NEWS: racing

My Boy Tate dominates Leon Reed at Finger Lakes

Monday, October 11th, 2021

My Boy Tate dominates Monday’s $50,000 Leon Reed Memorial at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Michelle Nevin never worries about My Boy Tate’s attitude around the barn. Back in March, fresh off a victory in the Haynesfield Stakes at Aqueduct, Nevin marveled at the 7-year-old Boys At Tosconova gelding’s exacting personality.

“He is something else,” Nevin said after My Boy Tate ran his record to 2-for-4 on the season to that point. “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.”

My Boy Tate put the effort out again Monday at Finger Lakes, racing off a quick early pace and blowing by the leaders in the stretch to win the $50,000 Leon Reed Memorial Stakes. The 6-length victory over Lady’s Golden Guy ran My Boy Tate’s record to 4-for-9 with a pair of seconds. Harry Hernandez rode My Boy Tate, who made his Finger Lakes debut look easy.

Bet down to 1-5 in the field of seven, My Boy Tate and Hernandez raced third up the backstretch alongside P J Advantage while Lohengrin Two and Lady’s Golden Guy scrimmaged for the lead through the opening quarter mile in :22.40.

Lohengrin Two led by a head over the eventual runner-up after a half in :45.74 with My Boy Tate looming a threat turning for home. Lady’s Golden Guy took the lead once the field straightened away but the advantage didn’t last with My Boy Tate rolling past several paths off the fence. Hernandez took My Boy Tate in hand late and they crossed the finish in 1:10.33.

My Boy Tate improved to 11-for-28 with the victory and boosted his earnings to $687,788 for Nevin and co-owners Little Red Feather Racing. He came into the Leon Reed off a 5 3/4-length victory in an open-company allowance last Monday at Parx Racing. My Boy Tate finished second in back-to-back stakes appearances at Saratoga prior to that effort, first against state-breds in the John Morrissey Handicap and then in the restricted Tale of the Cat.

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, was 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 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 Bernardini filly Velvet Sister who sold for $500,000 to Stonestreet Stables at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale. Velvet Sister won her debut June 10 at Belmont Park then finished fourth in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes on Opening Day at Saratoga before a second there in the Seeking the Ante Stakes on New York Showcase Day. She most recently finished second in the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes Sept. 24 at Belmont Park.

Nevin and Godolphin co-bred Backslash’s yearling filly by Frosted who sold for $70,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale. Backslash is also the dam of a weanling New York-bred filly by Congrats, bred by Nevin.

Freud filly Howdyoumakeurmoney scores at Presque Isle

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Howdyoumakeurmoney, a daughter of leading New York sire Freud making her synthetic debut, wins Monday’s Presque Isle Debutante. Coady Photography.

By Tom Law

Commonwealth New Era Racing’s Howdyoumakeurmoney won her second straight and provided leading New York sire Freud with his latest stakes winner in Monday’s $75,400 Presque Isle Debutante Stakes at Presque Isle Downs.

The 2-year-old filly shipped to Erie, Pa., from trainer Mike Trombetta’s main string at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland to win the 6 ½-furlong Debutante by a head over Battle Charge as the 9-5 favorite. Ridden by Antonio Gallardo, Howdyoumakeurmoney won in 1:16.31.

Bred by Davie Bloodstock, LLC and Peter Colon, Howdyoumakeurmoney finished fourth in a 6-furlong New York-bred maiden on the main track in her debut Aug. 13 at Saratoga Race Course. She followed that effort with a victory going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf at Saratoga Sept. 3.

Trombetta breezed Howdyoumakeurmoney on Fair Hill’s synthetic surface last Saturday in preparation for her debut on the surface Monday, and she went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. She’d breezed three times on the training center’s synthetic prior to that, in June and July before her debut.

Howdyoumakeurmoney broke well from her inside post and settled into second, alongside the slight 9-5 second choice Royal Engagement, while She’s Pure Silver opened up a 1 1/2-length lead to the opening quarter-mile in :22.51. Royal Engagement went first after the leader, making a move just before True Blue Pearl made a three-wide run around the turn at She’s Pure Silver, who hit the half in :45.63.

Antonio Gallardo was all smiles after Howdyoumakeurmoney held on to win Presque Isle Debutante. Coady Photography.

Gallardo kept Howdyoumakeurmoney down on the inside and they were only a length back to that point. He tipped her out in the stretch and cut into She’s Pure Silver’s lead while the other early chasers started to fade. Howdyoumakeurmoney took the lead inside the eighth pole, braced for any late runs and held off one from Battle Charge in deep stretch. Runaway Breeze, fourth in the off-the-turf P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga Sept. 2, also rallied late to finish 3 1/4 lengths behind the top pair in third at 69-1.

Howdyoumakeurmoney became the 73rd stakes winner for Freud, a 23-year-old by Storm Cat and full brother to Giant’s Causeway who stands for $5,000 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson. He also joined Freud’s 72nd stakes winner, the Sept. 26 Nownownow winner Dakota Gold, as 2021 Saratoga winners who earned their black-type immediately after victories in upstate New York in early September.

Howdyoumakeurmoney, the fifth foal out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Exclusively Yours and foaled at Hidden Lake Farm in Stillwater, originally sold out of the Foggy Bottom Farm consignment as a weanling for $15,000 to Gerard Stuchbury at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale. She went through the sales ring a few months later and brought $19,000 as a short yearling from Vineyard Racing out of the Summerfield consignment at the OBS winter mixed sale.

A $27,000 RNA at the OBS yearling, 2-year-old and horses of racing age sale last fall, Howdyoumakeurmoney landed with Commonwealth New Era Racing on a $105,000 bid out of Gene Recio’s consignment at this year’s OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Selling as Hip 774, the filly breezed an eighth in 10.1 during presale workouts.

Exclusively Yours is also the dam of the 4-year-old New York-bred Hat Trick filly Mosienko, a three-time winner on the NYRA circuit and in training at Belmont Park with trainer Dennis Lalman. A half-sister to $545,107-earner and multiple stakes winner General Charley, stakes winner Truly Lucky and stakes-placed winners Magnificent Margo and Holy Mission, Exclusively Yours is also the dam of a yearling New York-bred colt by Camelot Kitten named Sir Lance and a filly by Tapiture born in New York March 28 – both bred by Davie Bloodstock and Colon – and the mare was bred to Grade 1 winner Win Win Win in 2021.

Miss Jimmy dominates Arctic Queen Stakes

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Miss Jimmy makes winning return to Finger Lakes in Monday’s $50,000 Arctic Queen Stakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Miss Jimmy made her racing return to her old stomping grounds – and her stakes debut to boot – and splashed her way to victory in Monday’s $50,000 Arctic Queen Stakes at Finger Lakes.

The 5-year-old daughter of Colonel John, the winner off more than a six-month layoff last time out at Saratoga, led the 6-furlong Arctic Queen almost from the start on the way to a 3 3/4-length victory over Hannah Dances. Sent off the 2-5 favorite in the field of six New York-bred fillies and mares under Oscar Gomez, Miss Jimmy won for the eighth time in 13 starts at Finger Lakes to go with four seconds.

Trained by Bruce Anderson, Miss Jimmy hadn’t run at Finger Lakes since winning an open-company allowance there Sept. 15, 2020. She made 12 of her first 13 starts in Farmington, winning five times as a 3-year-old and twice last season.

Miss Jimmy spent last winter at Belmont Park with trainer John Toscano Jr. and raced five times at Aqueduct. She finished second four times and third once in those five races, all in state-bred optional sprints, before heading back to Anderson this spring to prep for a late-summer and fall campaign.

Miss Jimmy turned in four bullet works at Finger Lakes before her Saratoga return on Closing Day of the 2021 meeting, including back-to-back 5-furlong moves in 1:00.20 Aug. 20 and 1:00.30 Aug. 28 to set up the victory. She breezed another 5-furlong bullet in :59.20 Sept. 25 and her readiness for her stakes debut showed from the start.

Hannah Dances, coming off a third in the Union Avenue Handicap Aug. 19 at Saratoga for M. Anthony Ferraro, broke well to Miss Jimmy’s outside to take an early lead in the first few strides. Miss Jimmy and Gomez slid up the inside and were a length in front through the opening quarter-mile in :23.31. Hannah Dances and the comebacking Letmetakethiscall, winner of the Xtra Heat Stakes in late March at Aqueduct, chased from there and around the turn.

Miss Jimmy opened up and led by 4 lengths after the half in :46.49 and widened her advantage over the sloppy and sealed surface in the stretch. She and Gomez led by nearly 6 lengths at the eighth pole before cruising to finish well in front to win in 1:11.64. Hannah Dancers held second at 9-1 and finished 12 1/2 lengths ahead of Letmetakethiscall. Willow Grove, She’s Not Bluffing and Treatherlikestar completed the order of finish.

Bred by Laurel Least and Gabriel McDonough, foaled at Foggy Bottom Farm in Geneseo and raced by Least and Ann McDonough, Miss Jimmy is the second foal out of Smart Eyes. A three-time winner by Midas Eyes, Smart Eyes is out of 2004 Arctic Queen runner-up and $91,225-earner A Smart Punch.

Offered as Hip 120 through the Foggy Bottom Farm consignment at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale and not sold on a bid of $6,000, Miss Jimmy is a half-sister to the winning 4-year-old Alpha filly Fast Fran and the unraced 3-year-old Encaustic filly Witt Lasting Speed currently in training at Finger Lakes. Smart Eyes did not produce a foal in 2019 or 2020 and was bred last year to Snow Trouble, who previously stood at Foggy Bottom Farm in Geneseo.

Miss Jimmy improved to 10-9-1 from her 22 starts and boosted her bankroll to $312,855 in the Arctic Beauty.


Myhartblongstodady back to winner’s circle in Hettinger

Friday, October 1st, 2021

Myhartblongstodady and Jose Lezcano return to winning ways in Friday’s John Hettinger at Belmont Park. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Lawrence Goichman’s homebred Myhartblongstodady ended a string of defeats and returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in nearly a year in Friday’s $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes at Belmont Park.

A close second to Giacosa last time out in the Yaddo Handicap on New York Showcase Day at Saratoga, Myhartblongstodady slipped past longshot Cara’s Dreamer at the eighth pole in the 9-furlong Hettinger on the way to a three-quarter-length victory under Jose Lezcano.

“Jose knows her very well. I said to Jose, ‘Just play the break and use your judgment.’ And he did,” winning trainer Jorge Abreu said. “They get along pretty good. I was sort of concerned about the mile and an eighth, but this is one of the weakest fields she ran against compared to the ones she ran in before. She got it done.”

Myhartblongstodady won four straight last year, including the Yaddo at Saratoga and Ticonderoga on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont, before a close third to end the season against open company in the Forever Together. The 6-year-old mare lost four straight in 2021 heading into the Hettinger, including a 10th and an 11th in graded stakes outside of her native state.

Those efforts didn’t deter bettors, who sent Myhartblongstodady off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of six.

Pecatonica took the lead early under Jose Ortiz, then relinquished it without much of a struggle to Myhartblongstodady. The eventual winner led through the opening quarter-mile in :24.80 before Cara’s Dreamer and Dylan Davis circled the field to take the lead by open lengths.

Myhartblongstodady improved to 6-for-15 with three seconds and three thirds in Friday’s John Hettinger. NYRA Photo.

“I let her pass,” Lezcano said of Cara’s Dreamer. “I didn’t want to go head-and-head with her.”

Cara’s Dreamer, coming off a win on the final Saturday of the Saratoga meet and making her stakes debut, led by 2 1/2 lengths after a half in :49.44 while Myhartblongstodady and Two Cent Tootsie chased in second and third with Pecatonica, Dancingwthdaffodls and Ice Princess further back. Cara’s Dreamer still led by a length turning for home while Myhartblongstodady started to rev up in the stretch. The two raced together outside the eighth pole before Myhartblongstodady took over at the eighth pole. Ice Princess made a late run to finish second, a length ahead of Cara’s Dreamer. Myhartblongstodady won in 1:48.20 on the firm inner turf course.

“She did everything right,” said Lezcano, aboard for Myhartblongstodady’s four-race win streak last year and last time out in the Yaddo.

Abreu and Goichman said after the race that Myhartblongstodady would head to the breeding shed in 2022, with one more race on her agenda.

“Hopefully, she comes out of it in good shape and goes to the Ticonderoga,” Abreu said. “That will be her last race and then we will send her to be a broodmare.”

Goichman bred Myhartblongstodady out of his Elusive Quality mare Elusive Ruler. Foaled at Edition Farm in Hyde Park and a second generation homebred for Goichman, Myhartblongstodady is a half-sister to Grade 2-placed stakes winner Runaway Rumour and $201,350-earner and recent Belmont Park optional winner Scuttlebuzz.

Elusive Ruler is also the dam of an unraced 2-year-old More Than Ready gelding Ripe for Mischief, a $75,000 purchase at the OBS April sale who is in training with Jim Bond at Saratoga, and a yearling colt by Oscar Performance that was a $180,000 RNA at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale in August.

Myhartblongstodady improved to 6-for-15 and picked up $68,750 in the Hettinger to boost her bankroll to $442,966.

Curly Girl scores 24-1 upset in Lady Finger Stakes

Monday, September 27th, 2021

Curly Girl and Andre Worrie cruise to upset victory in Monday’s Lady Finger Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Paul Barrow thought enough of Henry Steadman’s Curly Girl to send her on the 200-mile journey from Finger Lakes to Saratoga Race Course for her debut this summer.

The 2-year-old daughter of Nyquist didn’t disrespect herself, finishing fourth at 11-1 in the slop after a somewhat troubled start going 6 furlongs July 30. Off until Sept. 14, she returned with a win going 5 1/2 furlongs back home at Finger Lakes and 15 days later, in Monday’s $117,036 Lady Finger again at 6 furlongs, she became a stakes winner.

Under Andre Worrie and dismissed Monday as the fourth longest price in the field of nine New York-bred 2-year-old fillies at 24-1, Curly Girl came from off the pace to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Belmont Park shipper Belarus. Curly Girl won in 1:13.23.

Longshot Queens Dancer took the early lead ahead of a hustling Amore Fire and led that foe by a head through the opening splits of :22.27 and :46.42, with 6-5 favorite Midnight Vigilance and Belarus side-by-side tracking in third and fourth, respectively. Amore Fire poked her head in front after a half-mile, just as Belarus and jockey Javier Castellano tipped off the rail to make a three-wide run at the lead.

Curly Girl and Worrie produced the last – and winning – move in the lane and took command with a sixteenth to run. They drifted out a bit late but were well clear of Belarus, who finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Queens Dancer in third with Raymond Road fourth.

Curly Girl, who sold to Steadman for $50,000 as Hip 489 at the OBS March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, collected $70,222 for her connections and padded her bankroll to $94,582. A $90,000 purchase by Quarter Pole Enterprises at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Showcase, Curly Girl is the third winner out of the winning Forest Wildcat mare Falconess, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Spice Island from the family of Horse of the Year Spend a Buck.

Bred by Denlea Park LTD, foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson and from the second crop of champion 2-year-old and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, Curly Girl is the fifth foal out of Falconess. Denlea Park bred Falconess, who sold as a weanling for $70,000 and as a yearling for $110,000 before winning one race in 14 starts.

Falconess later sold in foal to Congrats to Fred Hertrich III for $135,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale before eventually going through that same sale in foal to Tapizar and landing back with Denlea Park on a bid of $67,000. Falconess’ first New York-bred foal, the 2018 Orb gelding Polpis, is 1-2-2 in nine starts with $33,290 in earnings and Curly Girl is her second foaled in the Empire State.

Falconess is also the dam of a colt by Flatter born Jan. 29 and she was bred to Bernardini during the 2021 season.

Adios Asher wins tight photo to take Aspirant Stakes

Monday, September 27th, 2021

The connections of Adios Asher celebrate New York-bred colt’s victory in Monday’s Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Adios Asher added his name to the list of stakes-winning or stakes-placed sons or daughters of Richard Ravin’s broodmare Rooney Doodle with a victory in Monday’s $116,242 Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes.

The 2-year-old son of Adios Charlie, a full-brother to 2018 Funny Cide Stakes and New York Breeders’ Futurity winner Dugout, led from the start and won a head bob at the finish with 3-5 favorite Daufuskie Island. The final margin was a nose, the same margin Dugout won by over Bankit to win the Funny Cide and also earn finalist honors as champion New York-bred 2-year-old male.

Adios Asher most likely put his name in the same race for 2021 with his second straight win in his first start on dirt for trainer Larry Rivelli. He won his prior start going 5 1/2 furlongs on Arlington Park’s synthetic surface Aug. 20, after a close third there 15 days prior going 5 furlongs on the turf.

Sent off the 9-2 third choice behind Daufuskie Island and the 3-1 second pick The Institute, Adios Asher and jockey E. T. Baird went to the front shortly after break from post three with Daufuskie Island tracking just behind after leaving the extreme outside post in the field of nine. Adios Asher led by a length after the opening quarter in :22.22 and just a half-length through the first half in :45.65.

Adios Asher (inside) holds off Daufuskie Island (10) to win Monday’s Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

The top two separated from the field – which included six maidens – turning for home and were 8 lengths clear at the eighth pole. Daufuskie Island, a maiden winner at Saratoga Aug. 12 and sixth in the Funny Cide Stakes 15 days later for Jeremiah Englehart, looked to have the momentum inside the final furlong under Dylan Davis. The two hit the finish together, with Adios Asher winning by a nose in 1:11.12. Daufuskie Island finished 9 3/4 lengths clear of Gimmedamoney in third with Cozzy’s Attitude fourth.

Bred by Ravin and foaled at Sequel Thoroughbreds New York in Hudson, Adios Asher races for Ravin and Vince Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope LLC. Along with multiple stakes winner and $554,282-earner Dugout, Adios Asher is the seventh foal out of Rooney Doodle to make the races.

Rooney Doodle’s seven foals to race are winners, led by multiple graded stakes-winning Illinois-bred Jean Elizabeth, the winner of 15 of 21 starts and $662,786 for Ravin, Patricia’s Hope and Rivelli. She’s also the dam of graded stakes-placed $322,104-earner What’s Up Dude, stakes-placed $75,587-earner Hollarforadollar and six-figure-earners Nevrmesswithrichie and Unscathed.

Adios Asher, now the earner of $91,045, and Dugout are Rooney Doodle’s first New York-bred foals. She’s also the dam of a Laoban yearling filly, bred in New York by Ravin, and was bred back to Adios Charlie in 2021.

Dakota Gold leads 1-3 finish for NY-breds in Nownownow

Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Dakota Gold and jockey Isaac Castillo win Sunday’s $500,000 Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth Park. Ryan Denver/ EQUI-PHOTO.

By Tom Law

Trainer Danny Gargan made the trip to the Jersey Shore looking for one thing Sunday afternoon.

“When we came here, we were hoping to be 1-2 for the Breeders’ Cup,” Gargan said after the featured $500,000 Nownownow Stakes on the Closing Day card at Monmouth Park. “So, as long as everything comes out well from here, hopefully we’ll go to Del Mar.”

Better book the flight.

Gargan and owners Dean and Patti Reeves have reason to look ahead to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar after Dakota Gold ran his record to 2-for-2 with a powerful victory over open company in the Nownownow for 2-year-olds on the grass.

Ridden by 23-year-old Isaac Castillo, Dakota Gold tracked in mid-pack early, followed the moves of fellow New York-bred and 4-5 favorite Coinage for three quarters of the 1-mile turf stakes and rolled through the lane to a 2 1/2-length victory over Royal Spirit. Coinage, winner of the Grade 3 With Anticipation Stakes Sept. 1 at Saratoga Race Course, finished third in the field of nine.

“Tremendous ride,” Gargan said after Castillo rode Dakota Gold to victory in 1:36.31 over the turf rated good.

The 5-1 second choice, Dakota Gold came into the Nownownow off a 4 1/2-length victory in an off-the-turf open-company maiden race going 5 1/2 furlongs Sept. 2 at Saratoga.

“We trained him on the grass, so that’s where we were looking to get him started,” Gargan said. “He’s a nice quality colt. Just a beautiful animal. We ran him against open company the first time because the timing was right and we wanted to get a race in him. We had him ready.

“When it came off the turf we knew he had also worked well on the dirt so we were fine with it.”

Gargan said he would have been comfortable running the son of Freud on either the dirt or turf Sunday. The weather cooperated the left the Nownownow, boosted from its original $150,000 purse to entice potential Breeders’ Cup hopefuls to use the race as a final prep before going to California in early November, on the grass.

“I just couldn’t wait to get him on the grass,” Gargan said. “We knew he had this kind of turn of foot on the grass. There was some pace in the race and he just flew by. When the jockey asked him he just galloped by. It was pretty impressive. You get lucky and get a horse like this once in a while. I think this horse has as much talent as any younger horse I’ve ever had.”

Grooms All Bizness and Pure Panic set the early pace before There Are No Words and jockey Jose Ferrer took over with a 2 1/2-length lead through the opening half-mile in :45.56. Grooms All Bizness and Pure Panic tracked behind the leader at that point, with Coinage and jockey Junior Alvarado tracking about three paths off the fence. Castillo also kept Dakota Gold in the clear and well off the rail up the backstretch, and followed Coinage’s move around the far turn as There Are No Words passed the 6-furlong mark in 1:10.82.

There Are No Words’ lead didn’t last long in the lane as Dakota Gold uncorked from fifth while four wide. Dakota Gold opened up past the eighth pole while Royal Spirit rallied for the place spot, 6 lengths clear of Coinage.

“There was a New York-bred race today at Belmont at seventh-eighths on the dirt,” Gargan said of the Bertram F. Bongard. “Dean and I discussed it and I really wanted to run here. I’m just glad I got the opportunity to do it and Dean gave me a chance. I told him if we win this we can go to the Breeders’ Cup, so I think Dean is going to let me going to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Ron Bowden and foaled at The New Hill Farm in Hoosick Falls, Dakota Gold became the 72nd stakes winner sired by longtime leading New York sire Freud in the Nownownow. A 23-year-old son of Storm Cat who stands for $5,000 at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, Freud came into the day third on the New York general sire list and the $300,000 earned Sunday by Dakota Gold figures to move him into second in the final days of September.

Dakota Gold is the second foal out of the winning Lemon Drop Kid mare Dakota Kid. A half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner and $1,282,810-earner Dakota Phone, Dakota Kid is also the dam of the unraced 3-year-old Freud filly Dakota Dancer currently in training at Belmont Park. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing purchased Dakota Gold as a weanling selling as Hip 106 for $83,000 out of The New Hill Farm’s consignment at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale.

Shipsational bounces back in Bertram F. Bongard

Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Shipsational improves off fourth in Funny Cide with victory in Sunday’s Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Eddie Barker walked out of his Saratoga barn office the last Friday of the recent meeting, welcomed a writer looking for horses to include in the Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with the Little Guys and stepped into the sunshine of Clare Court to start the annual visit.

Barker talked first about his lone winner at the meet, the 2-year-old New York-bred Midshipman colt Shipsational purchased in March for six figures, before extolling the positives of six other members of his small stable. After about 15 minutes of talking about the promising and proven members of the string, good and bad beats at the windows and the positive vibes of Saratoga, Barker returned to his shedrow and found himself in front of Shipsational’s stall.

“You have to watch his race in the Funny Cide,” Barker said of the race that came exactly a week before, when Shipsational finished fourth. “He got in all kinds of trouble. He really ran a giant race.”

Shipsational finished fourth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Senbei, in the Funny Cide Stakes on New York Showcase Day, somewhat remarkable considering he was bumped and knocked sideways twice in the first 40 yards. He encountered no such trouble Sunday at Belmont Park, where he turned the tables on Senbei with a 2-length victory in the $139,500 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for 2-year-old New York-breds.

“He’s a really nice, nice colt,” Barker said after Shipsational won in 1:23.64. “He’s trained well since the day we got him. He’s going to be a special New York-bred. The last race was a throw out. He had trained super coming into this race and I am really, really happy for Mrs. Iris Smith and the whole team.”

Shipsational improved to 2-for-3 in the 7-furlong Bongard, adding the stakes to his impressive 6 3/4-length debut victory during opening weekend at Saratoga. He also picked up $82,500 for owner Iris Smith Stable.

Senbei went to the post at 4-5 and took the lead from the outset. The Funny Cide winner and jockey Manny Franco led by 1 1/2 lengths through the opening quarter-mile while Whittington Park and Shipsational battled side-by-side in second and third. Senbei still led by a length through the half in :46.48 while Sensational edged away from Whittington Park and into contention around the turn.

Saez stayed busy on Shipsational into the stretch while Franco called on Senbei. Shipsational pulled alongside between the eighth and sixteenth poles and edged away just outside the sixteenth.

“We had to work a little bit, but he gave me a good kick. He ran pretty great,” Saez said. “Last time, he had a lot of trouble in the race. He missed the break and got bothered a lot. Today, things went our way. He got a good break, he was right there and he won.”

Senbei, the 4-5 favorite in the field of five, wound up 16 1/2 lengths clear of the official third-place finisher Surprise Boss after presumptive third Happy Happy B broke down just before the wire and tossed Jose Ortiz. Happy Happy B, a half-brother to graded stakes winner Keepmeinmind, was euthanized on the track and Ortiz took off the remainder of his mounts after reportedly going to the hospital for an examination of his left ankle.

Barker, along with Richard Saba of High Point Bloodstock, picked Shipsational out of the OBS March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training and bought Hip 178 for $210,000 for Smith. The chestnut colt had previously sold as a weanling for $27,000 at last year’s Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

“His conformation was flawless, the way he moved, his breeze was flawless and he galloped out really well. He hit all the boxes,” Barker said after that July 18 victory at Saratoga. “He’s been showing it in his training, he’s got a great mind, he does everything right. I’m happy for the owner, she’s been very supportive.”

Smith is the daughter-in-law of Barker’s longtime former client Seymour Smith.

Bred by Diana and the late Bertram Firestone and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Shipsational is the 10th foal out of the winning Thunder Gulch mare Regal Approach. All nine of Regal Approach’s foals are winners, including her new stakes winner, the $330,753-earning New York-bred First Appeal, $115,821-earner Regal Force and $111,739-earner Rain Forest. Regal Approach’s 2017 foal, the New York-bred Mr Speaker colt, has four wins in 10 starts, $107,120 in earnings and is entered in a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance-optional Sept. 30 at Belmont.

The Firestones raced Regal Approach after purchasing her for $75,000 out of the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. She won five of 21 and earned $118,721 for the couple and various trainers including Bill Mott, Jimmy Murphy and Ralph Nicks.

Bromans-bred Classy Edition romps in Gimma

Friday, September 24th, 2021

Classy Edition coasts home with a victory in Friday’s Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont. NYRA Photo

Put another stakes win under leading New York breeders Chester and Mary Broman as Classy Edition streaked to victory in the $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Friday.

A daughter of Classic Empire and Broman homebred Newbie, Classy Edition left little doubt in the 7-furlong stakes as she took over from Adversity and Shesawildjoker in the stretch to draw off and win by 8 lengths as the 6-5 favorite in 1:24.42. Velvet Sister finished second, with Shesawildjoker another 6 lengths back in third. Todd Pletcher trains the winner, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., for Robert and Lawana Low.

The Gimma drew a field of six, all winners, including 9-5 second choice November Rein who came off a victory in Saratoga’s Seeking The Ante Stakes in August for owner/breeder Ron Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stable and trainer Kelly Breen. Classy Edition won her debut on the final weekend at Saratoga by 6 3/4 lengths, and backed up that promise in the Gimma.

Pletcher saw improvement from the debut.

“First time she backed up out of the dirt [kickback] a little bit like most first-time starters will do,” said the trainer. “She settled into it a little better here. He [Ortiz] ultimately had no other option but to go out four or five wide. It looked like she finished with good energy.”

Ortiz liked the filly’s progression as well.

“She’s a second time [starter], and I just want to teach her. I dropped in for a second to see how she handled it [kickback] and she was moving good,” the jockey said. “She didn’t hesitate. She did everything right. She got the kickback the first time and she acted like she didn’t like it. Today, she handled it much better. By the three-eighths pole it was time to go and I felt like I had some horse, so I let her start doing her thing. She was moving great. By the quarter pole, I asked and she took off.”

Bloodstock agent Jacob West bought Classy Edition at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale in May for $550,000, the second-highest price paid for a filly and fourth-highest overall. The only starter from the top five prices, and only winner from the top 10, she became the sale’s first stakes winner Friday.

She went to Pletcher at Saratoga and posted her first workout there June 20 after breezing a furlong in :10.1 at the sale in Timonium, Md.

Consigned to the sale by Sequel Bloodstock on behalf of the Bromans, Classy Edition is a half-sister to multiple New York-bred stakes winner Newly Minted and the stakes-placed New Girl In Town. Their dam won twice for the Bromans and trainer John Kimmel. The daughter of Bernardini produced an American Pharoah colt in 2020, did not have a foal this year.

The Bromans bought Newbie’s dam Changeisgonnacome, carrying Newbie, for $320,000 at Keeneland November in 2008. Bred in Virginia by Audley Farm, that mare won Saratoga’s P.G. Johnston Stakes in 2006 and placed in a Grade 2 the following year. All five foals of her foals to race were winners.

Horses bred by the Bromans, perennial leaders among New York-breeders, have won 55 races and earned more than $2.1 million this year – outpacing runner-up McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and Stonewall Farm among the top three.

Tiergan thrives in off-the-turf Cole

Friday, September 24th, 2021

Tiergan wins a tight photo in Friday’s Ashley T. Cole Stakes at Belmont Park. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo

Watching the weather forecast paid off for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and partners Michael Imperio and Andrew Gurdon, as Tiergan prevailed in a three-horse Ashley T. Cole Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont Park Friday.

Scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on the turf, the race moved to the dirt at the same distance and wound up a photo finish between the two main-track-only entrants as Tiergan won by a head over Three Jokers with City Man 2 1/4 lengths back in third. Turf runners Graded On A Curve, Lord Flintshire, Sanctuary City and Therapist scratched with the surface change. Ridden by Luis Saez, the winner finished in 1:51.15 and paid $6.60 to win.

Owned by Imperio, Gurdon and Rodriguez, the 5-year-old Afleet Alex gelding won for the fourth time in seven starts since being claimed for $16,000 in January. Bred by Hibiscus Stable and foaled at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, Tiergan sold for $170,000 to Donegal Racing at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale in 2017 and made his first 14 starts for Donegal and trainer Bill Mott. The gray won his debut at Belmont in October 2018, but lost his next 13 – while finishing second four times. The most-recent placing came at Aqueduct in January, when risked for a $16,000 tag. Rodriguez made the claim and it’s been an upward trajectory since with an open-company starter allowance win in February, three seconds at the state-bred allowance level in the spring, an allowance win in the slop at Belmont July 3 and then another off-the-turf optional-claiming score at Saratoga in August.

Then came the Cole.

“He’s a pretty useful horse. I thought when we claimed him in the winter, we would just like to win a non-winners of three,” said Rodriguez. “He seems pretty comfortable and we’re just along for the ride.”

Rodriguez credited Saez, who won the riding title at the Saratoga summer meet, for a patient ride.

“Luis is an unbelievable rider,” the trainer said. “We’re happy to get him aboard our horses that’s for sure.”

Tiergan banked $68,750 in victory while improving his record to 21-5-7-1 and pushing his career earnings to $332,777.

Hibiscus operates racing and breeding partnerships, and purchased Tiergan’s dam Smileforamile for $24,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York mixed sale in 2014. Bred in Virginia, the daughter of Unbridled’s Song is the dam of multiple New York-bred stakes winner Sheriffa (by Posse) and the stakes-placed Might Be (also by Posse). Smileforamile’s filly of 2020 by Midnight Lute is in the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic yearling sale Oct. 4. The mare did not produce foals in 2017, 2018 or 2021 and was bred to Vekoma for next year.

Tiergan and Three Jokers could target the $300,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Oct. 30.