2 1/2-length cushion in a final time of 1:11.91. Our Circle of Love held the place, while New Year’s Wish, who walked out of the gate and spotted the field nine lengths, closed at the rail to finish a brave third. Completing the order of finish were Angel At War and Miss Imperial.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

After dismounting, Franco addressed the challenge of the rail draw.

“Coming in knowing we had the one-hole, our goal was to break good,” the pilot said.“When we got out of there, I just hustled her forward to get position early. I didn’t know anyone else was going to go with us, but when [Our Circle of Love] went forward as well, I just went onward with her. Our goal was to get the lead. She carried me there and was happy in front. She got it done today and I had plenty of horse in the lane. It was a good perform ance for her today.”

Before her breakthrough first black-type score in the Iroquois seven weeks ago, for which she earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 91, Pauseforthecause had knocked on the door in eight prior stakes tries for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. She is in career form now, having won her last three starts by a combined 11 1/2 lengths. The ease of her Garland of Roses win from a challenging post bodes well for the future and Joe Lee, Kiaran McLaughlin’s New York assistant, agrees.

“It looks like she’s coming into her own and now she has a win against open company as well,” Lee said. “She’s turned the corner and just seems to be getting better with age. She seems comfortable when she breaks, so you might as well not take it away from her. Manny [Franco] hustled her away from there. There were a lot of horses with speed, so I guess he wanted to dictate it, and he did a great job doing so. It was great.”

Lee continued, “It’s been a great year for her. She just gets better and better.” He indicated that the $100,000 La Verdad for state-breds on January 4 could be on Chester and Mary Broman’s radar for a next start for Pauseforthecause.

Pauseforthecause’s dam is Spritely, a Kentucky-bred multiple stakes winner by Touch Gold purchased by Chester Broman from the Edward P. Evans Dispersal at the 2011 Keeneland November sale for $850,000. Of Spritely’s three winners, her Pioneerof the Nile filly Tossup finished second in the 2018 Lynbrook Stakes. She has a yearling colt by Curlin and was bred this year to West Coast.

In 23 starts Pauseforthecause has notched seven wins, four seconds and six thirds and earned $518,793.

Saratoga Treasure delivers a gem in Autumn Days Stakes

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Patricia Generazio’s homebred Saratoga Treasure figuratively thumbed her nose at her 17-1 post-time odds when she notched a commanding victory in Saturday’s $125,000 Autumn Days at the Big A in her stakes debut after a sweeping last-to-first move.

Carded for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs on the outer turf course, the aptly named Autumn Days was originally scheduled for last Sunday before a weather cancellation. Saturday, Cigar Mile Day, is the penultimate day of turf racing in New York.

Trained by David Donk, Saratoga Treasure has achieved consistent success on steady diet of turf sprints. At two, she broke her maiden at first asking at Saratoga going 5 1/2 furlongs on the green. At three, she finished on the board in half of her six starts, while winning a first-level state-bred allowance over good turf at Belmont in October. This year, with 2 wins, a second and two thirds in seven starts, she had certainly earned the right to try and take her game to the next level.

Following a smooth exit from her outside post under jockey Eric Cancel, Saratoga Treasure dropped back to watch the proceedings from last through a first quarter run in 23.36. Five lengths ahead, longshot Boos set the pace, pressed along by contender Broadway Run.

Gearing up in the approach to the far turn, Saratoga Treasure unleashed a sweeping four-to-five wide move in the bend and got on even terms with the front-runners as she straightened away.

Taking over the lead, the filly showed the way for the length of the stretch, ultimately scoring a much-the-best 3 1/2-length victory in a final time of 1:11.68 over the yielding course. After a photo sorted out the remaining placings, Rocky Policy (10-1) finished second, followed a nose back by Rose Flower. Another nose back, Fire Key – a five-time New York-bred stakes winner, winner of the Autumn Days in 2017 and odds-on favorite – had to settle for fourth. Another head back, fellow New York-bred Jc’s Shooting Star outran her 21-1 odds to finish fifth.

Eric Cancel, aboard Saratoga Treasure for the first time, had clearly made a careful study of the filly’s recent starts.

“She’s been running pretty well,” said Cancel. “The last time [under Jose Ortiz], she made a really nice run. I just rode her with a lot of confidence. She seems to like the track the way that it is. I tried not to get in her way. I just tried to find the right spot for her and make one big run. Everything worked out really well.”

Delighted with the trip and ride, trainer Dave Donk said, “She really is [consistent]. Jose [Ortiz] did a great job with her in her previous races. He got her back off the pace and it looks like that’s what she wants to do. Eric [Cancel] gave her a great ride. I thought he might have moved a little too soon, but he said he had too much horse and it was time to go.”

Added Donk, “It was a jump up in class, but she really likes the ground and she’s certainly on the improve. Her last three races were real good coming into today, and she ran to it.”

In 16 starts, Saratoga Treasure has bankrolled $310,603 and collected five wins, two seconds and three thirds. She is one of five winners from five foals to race out of Sky Gazer, an unraced Florida-bred daughter of Sky Mesa. Her half-sister Wildcat Gaze by Wildcat Heir, Sky Gazer’s second foal, is also a stakes winner and has banked nearly $200,000. Half-brother Veterans Beach, by Big Brown, is a stakes performer on turf.

Sky Gazer has a yearling filly by Laoban named Saratoga Gaze, no 2019 foal, and has been bred to Liam’s Map.


Well-traveled Dugout upsets Steel Valley Sprint at Mahoning Valley

Monday, November 25th, 2019

By Sarah Mace

Visiting his eighth racetrack in nine starts on Monday afternoon, Richard Ravin, Patricia`s Hope LLC and Larry Rivelli’s Dugout posted an upset when he captured the $250,000 Steel Valley Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds at Mahoning Valley Racecourse in Youngstown, Ohio at odds of 9-1. The well-traveled grey gelding by Adios Charlie tracked a speedy pace in third and rallied in the stretch to capture the marquee race on Mahoning Valley’s racing calendar.

Co-owner and trainer Rivelli has spotted Dugout expertly through his two seasons of racing, giving him the chance to finish in the exacta in seven of eight prior starts. The grey opened his account last year by reeling off three straight wins. He followed a 7 1/4-length debut victory at Saratoga in July with back-to-back stakes wins in the Funny Cide Stakes at the Spa and the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes. Dugout completed his juvenile campaign with his only career off-the-board finish as the beaten favorite in the Sleepy Hollow following an awkward start.

Dugout did not return this year until August, but coming into the Steel Valley Sprint had traveled far and wide to pick up two wins and two seconds in four sprints. Romping by seven lengths over the synthetic at Arlington Park on August 17, he finished second in the Decathlon at Monmouth in September. Since then, he faced allowance foes at Churchill Downs and Hawthorne resulting in a second and a nose win.

Speed is Dugout’s calling card, but with so much other zip in the full field of 12 in the Steel Valley Sprint, he had company up front. First out of the gate from post 11 as the 9-1 sixth choice, he deferred to Dare Day and 4-5 favorite Call Paul to his inside along the back stretch run.

Traveling comfortably in third three-wide and staying within 1 1/2 lengths of the leaders through splits of 21.53 and 44.56, Dugout was shaken up by jockey Jareth Loveberry as he straightened away at the head of the stretch.

Asked for a little more midway home, Dugout gobbled up the deficit with big strides and struck the front with a sixteenth to go. His good momentum held him safe from a pair of late charges from Manny Wah to his inside who finished a neck behind in second and Olympic Village on the outside who completed the trifecta another 1 1/4 lengths back. Dare Day and Call Paul finished next in order. The final time for six furlongs over the fast going was 1:11.19.

“He’s a real nice horse and we always thought he was this kind,” said Rivelli. “He can run on the lead, he can come from off the pace and is just a real nice horse. One more jump and we might have gotten beat, but the rider rode him good and we got lucky.”

A first homebred for Ravin and Rivelli and foaled at Sequel Stallions in Hudson, Dugout is out of Rooney Doodle, an unplaced California-bred daughter of Lit de Justice who has produced six winners from six foals to start. Dugout’s full-sister Jean Elizabeth is a stakes winner at Hawthorne, and half-sister Hollarforadollar is stakes placed. Rooney Doodle produced a full-brother to Dugout this year and has been bred back to Laoban.

From six wins in nine starts with two seconds, Dugout has earned $476,155.


My Boy Tate aces NYSS Thunder Rumble after long break

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

My Boy Tate, a 5-year-old gelding by Boys At Tosconova, did his connections proud Sunday when he returned from a 400-day layoff to defeat a competitive field in the $150,000 Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at Aqueduct Racetrack. Trainer Michelle Nevin, who prepared him for the successful return, is also My Boy Tate’s breeder and co-owner in partnership with Billy Koch’s Little Red Feather Racing.

My Boy Tate began his career in the maiden claiming ranks in January 2017, but quickly moved up where he belonged. After two strong outings in New York-bred maiden special weight races that winter and spring, he graduated by daylight at Saratoga at fourth asking.

The dark bay then proceeded to reel off four more dominant wins, completing his New York-bred allowance conditions in November and December and winning back-to-back stakes: the Say Florida Sandy and Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct in January and February 2018. In three further starts he collected a runner-up finish in the Tale of the Cat at Saratoga in August. Ultimately. he faltered in the Hudson Stakes, where he finished last and went to the sidelines for 13 months.

Returning Sunday on a wet day at the Big A, My Boy Tate seemed, on the one hand, to have a lot going for him. He was a multiple stakes winner with a 4-for-6 record at Aqueduct, had a perfect 3-for-3 tally over off going, and some gaudy Beyer Speed figures in his past performances. He posted a series of sharp works for his return, including a trio of five-furlong bullet moves in October and November. He was also full of himself in paddock on the heels of a three-furlong blow-out on Thursday. The critical question about the return remained, however, and he went off as the 4-1 third choice under Manny Franco in the field of eight, which contained an engaging mix of beloved veterans and intriguing new faces.

However sharp he appeared pre-race, My Boy Tate, rated kindly in fifth in the early stages of the Thunder Rumble, about four lengths behind the dueling Arthur’s Hope and sophomore Dark Money. Binkster and Kazmania pursued in third and fourth through opening splits of 22.91 and 46.51.

Coglianese Photos

Traveling wide along the backstretch, well outside the kickback, My Boy Tate made up ground approaching the turn and advanced between horses into contention in the bend.

Shifting out deftly five-wide for clear running room at the head of the stretch, My Boy Tate kicked into gear. He rolled comfortably past the competition by midstretch and widened his lead on his way to a 1 3/4 length victory.

Hard-hitting stalwart T Loves a Fight, well back early, closed with good energy mid-track to get second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Binkster, who led briefly and stayed well for third. Arthur’s Hope completed the superfecta. Completing the order of finish were Sicilia Mike, Kazmania, Gold for the King, who had won the Thunder Rumble for the past two years, and Dark Money. After six panels in 1:11.82, the final time was 1:24.39 over the sloppy main track.

“I knew there was going to be some pace in front of me, so I didn’t want to be there too early,” said jockey Manny Franco. “My horse doesn’t have to be [at the front], so I sat back and when I asked him in the stretch, he was there for me. He handled the track really well. I think that helped me a lot. He was ready today.”

Reflecting on the long layoff, Nevin said, “He was well worth the wait. He had just been doing so well, breezing like clockwork, and he was always on the muscle.”

Foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, My Boy Tate is one of three winners, and the first to earn black type, from three foals to race out of Backslash, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Sharp Humor who was purchased by Paul P. Pompa Jr. as a Keeneland September yearling in 2009 for $85,000.

With six wins in 12 starts, two secondd and one third and three stakes victories, My Boy Tate has bankrolled $361,400.

Boys At Tosconova, who entered stud in 2013, stood at Questroyal North in 2019 for a $2,500 stud fee.

Dream Bigger scores popular victory in Notebook Stakes, eyes NYSS Great White Way

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

Sent off as the 4-5 post time favorite in the featured $100,000 Notebook Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Sunday, Repole Stable’s Dream Bigger obliged his backers with a strong winning performance in the six-furlong sprint.

The victory was the second straight stakes score for the grey son of Mission Impazible. The colt’s connections hope to make it three in-a-row when they wrap up his juvenile campaign in the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes (NYSS) Series on December 14 at Aqueduct.

Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Dream Bigger opened his account on August 8 in Saratoga with a runner-up finish in a New York-bred maiden special weight race to Tiz the Law, who flattered the performance by winning the Grade 1 Champagne next out. In his second try at Belmont on September 15, he put in another good effort, but on that occasion was caught in the final strides by Notebook rival Harris Bay and had to settle for another second. Adding blinkers and shipping to Finger Lakes on September 30 to contest the $204,000 New York Breeders’ Futurity as a maiden, Dream Bigger finally had the chance to prove who was boss, winning the lucrative six-furlong contest by 10 3/4 lengths.

Reunited with Ortiz for the third time in the Notebook and advantageously drawn in the outside post of seven, Dream Bigger was sent off– as in his three previous starts – as the post time favorite.

Dream Bigger’s start was a little rocky. He broke inward and initiated some contact involving Harris Bay and Mission Wrapitup to his inside. Once he got into stride however, he set off in aggressive pursuit of Moonachie who had rushed to the front and led the field though an opening quarter in 22.95 by two lengths

Advancing on the leader, Dream Bigger hooked Harris Bay midway around the far turn. The two raced in tandem to the quarter pole before Dream Bigger shook him off completely and opened four lengths of daylight.

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

In the final furlong Linda Rice-trainee Scilly Cay (23-1) made things interesting.

The recent maiden-breaker and third-time starter was content to share the caboose with fellow longshot Mission Wrapitup in the early stages of the race. Saving ground and cutting the corner, he angled out three-wide at the top of the lane and launched a furious rush to wire. After scampering into second, he continued to close ground on Dream Bigger, but ran out of real estate, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner after a strong effort.

Bank On Shea, who raced in the second flight in the early stages finished another half-length back in third, followed across the line by Harris Bay, Ny Traffic, Mission Wrapitup and Moonachie. The final time for six furlongs over the fast going was 1:12.28

Jose Ortiz described his satisfaction with the colt’s maturing process. “When he made the lead [in his first starts], he kind of played around a bit; that’s why we put blinkers on him to focus him up a bit more. He looked real good and did everything I asked him. He switched leads today, so we’re happy about that. Much better.”

The race flow took Rodriguez a little by surprise. “[Moonachie] I didn’t expect to see in front,” said Rodriguez. “I just told Jose, ‘You’re on top of the horse, just play it by ear.’ I don’t think we had him as ready and I think that this race will move him forward. He was carrying a little more weight than I wanted. But he got it done today and we’ll take things from here.”

Rodriguez has made no secret that the year-end goal for Dream Bigger is the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series on December 14 at Aqueduct.

As he explained, “[Owner] Mike [Repole] wanted to go straight to that race but he was doing so well, I told him we should give him a race in between. We didn’t necessarily need to win but maybe get him a little tight, and I think this race is going to do that for him.”

Bred by Sequel New York, Twin Creeks Racing and Pamela Zielinski, Dream Bigger is the most recent reported foal, and one of two winners, out of Downtown Daria, a Kentucky-breed winner by Sky Mesa. The mare’s Noonmark filly Downtown at Noon placed in the Niagara at Finger Lakes in 2017 and earned just shy of six figures. Downtown Daria was bred back this year to Mission Impazible.

Dream Bigger took three trips through auction ring. Northface Bloodstock purchased him for $15,000 as a weanling out of the 2017 Fasig-Tipton New York fall mixed sale. Returning next summer in the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, he brought $65,000 from Whetstone Farm. Mike Repole went to $205,000 to take him home from the OBS spring 2-year-old sale this spring. From two stakes wins and a pair of seconds, Dream Bigger has matched his sale price in earnings with $205,828.

New York sire Mission Impazible stands at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson for a 2020 fee of $5,000.

Big Q posts big “W” in Key Cents Stakes

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Coglianese Photos

By Sarah Mace

Dutchess Views Farm’s Big Q, by New York sire Big Brown, turned an 85-day freshening to good account on Saturday when she scored a dominant victory in the $100,000 Key Cents for New York-bred juvenile fillies, which was run at six furlongs over a fast main track at the Big A.

Trained by Gary Gullo, Big Q came into the race a little light on Beyers, but with invaluable experience under her girth, all earned at the Spa

The bay won her 5 1/2-furlong debut by a half-length after a four-wide rally on Opening Day at Saratoga. Then, on August 4, Big Q plunged right into the deep end to contest the Grade 2 Adirondack. Far outrunning her 60-1 odds, she held her own through upper stretch, before being squeezed several times while mired down at the rail and finishing fifth. Wheeling back in the Seeking the Ante on August 23 for her third start in the span of 43 days, she finished a wide-trip fifth.

When the Key Cents field was drawn earlier in the week, Gullo said of her past performances, “When [Big Q] ran in the Adirondack she got into some trouble and got stopped pretty good at the eighth-pole. She came out of that one well, but I ran her back a little too quick after that. I think we’ve got a fresh horse now. She’s doing really well.”

Partnered for the third straight time with Jose Lezcano for the Key Cents, and drawn in the outside post of seven, Big Q wasted no time in making her presence known after the gates opened, despite being let go at 9-1 odds. Racing in tandem with Shadolamo in fourth for the first quarter mile, she watched as longshot All Over the Map vied for the lead with post-time favorite Time Limit.

After All Over the Map weakened, Big Q was all too ready to join the fray, hooking Time Limit early in the far turn and clinging like a limpet.

Fanning out a little wide while straightening away and asked for more in upper stretch, Big Q readily responded, taking over just in advance of the furlong marker. Widening her advantage with ease, she crossed the wire in possession of a 5-length victory while stopping the timer at 1:12.22.

Playtone closed into second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Time Limit in third. Shadolamo completed the superfecta, followed across the line by Single Verse, My Sassy Sarah and All Over the Map.

Jose Lezcano, who rode Big Q confidently throughout, reported, “She was real active. [In the Adirondack], she was inside and got bumped a couple of times. Today, she was more comfortable in the bridle the whole way. She really kicked on to win the race. She was in the clear and when I asked, she finished strong. She can do more. She’s a nice filly and she always tries.”

Gullo said, “I thought we were going to sit back and make up ground, but she’s sharp. We freshened her up and had her ready. It was a pretty good race.”

Not surprisingly, Gary Gullo is eying the filly division of the most valuable Stallion Stakes Series races in the country for the daughter of Big Brown, the $500,000 NYSS Fifth Avenue Division slated for December 15.

As he put it, “The good thing is that she’s a stallion stakes horse and there’s a $500,000 race coming up going seven-eighths, which I think she’ll handle.”

Big Q was bred by Golden Goose Enterprises and foaled at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains. She is the first winner for her dam Gaby Q, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Forestry who last changed hands at public auction when purchased for $30,000 by Global Bloodstock Management at the 2015 Keeneland January sale. She has also produced a full brother to Big Q named Right On Q and a weanling filly by Desert Party.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown stands for Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater for a 2020 stud fee of $5,000.

Our Super Nova is stellar in NYSS Staten Island

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Overcoming the speed-favoring trend of Aqueduct’s main track Sunday, Michael S. Foster, Charlton Baker and Lauren Linn’s Our Super Nova exploded with a rally in the stretch to record a much-the-best victory in the seven-furlong, $150,000 Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Stakes (NYSS) series for New York-sired fillies and mares.

A 4-year-old daughter of Boys at Tosconova, Our Super Nova was coming off a career performance just 22 days ago on Empire Showcase Day. Contesting the one-mile Empire Distaff, she rallied at the rail to give winner Ratajkowski a scare. Though Our Super Nova fell a head short of upsetting the race, she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 88 for the runner-up effort.

Trained by Lauren Linn through May of this year and dividing her time between the NYRA circuit and Finger Lakes, Our Super Nova has really come into her own since moving permanently to Charley Baker’s barn in June. In recent starts she was competitive in three second-level state-bred allowance races before she won through the condition at Belmont on September 28. She followed up with her big Empire Distaff effort.

Partnered with Junior Alvarado for the sixth straight time Sunday and drawn in the outside post, Our Super Nova was sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the field of eight. Favoritism went to 2-1 Fair Regis, an improving runner who finished second in the Iroquois Stakes on Showcase Day. Third choice was 9-2 Carrera Cat, the apparent controlling speed after the early scratches of Newly Minted and Filibustin.

When the gates opened, Our Super Nova exited cleanly and set up shop mid-pack in fifth in the two path. Up front Carrera Cat took over the lead after vying early with Fair Regis and proceeded to set fractions of 24.05 and 48.31.

Racing in the clear along the backstretch, Our Super Nova advanced somewhat in the turn and angled out four-wide at the head of the stretch.

Carrera Cat yielded the lead to Fair Regis in upper stretch, but Our Super Nova really started rolling, gained second and collared Fair Regis mid-stretch. She picked up even more momentum from there, powering home to 4 1/2-length victory in a final time of 1:25.97 for seven furlongs.

Fair Regis kept her nose in front of My Roxy Girl in third, who was followed across the finish line 1 1/4 lengths back by Espresso Shot. Completing the order of finish were Kid Is Frosty, Bluegrass Jamboree, Carrera Cat and Purrageous Dyna.

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

Junior Alvarado felt the race flowed perfectly for him. “I thought I was in a good position. Last time [in the Empire Distaff] we broke slow and she was even further back, but she made up a lot of ground. I wasn’t worried. I just wanted to make sure she was comfortable and in a nice rhythm so I would have horse left at the end. She was travelling very comfortably and when I asked her, she gave me a big kick at the end.”

Baker was excitied about the breakthrough first stakes win for his charge. “I thought she ran a big race,” Baker said “She looked comfortable early and Junior really gave her a great trip. Everything set up in her favor and she really performed today. I didn’t really have to give Junior any instructions. He’s ridden her four or five times previously and really gets along with her well. She certainly stepped up today.”

Bred by Tracy Egan and foaled at Seven Furlong Farm in Ballston Lake, Our Super Nova is one of six winners from six foals to start and the first stakes winner for White Wedding Day by Crimson Guard. She is a third generation product of Egan’s breeding program, which includes first dam White Wedding Day and second dam Blythe Smile, by Smile. Our Super Nova, who did not change hands at public auction, has earned $308,695 from six wins, four seconds and two thirds in 19 starts.


Rush On By goes two-for-two in Shesastonecoldfox Stakes

Monday, October 21st, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Rush On By, a bay daughter of New York sire Alpha (Sequel New York), drove her record to a perfect two-for-two at Finger Lakes on Monday when she scored a frontrunning victory in the sixth running of the featured $50,000 Shesastonecoldfox Stakes, a 6-furlong sprint for New York-bred 2-year old fillies.

After attracting five entrants, the field of the Shesastonecoldfox was first winnowed down to four with the early scratch of Spin a Yarn, Rush On By’s uncoupled stablemate. Then, when the gates opened, the group was for all intents and purposes winnowed down by yet one more. Thea’s Theme at the rail (2-1) had an absolutely disastrous start, when she stumbled badly, went nearly down to her knees and almost dropped jockey Luis Colon. Even though she went on with the race, the unlucky filly never had the opportunity to get involved in any meaningful way.

Narrow 6-5 favorite Rush On By, by contrast, got of the gate running and quickly opened up two lengths on Peripherique (13-1) and Single Verse (7-5), who ran second in the Lady Finger Stakes to My Italian Rabbi.

Rush On By cruised unchallenged through splits 23.15 and 46.92. When Peripherique dropped out the chase, the contest evolved into a match race between her and Single Verse.

Rush On By preserved a one-length cushion for the length of the stretch under jockey Oscar Gomez, but a relentless Single Verse never took the pressure off. Ultimately Single Verse could only slightly erode the leader’s advantage and Rush On By went on to win by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:12.63.

Trained by Christopher Progno, Rush On By earned the opportunity to dive straight into stakes company when she turned heads in her Finger Lakes debut just 13 days ago. Drawn at the rail in a field of seven to go 5 1/2 furlongs, she wired the group by 13 lengths in 1:05.80, for which she earned a strong 67 Beyer. She has now earned $45,900 from two winning efforts.

Rush On By, who has two winning siblings from two to race, is the third foal out of Hout Bay a stakes-placed runner bred in Kentucky and purchased by Chester and Mary Broman for $16,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She changed hands again in 2018 when Don Gibb picked her up for $5,000 at the Fasig-Tipton fall mixed sale in Saratoga.

Hout Bay’s leading earner to date is her first foal No Deal, a filly by Special Rate trained by Phil Serpe, whose bankroll sits at $234,026. She currently has a yearling colt by Bustin Stones and a weanling full-brother to Rush On by. She was bred this year to Exaggerator.

The Shesastonecoldfox Stakes, which is the final race on the 2019 Finger Lakes Stakes calendar, is named for the champion New York-bred juvenile filly of 2001 after she won of the Lady Finger Stakes, New York Breeders’ Futurity and Joseph A. Gimma Stakes. Langpap Stables’ Dennis Petrisak, co-owner of Shesastonecoldfox and co-breeder with Deborah Petrisak, presented the trophy.

Lightly-raced Ratajkowski strikes in stakes debut to win Empire Distaff

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

The finale of the stakes portion of 2019 Empire Showcase Day card at Belmont Park Saturday, the Empire Distaff Handicap, attracted a robust field of 11 New York-bred fillies and mares eager to contest a one-turn mile at Belmont Park for a purse of $250,000. The field was eclectic as well as bulky, and the winner, Gary Broad’s Ratajkowski, who just held at the wire for a first career stakes victory, had the most unusual resume of them all.

A 5-year-old daughter of Drosselmeyer trained by Brian Lynch, Ratajkowski did not start for the first time until May 25 of this year, when she finished third in a state-bred maiden special weight at 6 1/2 furlongs. Lynch said Ratajkowski was always highly regarded, but had lots of minor issues that kept her out of the starting gate.

When finally given the opportunity to compete, she rewarded the patience of her connections by doing virtually nothing wrong. Breaking her maiden second out by 3 1/4 lengths in the slop on June 20 at Belmont going six furlongs, she immediately stretched out in distance.

Her next three efforts in state-bred allowance company yielded a close-up second and a win at Saratoga in July and August and, most recently, an eye-popping 10 1/2 length rout going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont on September 11. Right on top of a fast pace from the start, the mare clocked an impressive final time of 1:41.87 for which she was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

Sent off as the post time favorite in each of her five prior starts, Ratajkowski was a well-supported 3-2 second choice in the large Empire Distaff field. Jockey Jose Ortiz, aboard for all previous starts, had the return call and the pair was drawn in post 10.

Out of Orbit from post six and Ratajkowski on the outside, both with ample speed, contested the lead in the early stages, with Out of Orbit eventually setting the opening splits of 22.79 and 45.71. Ratajkowski bided her time for a while, but drew back even with the leader through the far turn and took command.

Coglianese Photos

A little erratic in upper stretch Ratajkowski, shook off would-be challenger Newly Minted to her outside but a new threat materialized in the form of 20-1 Our Super Nova who was closing menacingly at rail.

In the end, the wire came just in time for Ratajkowski to hold on by a head, stopping the clock at 1:35.45. Our Super Nova in second finished 4 3/4 lengths ahead of Held Accountable in third, who also closed from well back. Favorite Newly Minted completed the superfecta. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“She’s a nice filly,” Ortiz said. “She had plenty of speed. She broke well and [Out of Orbit] was there and I knew I could go by whenever I wanted to. I just wanted to make sure I knew where my other competitors were. I didn’t want to make an early move either because when she makes the lead, she kind of waits. That’s what happened there.”

As to the harrowing final strides of the race, Ortiz said, “I thought [Newly Minted] was going to keep coming to her and dig in with her and she couldn’t keep up. She lost concentration a little bit in the final sixteenth and she almost got caught on the inside [by Our Super Nova]. She was game enough the last couple of jumps to get the win, so I was happy about that.”

Erin Lynch, assistant Brian Lynch, said, “She’s just been improving with every start. Kudos to Gary Broad [owner] for being so patient with her in waiting until she was five to make her debut. She has paid him back full on. She’s just been phenomenal and been amazing to be around. She does everything right and she just carries the riders around there. She ships very well and has gotten used to it. She’s all business and we’re impressed with the way she got it done here today.”

In a six-race career Ratajkowski has four wins with one second and one third and has earned $286,340.

Bred by John P. Hicks and H & H Farm, Ratajkowski is the first stakes winner for Quiet North, a Kentucky-bred unplaced daughter of Quiet American. Quiet North produced five other winners and delivered her final foal in 2015.


Fifty Five Wins her third straight Ticonderoga Stakes

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

NYRA/Janet Garaguso

By Bill Heller

What separates good horses from great ones is consistency. And Peter Brant’s five-year-old New York-bred mare Fifty Five is a shining example.

On Saturday on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park, Fifty Five backed up her 1-5 odds under Javier Castellano in the field of six with a professional, one-length second consecutive victory, which was her sixth straight New York-bred stakes victory and her third straight Ticonderoga Stakes. Her victory made Fifty Five racing’s newest millionaire.

These days, any horse even running in the same stakes three successive years is rare. Winning them all? That’s special.

“She’s been super consistent for us,” her trainer Chad Brown said. “What a pleasure to have in the barn. I can’t think of a horse who deserves to be a millionaire more than her because she earned it the hard way, a lot of starts and a very consistent record.”

Probably the safest record in all sports is the one New York-bred Fourstardave set, winning a race at Saratoga for eight consecutive years.

Fifty Five won’t match that, but Brown indicated that Brant would like to race Fifty Five next year at the age of six. That would give her a shot at four straight Ticonderoga Stakes.

She won her third one Saturday by wearing down front-running longshot Wish Upon and Luis Saez, who went off at 26-1 on the rail in the field of six.

War Canoe, who was 5-1 under Jose Lezcano finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Wish Upon while 2 3/4 lengths ahead of 7-1 Munchkin Money and Junior Alvarado.

Coglianese Photos

Empire Equines bred Fifty Five, a daughter of Get Stormy out of Soave by Brahms who followed a fourth by a half-length in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga with a three-quarters of a length score in the $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes for New York-breds.

Likely because of the small field, Castellano kept Fifty Five closer to the early pace than usual, two to three lengths off while racing in fourth as Wish Upon led War Canoe by less than length through splits of :24.19, :48.20 and 1:11.73.

Wish Upon then put away War Canoe as Fifty Five charged up three-wide to challenge the frontrunner. Wish Upon proved a stubborn foe, but Fifty Five had her measured and won comfortably, edging away at the wire. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“She showed her versatility today,” Brown said. “She laid a little bit closer. I think the runner-up ran particularly well. She was tough to get by in the lane.”

Castellano was proud of his filly: “She’s very classy and she showed it today.”

Fifty Five is now 11-for-22 in her all-grass career with four seconds and five thirds. That’s 20 finishes in the money from 22 starts.

Her victory today pushed her earnings past the $1 million mark.