NEWS: racing

Mission Impazible mare Impazible Donna wins Staten Island

Sunday, December 4th, 2022

Impazible Donna, a 5-year-old daughter of Sequel-based Mission Impazible, scores first stakes win in the Staten Island division of the NYSS. NYRA Photo.

Flying P Stable’s Impazible Donna overcame a somewhat adventurous trip to land her first stakes victory in her first stakes try in Sunday’s $116,250 Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes at Aqueduct.

The 5-year-old daughter of Mission Impazible bobbled behind one of her three rivals early before running wide into the stretch under Javier Castellano. Impazible Donna won by 1 3/4 lengths from Silken Dollar in 1:24.92 over the muddy and harrowed main track.

“She was on the wrong lead and when she did that, she made an adjustment and she leveled off,” Castellano said of the mare’s misstep early.

Impazible Donna handled her business from there, tracking Bank On Anna and Silken Dollar through the opening half-mile in :46.34 and circling those two while running in the five path around the far turn. She took the lead from Silken Dollar outside the eighth pole, battled briefly with that rival inside the furlong marker and drew off late. Silken Dollar held second, 9 ½ lengths in front of Bank On Anna with Sedona Rocks fourth of four.

“She trains like a really nice horse,” winning trainer Bruce Levine said. “I was afraid to run her seven-eighths and now I can’t wait to run her a mile. We’re going to try her at least. She’s training better than she’s run in her life. Now, she’s gone seven-eighths twice.”

The 6-5 second choice behind favored Bank On Anna, Impazible Donna improved to 3-for-17 with five seconds and four thirds with the victory and boosted her bankroll to $266,340. She’s the second leading earner in 2022 for Mission Impazible, a 15-year-old multiple Grade 2-winning son of Unbridled’s Song who stands for $2,500 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson.

Bred by Twin Creeks Farm, Impazible Donna is the fourth foal out of the stakes-placed Silver Deputy mare Pink Lollipops. She was originally offered at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale but not sold on a bid of $14,000.

Impazible Donna made her debut for Flying P and Levine during the 2019 Saratoga Race Course meeting. She finished second in her debut before going to the sidelines for more than a year. She returned in late August 2020 at Saratoga, finishing second again, before a victory going 6 1/2 furlongs in early October 2020 at Belmont Park. Her next victory came three starts later in late January 2021 at Aqueduct.

“She showed so much promise in her very first start she ran for us as a 2-year-old,” said Flying P’s Jay Provenzano. “She was going 5 1/2 [furlongs] and she spotted the field about 12 lengths and just missed getting up at the wire and then pulled up past the wire, so we gave her about a year layoff.”

Impazible Donna raced exclusively in state-bred allowance-optional company from then until the Staten Island, placing six times in 10 starts until the Staten Island. Impazible Donna hadn’t raced since back-to-back seconds to Mosienko in allowance-optionals Aug. 6 and Sept. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.

“She’s been a little hard luck,” Levine said. “The biggest thing is she’s not a good doer and you have to space her out and really train her light. That’s just the way she is. But she’s been good to me.”

Acoustic Ave lands third straight in Notebook Stakes

Friday, November 25th, 2022

Acoustic Ave and jockey Manny Franco win Friday’s Notebook for his third straight stakes victory. NYRA Photo.

Acoustic Ave showed he can win a tight finish last time at Finger Lakes and did it again Friday when he fended off D’ont Lose Cruz and Starquist in the $97,000 Notebook Stakes at Aqueduct.

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s 2-year-old son of Maclean’s Music collected his third straight win – all in stakes company – with a half-length victory over D’ont Lose Cruz in the 6-furlong Notebook. Trained by Christophe Clement, Acoustic Ave added the Notebook to victories at the Finger Lakes in the Oct. 17 New York Breeders’ Futurity and Sept. 26 Aspirant Stakes.

“He’s a 2-year-old with five starts and three stakes wins,” Clement said. “He’s obviously very tough in his own division. We’ll more than likely put him away for the winter and bring him back in the spring and see what happens. He’s a fun horse. He’s very game as you can see. He was very game in his last race and he was very game today as well.”

D’ont Lose Cruz, the 6-5 favorite in the field of five, took the early lead and led second choice Acoustic Ave by a half-length through the opening quarter-mile in :23.38. The favorite and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. maintained that same advantage through the half in :47.59 while starting to come under pressure from the outside.

Acoustic Ave came alongside D’ont Lose Cruz into the lane and the two raced side-by-side from the top of the stretch to the eighth pole. Acoustic Ave wrested a short lead from there, while D’ont Lose Cruz hung tough and Starquist mounted a belated run from third while on the outside. Acoustic Ave and jockey Manny Franco held his two foes clear in deep stretch to win in 1:13.68.

“He kind of broke a step slow and my plan was to go [to the lead], but it was perfect,” Franco said. “[D’ont Lose Cruz] was clear and we went around him and then he did the rest. I like him when he’s on the front end, but today he sat off another horse and that was good. I like him and he fights hard.”

D’ont Lose Cruz held second, a head in front of Starquist while Flashy Alex and Mshindi completed the field.

Acoustic Ave, bred by Chester and Mary Broman and purchased by the Reeves Thoroughbred Racing for $200,000 at the OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training, picked up $55,000 for the victory. He improved to 4-for-5 with a third – that coming in the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga Race Course – and boosted his earnings to $281,260.

“He has a tremendous amount of life and a great level of energy,” Clement said. “I love the fact that Manny did not actually have to chase the speed. He just sat off the pace and the horse responded. He was game and finished all the way until the end.”

Clement said Acoustic Ave could be headed for a break with eyes on his 3-year-old campaign next season.

“I’ll speak to Mr. [Dean] Reeves, but most likely the idea will be to bring him back in the spring,” Clement said. “Sometimes, if they’re really, really precocious you wonder if you should do that or not, so I’ll talk to Mr. Reeves and we’ll make a decision.”

Foaled at the Broman’s Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Acoustic Ave is the first foal out of the winning Street Boss mare Rock Ave. Road. He breezed an eighth in :10 during OBS presale workouts before selling through the Sequel Bloodstock consignment.

Rock Ave. Road is out of the Broman-bred multiple stakes winner and $270,550-earner Mineralogist, a daughter of Mineshaft out of the Broman’s homebred Grade 2 winner Seeking the Ante. A daughter of Seeking the Gold, Seeking the Ante is out of Grade 1 Antespend, who Broman bought as a 4-year-old for $900,000 at the 1997 Keeneland April sale.

Acoustic Ave is a half-brother to a New York-bred yearling colt by West Coast and a New York-bred weanling colt by New York-bred champion and Grade 1 winner Audible born in April.

Veteran horseman Lugovich dies at 80

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Hold the Salsa, a homebred also trained by Richard Lugovich, won the 2020 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park. NYRA Photo.

Longtime owner, breeder and trainer Richard Lugovich, who conditioned Hold the Salsa to multiple stakes wins and a New York-bred championship nomination in 2020, died Nov. 15 at the age of 80.

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut and resident of East Hanover Township in Pennsylvania, Lugovich trained out of Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland and bred and raised horses at Northway Farm in Stillwater, New York.

Lugovich won 106 races with 125 seconds and 135 thirds from 1,409 starts and earned $1,791,055 in purses as a trainer from 1978 to 2022. He enjoyed his best season in 2020 with four wins from 15 starts and purses of $271,927, and also record double-digit victories in 1991, 1989 and 1984.

Lugovich bred, owned and trained Hold the Salsa, winner of the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park and Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Series Stakes at Aqueduct in 2020. Hold the Salsa, nominated for champion New York-bred 2-year-old male honors, also finished third against open company in the 2021 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct.

Hold the Salsa, a 4-year-old son of Hold Me Back out of Lugovich’s unraced homebred King Cugat mare Northern Mambo, remains in training and is 3-0-2 in 15 starts with $284,162 in earnings. Hold the Salsa was a third-generation homebred for Lugovich, who bought the four-time-winning Kick mare Northern Nymph, in foal to Four Seasons, for $2,700 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale in 1997.

Northern Nymph produced Northern Sprite on that cover in 1998. She only made one start, finishing 10th in a maiden race at Belmont in 2002 as a 4-year-old, before joining Lugovich’s broodmare band at Northway Farm. Northern Mambo, the dam of Hold the Salsa, was born at Northway in 2009.

Lugovich also bred, owned and trained Regal Chant, winner of the 1996 Damon Runyon Stakes who earned $118,331; and Gregorian Gold, winner of the 2015 Lady Finger Stakes who earned $99,889; along with steady allowance performers Royal Jest ($155,108) and Lost in the Woods ($127,840).

Lugovich also co-bred the third most expensive New York-bred sold at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, a colt by Violence out of the unraced Pulpit mare Oenophile. The colt, co-bred by Barbara Nelson, sold for $210,000 after originally being an RNA for $45,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale.

Lugovich is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lisa L. (Hubbell) Lugovich, sons Richard John Lugovich, Jr., Stephen Michael Lugovich and John Daniel Lugovich; and brother Charles Lugovich.

A celebration for Lugovich will be held in the spring of 2023.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Cutler Scholars Fund, Inc., PO Box 56, Cutler, ME 04626 or USO, PO Box 96860, Washington, D.C., 20077.

Stonewall Star handles foes in Key Cents

Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Stonewall Star, a homebred daughter of Flatter for Barry Schwartz, cruises to victory in Sunday’s Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

Barry Schwartz’s homebred Stonewall Star improved off her stakes debut last month and scored a front-running victory in Sunday’s co-featured $100,000 Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct.

The 2-year-old daughter of Flatter, a close third behind males Acoustic Ave and Andiamo a Firenze in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes, led from the start on the way to a 4-length tally over Weekend Rags in the 6-furlong Key Cents. Ridden by Jose Ortiz for trainer Horacio De Paz, Stonewall Star improved to 2-for-4 with the victory in 1:13.48 over the fast track.

“She moved forward off that race at Finger Lakes,” De Paz said of her 1-length defeat after making a menacing and wide move around the far turn.

Ortiz was aboard for that effort and felt the 2-5 favorite would be up to the task against her five opponents Sunday.

“Going into the race, we kind of knew she was much the best,” Ortiz said. “She faced the boys at Finger Lakes and she ran a great race. We were confident today and she didn’t disappoint. She got a good trip, broke very alert and we were in control of the race every step of the way, which is what we wanted to do. She’s a nice filly.”

Bred and foaled at Stonewall Farm in Granite Springs, Stonewall Star became the second stakes winner out of Schwartz’s Proud Citizen mare Jonata. La Fuerza, a 6-year-old full sister to Stonewall Star won three stakes carrying his owner and breeder’s black and white colors in 2018. He won four of eight and earned 4261,610.

Jonata is also the dam of New York-bred winners Citizen K, a gelding by Mizzen Mast also trained by De Paz; and Whatlovelookslike, a 3-year-old by English Channel who won at Saratoga in early September and is 2-2-1 in seven starts with $155,250 for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Stonewall Star finished second behind Security Code in her debut Sept. 2 at Saratoga before a maiden-breaking score 20 days later at the Belmont at the Big A meeting. She earned a trip to Finger Lakes with that win, but broke slow in the 6-furlong Futurity. Stonewall Star handled her business better behind and in the gate Sunday, broke on top and took the field through fractions of :23.17 and :47.59

“She broke sharp today,” De Paz said. “I don’t know if that was by mistake; maybe getting settled in the gate a little bit, but she got great position early on.”

Stonewall Star turned for home in command, fended off a mild rally from maiden and 7-2 second choice Weekend Rags and widened her 2 1/2-length advantage in midstretch in the final furlong.

“She has sat behind horses and took dirt [in the Breeders’ Futurity], but I think with the kind of pace [we see] in the winter, she’ll be on top,” Ortiz said. “If she’s got good position, she can sit off speed. That’s the good thing about her – she’s not a ‘one-way’ horse; she can come from behind, and that’s a relief as a rider.”

Weekend Rags held second, a neck ahead of Security Code with Dream On Cara another 6 lengths back in fourth. Three Unions and Small Pebbles completed the field.

A $100,000 purchase by Schwartz at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, Jonata won two of 17 starts with five placings and $140,800. Stonewall Star, the mare’s fourth foal, earned $55,000 for her Key Cents win to improve her bankroll to $130,808.

Topic Changer romps in Charleston finale

Monday, November 14th, 2022

Topic Changer, winning here at the Aiken Fall Steeplechase, added a second victory Sunday in Charleston. Tod Marks Photo.

Topic Changer closed the book – quite literally – on the 2022 National Steeplechase Association season with an emphatic victory Sunday at the Steeplechase of Charleston in Hollywood, South Carolina.

The New York-bred Flintshire colt romped to a 13 1/2-length victory in the $27,300 Alston Cup 3-year-old hurdle stakes going 2 1/16 miles. The Alston Cup was the fifth race on the Charleston card and the final event of the 2022 NSA season.

Keri Brion, who finished the season atop the NSA list of leading trainers by earnings, conditions Topic Changer for owners Jordan Wycoff and Frank Mullins. Brion ended the season with purse earnings of $1,106,950, and she also ranked second on the NSA list of leading trainers by wins with 33.

Bred by Alan Quartucci, foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains and out of the winning Gio Ponti mare Blank Slate, Topic Changer improved to 4-for-7 in his career and 2-for-2 over jumps in the Alston Cup.

Topic Changer, a two-time winner on the flat for his breeder Alan Quartucci, is now a two-time winner over jumps. Photo courtesy of Keri Brion.

Topic Changer made his first four starts for Quartucci and trainer Christophe Clement. Unraced at 2, he won his second start in maiden special weight company going 9 furlongs on the grass in late June at Belmont Park. After a ninth in a starter allowance on the grass at Saratoga he was claimed for $35,000 by Double B Racing Stable and trainer Gregory DiPrima out of a 1 1/2-length win in a 1 1/16-mile turf event Sept. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.

Topic Changer ran once for Double B and DiPrima, finishing well back in another turf starter allowance, before transitioning to the jumps. He won his hurdle debut 22 days later, in a 2 1/8-mile $30,0000 maiden race at the Aiken Fall Steeplechase in late October for Wycoff, Mullins and Brion.

Matched up against five others, including the 1-2 finishers from the Gladstone Hurdle at Far Hills in The Insider and Hoffman, Topic Changer and jockey Barry Foley rated behind those two for the opening lap of the Alston Cup. While making a run toward the lead, Topic Changer was bumped during an incident when Clara Belle stumbled and lost jockey Jamie Bargary over the 10th fence. Clara Belle, also owned by Wycoff and trained by Brion, walked off. The Insider, who also fell at the 10th in his first start for Brion after being campaigned in Ireland with Gordon Elliott, also walked off.

Topic Changer, who earned $21,000 for the win, finished in 3:56.40 over the good ground.

Quartucci purchased Blank Slate, carrying Topic Changer in utero, for $50,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale.

Blank Slate is also the dam of the 2-year-old Blame colt Clear Consience, who finished third in a Nov. 11 maiden race at Aqueduct for Clement and co-owners and co-breeders Quartucci and Sebastian Varney. Quartucci and Varney also bred a New York-bred yearling colt by Palace Malice and a weanling colt by McKinzie born May 22.

Legendary New York trainer Mike Hernandez dies

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

The late Mike Hernandez (center, holding trophy) retired in November 2011 at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Ramon “Mike” Hernandez, trainer of scores of stakes winners and oldest active trainer at New York Racing Association tracks when he retired in November 2011, died at the age of 99 Sunday.

A native of Union de San Antonio Jalisco, Mexico, Hernandez started his long career in racing in 1944 when Hipodromo de las Americas opened in Mexico City. He started training in 1951 and enjoyed a successful career in his native country before moving permanently to the United States in the 1970s.

Mentored in his early days by Cecil Locklear, Laz Barrera and Pancho Martin, Hernandez managed Cleremont Farms in Germantown, N.Y., before opening up a public stable in 1976. He trained in the U.S from 1976 to 2011, winning 603 races from 5,419 starts and his horses earned $18,820,126, according to Daily Racing Form statistics.

Legendary New York breeder and owner Dr. Dominick DeLuke, owner of Assunta Louis Farms, contributed to Hernandez’s success. Hernandez trained several stakes winners for DeLuke, including Fratello Ed, Sir Prove It and Vandy Sue. The latter gave Hernandez his lone graded stakes win in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap in 1978 at Aqueduct. Vandy Sue also won the 1976 New York Breeders Fillies and New York Breeders Futurity at Finger Lakes.

Other stakes winners trained by Hernandez included Adirondack Holme, Artistic Express, Beautiful America, Classic Pack and Luck. Hernandez also trained for owners John Hettinger, Chester and Mary Broman and others during his career.

Hernandez’s family brought his body to Barn 76 at Saratoga Race Course Sunday, where they “placed Call to Post, we told him it was ‘rider’s up’ while singing his favorite songs,” his family said. “He gave us a beautiful sunset for his last ‘race’ on the Oklahoma Training Track.”

Hernandez is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary; his three daughters, Teresa (Charles) Schirmer, Cathalene Hagney and Mary (George) Segarra; his son Michael Bowles; his four sisters Lupe, Amparo, Carmen and Matilde; his brother Carlos; over 100 nieces and nephews, his cat Happy and squirrels Ramon and Suzie.

Hernandez’s funeral procession will form 9:30 am Wednesday at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home Inc. in Saugerties, N.Y. Procession will continue to the St. Mary of the Snow Church for a 10 a.m. funeral mass. Burial will follow in the Blue Mountain Cemetery. Visitation will be from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Read more about Mike Hernandez from the pages of The Saratoga Special:

West Point preview: Classic Redux

School Days: Classic Pack knocks off mates with big finish in NY-bred stakes. Page 14.


Moonage Daydream goes all the way in Stewart Manor

Saturday, November 5th, 2022

Reylu Gutierrez played aggressive with Moonage Daydream and came away with front-running win in the Stewart Manor at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

By Paul Halloran and Tom Law

Trainer Jorge Abreu would prefer his horses not to be on the lead. Reylu Gutierrez had other ideas in Saturday’s $120,000 Stewart Manor Stakes at Aqueduct Saturday, gunning Moonage Daydream to the front from the rail and leading every step of the way to win the stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Chris Larsen’s homebred Moonage Daydream completed a front-running New York-bred Saturday stakes double with an upset victory 6-furlong turf stakes

“I told him to break and I wanted to be forwardly placed, but I don’t like my horses on the lead,” Abreu said. “I hate that. He told me ‘if I lose this race, I’m going to be in trouble,’ and I said ‘You’re right.’ ”

The daughter of Candy Ride went right to the front under Gutierrez, clicked off strong fractions and drew away to a 1 ¼-length victory over odds-on favorite Redefined in the 6-furlong stakes. Moonage Daydream joined Vacation Dance, winner of the $120,000 Atlantic Beach, as state-bred stakes winners on the first Saturday of the Aqueduct fall meeting.

“You’ve got to be aggressive in New York. They didn’t bring me here today to take back,” Gutierrez said. “I was moving very comfortably. She got pretty brave. … It wasn’t like a quick :44 (half-mile split). She handled it really well.”

Moonage Daydream led Dontlookbackatall by a half-length through the opening quarter-mile in :22.30 before opening up by a length over that same foe to that half in :44.66. Dulcia, Georgees Spirit, Redefined and Recinto Rompere chased from there while Gutierrez braced for any late runs turning for home.

Redefined, the 7-10 favorite in the field of eight, made a strong wide run at the leader in the lane but was rebuffed inside the final furlong. Moonage Daydream won in 1:08.66. Redefined held second, a neck in front of Georgees Spirit with Dontlookbackatall fourth. Dulcia, Recinto Rompere, Showgirl Lynne B and Hurricane Debbie completed the field.

“She was very comfortable,” Gutierrez said. “She could have gone a bit farther. She galloped out really well. It was pretty great. I loved everything about her run today.”

Bred by 3C Stable LLC, Moonage Daydream is the third foal out of the winning Malibu Moon mare Elatha. Campaigned by 3 C’s Racing Stable, Elatha is the dam of the two-time winning 4-year-old New York-bred Declaration of War filly Guardian Moon and the 3-year-old New York-bred First Samurai filly Hikaru.

Eltha is also the dam of a yearling New York-bred colt by Gun Runner and a weanling New York-bred American Pharoah filly born Jan. 28. The yearling and weanling were also bred by 3C Stable LLC.

Moonage Daydream finished third in her debut, beaten 3 lengths by Little Linzee, in a state-bred 5 ½-furlong turf maiden in late July at Saratoga. She rebounded with a 1-length score Sept. 30 during the Belmont at the Big A meeting going 6 furlongs on the grass. Moonage Daydream earned $66,000 for the victory Saturday, boosting her bankroll to $111,870.

Vacation Dance takes Atlantic Beach Stakes

Saturday, November 5th, 2022

Vacation Dance, a son of the late The Lieutenant, rolls to victory in Saturday’s Atlantic Beach Stakes at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Vacation Dance, close in his stakes debut last time behind a third-place finisher in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, collected his first stakes victory with a gritty effort in Saturday’s $120,000 Atlantic Beach at Aqueduct.

The 2-year-old son of the late New York-based sire The Lieutenant fended off No Nay Hudson through the lend of the stretch to win the 6-furlong turf stakes by 1 1/4 lengths. Owned by Sleeping Giant Stables, America’s Pastime Stables and Kim Don Racing and trained by John Kimmel, Vacation Dance improved to 2-for-3 under Kendrick Carmouche in 1:08.41 over the firm turf.

Vacation Dance won the Atlantic Beach the day after the Future Stars Friday card at Keeneland Race Course. He finished third, beaten a neck behind Nagirroc, in the Grade 3 Futurity last month during the Belmont at the Big A meeting. Nagirroc came back to finish third behind Europeans Victoria Road and Silver Knott in the $1 million Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.

Kimmel pre-entered Vacation Dance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, but the colt didn’t enter after landing 18th on initial also-eligible list.

“I was pretty certain he’d be a little fitter than he was when he lost the Futurity,” Kimmel said. “He entered the Futurity off of a fairly lengthy break between breezes. He actually hadn’t breezed in 15 days. We had contemplated the idea of running him in the Pilgrim – he’s a big horse and we thought he’d handle two turns and the distance, but the long and the short of it is that it rained super hard and the turf course was super soggy.

“Today, I thought he’d be a little fitter and he showed he was. He had been working pretty steady.”

Sent off as the 5-2 third choice in the field of five behind 3-2 Inflation Nation and 8-5 No Nay Hudson, Vacation Dance took the lead from the break and led through the opening quarter-mile in :22.30. He led No Nay Hudson by a length through that split, and still held that foe off by a half-length after the half-mile in :44.65.

No Nay Hudson made a run after the leader at the top of the lane and through the lane, but Vacation Dance held off those runs to win. No Nay Hudson finished 1 ¼ lengths clear of Inflation Nation with Chiringo fourth and Be of Courage fourth.

“I’m really happy John and the owners picked me to get back on this horse,” said Carmouche, who rode Vacation Dance to victory in his debut Sept. 4 at Saratoga Race Course. “This horse ran good first time for me. Today he showed he can go a little further, he might just need some horses to run and look at.

“We went fast to the half, but he was doing it so comfortable, I wasn’t worried about it. I was just waiting on him to switch leads and keep it together so we could go a little bit more.”

Bred by Harry Landry and James Hogan and foaled at Majestic Farm in Schaghticoke, Vacation Dance is out of the Zensational mare Matinee Express. Initially sold by Harry L. Landry Bloodstock for $45,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic October yearling sale, Vacation Dance was scratched from the OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training and sold for $90,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Kimmel said Vacation Dance’s works on the dirt give him enough confidence to consider the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Series in mid-December at Aqueduct.

“He is stallion eligible, so we’ll probably give it a go and gauge it off his breezes on the dirt. We’d have to try it for half a million bucks. If he doesn’t handle that, we’ll probably give him a little breather and bring him back next spring.”

Vacation Dance is from the lone crop of the late The Lieutenant, a half-brother to Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Justify, who stood his lone season in 2019 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson before going to Peru for the Southern Hemisphere season. The Lieutenant was one of four stallions killed by marauders at a raid on Haras Barlovento in December 2019.

Five New York-breds entered for Breeders’ Cup

Monday, October 31st, 2022

Five New York-breds were entered Monday for the 39th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this weekend at Keeneland Race Course, with four into the main draw of their races and another on the also-eligible list.

The action for the Empire State contingent starts with a pair of runners on the Future Stars Friday program – You’re My Girl and Curly Larry and Mo.

Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Hidden Brook Farm’s You’re My Girl, a daughter of Overanalyze bred by James G. Doyle, drew post 2 for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Second last time out in the Grade 1 Frizette, You’re My Girl is listed at 12-1 on the morning line with John Velazquez named to ride for trainer John Terranova.

George Sharp’s Curly Larry and Mo, a maiden winner Oct. 15 at Keeneland, drew post 2 for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Bred by Hidden Lake Farm and Donna Bernhard, the 2-year-old son of Mo Town will be ridden by Francisco Arrieta for trainer Caio Caramori.

Three New York-breds are entered for Championship Saturday – Sterling Silver, Dancing Buck and Red Knight.

Mark Anderson’s Sterling Silver runs early in the day in the third race, the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Bred by Mallory and Karen Mort, the 3-year-old daughter of Cupid drew post 9 of 13 for the 7-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint and is 30-1 on the morning line for jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Tom Albertrani.

J & N Stables and Diamond M Stable’s Dancing Buck, winner of the Grade 3 Belmont Turf Sprint last time out, is on the also-eligible list for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Bred by J & N Stables and trained by Michelle Nevin, the 4-year-old War Dancer gelding could draw into the race with one withdrawal.

Trinity Farm’s homebred Red Knight goes in the next-to-last championship event, the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. The 8-year-old Pure Prize gelding picks up the services of jockey Luis Saez for the first time and is 20-1 on the morning line for trainer Mike Maker.

Arctic Arrogance leads Broman-breds in Sleepy Hollow; Les Bon Temps upsets Maid of the Mist

Sunday, October 30th, 2022

Arctic Arrogance leads superfecta sweep for Broman-breds in the Sleepy Hollow. NYRA Photo.

You expect Chester and Mary Broman to cast a long shadow on Empire Showcase Day, but breeding the top four finishers of a stakes race is impressive, even for them.

That’s what happened in the $200,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes for 2-year-olds Sunday at the Belmont at the Big A meeting, as all you needed to do to hit the superfecta was to box the Broman-breds.

The Broman-owned Arctic Arrogance, by Frosted out of the Uncle Mo mare Modest Maven, gave up the lead but rallied on the inside in the stretch and won the Sleepy Hollow by 4 1/2 lengths. Quick to Accuse, a son of Accelerate and half-brother to New York-bred champion Mr. Buff, got up for second over Starquist with Donegal Surges fourth.

“There’s no race in New York where you’re not going to find a Broman-bred horse,” said winning trainer Linda Rice. “They have a great program and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.”

Rice wins at only 10 percent with her first-time starters, so when Arctic Arrogance was bet down to 5-2 and won his debut on Closing Day at Saratoga Race Course, you had the feeling this horse might be a good one. He was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes Sept. 29, but was caught by longshot Jackson Heights in the stretch.

“He’s a hard horse to keep fit,” Rice said. “After he won at Saratoga, I let the weight get out of control and it cost us. I put more pressure on him (three 5-furlong works) than you would typically put on a 2-year-old, and it paid off.”

Rice attributed the win in the career debut to the horse being extremely fit, albeit green.

“We had a difficult time getting him to leave the gate,” she said. “He was fit enough to run three weeks before we ran him. I knew this horse had real talent and there was no reason he shouldn’t win first time out. I had to spend an extra few weeks with him, just to convince him we had to leave the gate. His gate schooling took much longer than usual. Hence, he was really ready to run at Saratoga.”

In the Sleepy Hollow, Starquist broke first, but Arctic Arrogance saved ground and led through a quarter-mile in :23.62 and a half in :47.93. Starquist took the lead on the far turn, but once the field straightened out, Arctic Arrogance put on a burst up the rail and won impressively.

“Today, going a mile, he doesn’t have to use his energy too early and he got more comfortable the whole way,” jockey Jose Lezcano said. “When I asked him, he took off very well. I got to the quarter pole and put my hands down and he acted very nice.”

Arctic Arrogance, who earned $110,000 for the win to pad his bankroll to $183,400, was foaled at Chestertown Farm in Chestertown and is the second foal out of Modest Maven. A $1 million purchase at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, Modest Maven is also the dam of the 3-year-old Accelerate colt Overstep, who finished second in last year’s Sleepy Hollow. Modest Maven is also the dam of a yearling New York-bred filly by Frosted, bred by the Bromans.

Paul Halloran


Les Bon Temps handles stretch out in Maid of the Mist

Les Bon Temps edges away from Miracle late to win the Maid of the Mist. NYRA Photo.

Les Bon Temps needed to improve off her first start in a new barn to succeed in the $200,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes and did just that, toppling nine rivals for her first stakes victory at 13-1.

Third behind Gambling Girl and Miracle last time out in the Joseph A. Gimma Sept. 28 at the Belmont at the Big A meeting, the 2-year-old daughter of Laoban handled the added distance of the 1-mile Maid of the Mist under Luis Saez. Les Bon Temps edged Miracle by a length after a duel with that foe for more than a furlong.

“It was pretty tough,” said Saez, who rode the winner for trainer Mike Maker and owners Deuce Greathouse, Cindy Hutson and Brett Setzer. “The horse on the lead [Miracle] didn’t want to stop and they fought until the end. But on the final jump, we got right there in time. It was an exciting race.”

Saez said stretching out to a mile “definitely helped” Les Bon Temps, who won her 5-furlong debut at Churchill Downs before three straight defeats at 6, 6 ½ and 7 furlongs.

“That was best for her. She gave me a good kick at the top of the stretch,” Saez said.

Miracle, the 4-1 third choice behind 9-5 favorite Gambling Girl and Im Just Kiddin, took the lead from the start and clicked off splits of :23.32 and :46.82 under Flavien Prat. Banterra and Les Bon Temps gave chase before the latter moved into second through 6 furlongs in 1:11.73.

Les Bon Temps swung four wide into the stretch and made a bid to the outside of Miracle in the lane. The two dueled from outside the eighth pole through the stretch before Les Bon Temps edged clear just before the finish. Miracle finished 13 ½ lengths clear of third-place finisher Silver Skillet with Gambling Girl fourth in the field of 10. Les Bon Temps won in 1:37.70.

Bred by Southern Equine Stables, foaled at Irish Hill Century Farm in Stillwater and out of the unraced Tapizar mare Winsanity, Les Bon Temps was purchased by Greathouse and Pura Vida Racing for $65,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale. She made her first three starts for Norm Casse before being transferred to Maker, who prepped the filly out his Belmont Park barn.

Les Bon Temps is the second foal out of Winsanity, who also produced the winning New York-bred 3-year-old Bodemeister gelding The Man to See, and a yearling full brother to the Maid of the Mist winner and a weanling New York-bred filly by Honest Mischief foaled March 1. The latter two foals were bred by Cypress Creek Equine.

Tom Law