NEWS: racing

A Bit o’Irish Sass rolls in New York Oaks

Monday, July 26th, 2021

A Bit o’Irish Sass rolls to 4 1/2-length win in Monday’s $75,000 New York Oaks at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

A Bit o’Irish Sass added another stakes win to the ledger of the late Laoban Monday with an emphatic victory over three opponents in the $75,000 New York Oaks at Finger Lakes.

Coming off a maiden victory 25 days ago on a sloppy track at Belmont Park, the gray filly battled for the lead early and put away A Life That’s Good on the way to a 4 ½-length victory over 8-5 favorite U Guys Are No Fun. Ridden by Reylu Gutierrez, A Bit o’Irish Sass won the 1 1/16-mile New York Oaks in 1:47.77.

“She’s really improving,” said Rick Schosberg, who trains and co-owns the filly with Clear Stars Stable and Mitre Box Stable. “We knew when she stretched out she’d run to her pedigree. She’s done everything right. She’s mentally and physically maturing at the right rate.

“She has really, stepped it up. When she saw the racetrack, when we walked up to the track, she got into that cocky dance that horses do when they get pretty confident about their surroundings.”

The fans on hand and others watching at home must have noticed, too, as A Bit o’Irish Sass opened up at 3-5. She eventually drifted up to 5-2 behind U Guys Are No Fun and just below Destinationwnrscir and A Life That’s Good.

“She did everything right and Reylu rode her perfectly,” Schosberg said. “They challenged her again just like she was challenged at Belmont. Once she relaxed and switched over her lead she extended.”

Schosberg entered A Bit o’Irish Sass main track only in the last race Saturday but when the rains didn’t arrive until the evening – and after learning there might be some scratches in the New York Oaks – he readied the filly for the approximately 200-mile trip from Saratoga to Farmington.

A Bit o’Irish Sass earned $45,000 for her connections with the victory, boosting her bankroll to $113,610 and improving to 2-0-3 in six starts.

Bred by Sequel Stallions NY and Harry Landry and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, A Bit o’Irish Sass is out of the multiple stakes-placed Cactus Ridge mare Irish Ridge. She’s the fifth foal out of Irish Ridge, who is also the dam of the stakes-placed winners Irish Heroine and Irish Danzing.

“We got to Timonium every year and we bought four babies there this year. We like them, too,” Schosberg said. “This filly has really reached our expectations and beyond. The Laobans tend to want to run a little longer, they have this big relaxed long stride. It’s a real shame he died so young.”


Run Curtis Run rolls in Rick Violette Stakes

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Run Curtis Run dominate Wednesday’s Rick Violette Stakes at Saratoga. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Run Curtis Run proved he could handle moisture in the racetrack winning an off-the-turf 5-furlong maiden race in his debut at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old son of Summer Front did so again Wednesday at Saratoga Race Course and also showed he could run back on relatively short rest winning the $93,000 Rick Violette Stakes without a serious threat.

Run Curtis Run, a product of Larry Goichman’s successful New York-based breeding operation, returned in 19 days off his July 2 maiden score to win the 6-furlong Rick Violette. Jose Ortiz rode the 3 3/4-length winner for trainer Mike Maker and owners Mike Dubb and Mike Caruso.

Ortiz rode the Violette-trained New York-breds Samraat and Upstart in the Kentucky Derby and said he arrived at Saratoga “with him on my mind.”

“I wanted to win it,” he said. “I knew I had a shot. My horse ran very good first time out. It was great for me to win the race named after him, especially with his family here. I have a lot of good memories with him. I rode my first Kentucky Derby for him with Samraat and I rode my second Kentucky Derby for him on Upstart.

“He gave me great opportunities at a very young age. He believed in me. He knew I was up and coming and that meant a lot to me that he believed in me at that point in my career.”

The Rick Violette was part of the all-day inaugural New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day hosted by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., New York Racing Association and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Run Curtis Run’s career is just starting, and in a promising way.

He dueled for the lead with Surprise Boss before wearing down that foe late to win his debut as the even-money favorite in a field of seven. Maker breezed Run Curtis Run a half in :47 on the Saratoga main track July 17, fastest of 139 at the distance that morning, the day after he entered the colt in the Rick Violette.

Run Curtis Run didn’t face a serious challenge from Surprise Boss, also running back in 19 days, or the other two runners left in the field after Maker scratched Barese, in the early stages. Ready A. P., a daughter of More Than Ready taking on males for Christophe Clement, applied some pressure early while Run Curtis Run clicked off the opening quarter-mile in :22.77.

Run Curtis Run continued to lead by a half-length from Ready A. P. through a half in :46.12, shrugged off that rival into the stretch and opened up. Run Curtis Run flew past the eighth pole 3 ½ lengths in front and extended it another quarter-length more on the wire with Ready A. P. second by a neck from 7-5 favorite Coinage. Surprise Boss trailed throughout and finished fourth. Run Curtis Run won in 1:12.48.

“He has some natural speed and with him drawing the inside post, it wasn’t that hard to figure out in a small field,” Maker said of the strategy.

“I broke quite well and he was fast out of there, so I didn’t have to ask him for a lot,” Ortiz said. “He put me on the lead and I was very happy with that. I had the rail and I wanted the lead. He was going nice and relaxed in the first part of the race and when I asked him to go, he was there for me. All credit goes to Mike, who had him ready, and the guys at the barn.”

Foaled at Edition Farm in Hyde Park, Run Curtis Run is the sixth foal out of the stakes-winning Grade 3-placed Forest Wildcat mare My Magic Moment. Bred in New York and raced by Goichman, My Magic Moment earned $149,813 during three seasons, winning the Missy Moo I Love You Stakes and finishing third in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes in 2008 and placing in two stakes in 2009.

Goichman, through consignor Indian Creek, sold Run Curtis Run for $45,000 to Sean S. Perl Bloodstock LLC at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.

Americanrevolution blasts New York Derby field

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Luis Saez and Americanrevolution dominated Monday’s New York Derby. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Fasig-Tipton rolled out the catalog for its Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale Monday morning and by the afternoon the cover needed an update after 2018 graduate Americanrevolution stormed to victory in the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

The seventh most expensive horse sold at that year’s Saratoga New York-bred sale on a bid of $275,000 from China Horse Club and Maverick Racing, American Revolution won the New York Derby less than a month after breaking his maiden going 6 furlongs at Belmont Park. The son of Constitution won the 1 1/16-mile New York Derby by 7 1/4 lengths under Luis Saez, who made the trip west from Saratoga Race Course for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner WinStar Farm.

The 3-5 favorite in the field of six – reduced with the scratches of Devious Mo and Here’s Waldo – Americanrevolution improved to 2-for-3 with the victory. He finished fourth, behind eventual Grade 1 winner Mandaloun and stakes-placed three-time winner Bob’s Edge, in his debut against open company last October at Keeneland.

Saez kept Americanrevolution in third early while John Davila Jr. took an aggressive approach aboard Purple Hearted, leading the field through strong early splits of :23.12 and :46.72 for the opening half-mile. Lobsta, third last time out in the Mike Lee Stakes for trainer Gary Sciacca, tracked in second around the first turn and into the backstretch.

Americanrevolution, a son of Constitution bred by Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding, wins second straight Monday at Finger Lakes. SV Photography

Purple Hearted continued to lead past 6 furlongs in 1:11.75, left Lobsta on the far turn but couldn’t hold off Americanrevolution, who went by in a flash turning for home. Saez shook the reins, tapped the chestnut colt a few times left handed and hand rode to the wire for the clear win. Purple Heart held second, 5 ¾ lengths ahead of Lobsta with longshot Jaa Mode fourth. Americanrevolution won in 1:45.19

Bred by Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding and foaled at Irish Hill Century Farm in Stillwater, Americanrevolution is the second foal out of the winning Super Saver mare Polly Freeze. Out of the Strike the Gold mare Elusive Gold, Polly Freeze is a half-sister to Korean champion Cheongdam Dokki, graded stakes winner and $493,367-earner Gouldings Green and stakes winner Filare L’Oro, the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Silver Dust and Grade 3 winner Forza Di Oro.

Hertrich bought Polly Freeze in foal to Wicked Strong for $75,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She’d previously sold as a yearling for $155,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September sale. Her first foal, the Kentucky-bred Wicked Strong filly Text Dont Call, had made three starts in Southern California when Americanrevolution went through the Saratoga sales ring, placing twice. She eventually won two of 16 starts and earned $42,109.

Polly Freeze’s third foal, the New York-bred Hard Spun colt named Bold Journey, sold for $80,000 to McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, agent, at this year’s OBS April 2-year-olds in training sale. Polly Freeze is also the dam of a Kentucky-bred yearling filly by Collected and was bred to Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso last year.

Rinaldi leads all the way in Grade 3 Forbidden Apple

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Rinaldi fends off Value Proposition to win Grade 3 Forbidden Apple on Day 2 of the 2021 Saratoga meet. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Jim Bond calls Rinaldi a “one-banjo monkey.” He also calls him “miraculous.”

Both seem apropos and Friday at Saratoga Race Course the latest chapter of the improbable New York-bred gelding went in the book. Rinaldi, near death less than two years ago after suffering an injury after a routine training session, became a graded stakes winner in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple doing it his way on the lead. One might guess just like a one-banjo monkey.

“Amazing horse,” Bond said on the way to saddle a runner in the finale after a two-win day that also include a score with Giacosa in the third, a 1 1/16-mile turf optional.

Rinaldi and Giacoso race for the family’s Bond Racing Stable, which also includes a few partners. Luis Saez rode both winners, along with Absolute Love in the fifth, to give him a meet-leading six two days into the 2021 season at Saratoga.

Rinaldi started his 2021 Saratoga season the same way he’s done the last two. He won a state-bred optional on the grass and the West Point Stakes on Saratoga Showcase Day – both on the lead – during the spectator-free 2020 meet and the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes to start the 2019 season. He earned a trip to the Grade 3 Saranac after the Stallion Stakes and finished fourth, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths in his lone graded stakes start before Friday.

Bond regrouped after that race and started to train Rinaldi for a fall campaign at Belmont Park and Aqueduct. In late September after breezing for the first time after the Saranac, Rinaldi stepped on a nail walking back to Bond’s private barn on Gridley Street from the Oklahoma Training Track. Infection set in and the gelding was sent to Rood and Riddle Saratoga on Henning Road, where a team led by Dr. Kathryn Dern went to work.

“It was miraculous,” Bond said. “He was close to death. We had to flush and flush and flush. He was at the hospital and Dr. Kathryn Dern, she’s in Kentucky now but she was at Rood and Riddle (Saratoga) then. Sweetheart. She saved his life.”

Bond said the process involved “a fusion where they just keep flushing the coffin joint.”

Eventually Rinaldi recovered, left Rood and Riddle and earned the remainder of the year off at Jim and Tina Bond’s Song Hill Thoroughbreds in nearby Mechanicville. Bond gives most of his stable, and especially his turf horses, the winter off and Rinaldi started up late last winter and spring.

“We got him back … (and) had him ready for the beginning of April and then the world shut down,” Bond said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that halted racing in New York for a significant period last spring.

Rinaldi made up for lost time and factored in Bond’s strong Saratoga meet, where the stable won 12 of 40 starts with eight seconds and earned $619,218 in purses. Rinaldi finished the year with a sixth in the Mohawk Stakes on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park and a close fourth against open company in the Artie Schiller Stakes at Aqueduct.

Bond didn’t run Rinaldi during the Belmont spring-summer meeting, where the stable went 0-for-35, after a second in the Dangers Hour Stakes in early April at Aqueduct. He tried to run Rinaldi in the Kingston Stakes but heavy rain forced it to the main track.

“He’s a good horse, he’s a better two turn horse, I’ve always thought it,” Bond said. “We got rained off on New York-bred day and I just thought, ‘let’s regroup, bring him here and get him ready. See what happens. See if we can get two starts here.’

“Luis, I don’t have to say anything to him. He just puts him where he’s got to be. Hopefully I did my job. The horse is just all heart. He’s a cool horse.”

Rinaldi took Saez to the lead from the break and they carved out easy splits of :24.31 and :48.83 for the first half-mile under light pressure from longshot Made You Look with Value Proposition and Logical Myth just behind. Rinaldi used his speed on the bend to open up on the far turn and led through 6 furlongs in 1:12.70

Saez kept him close to the inside turning for home and they opened up 2 lengths in midstretch on the way to win in 1:35.70 for the mile on the firm inner course. Value Proposition held second, a neck in front of Delaware to give trainer Chad Brown a 2-3 finish.

“We tried to have a good break and control the pace and everything went to plan,” Saez said. “He likes this track. This is like his backyard. When I turned for home, I had a lot of horse. I let him run and he gave me a pretty fast kick. In the end, I had a feeling he was going to get there, and he did.”

Rinaldi improved to 4-for-5 on the grass at Saratoga, each of the wins on the inner turf, and 5-for-11 overall with $429,990 in earnings.

“He loves this course,” Bond said. “And he’s a good miler. He’s a miler. Two turns with a small horse, small and compact, kind of steals away on the turns. You don’t realize it and all of sudden he’s got another length on you. He’s that quick.”

Bred by Barry Ostrager and sold to Bond for $5,000 as a weanling out of the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga October mixed sale, Rinaldi is the ninth foal out of the winning Dynaformer mare Dynamite Cocktail. A Kentucky-bred who raced exclusively at Woodbine, Dynamite Cocktail is also the dam of Canadian champion and $598,028-earner Hollinger, the Bond-trained stakes-placed and $250,000 yearling Hot and Spicy and Aviva’s Pride, whose two foals include stakes winner Lake Sebago.

The Bonds named the gelding for an Italian wine – as they often do – and subsequently learned he has a neighbor with the same last name.

“We named him after a really good wine and then we became really good friends,” Bond said. “Basically we cut them in for 10 percent and the other partner is Craig Allen from All-Star Wines. He’s been a dear friend for a lot of years. He beat stage-four cancer a few years ago, came to me and begged me to buy horses. I said ‘we’ll lose our friendship. I don’t want to lose our friendship.’ It really does, it’s sad but it happens.

“Short story, the horse was like seven days away from racing and I’m like ‘ok, let’s put them in.’ And he had Giacosa today, they’re 10 percent owners in her too. This partnership thing, we’ve put over 70 people into the partnership. It’s so much fun. All these new people that just didn’t experience the game before. Then we had a great Saratoga, which never hurts. Aqueduct was fair. Belmont I thought I was going to die.”

Mrs. Orb tops open company in Pimlico’s Caesar’s Wish

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Mrs. Orb runs down Trolley Ride to win Sunday’s Caesar’s Wish at Pimlico, her third career stakes victory. Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club Photo.

By Tom Law

Mike Miceli and the other owners of Mrs. Orb nearly sold the New York-bred mare in January.

Nobody would fault the group, which also includes Ruggeri Stable, Richard Coburn and Script R Farm, considering the daughter of Orb was coming off her second career stakes victory after a consistent run during the second half of 2020. They hung onto Mrs. Orb and she’s since rewarded that decision with a placing on Big Apple Showcase Day following a winter freshening in Florida and a victory over open company in Sunday’s $100,000 Caesar’s Wish Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

“She’s a tough gal and not the easiest to train, but you don’t mind when they can run,” Miceli said after Mrs. Orb ran down Trolley Ride to win the 1 1/16-mile open stakes by a half-length. “She’s a little temperamental and you’ve just kind of got to cater to her needs. If you do that, it goes a long way.”

Mrs. Orb, bought back on a final bid of $295,000 late in the opening session of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale that came eight days after her win in the La Verdad Stakes at Aqueduct, improved to 7-for-25 in the Caesar’s Wish to go with eight seconds and four thirds for $523,520 in earnings.

Stretched out to 1 1/16 miles and around two turns for the first time since her runner-up finish in the Bay Ridge Stakes Dec. 13 at Aqueduct, Mrs. Orb and jockey Horacio Karamanos went to the post the 2-1 favorite over six others in the Caesar’s Wish. They stalked in fourth early while Artful Splatter took the field of fillies and mares through uncontested early splits of :23.52 and :46.63

Trolley Ride made a big middle move to reach contention through 6 furlongs in 1:10.99, running past Mrs. Orb at one point while still trailing Artful Splatter and His Glory.

Trolley Ride took the lead in upper stretch and led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong to run before Mrs. Orb continued to gain ground on the outside. Mrs. Orb took the lead in deep stretch to edge Trolley Ride, who held second and was 2 1/2 lengths clear of Sweet Sami D. Mrs. Orb won in 1:44.17 over the fast main track.

“She’s done that before,” Miceli said of Mrs. Orb dropping back 10 lengths after the opening half-mile. “Usually she’s kind of a position-type mare, and today she was a little farther back. But she can come from that far back. It’s just how the race unfolds for her.”

Bred by Rhapsody Farm and a $30,000 purchase at the 2017 OBS June 2-year-olds in training sale, Mrs. Orb is the second foal out of the Silver Train mare Gypsy Angel.

A half-sister to stakes winners Hakeem and Let’s Go Cheyenne and Heatherdoesntblufff, the dam of Grade 1 winner Killer Graces and Grade 2 winner Chocolate Ride, Gypsy Angel is also the dam of two other winners. Her first foal, the Kentucky-bred Unbridled’s Song mare One Call Away, won one of seven and was sold in foal to Raison d’Etat for $22,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Her second foal, the 4-year-old Central Banker filly Quantitativbreezin, put her name in the win column May 31 at Belmont Park.

Gypsy Angel is also the dam of an unraced 3-year-old Anchor Down gelding Transport, a $50,000 buy at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale currently in training at Churchill Downs; and an unnamed 2-year-old filly by Bird Song. She also delivered a colt Jan. 31 by Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit.

Conformist rolls to Ontario County victory

Monday, June 28th, 2021

Conformist flies to the finish of Monday’s Ontario County at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Conformist avoided a close call between rivals at the start and rolled to an 11-length victory in his second start off the claim in Monday’s $50,000 Ontario County Stakes at Finger Lakes.

A $30,000 claim by My Purple Haze Stables and trainer Chris Englehart out of a 6-furlong open-company sprint Feb. 25 at Aqueduct, Conformist improved to 2-for-7 in the Ontario County for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Sent off the 3-5 favorite in the field of six, the Hit It a Bomb gelding came away clean from the gate after balking a bit during the loading process. He avoided a squeeze at the start when Penn National shipper Here’s Waldo broke sharp and came out while Florida Endeavour came in.

Conformist came away clean from that squeeze and led Florida Endeavour and Gonna Be Dancing through the opening quarter in :22.96. John Davila Jr. and Conformist continued to lead through the half in :46.41 with only Florida Endeavour within a chance coming off the turn.

The leaders poured it on from there, widening the lead with each stride on the way to an easy win in 1:12.80. The winning time in the co-featured opening stakes of the Finger Lakes season topped the 1:13.15 clocking by A Life That’s Good, trained by Chris Englehart’s son Jeremiah, in the earlier Niagara Stakes for sophomore state-bred fillies.

Florida Endeavour, a son of Central Banker who won back-to-back starts 14 days apart in May to open the Finger Lakes meeting, held second and just ahead of Here’s Waldo in third and A Huge Checkpoint in fourth.

Bred by Scott and Debbie Pierce, foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs and a $40,000 purchase as a weanling by Summerplace at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, Conformist is out of the winning Raven’s Pass mare Cravin Raven. The Ontario County marked Conformist’s first win since his debut Oct. 30 against open company for a $40,000 tag for Summerplace and trainer Eddie Kenneally at Churchill Downs. He was claimed out of that race by Robert Bone and trainer Rob Atras.

Conformist started four times for Bone and Atras, the best efforts back-to-back thirds in starter optional events Dec. 31 and Jan. 16 at Aqueduct. He also finished third in the Feb. 25 race when Englehart dropped a claim slip.

Conformist is the second foal out of Cravin Raven. Her first foal, the Kentucky-bred Alcindor gelding bred by the Pierce’s Omega Farm, won one of seven starts. Cravin Raven, sold in foal to Central Banker for $25,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale, subsequently produced a colt by New York’s leading sire in Ireland. He sold for $43,920 to Durcan Bloodstock and Satish Seemar at this year’s Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-Up Sale in Newmarket. Cravin Raven is also the dam of a yearling Irish-bred colt by Acclamation.

A Life That’s Good returns with Niagara Stakes victory

Monday, June 28th, 2021

A Life That’s Good runs past odds-on favorite Summer Brew to win Monday’s Niagara Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Emcee Stable’s homebred A Life That’s Good opened the 2021 stakes slate at Finger Lakes Monday with a comeback victory in the $50,000 Niagara Stakes for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies.

Off since finishing fifth of five in her stakes debut in the Jan. 16 Franklin Square at Aqueduct, A Life That’s Good won by 1 1/4 lengths over odds-on favorite Summer Brew. The daughter of Congrats won the 6-furlong Niagara in 1:13.15 under Andre Worrie for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.

Sent off the 2-1 second choice in the field of four – reduced by one with the scratch of Beach Banker – A Life That’s Good ducked out at the start then raced close to the pace of 1-5 favorite Summer Brew. Summer Brew, the winner of three straight including an open-company allowance against older fillies and mares May 29 at Belmont Park, led by a half-length through the opening quarter-mile in :22.58.

Summer Brew and jockey Oscar Gomez still led by a length after a half in :45.52. A Life That’s Good still trailed by a length with a furlong to run and after a brief battled she edged away late for her first stakes win. Summer Brew held second by 4 1/4 lengths from Isle Storm with Pazzion another 27 ¾ lengths back in fourth.

A Life That’s Good finished sixth in her debut late last October in a 6-furlong state-bred turf maiden. Englehart switched her to the main track following that effort and she won a 6-furlong maiden Dec. 4 at Aqueduct by 5 ½ lengths to earn a trip to stakes company.

Sent off at 9-1 in the 6 1/2-furlong Franklin Square, A Life That’s Good raced toward the back early before fading to fifth behind Secret Love and 2020 New York-bred champion 2-year-old filly finalists Laobanonaprayer and Vacay.

After two breezes at Belmont after the Franklin Square, A Life That’s Good went to the sidelines and didn’t work again until late April with Travis Durr at Webb Carroll Training Center in St. Matthews, S.C. She breezed twice there before joining Englehart’s string bedded down in the Oklahoma Annex at Saratoga Race Course, where she breezed five times on the main track before the Niagara.

Foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, A Life That’s Good is the third foal out of the Lion Hearted mare Lions Terms, a Maryland-bred who won 16 of 43 starts and earned $235,042. Her first foal, I Still Miss You, a New York-bred daughter Majestic Warrior, won a pair of stakes in 2017 and retired with six wins in 15 starts and $276,737 for Englehart and owners Gold Star Racing Stable, Matthew Hand and Brian McKenzie.

Lion’s Terms second foal, an unraced colt by Blame, sold for $100,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She’s also the dam of an unraced New York-bred 2-year-old Flatter filly named Raymond Road and a yearling filly by Twirling Candy born Feb. 7.

Runaway Rumour stays unbeaten with Wild Applause upset

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Runaway Rumour, a half sister to New York-bred championship finalist Myhartblongstodady, adds gives owner and breeder Lawrence Goichman another stakes winner out of Elusive Rumour. Elsa Lorieul/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Lawrence Goichman keeps it simple with his small New York-based breeding operation.

“I’ve been in the business since 1979 and right now I’ve got 11 mares,” Goichman said last summer at Saratoga. “Generally, we keep the fillies and sell the colts. If we think we’ve got a filly coming, we bring her up here so she can be part of this program. It’s been great.”

The filly Goichman referred to that day was Myhartblongstodady, winner of the Yaddo Stakes on Saratoga Showcase Day, and Saturday at Belmont Park her younger 3-year-old half sister Runaway Rumour ran her record to 3-for-3 with a victory against open company in the $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes.

The daughter of second-crop sire Flintshire won by a half-length over 6-5 favorite Minuan under Luis Cardenas, who picked up the mount for trainer Jorge Abreu after Jose Lezcano took off his later mounts Saturday following a mishap in the post parade before the second race.

Sent off at 13-1 in the field of eight, Runaway Rumour raced seventh through the opening half-mile while Bye Bye and Joel Rosario set the pace in :22.79 and :47.28 over the firm Widener Turf Course. They remained in seventh through 6 furlongs in 1:11.69 while making a run on the outside with Bye Bye clinging to a narrow lead over Lovestruck, Sussex Garden and Minuan.

“[Abreu] worked out the plan with me and we both agreed to just let her run her race,” Cardenas said. “She likes to be able to run horses down and that’s what she did. She loves doing that and I love her, too. We popped out of the gate and let the speed go.”

Runaway Rumour continued her run through the lane, took the lead inside the eighth pole and edged clear while Minuan closed to finish second. Nevisian Sunrise finished a half-length back in third, with Sussex Garden fourth. Runaway Rumour won in 1:34.25.

“I was a little concerned about the jockey change because I had never rode Luis in that type of race before, but he gave me so much confidence when I was giving him instructions,” Abreu said. “He told me he was looking at the replays and I knew it going to be OK. I told him, ‘whatever you do, do not go on the inside.’

“He broke sharp and tucked her in behind horses and he kept her in the clear. She likes to run free on the outside. When I saw at the five-sixteenths pole that she was picking up momentum, I had a pretty good feeling about her.”

Runaway Rumour improved to 3-for-3 with the Wild Applause victory, worth $55,000 to pad her earnings to $140,250. Foaled at Vivien Malloy’s Edition Farm in Hyde Park, she’s the third foal out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Rumour, third in the 2012 Yaddo Stakes and 2013 You Go West Girl Stakes and Mount Vernon Stakes for Goichman.

Elusive Rumour, who earned $140,050 during her career, is the dam of multiple stakes winner and 2020 champion New York-bred female turf horse finalist Myhartblongstodady (Scat Daddy) and three-time winner and $137,500-earner Scuttlebuzz (The Factor). Those New York-breds are also half siblings to the 2-year-old More Than Ready colt Ripe for Mischief, purchased at the OBS April sale by Bond Racing Stable for $75,000.

Myhartblongstodady, who races for Goichman and Abreu, strung together a three-race win streak in late 2019 and into the summer of 2020 capped by the Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga and Ticonderoga Stakes at Belmont. She finished off the board in two graded stakes this season and third in the Plenty of Grace Stakes at Aqueduct in April. Scuttlebuzz is 2-for-3 in 2021, including a victory in a 6-furlong state-bred allowance on the grass June 18 at Belmont.

Runaway Rumour didn’t make her debut until May 9 in a 6-furlong state-bred maiden at Belmont, which she won by 1 3/4 lengths after closing from last of 12 early. She added an allowance victory at 1 mile on the grass in the race immediately following the June 5 Belmont Stakes.

Abreu said she could try graded company next, in the $150,000 Lake George Stakes July 23 at Saratoga Race Course.

“Depending on how she comes out of the race, we’ll look at the Lake George at Saratoga,” he said. “I’d say a mile to a mile and a sixteenth is good for her. I don’t want to stretch her out to a mile and an eighth or a mile and quarter. Time will tell.”

Ocala Dream scores in Spectacular Bid for late sire Effinex

Saturday, June 19th, 2021

Ocala Dream, a son of the late Effinex, makes it two in a row in Saturday’s Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

After breaking his maiden on the Belmont Park turf last month, Ocala Dream was quick to add a stakes victory to his resume Saturday with a victory in the $150,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes.

The chestnut son of the late Effinex broke among the leaders in the 7-furlong restricted turf stakes and immediately gave himself an advantage. Ocala Dream settled among a trio a few lengths behind the leading Dreamer’s Disease and The King Cheek as they set opening fractions of :22.82 and :45.61 for the first half-mile. Jockey Junior Alvarado had Ocala Dream well in hand as they joined the leaders late in the turn with the colt going four wide to take command into the stretch.

Ocala Dream had to hold off 52-1 shot Barrage in the stretch but he started pulling away from that rival in the final sixteenth. The margin was cut down by a late-closing Step Dancer, a son of War Dancer who was a length behind him at the line. Barrage, another son of War Dancer, settled for third. Ocala Dream won in 1:21.20 for his second win from three starts this year. He’s finished on the board in three of his five starts.

“It’s always a big edge when you have a horse who breaks out of the gate very good,” Alvarado said. “It helps you to get the position you want. He broke alertly and put himself in a good spot, I just had to guide him turning for home. Once I got him in the clear, he knew what to do after that. I kept after him just a little bit to get the job done. He wasn’t the favorite but he was much the best today.”

Racing for Thomas Albrecht, Vincent Fusaro and James Klein, Ocala Dream boosted his bankroll to $137,600. Bred by Mahwinney, Liberman, Beglin and Coutsodontis and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, Ocala Dream gave the late Effinex his first stakes winner.

Going through the ring last year as a 2-year-old, the colt was purchased for $50,000 at the OBS March sale racing co-owner Thomas Albrecht from the Daylight Farm Racing & Sales consignment.

Ocala Dream opens up late in Saturday’s Spectacular Bid division of the NYSS. NYRA Photo.

“We bought him in Ocala last year just when COVID hit,” Albrecht said. “We didn’t even think the sale was going to happen when we were down there. Everything was getting cancelled. But we bought him, we have a good bloodstock agent in Conor Foley of Oracle Bloodstock. They do a fantastic job and so does [trainer] Tom Morley and his staff. We’re really pleased. We’re looking forward to the $150,000 Cab Calloway [July 28 at Saratoga Race Course].”

Ocala Dream is a second-generation New York-bred with Kentucky-bred granddam Smoke N Shadows spending her five-race career on the NYRA circuit. The mare then joined the New York breeding pool and produced Ocala Dream’s dam Eleni’s Daughter as her sixth foal.

The Freud daughter won one of her two starts and was retired after that maiden-breaking run for Jay Liberman. She has stayed in New York after her racing days were over and has three winners from four to race.

The mare also has an unnamed Florida-bred 2-year-old Mission Impazible filly who is a full sister to the winning 4-year-old gelding Operative.

Freud filly Sport Model hangs tough in NYSS Cupecoy’s Joy

Saturday, June 19th, 2021

Sport Model racks up another stakes win for Freud in Cupecoy’s Joy division of NYSS Saturday at Belmont Park. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Sport Model couldn’t catch a break in her first two starts.

The 3-year-old daughter of Freud caught a sloppy track on the dirt in late February and finished 11th in a field of 12 New York-bred maidens. Two months later in her turf debut against 11 others at 5-2 odds, Sport Model clipped heels, lost her rider and caused a three-horse pile-up in a state-bred maiden claimer.

Since then, including Saturday’s Cupecoy’s Joy division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park, Sport Model has done everything right. She won a 6-furlong state-bred turf maiden for a $40,000 tag May 7 and came back Saturday to win the $150,000 Cupecoy’s Joy to add another highlight bullet to her sire’s flush resume.

Sport Model edged Funwhileitlasted by a half-length in the 7-furlong Cupecoy’s Joy under Luis Saez for trainer Christophe Clement and owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. Shaker Shack, the pacesetter hounded most of the trip by the eventual winner, held second by 1 ½ lengths over Shesadirtydancer with the 5-2 favorite Ava’s Grace ninth of 10. Sport Model won over the firm Widener Turf Course in 1:21.16.

“Luis gave her a great ride,” Clement said. “He was always very comfortable and she was the best horse today, which is nice.”

Saez, aboard Sport Model for the first time after Eric Cancel, Junior Alvarado and Trevor McCarthy rode the filly in her first three starts, also came away impressed.

“She’s progressing,” he said. “She was very good today. I needed the pony going out because she’s so strong. I knew I had a lot of horse and when we got to the top of the stretch, she just took off. She was battling. When she felt the pressure coming, she gave me another gear.”

Sport Model and Saze set up shop just off the pace of Shaker Shack in the early stages and were just a half-length back through the opening quarter-mile in :23.22. Ava’s Grace, making her turf debut off a second in the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes in early April at Oaklawn Park, Sport Model’s stablemate Proper Grammar and Big Time Lady, chased the top two up the backstretch while Shaker Shack made the bend and ran past the half in :46.15 with a 1-length lead.

Sport Model holds off Funwhileitlasted to win the Cupecoy’s Joy. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Sport Model took over after the field turned for home and opened up a 2-length lead past 6 furlongs in 1:09.29. Saez stayed busy on Sport Model in deep stretch while Funwhileitlasted, a daughter of War Dancer who shipped in from Monmouth Park for Kent Sweezey, ran on well to finish second.

“I liked both fillies going in, but obviously one was very disappointing and the other ran very well,” Clement said of the winner and last-place finisher Proper Grammar.

Bred by Mr. and Mrs. James P. Curran and Dr. and Mrs. John McDermott and foaled at Emerald Isle Farm in Hebron, Sport Model is the fourth foal out of the winning Rockport Harbor mare Just Say Hey.

Jonathan Thorne purchased the filly as a weanling for $70,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale, not long after Just Say Hey’s second foal, the Twirling Candy filly Twirling Devon, won her debut and finished second in the Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at Emerald Downs. Thorne resold the Sport Model through his Thorndale Farm consignment for $100,000 to Dean and Patti Reeves’ Reeves Thoroughbred Racing at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale.

Just Say Hey, who won three of 17 starts with three seconds and $46,784, was purchased in foal to Wicked Strong by Christopher Shelli, agent, for $14,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She later produced her third foal and a filly by that sire, the New York-bred Boston Girl. Just Say Hey is also the dam of a 2-year-old Mohaymen filly named Sterling Mistress.

Sport Model is the second stakes winner in 2021 and 68th overall for Freud, a 23-year-old son of Storm Cat who stands for $5,000 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson. A multiple leader on New York’s general sires list, Freud came into Saturday ranked third with $866,361 in progeny earnings. He’ll be represented in 2021 by a crop of 46 2-year-olds, including one that has already started in Market Dynamics.