NEWS: racing

Shaker Shack leads 1-3 finish for sire in NYSS Park Avenue

Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Shaker Shack and Jose Ortiz cruise to the wire in Sunday’s $200,000 Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Shaker Shack became the newest New York-bred stakes winner Sunday afternoon with an upset victory in the $200,000 Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct after two consecutive runner-up finishes over the same track.

Racing over 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main track, the 3-year-old daughter of Bustin Stones was the first out of the gate and entered a duel for the lead against Laura’s Bellamy. Shaker Shack grudgingly allowed Laura’s Bellamy to take a short lead, the pair pushed each other through a first quarter of :22.07.  Laura’s Bellamy gave way entering the far turn.

Though she took over the lead, Shaker Shack didn’t get a breather with Shesadirtydancer coming up the outside as Laura’s Bellamy faded on her inside. Shesadirtydancer stuck her head in front around the turn with Shaker Shack’s jockey Jose Ortiz asking his mount to stick with her. Shaker Shack complied through a half in :45.21 and stuck to her dueling ways down the stretch.

Shaker Shack got her head in front in the final furlong and that seemed like the confidence boost she needed to start pulling away and win by 1 1/2 length over Shesadirtydancer in 1:17.75. The Park Avenue proved a big race for New York-based sire Bustin Stones, who sired the 1-3 finishers with his daughter Bustin Bay another 5 1/2 lengths back in third. Laobanonaprayer, the 1-2 favorite, finished last of six.

Shaker Shack led 1-3 finish for Bustin Stones in Sunday’s Park Avenue, with Bustin Bay third in the field of six. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

“She’s not one of those horses who comes over here prancing and dancing and really tough,” said Shaker Shack’s trainer Pat Reynolds. “I put the rider up and she’s all business. She’s a perfect filly to have and easy to train. The owners have been terrific. They bred her and she’s part of the New York program. It was their decision to come here and I went along with it.”

Breaking her maiden in a $40,000 maiden claimer to kick off the year, the Darlene Bilinski and Roddy Valente-owned Shaker Shack has finished no worse than second in 2021 with four top two finishes in five career races.

Bred by Valente and Dr. Jerry Bilinski and foaled at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, Shaker Shack is the third stakes winner from four runners out of four-time winner Disco Shaker. Shaker Shack is the only New York-bred runner for Disco Shaker, who has seen all of her runners visit the winner’s circle. The mare foaled the stakes winning duo of Oak Bluffs and Shaker Shack’s full sister Bustin Out in New Jersey for Patricia Generazio.

Disco Shaker was sold privately to Valentine and Bilinski after foaling her first two stakes winners and her first New York-bred was an unnamed full sister to Shaker Shack born in 2016. The following year, the mare again produced a Bustin Stones foal, that one an unnamed New York-bred colt.

While there was a six-year gap between the stakes winning duo of Bustin Out and Shaker Shack, the filly made the wait worth it with Sunday’s win. Shaker Shack is the youngest of Disco Shakers foals with the mare not bred for 2021.

Devious Mo upsets Times Square division of Stallion Series

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Manny Franco and Devious Mo upset Saturday’s $200,000 Times Square division of the New York Stallion Series. Joe Labozzetta Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Almost exactly a month after breaking his maiden in a New York-bred maiden-claiming race, Repole Stable’s Devious Mo took another step forward to win Saturday’s $200,000 Times Square division of the New York Stallion Series at Aqueduct.

The big bay 3-year-old Laoban colt making his stakes debut in the 6 1/2-furlong Times Square off his easy 8 3/4-length maiden victory over the same track when going 6 furlongs.

“We put blinkers on him [after they claimed him in November] and maybe the level, dropping him in for $25,000, helped his confidence a bit,” winning trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. “He showed up. I thought we might lose him for $25,000 but thank God we didn’t.”

Breaking from the inside post in the Times Square, the 11-1 Devious Mo was among an early four-way battle for the lead in the opening furlong. When all was sorted out, Lobsta took command with only Devious Mo staying within a length. Devious Mo kept his spot on the rail as he raced at Lobsta’s hip through fractions of :22.52 and :45.87.

Devious Mo took advantage of the room he’d created on the inside of the leader to slide up the rail and stick his nose in front around the turn. By the time the field entered the stretch, Devious Mo had a length on the field and started to open up. Devious Mo held off a late challenge in deep stretch from maiden runner-up Sinful Dancer, a second-time starter by War Dancer who was closing with every stride.

Sinful Dancer could only get within three-quarters of a length of Devious Mo at the finish with It’s Gravy another 5 1/4 lengths back in third. Devious Mo won in 1:17.10.

“I just kept him up there,” said Devious Mo’s jockey Manny Franco. “By the three-eighths pole, I had to go because the hole was closing up, so I asked more of my horse. When [Sinful Dancer] came to me, my horse was really trying. When I asked him, he was there for me. I felt like he was getting a little tired, but at the same time, he was giving me his all.”

Devious Mo outfinishes Sinful Dancer late to win Times Square. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Bred by and foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, Devious Mo became the latest stakes winner for former New York-based sire Laoban. Sold for $15,000 at the OBS October yearling sale in 2019, he returned to the Florida sales ring again last year in the OBS July 2-year-olds in training sale and brough $37,000 from Gary Contessa on behalf of John Irwin.

Devious Mo made his debut the final weekend of last summer’s Saratoga meet for trainer Bruce Brown and Irwin to kick off a string of four straight fourth-place finishes. It was in the final race of that streak that Repole and Rodriguez snapped him up for $40,000 in mid-November in his first start for a tag. It took about four months and three more starts for Devious Mo to break his maiden but when he did, he did it in style.

Devious Mo is both the first stakes winner and winner overall for the winning Harlan’s Holiday mare Devious Chic, which McMahon of Saratoga purchased for $6,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton February mixed sale. A two-time winner, the mare is the dam of two named foals with Devious Mo joined by the Bellamy Road gelding Mischief Mike.

Devious Chic is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Sky Cape and stakes winner Sunny Skies among five stakes horses out of the Marquetry mare Skyscape.

Devious Chic foaled out a New York-bred Central Banker colt in 2019 and had a filly by the same stallion last year. She visited Redesdale last year during his second season at stud at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds.

My Boy Tate edges Bankit to win Haynesfield

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

My Boy Tate wins second straight stakes in Sunday’s Haynesfield at Aqueduct. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Michelle Nevin blamed herself for My Boy Tate’s poor effort two starts back, gave him more time between starts and wound up rewarded when her 7-year-old homebred won his first stakes since late 2019.

The trainer and co-owner of the Boys At Tosconova gelding followed a similar pattern for his next try and was rewarded again in Sunday’s $97,000 Haynesfield Stakes at Aqueduct. My Boy Tate, stretching out to a distance with a question mark, outfinished favored Bankit in deep stretch to win the 1-mile Haynesfield by a neck.

“I wasn’t 100 percent confident because we tried it twice and it didn’t work out,” Nevin said of the distance, where My Boy Tate was 0-for-2. “Lately, he’s been a lot more relaxed early on in his races and I thought that might help him to get home. He loves a wet track and he loves Aqueduct.”

My Boy Tate improved his Aqueduct record to 7-for-13 with the win, his fifth in six starts on a wet track. Eric Cancel, who locked up the Aqueduct winter meeting riding title earlier on the card, rode My Boy Tate for his sixth winner of the day. He ended the meet with 78 winners, two more than Kendrick Carmouche.

“I’m filled with emotions,” said the 24-year-old Cancel, winning his first meet title. “I worked very hard for this and being able to compete with a guy like Kendrick, who is a very hard-riding guy, it feels wonderful. Yesterday, I didn’t think I was going to get it. But today, I just woke up and said to keep on swinging and go for it. I want to thank my agent and all the owners and trainers who gave me the opportunity to be here and win this meet.”

Cancel got the call from Nevin aboard My Boy Tate for the first time in the Haynesfield, which looked a spot for Bankit to win his third straight stakes after victories in late December in the Alex M. Robb at Aqueduct and last month in the John B. Campbell at Laurel Park.

Manny Franco, who rode My Boy Tate last time in his 1 ¼-length win in the Hollie Hughes, took the call aboard Bankit for trainer Steve Asmussen and his New York-based assistant Toby Sheets. Carmouche rode Nevin’s other runner, William Schettine’s homebred South Africa making his stakes debut.

Coming off three straight runner-up efforts in state-bred optionals at Aqueduct, South Africa took the early initiative and led out of the chute and through the opening quarter-mile in :23.16. By Boy Tate and Bankit, the 4-5 favorite racing a little closer than usual, gave chase up the backstretch.

South Africa continued to splash through the slop and led through the half in :46.17, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Bankit with My Boy Tate another length back in third. Bankit started his run around the far turn, chasing down the suddenly open-length leader South Africa turning into the lane. South Africa still led through 6 furlongs in 1:10.64 as Bankit joined him on the outside.

Bankit eventually edged clear in the stretch while My Boy Tate continued to make progress several paths off the rail. My Boy Tate stuck his head in front about 20 yards from the finish to win in 1:36.37. Bankit held second, 3 lengths in front of South Africa with Microscope fourth and T Loves a Fight fifth.

Eric Cancel celebrates his sixth winner, and the Aqueduct winter meet title, aboard My Boy Tate. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

“I was telling Michelle that he’s very talented,” Cancel said. “He’s been improving as he’s gotten older. He’s been doing everything perfect. The last few races, he’s just been sitting very nice and patient and making his run. I tried to ride him confident and just wait into the last eighth and just go on from there.”

My Boy Tate improved to 9-for-23 with five seconds and two thirds with the win, worth $55,000 to pad his bankroll to $582,288 for Nevin and Little Red Feather Racing. He’s now won three of six, dating back to an open allowance Sept. 23 at Parx Racing and the two stakes wins.

Confidence is brewing in the gelding and he reminds Nevin’s team daily.

“He is something else,” Nevin said. “He makes everybody in the barn work hard for it. He’s a wiry tough guy to be around. But when he runs, he really puts his effort out.”

Foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, My Boy Tate is the second foal out of the winning Sharp Humor mare Backslash, a mare Nevin used to gallop that she admitted back in 2019 “didn’t know what to do with so decided to just breed her.”

Backslash’s first foal, the Frost Giant gelding Linkappleyard, won three of nine starts for Nevin as breeder-owner-trainer, and the third, a now 6-year-old Bluegrass Cat horse Charlie McCoy, is 3-4-1 from 13 starts with earnings of $186,191 for Nevin and partners Little Red Feather and Kevin Bogart. Blackslash’s fourth foal, the 4-year-old Big Brown gelding Slash Gordon, won at first asking last March at Aqueduct before a fourth in the Times Square division of the New York Stallion Stakes last summer at Saratoga.

Nevin also bred Blackslash’s now unraced 3-year-old Micromanage colt, named Michael Scott after the namesake of the lead character from the former NBC hit sitcom The Office. She also co-bred, with Godolphin, Blackslash’s 2-year-old unnamed Bernardini filly and a yearling filly by Frosted. The Bernardini filly is consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale on March 31 where she is Hip 74.

New York-breds shine Saturday at Aqueduct

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Bears Mafia makes winning return in Saturday’s Kelly Kip Starter Stakes at Aqueduct. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Owners and breeders of New York-breds took full advantage of NYRA’s Claiming Championship card, raking in more than $60,000 in awards for wins alone Saturday at Aqueduct.

Five New York-breds won on the 10-race $620,000 Claiming Championship card, open to horses which have started for a prescribed claiming price in 2020-21. The breeders’ awards totaled $32,587.50 on the day, while owners’ awards came to $21,725. Stallion owner awards for the day’s two winners totaled $5,775.

Bears Mafia, sixth in North America and first among New York-bred by wins in 2020, was among the quintet of winners on the card. The 5-year-old Verrazano gelding made a successful return in the $53,350 Kelly Kip Starter Stakes, leading from the start on the way to a half-length score in his first start since mid-November.

Bred by Lansdowne Thoroughbreds LLC, foaled at Hidden Lake Farm in Stillwater and owned and trained by Jeffrey Englehart, Bears Mafia won seven of 11 starts last year on the NYRA circuit, Finger Lakes and Monmouth Park and banked $114,920. He’s out of the winning Vicar mare Binavicar and is 9-2-4 in 24 starts with a bankroll of $212,115.

Letmetakethiscall wins fourth of last five starts in Xtra Heat Starter. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Matthew Levy’s and Kenneth Greenvald’s Letmetakethiscall won for the fourth time in her last five starts in the $69,750 Xtra Heat Starter, leading a 1-2 finish for trainer Jimmy Ferraro. The 6-year-old Take Charge Indy mare won by 9 1/4 lengths over stablemate Dovey Lovey in the 6 1/2-furlong Xtra Heat. Bred by Danzel Brendemuehl and Sandra Lombardo and foaled at Royal Thoroughbred Racing Stables in Freedom, Letmetakethiscall is out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Spring Elusion.

Ruvies in Time started off the card with a victory for Clear Stars Stable and co-owner and trainer Rick Schosberg in the $53,350 Videogenic Starter. The 5-year-old mare by The Factor tracked the speed early and drew off to a 4-length victory in the 6-furlong event for her second straight victory.

A $95,000 purchase by Clear Stars Stable and the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale, Ruvies in Time was bred by Mashnee Stables and Steve Schuster out of the winning Tapit mare Hollywood Redhead. She was foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs.

Dublinornothin won for the third time in seven starts in 2021 in the $45,000 Belle Gallantey Starter going 7 furlongs. Trained by her owner, Eduardo Jones, the 5-year-old daughter of former New York-based stallion Dublin won by 1 3/4 lengths over Movie Score as the 2-1 favorite. Bred by David Cramer and Anthony Spadea and foaled at Albright Thoroughbreds in Ontario, Dublinornothin is out of the winning New York-bred Hook and Ladder mare Shea Goodbye.

Control Group, a graded-stakes winning 3-year-old, adds another win on Claiming Championship card in More To Tell. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Control Group capped the day for the Empire State with a neck victory over 9-5 favorite Malibu Pro in the $60,000 More To Tell Starter for owners Frank Catapano and Nicolas Primpas and trainer Wayne Potts. Sent off at 7-1, the 7-year-old son of the late former New York-based stallion Posse improved to 16-for-44 in the 1-mile More To Tell.

Bred by Colts Neck Stable and Alan Goldberg and out of the unraced Victory Gallop mare We Kept Her, Control Group won the Grade 3 Discovery Stakes in 2017, Alex M. Robb Stakes in 2018 and Mr. Sinatra Starter on the Claiming Championship in 2018. Foaled at Vinery New York at Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag, Control Group boosted his earnings to $788,257.


Brooklyn Strong turns in final prep, all systems go for Wood

Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Brooklyn Strong, with Maria Remedio Adorno aboard, turned in strong final work for next weekend’s Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Nicole Sherman Photo.

By Paul Halloran

There is still a week to go before the Kentucky Derby trail stops in South Ozone Park for the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. For trainer Danny Velazquez it might be a very long week – not because he is nervous, because he is excited and can’t wait for April 3.

“We are ready. My confidence level is through the roof,” Velazquez said after New York-bred Brooklyn Strong turned in his final prep for the Wood, a 6-furlong work in 1:13.42 at Parx Racing Saturday morning.

With assistant trainer Maria Remedio up and working in company, Brooklyn Strong broke off from the 5-furlong pole and was timed in :48.79 for a half-mile and 1:01.07 for 5 furlongs, galloping out in 1:26.25, according to Velazquez.

“I didn’t want to break the clock today,” he said. “We put a rabbit horse in there with him and took him back, then he took over.”

The work was the fifth for the 3-year-old son of Wicked Strong who suffered an illness after winning the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Dec. 5. Last week, he fired a bullet, going 5 furlongs in :59.71.

The Wood offers Derby qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. Brooklyn Strong picked up 10 points in the Remsen and, heading into Saturday, was in a 10-way tie for the 21st in the qualifying standings. A win or second in the Wood would earn a Derby berth.

Danny Velazquez hopes Brooklyn Strong comes out on top in next week’s Wood Memorial on the way to the Kentucky Derby. Nicole Sherman Photo.

“Now we just do everything we can to keep him happy, healthy and sound,” said Velazquez, a 37-year-old Mid-Atlantic-based trainer who finds himself on the cusp of leading a horse over on the first Saturday in May. “I feel pressure because people are telling me I should be feeling it, but really I am just so confident in my horse.”

Velazquez secured the services of Manny Franco for the Wood, after making a pitch to Franco’s agent, Angel Cordero Jr.

“I called Cordero and said, ‘Angel, I’m telling you I am going to come 1,000-percent ready. I promise you.’ He called me back a few hours later and told me we had Manny,” said Velazquez, who will give a leg up to the jockey who won the 2020 Belmont Stakes and Travers with New York-bred Tiz the Law.

Velazquez said he will walk Brooklyn Strong Sunday and Monday, then jog him except for a likely gallop Thursday. The horse will ship from his Parx base next Saturday morning.

“Now it’s just sharpening,” said Velazquez, who would have preferred more than five works, especially before a graded stakes, but feels that his horse has made more than made up for it.

“I feel this horse has gotten fitter quicker,” he said. “It’s not 100 percent how I normally do it, but, am I confident he is ready now? Absolutely. My team has done a great job. They’re all excited.”

Brooklyn Strong broke his maiden for a tag at Delaware Park and ran third and first in New York-bred stakes, before winning the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Dec. 5. His 4-3-0-1 record accounted for $195,000 in earnings. He was bred by Cheryl Prudhomme and her husband, Dr. Michael Gallivan, at Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward. They sold him as a weanling for $30,000 and, after he was an RNA at two yearling sales in 2019, Mark Schwartz bought him for $5,000 at last year’s OBS Spring 2-year-old sale.

Brooklyn Strong preps for Wood with bullet work

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Grade 2 winner Brooklyn Strong turned in bullet 5-furlong workout Saturday in preparation for the April 3 Wood Memorial. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Paul Halloran

New York-bred Brooklyn Strong took another step forward on what his connections hope is the road to the Kentucky Derby with a 5-furlong bullet workout Saturday morning at Parx Racing.

With Danny Velazquez’s assistant Maria Remedio up, Brooklyn Strong broke from the 5-furlong pole and went in :59.71, galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:13, according to Velazquez, who was very pleased with the work, which was the best of 16 at the distance Saturday.

“It’s the best work he’s had since the layoff,” said Velazquez, who was forced to give the gelding time off due to an illness he suffered after winning the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Dec. 5. “I planned on giving him a three-quarters work next week, but after this I might just give him an easy half. We’ll see how he does the next 48 hours.”

Saturday’s was the fourth official work for Brooklyn Strong since returning to training after the layoff. Last week, he went 5 furlongs in 1:01.13.

“(Today) was quicker than I expected,” Velazquez said, “but he just clicked off every pole (3 furlongs in :35.86 and a half in :48.05). He’s hitting every point. I’m extremely happy.”

Velazquez plans to work Brooklyn Strong – a son of Wicked Strong out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Riviera Chic – next Saturday in preparation for a start in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 3. The Wood offers Derby qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. Brooklyn Strong picked up 10 points in the Remsen and, heading into Saturday’s Louisiana Derby, was in an 11-way tie for the 20th and final Derby berth. A win or second in the Wood would almost certainly land him in Louisville on the first Saturday in May.

“The only thing on my mind is the Wood,” said Velazquez, who watched Saturday’s work from trackside, one week after being seriously injured when a loose horse slammed into the pony he was sitting on, resulting in a lacerated liver, torn bicep, concussion and swollen chest. He was in an ambulance when his horse worked last weekend.

“I watched from the rail this week, a much safer place,” he said.

Brooklyn Strong was bred by Cheryl Prudhomme and her husband, Dr. Michael Gallivan, at Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward. They sold him as a weanling for $30,000 and, after he was an RNA at two yearling sales in 2019, Mark Schwartz bought him for $5,000 at last year’s OBS Spring 2-year-olds in training sale.

Excellent Timing romps for new connections in Damon Runyon

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Excellent Timing rolls to victory in Damon Runyon in first start for new connections. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Excellent Timing showed enough in his first two starts to attract suitors accustomed to digging into their wallets to make a private purchase. The New York-bred son of Not This Time also showed enough in those runs to earn a trip south to join trainer Chad Brown’s A-string to prep for his 3-year-old debut.

That came Sunday in the $100,000 Damon Runyon at Aqueduct and Excellent Timing proved both of those moves were correct with a x-length victory over Perfect Munnings in his stakes debut. He won making his first start for Brown and owners Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables and Marc and Joe Lore’s Wonder Stable, who purchased the colt privately following his Dec. 10 maiden win.

Excellent Timing won off a three-month freshening and sporting a work tab of eight breezes at Payson Park and a tightener a week ago on the Belmont Park training track.

“The horse ran huge,” said Dan Stupp, Brown’s New York-based assistant. “The team down at Payson did a good job preparing him this winter. He came up in great shape; he put on some weight and his coat looks great.”

Excellent Timing did so well in Florida, particularly early in his stay in January, that his connections considered taking on open company for his 2021 debut.

“We had open company on our mind, but this time of year, everyone throws 3-year-olds to the wolves,” Dubb said. “This horse could have a nice and long career, so we wanted to develop the horse the right way and not get him where he loses interest. We want to get him used to winning. Hopefully, once we do that, we can go to open company. It’s the right thing to do with the horse.”

Co-bred by Sequel Stallions New York and Lakland Farm, Excellent Timing romps in the Damon Runyon. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Excellent Timing flashed the same speed he displayed in his first two starts for owner Happy Face Racing Stable and trainer Charlton Baker in the 7-furlong Damon Runyon. He and Manny Franco took the lead from the start, clicking off early splits of :24.49 and :49.19 on a windy and blustery day at Aqueduct and just ahead of It’s Gravy and The King Cheek.

Excellent Timing, the 3-5 favorite in the field of eight, led turning into the stretch while 3-1 second choice Perfect Munnings tipped off the rail and passed It’s Gravy to make a run. Excellent Timing spurted away in the lane, opened up by 6 ½ lengths past 6 furlongs in 1:14.64.

Franco wrapped up inside the final sixteenth and Excellent Timing finished well clear. Perfect Munnings held second, 5 lengths in front of It’s Gravy with It’s a Gamble fourth. Excellent Timing won in 1:28.02.

“The plan was to go to the front. I just let him break out of there and get comfortable,” Franco said. “He took me to the lead and did the rest. He’s getting better. Chad had him for the first time today and did a really good job with him and I think he’ll keep improving. He can go a little further, a mile maybe.”

Bred by Sequel Stallions New York LLC and Lakland Farm and foaled at Sequel New York in Hudson, Excellent Timing is the second foal out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Explicable. Explicable produced her first foal, a colt by Honor Code, in 2017. She’s also the dam of a 2-year-old filly by Union Jackson and a yearling filly by Unified, both co-bred by Sequel and Lakland, and was bred in 2020 to Maximus Mischief.

Explicable, a $120,000 yearling and half sister to Grade 3 winner Inexplicable and stakes-placed Goldenbaum and Cape Hatteras, raced for Hank Nothhaft’s HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing. She was offered in foal to Honor Code at the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale but did not sell on a $135,000 bid. Sequel New York bought her the next year at the same sale, carrying Excellent Timing in utero, for $45,000.

Sadie Lady fends off rival again to win Correction

Saturday, March 13th, 2021

Sadie Lady (inside) fends off Call On Mischief for first stakes victory in Saturday’s Correction at Aqueduct. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Sadie Lady and Call On Mischief squared off a week before Christmas at Aqueduct and finished 2 ½ lengths apart, with the former in front for her fourth victory of 2020.

The two tangled again Saturday at Aqueduct and while the margin shrunk to a head the outcome stayed the same with the New York-bred Sadie Lady earning her first blacktype with a victory in the $100,000 Correction Stakes.

Sadie Lady, sent to the front from the start and there at the end while two rivals made unsuccessful runs at the lead, won the 6-furlong stakes in 1:11.98. Kansas Kis finished third with 6-5 favorite Amuse fourth of six.

Off since the Dec. 18 victory to end her 4-year-old campaign, Sadie Lady also became the latest stakes winner for top New York sire Freud. The veteran son of Storm Cat, who stands for $5,000 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, came into the day with 54 blacktype winners and the earners of more than $61 million.

Bred by JMJ Racing Stables LLC and out of the unraced Read The Footnotes mare Zucca, Sadie Lady improved to 7-for-18 with $321,232 in earnings for owner Dennis Narlinger. Campaigned throughout her career by Narlinger, Sadie Lady finished fifth in her most recent stakes appearance in the Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Series. She went to the lead that day and didn’t last, but did Dec. 18 and again in the Correction.

“This filly gets very brave on the front,” said winning trainer Rob Atras, who won four races Saturday at Aqueduct. “She gets very strong and courageous on the front end. She showed that today.”

Atras won the opener with the 3-year-old Kantharos gelding Saint Selby in his debut in a New York-bred maiden special weight and claiming events with Heavy Roller and Storm Advisory.

“Going into today, I knew I had some live shots and all the horses are training very well,” Atras said. “So many things have to go right to win one race, never mind four, so I’m really grateful that it came together today.

“Anytime you win a race it’s special, especially in New York. It’s the mecca of racing and a tough place to win races.”

Sadie Lady, the latest stakes winner for leading New York sire Freud. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Atras took over Sadie Lady’s training last fall after she started her career with the Fair Hill-based Arnaud Delacour. She won her debut in September of her 2-year-old campaign to earn starts in back-to-back New York-bred stakes – the Maid of the Mist on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park and the Key Cents at Aqueduct. Off the board in both of those tries, Sadie Lady banged around the allowance, optional and claiming ranks in 2019 and most of 2020.

Sadie Lady won three in a row last winter in New York before the pandemic shut down racing for a period – victories in a $35,000 claimer, state-bred optional and open allowance. She returned in June and made three starts without success until the Dec. 18 victory.

Franco employed similar tactics in the Correction that Kendrick Carmouche, riding Amuse this time, used in the optional. Benefitting from the slow start of expected pace threat Awesome Debate, Sadie Lady ran on the lead along through the opening quarter-mile of :23.12 just ahead of Amuse and Kansas Kis with Call On Mischief fourth.

Sadie Lady stayed on through a similar second quarter, hitting the half-mile mark in :46.62 and a length in front of Call On Mischief to her outside. Kansas Kis tried to come between the top two in the lane but couldn’t find a seam and Sadie Lady, while drifting just a bit, stayed on in deep stretch for the win.

“I was happy with the break because I knew the way she likes to run,” Franco said. “After that, I just needed to see where she took me and she got it done. She’s a great filly when she’s in front and that’s what we did. I thought (Awesome Debate) would come out of there running, but I don’t know what happened. I was in front so I just tried to slow the pace down a little bit.”

Nik Juarez, aboard Call On Mischief, claimed foul against the winner and stewards reviewed the stretch run but did not make a change.

Foaled at Sequel New York in Hudson, Sadie Lady is the second foal out of Zucca, a 10-year-old full sister to stakes winner Out Of Respect co-bred by JMJ Racing Stables and Sequel Thoroughbreds LLC. She was offered but did not sell on a $1,000 bid at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale, the same year she produced Sadie Lady.

Zucca did not produced another foal until 2019 when she delivered a Florida-bred colt by Tapiture named Life Is Great. Zucca is also the dam of a yearling colt bred by EVS Corp. by Race Day foaled in New York Feb. 23, 2020, and was bred back to Freud last season.

Espresso Shot times it right in Biogio’s Rose

Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Biogio’s Rose continues to relish Aqueduct’s main track in Sunday’s Biogio’s Rose victory. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Espresso Shot returned to New York in late February after a near two-month stay in South Florida with plenty for her supporters to like in Sunday’s $100,000 Biogio’s Rose Stakes at Aqueduct.

The two biggest factors in the 5-year-old Mission Impazible mare’s favor were past success at the Big A and proven ability at the 1-mile trip. Espresso Shot proved those factors were more than just positive points on paper when she came away with her second stakes win in her last three starts with a 2-length score over Love and Love.

Espresso Shot won her fourth stakes in the Biogio’s Rose and improved to 4-for-11 at Aqueduct with two placings and 3-for-6 at the 1-mile trip. She also earned $60,000 to boost her bankroll to $474,105 for owners NY Final Furlong Racing, Maspeth Stables and Parkland Thoroughbreds and trainer Jorge Abreu.

“Home sweet home at Aqueduct, right?” Final Furlong’s Vince Roth said after Espresso Shot’s win in 1:39.10.

Espresso Shot added the Biogio’s Rose to her victory in the Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Series in late November. She finished third, beaten only 4 lengths by Mrs. Orb and Sharp Starr, in the La Verdad Stakes Jan. 3 before heading south.

Dan Zanatta, who runs Final Furlong Racing with Roth, said the trip to Abreu’s division at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla., was by design. Espresso Shot breezed four times at Palm Meadows – three at 5 furlongs Jan. 31, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 and once at a half-mile Feb. 6 – before returning to Belmont Park two weeks ago with the Biogio’s Rose the next target for 2021.

Matched against five foes after the scratch of morning-line favorite Lucky Move, Espresso Shot and jockey Eric Cancel went to the post the 8-5 second choice behind 6-5 favorite Wasp in her stakes debut.

Espresso Shot settled into a stalking position after a brief scrimmage between four of the five older fillies and mares, behind the pacesetting Love and Love and Dylan Davis. Love and Love led through solid splits of :24.28 and :47.94.

Espresso Shot’s connections celebrate another stakes win. NYRA Photo.

“We changed it up a little today,” Davis said of the decision to take the lead. “We wanted to come out running. I was very happy where I was. For a little bit, I thought we were going to win it.”

Love and Love gave Davis that feeling through the far turn, past 6 furlongs in 1:13.08 and when she cut the corner a length in front of Espresso Shot. The lead diminished from there, with Cancel staying busy to Love and Love’s outside before taking the lead inside the sixteenth pole to win going away.

“The plan was to sit stalking right there,” Cancel said. “It worked out well. Dylan went to the lead and we just had to follow. Once we got to the quarter pole, I had to ask her for everything, and she started running little by little.”

Espresso Shot improved to 5-for-19 overall with the victory. She won the East View Stakes at 2 and Busher Stakes against open company at 3 to briefly flirt with the Kentucky Oaks trail. She lost 10 straight – missing the board in all but two of those races – after the Busher but woke up a bit on Empire Showcase Day to give her connections reason to consider going on in late 2020 and into 2021.

“We almost retired her last year, but she showed some renewed form in the Iroquois,” Zanatta said of the mare’s fifth in that 6 1/2-furlong stakes. “We think anything from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile is ideal for her. Once we figured her out and saw she was running back to form, we decided to campaign her as a 5-year-old. She was booked to Authentic but she earned herself a 5-year-old campaign.”

Espresso Shot’s next start could come on the Big Apple Showcase card May 31 at Belmont Park in the $200,000 Critical Eye.

“She’s been nominated as New York-bred (divisional champion) the past three years,” Zanatta said. “She’s never won that honor, so we’re hoping that this year we can bring home a trophy.”

Bred by Twin Creeks Farm and sired by New York-based Mission Impazible, who stands at Sequel New York in Hudson, Espresso Shot is out of the winning New York-bred Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold. Twin Creeks purchased Glory Gold for $125,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Final Furlong Racing bought Espresso Shot for $69,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She was previously sold for $22,000 by Twin Creeks through Taylor Made Sales Agency as a short yearling at the Keeneland January sale.

Espresso Shot is one of three winners from four foals to race out of Glory Gold. She’s a half sister to the four-time winner Goldtown, a daughter of Speightstown who sold for $300,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale; and a full sister to Hokulea, who sold for $100,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream 2-year-old sale.

Final Furlong Racing purchased Glory Gold, in foal to Firing Line, for $13,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The subsequent foal, the now 2-year-old filly named Venti Valentine, was foaled in New York for breeders Final Furlong Racing and Maspeth Stable. Final Furlong and Maspeth are also the breeders of an Omaha Beach filly, foaled in New York Feb. 11.

Broman-bred Panadol wins Al Bastakiya at Meydan

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Panadol, 3-year-old New York-bred produced from Chester and Mary Broman’s program, wins Saturday’s Al Bastakiya Sponsored By Arabian Adventures. Erika Rasmussen/Dubai Racing Club Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Panadol proved his impressive debut maiden victory last month in Dubai wasn’t a one-off performance when he won Saturday’s $150,000 Al Bastakiya Sponsored By Arabian Adventures during Meydan’s Super Saturday card.

The New York-bred son of Flatter faced two new obstacles Saturday – stretching out to 1 3/16 miles from his 1-mile debut and breaking from the outside post in the field of 12. Jockey Mickael Barzalona’s experience paid off for the second-time starter as he hustled his mount from the gate and rode him to the rail, where he was able to relax in front.

Another American-bred, the Speightstown colt Speights’percomete, tried to run Panadol down in the stretch but Panadol had a big enough advantage that he was able to cross the line three-quarters of a length ahead.

Panadol has lessons to learn, but Barzalona believes Saturday’s race gave him the foundation he needs before heading to the Group 2 UAE Derby in three weeks.

“He is the kind of horse we want on this kind of surface, especially in Meydan,” Barzalona said. “Today he felt even greener than on his first race, so I really appreciate that he had a second run this season before going for the UAE Derby. He does the distance well, he has got some good talent, and we will see whether he is able to perform on World Cup night.”

A $180,000 buy for Cromwell Bloodstock from Ocala Stud at the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, Panadol was bred by Chester and Mary Broman and foaled at their Chestertown Farm in Chestertown.

The colt is a half-brother to fellow Broman New York-bred, the stakes-placed Backwood Bay, among seven winners from seven to race. He’s also a half-brother to Oil Empress, the dame of stakes winner Clandine, Grade 3-placed J. S. Choice and stakes-placed Lazarus Project.

Purchased by Chester Broman in 2011 at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $380,000 carrying a foal by Bernardini, Panadol’s dam Arradoul was sold in 2018 for $14,000 while carrying a filly by Alpha. The subsequent filly by Alpha, named Alarra, sold for $2,000 to Leonard Liberto at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale. After an unsuccessful visit to Runhappy in 2019, Arradoul visited Grade 1 winner Audible last year.