NEWS: racing

A Freud of Mama wins Franklin Square going away

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

NYRA/Jeo Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

As a newly-turned 3-year-old, William Butler’s homebred A Freud of Mama picked up right where she left off at two: with a stakes victory at the Big A. Last seen on December 29 springing a 23-1 upset in the lucrative Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes series, the namesake of her sire Freud wheeled back in three weeks to win the $100,000 Franklin Square for New York-bred sophomore fillies going away.

A Freud of Mama (5-1) got away a beat slow from post five (of six) to go 6 1/2 furlongs under Jorge Vargas, Jr., who had the repeat call from trainer Mike Maker, but wasted no time getting into position. She advanced confidently between horses and tugged her way up into third in the three-path. Three lengths up ahead, 4-5 favorite Fierce Lady showed the way, a length ahead of 5-2 second choice Big Q who applied steady pressure.

As Big Q advanced to hook Fierce Lady in the far turn, A Freud of Mama enjoyed a ground-saving trip before tipping out widest of all for the stretch drive.

In upper stretch Big Q got the better of Fierce Lady, but A Freud of Mama, closing fast, made their battle moot. She cruised right by both and opened up, going on to win by a dominant six lengths with ears pricked.

Big Q was a clear second, while 2 1/4 lengths back 18-1 Firenze Freedom won a photo for third over Fierce Lady. Playtone and Violent Point brought up the rear. Following early splits of 22.39 and 46.52 over the fast – if snowy – going, A Freud of Mama stopped the timer at 1:19.15 after 6 1/2 furlongs. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Winning rider Jorge Vargas, Jr. was impressed. “Today, she really proved to me that she wants to be a good horse,” the pilot said. “I was behind horses and she was taking me places. Whenever I got a seam, she went for it. I really loved it. She’s still a little nervous but she’s getting there. She wants to be a good horse and she’s proven it. She likes coming off the pace.”

A Freud of Mama made her first four starts on turf, including a Belmont graduation at second asking on September 13, which she followed up with a creditable third in the Grade 3 Matron on October 5. She is now a perfect two-for-two dirt, once over a muddy Aqueduct track for her 1 1/2-length Fifth Avenue victory, and over a fast track Saturday for her romp in the Franklin Square.

A Freud of Mama has now won three of six starts with one third and has earned $399,818. She is one of four winners from four foals to start out of Mama Theresa, who was purchased by William Butler for $65,000 at the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds.

Bred in New York by Barry Weisbord and Margaret Santulli, Mama Theresa was a multiple stakes-placed runner on dirt and a half-sister to two-time New York Horse of the Year and sire Haynesfield. She has an unnamed juvenile filly by Stay Thirsty and was bred last year to Sharp Azteca.

Retired Grade 1 Nearctic winner Next Question euthanized

Friday, January 17th, 2020

G1 Nearctic Stakes 2012 (Michael Burns Photography)

(Old Friends Press Release)

GREENFIELD CENTER, NY- JANUARY 17, 2020 Grade I winner Next Question was euthanized on January 16 at Old Friends at Cabin Creek due to complications from a paddock accident. He was 12.

Based in Greenfield Center, NY, Cabin Creek is an official satellite facility of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY

Courtesy Old Friends

Affectionately known as Q, Next Question (Stormy Atlantic-Seattle Stardust, by Slew City Slew) initially retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in 2014, where he lived for one year before returning to his owners, Three Diamonds Farm, for a second career. He returned to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in November of 2019.

Racing for Three Diamonds Farm and trainer Michael Trombetta, Next Question’s greatest accomplishment came in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack, where he upset the field at 16-1. Other accolades include a placing in the 2013 Around the Cape Stakes at Belmont Park, and participation in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

In 2013, his career ended with three wins, one 2nd, and two 3rd’s from 13 starts, and earnings of $424,391. He was bred in New York by Dr. Lance G. Bell.

“Q was a kind, sweet horse who was well loved by everyone who cared for him throughout his life,” said Old Friends at Cabin Creek owner and manager JoAnn Pepper. “We are heartbroken to carry on without him, and grateful to Three Diamonds Farm for allowing us to have this time with Q.”

Scilly Cay wins Rego Park to clinch Rice’s 2,000th victory

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

By Sarah Mace

Scilly Cay and trainer Linda Rice both had career milestones in their sights for the sixth running of the $100,000 Rego Park Stakes on Sunday at Aqueduct.

Scilly Cay by Fed Biz, a newly turned 3-year-old homebred colt for Jon Clay’s Alpha Delta Stables, was looking for his first career stakes victory in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for New York-bred sophomores. Rice’s milestone was much longer in the making. She was on the cusp of joining Kathleen O’Connell (2,125) and Kim Hammond (2,280) as the third female thoroughbred trainer to register 2,000 wins. After the race each could proclaim, “Mission accomplished.”

In order to reach the winner’s circle on Sunday, Scilly Cay – who never finished worse than third in three prior outings – needed to turn the tables on rival Dream Bigger. In their last meeting, the Notebook Stakes on November 17, they ran one-two. Scilly Cay, overlooked at 23-1 odds, closed impressively but ultimately could not reel in a pacesetting Dream Bigger who clinched the victory by 1 1/2 lengths.

For the Rego Park, with the field pared down to four by the scratch of Convict, bettors gave the 1-2 edge to Dream Bigger, already a two-time stakes winner and never out of the exacta in five prior starts. Scilly Cay went off as the second choice at 9-5.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

After Scilly Cay broke on top from post with Jose Lezcano at the helm, Dream Bigger rushed up on the inside to take control as the leading pair opened daylight on Notorious Flirt and Harris Bay.

Following early splits of 22.45 and 45.94, Lezcano and Scilly Cay, who had been marking Dream Bigger closely, moved confidently on the turn to challenge, and poked a head in front.

Dream Bigger battled back on the inside, but Scilly Cay put him away for good with three-sixteenths of a mile to go. He drew away to win by 3 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:19 flat for 6 1/2 furlongs.

Early back marker Harris Bay kicked on late to get up for second, finishing one-half length ahead of Dream Bigger. Notorious Flirt, another Rice trainee, brought up the rear. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“I think it was a two-horse race [with Dream Bigger],” Jose Lezcano said. “I broke running and the four also broke running and my horse gave me a very good race. He put me in a good position today and was in the bridle the whole way. When I asked him, he really picked it up and put them away.”

Rice observed, “When it scratched down to four and there was one speed in the race, I knew we were going to be in trouble if we tried the same tactics that we did in the past. Jose and I talked, and he said the same thing. Jose did a very beautiful job.”

As to the milestone of winning race number 2,000, Rice said,

It’s exciting. These milestones are very meaningful. I remember getting my thousandth win at Belmont with a horse [Sextant] that my father [Clyde Rice] owned, so to have one here at Aqueduct for Jon Clay of Alpha Delta, who is one of my great clients, is very exciting and rewarding.

I look at the pictures on the wall and see all the pictures in the archives from 1976 and it doesn’t look like things have changed that much. People are still winning; riders are still trying to make weight. I see pictures of the track and I try to imagine 30 years ago, when I was in school, that they were doing the same thing here. It’s exciting to have gotten to New York and to have been so successful in this arena.

When Rice, who began the day with 1,998 victories, singled out victories for special mention, New York-breds loom large. She cited “La Verdad winning an Eclipse Award and winning lots of stakes with her, Grade 1s with Palace, City Zip, Things Change, Voodoo Song, and Barry Schwartz’s filly Princess Violet at Keeneland.”

Alpha Delta’s Jon Clay, for his part, should congratulate himself on the decision to purchase Scilly Cay’s dam French Satin at the 2008 Keeneland November sale for $400,000. A Kentucky-bred winner of the Grade 3 Florida Oaks and a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and sire Lion Heart by French Deputy, she has produced three stakes winners among eight progeny winners overall.

Midnight Transfer by Hard Spun, who was bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta, was a stakes winner at Santa Anita. New York-bred Long Haul Bay by Quality Road won the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes.

Scilly Cay has earned $118,460 from his Rego Park and maiden wins, a second in the Notebook and a third when he debuted at Saratoga on August 23.

After breeding French Satin to Quality Road to produce 2018 filly, Alpha Delta went back to the well, and in 2019 got full brother to Scilly Cay. The mare was bred last year to City of Light.



Arthur’s Hope scores determined front-running victory in Say Florida Sandy Stakes

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

Laurel Park-based Arthur’s Hope made his Saturday road trip to the Aqueduct a winning one for owner Raul DelValle and trainer Marco Salazar when he wired the third running of the $100,000 Say Florida Sandy Stakes for older New York-breds. Staying the course of the seven furlong contest, the 6-year-old horse by former New York-based sire Smart Bid showed determination to the finish, foiling the best efforts of runner-up T Loves a Fight to reel him in.

The controlling speed on paper in the well-matched field of six and fourth betting choice at odds of 5-1, Arthur’s Hope was aggressively gunned to the front from post five by jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who was determined to get his mount involved early. Aveenu Malcainu from post one (11-1) and T Loves a Fight from post four (9-2), for their part, were minded not to let Arthur’s Hope get away.

As the leading trio raced up the backstretch, Arthur’s Hope opened up a 1 1/2-length cushion on T Loves a Fight, while Aveenu Malcainu, switched to the outside, chased another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. The early fractions went in 23.17 and 45.90.

T Loves a Fight issued his first challenge as the trio exited the turn, but Arthur’s Hope regained his advantage in upper stretch. T Loves a Fight then took another crack at him in in the final furlong, only to be rebuffed again.

Ultimately Arthur’s Hope crossed the wire a one-length winner and T Loves a Fight was followed another 1 1/4 lengths back by Aveenu Malcainu in third. Caretaker, the 8-5 favorite, finished fourth, followed by 2-1 My Boy Tate and Celtic Chaos. Morning Breez was scratched. After six furlongs in 1:10.41, the final time for seven over the fast main track was 1:23.42. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Susie Raisher

Carmouche, who had the call aboard Arthur’s Hope for the first time, said he took his main cues from trainer Marco Salazar and speed-favoring natured of the main track.

“[Salazar] called me from Delaware this morning and said to just put him on the lead and don’t fight with him too much. I warmed him up good on track just before the race. He switched leads perfectly and he held them off in the deep stretch.

“Regardless of the scratch [of Morning Breez] I was going to the front no matter what. It was just a matter of how far he could go with the distance at seven-eighths. With the track favoring speed the last three days, it worked out perfect.”

Dylan Davis, aboard hard-knocking T Loves a Fight, commented on the pressure campaign he waged against the Arthur’s Hope from the ouset.

“I was just playing the track bias today,” Davis said. “I wanted to break sharp and I knew Kendrick was going to go – he had speed and the track was playing speed. I wanted to be forwardly placed. [T Loves a Fight] was running against what he likes to do – he’s a closer – but just trying make up that one length was really tough. He fought hard.”

Bred by Monhill Farm where he was foaled, Arthur’s Hope brought $22,000 from Stud Marluna at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale before beginning his career in Panama, where he won eight of 11 starts. He is one of two winners for his dam Prom Dance, a winning New York-bred mare by Citidancer bred by Monhill Farm & Country Life Farm. His second dam Varsity Gold is a Stonewall Farm homebred.

Upon returning “home” in May 2018, he won a first-level state-bred allowance at Belmont in his first try. His next victory would not come until February 2019 in another state-bred allowance, but two starts later, at Parx on May 27, Arthur’s Hope delivered a break-out performance, earning earned a triple-digit Beyer for winning a 6-furlong allowance.

With 12 wins from 26 starts and three seconds over his career thus far, Arthur’s Hope has earned $255,748.

Cash Offer rallies to collect the money in La Verdad

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Reddam Racing’s Cash Offer, last seen 29 days ago at Aqueduct graduating from the New York-bred allowance ranks with a rallying finish, replicated the trip versus state-bred stakes foes Saturday when she overhauled a pair of runners in the stretch to win Saturday’s $100,000 La Verdad, a 7-furlong test for older New York-bred fillies and mares.

A 4-year-old daughter of Shackleford, Cash Offer began her career with an unplaced effort in one start as a juvenile for Doug O’Neill at Los Alamitos, before trekking east to join Mark Hennig’s string on the NYRA circuit.

Never off the board in nine subsequent sprint starts, Cash Offer scored wins against maidens and both levels of New York-bred allowance horses for Hennig, even picking up a solid second-place finish in her stakes debut in the Bouwerie last May. Beaten that day by up-and-coming Chester and Mary Broman homebred Newly Minted, Cash Offer was up against another formidable Broman mare in the La Verdad: Pauseforthecause, who was looking for a third consecutive stakes win, and fourth straight win overall and was hammered at the windows to 1-2 favoritism.

Possessed of ample early speed, Cash Offer, the co-second choice at 4-1, gunned out of gate five under Jose Lezcano, but elected to let Pauseforthecause and Kept True go on with it to her inside, settling in third three lengths off the leaders. The top three raced well off the rail over the sloppy going.

Cash Offer continued to cruise in third as Pauseforthecause raced a measured length ahead of Kept True until midway around the bend when Kept True hooked the favorite. Once Kept True overtook Pauseforthecause, Cash Offer fanned out six wide into upper stretch for the drive. With as many as five lengths still to make up and two horses to pass, Cash Offer lengthened her stride under a drive.

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

Making up lost ground, she vaulted to the front inside the final furlong to win by one length. Kept True (4-1) finished second, while Pauseforthecause, for whom the off-going and seven furlongs proved to be a challenge, saved the bridge jumpers by checking in third another 2 1/4 lengths back. Completing the order of finish were Aunt Babe, Fight On Lucy and Indy’s Lady. Bluegrass Jamboree was scratched

After a half in 46.32 and six furlongs in 1:11.23, Cash Offer stopped the timer at 1:24.58 after seven sloppy furlongs. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Lezcano was impressed by the staying power of his mount. “Coming in,” Lezcano said, “I had my doubts if she wanted go that far, but the two fillies in front really helped by giving her a target to run at. I just tried to give her the best chance by sitting back and seeing how the race would unfold. At the quarter-pole, she really started to take off and she finished strong. I think she appreciated the off track as well.”

Earlier in the day, Mark Hennig contemplated scratching due to the sloppy conditions, but was pleased to have made the right call.

Said the trainer, “With the weather we were a little indecisive on whether to run, but it was a good time to take on Pauseforthecause as she hadn’t shown an affinity for the mud. I was on the fence this morning, but the more I looked at it, we decided to take a shot and it paid off.”

Hennig is also optimistic about Cash Offer’s chances going forward. “She is easy to train, and you don’t have to work her a whole lot. She goes out an gives an honest effort. She showed ability to rate, which helped today. Going forward, that will help a lot. We just felt like she’s a filly that didn’t want to go much over three-quarters last year. Now that she has learned the ability to rate, she looked like she could go a mile.”

Bred by Taylor Brothers Properties, LLC & To Kalon, Inc., Cash Offer is the first foal out Monono, a Kentucky-bred and Louisiana-based stakes winner by Whywhywho who earned over $200,000. Reddam Racing purchased Cash Offer for just $55,000 at the OBS Spring Sale the only time she was offered at public auction.


Mrs. Orb holds off Lucky Move to capture Bay Ridge in stakes debut

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

Mrs. Orb, a dark bay daughter of Orb bred by Rhapsody Farm, won her stakes debut at Aqueduct on the final weekend of 2019, when she held off Lucky Move to win Sunday’s $100,000 Bay Ridge Stakes by a short nose. The victory over fellow New York-bred fillies and mares marks her fourth win in a row for trainer Mike Miceli, who co-owns Mrs. Orb with Ruggeri Stable, Richard Coburn and Script R Farm.

Following a pair of scratches, the field of the 1 1/8-mile Bay Ridge Stakes was winnowed down to a well-matched quintet. Partnered with jockey Dylan Davis, aboard for the fifth straight time, Mrs. Orb was sent away as the 9-2 second betting choice.

Mrs. Orb broke last of the group when the gates flew open, and shared the caboose with 9-1 Lucky Move to her inside through the clubhouse turn. By contrast, 2-5 favorite Our Super Nova caught a flyer, but after outbreaking her rivals, deferred the lead to Out of Orbit from the post one, and settled down at the rail to run a pocketed third.

As Out of Orbit led by 1 1/2 lengths through a sedate 52.30 half-mile, Mrs. Orb advanced a spot. Then, rallying into contention in approach to the far turn, she began to pick off rivals in the bend. A clear second after straightening out for the stretch drive, she drew a bead Out of Orbit, while Our Super Nova remained penned in down at the rail.

Mrs. Orb fought her way to the lead just past the furlong marker and built up a one-length advantage. With Our Super Nova will still searching for running room, a bigger threat emerged from another quarter with a sixteenth of a mile to go.

Rallying on the outside, Lucky Move made up ground with every stride, captured second and in the final jumps drew even with Mrs. Orb. As the two heads bobbed up and down, Mrs. Orb saved the day for her connections by holding on for the narrow victory.

Three and three-quarter lengths back, Out of Orbit preserved third, followed across the line by Our Super Nova and longshot Cartwheel. After a mile in 1:43.02 over the track, which was officially “fast” but was playing slowly on the day, the final time for nine furlongs was 1:56.14.

Winning jockey Dylan Davis commented on both his mount’s compromised break and nail-biting finish.

“She broke with her head in the air and I had to use her going into the first turn,” Davis said. “I didn’t like my position being last, so I just wanted to get her into the race a little bit. It might have compromised the win margin, but we did what we had to do. She likes to be involved. She’s not a deep closer at all, and today was her kind of track.”

As to the battle at the wire, Davis said, “She’s a fighter. To be honest, I didn’t think I got the photo. Luckily, I got the bob. She fought hard to the wire, and I just kept pushing past the wire, because I knew it was close.”

Trainer and co-owner Mike Miceli added, “I knew it was close at the wire. On the slow-motion [replay] I saw her head go down and I thought we got [Lucky Move].”

Kendrick Carmouche, aboard the runner-up said, “I knew I had the [head bob] before [the wire], but I didn’t know if I had the next one. That was a tough one. Dylan’s horse was sticking her head out trying to win the race. . . The filly ran her race. She tried hard but just couldn’t get the head bob. I thought she’d be tough in this spot if they ran fast or slow, but she ran her race.”

Mrs. Orb has taken a little while to find her winning ways. In eight starts at three, she chased a maiden victory in vain. Constantly in the hunt and consistently well-backed at the windows, she did not find the winner’s circle until start number eleven when she switched to turf and enjoyed a little class relief in a $40,000 maiden claiming race.

Unplaced in her first encounter with winners next out at Belmont on September 21, also on turf, she switched back to dirt routes and has done nothing but win, reeling off four straight victories. She galloped through her state-bred allowance conditions at Belmont and Aqueduct on October 14 and November 1, and mastered open allowance foes 32 days before the Bay Ridge, stalking and rallying on each occasion.

The Bay Ridge victory improves Mrs. Orb’s record to five wins, three seconds and three thirds in 16 starts and boosts her earnings bankroll to $266,020.

Mrs. Orb is the second foal out of Gypsy Angel, a one-hundred percent producer with two winners from two foals to start. An unplaced Kentucky-bred daughter of Silver Train, she has since produced a juvenile filly by Central Banker cleverly named Quantitativbreezin, a yearling colt by Anchor Down and a weanling filly by Bird Song, to whom she was bred back in 2019.

Miceli observed, “[Mrs. Orb] was coming up to the race in good shape. She was training very well and coming in off three straight wins. If there was a time to try her in a stakes race, today was the day. She really came through. She did everything we thought she would. I didn’t think the mile and an eighth was a question for her. She has an idling speed where she can run long at a nice steady pace. That’s probably her best go, and she was on cruise control most of the way.”

The conditioner is planning to point Mrs. Orb to state-bred stakes in 2020.

Mr. Buff polishes off rivals for second Alex M. Robb win

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s Mr. Buff capped his outstanding 5-year-old campaign Saturday with a second consecutive victory in Aqueduct’s $100,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes for older New York-breds at 1 1/8 miles. The winner of last year’s edition by just a nose over repeat contender Twisted Tom, Mr. Buff left no doubt about the outcome this year, opening up daylight on the field in the stretch after a stalking in the early stages.

Mr. Buff came into the Alex M. Robb having already notched four stakes wins in 2019 for trainer John Kimmel. Kicking things off in January by winning the open Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct, he added state-bred stakes wins in the Saginaw at Belmont in June, the Evan Shipman at Saratoga in August and Empire Classic on Belmont’s Showcase Day in the fall.

Mr. Buff’s connections were not shy either about testing the massive gelding’s mettle against the upper tier of his division this year. Even though deeper waters proved a challenge, he took a shot in the Grade 2 New Orleans H. in March, the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga and, most recently, the Grade 1 Clark on November 29 where he set a torrid pace for the first three-quarters of a mile before fading to tenth.

It was no surprise that Mr. Buff was bet down to 2-1 favoritism for the Robb as he returned to state-bred competition with regular rider Junior Alvarado in the irons. Mr. Buff was also the ideal “horse for the course.” He had won five of 10 prior starts at Aqueduct, and seven of 11 tries at his preferred 1 1/8 mile distance. As the field’s highweight at 126, he spotted the rest five pounds.

Exiting post five, Mr. Buff set up shop outside pacesetter Gio D’Oro, who broke on top from the rail post and led by 1 1/2 lengths through the first half-mile, clocking comfortable splits of 25.01 and 50.59.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By the approach to the far turn, Mr. Buff took matters into his own hands. He drew even with Gio D’Oro under his own power and cruised past. By the time he hit the quarter pole, he had cemented his lead for good.

Following Mr. Buff’s move in the turn was Dynamax Prime (4-1), who moved up two-wide from fourth to second, and 56-1 longshot Fleet Irish, who advanced in the same lane from sixth.

The order of the top three remained unchanged for the length of the stretch, but the margins did not. Shaken up in upper stretch, Mr. Buff widened his advantage to four lengths. Then, under a drive late and before being geared down in the final 70 yards, he opened up his winning margin to 7 1/2 lengths.

Dynamax Prime in second finished two lengths ahead of Fleet Irish and more than ten lengths back, the remaining three finished in a cluster. Twisted Tom captured fourth a nose a head of Big Gemmy and Gio d’Oro brought up the rear another half length back. The final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:52.84. [VIDEO REPLAY]

The race unfolded pretty much the way Junior Alvarado had planned. “I expected [Gio d’Oro], being in the one-hole, to use that to his advantage. I just rode [Mr. Buff] like he was the best horse,” he said. “I wasn’t taking anything away from him and I wasn’t sending him either. I knew how much horse I was going to have at the end, so I just let him move along. At the half-mile pole, he felt like he wanted to go on and start picking things up and after that he just carried me all the way to the wire.”

Alvarado added, “John [Kimmel] has done an unbelievable job keeping him healthy and sound the entire year. I don’t think he’ll have any problems next year either. As long as we keep picking the right spots for him, he should be able to continue to dominate these horses.”

Mr. Buff has won 12 of 34 starts in all, with six seconds and four thirds. He is closing in on the $1 million mark with $933,286 in earnings.

Besides his imposing size and outsize achievements, Mr. Buff also has the distinction of being a third generation homebred for Chester and Mary Broman through the male line. His sire is the Bromans’ multiple stakes winning homebred Friend or Foe. He, in turn, is a son of Friends Lake, who took the couple to the Kentucky Derby in 2004 after winning the Florida Derby.

Mr. Buff’s dam Speightful Affair is a graded stakes-placed Ontario-bred by Speightstown, who was purchased by the Bromans for $80,000 at the Fasig-Tipton 2013 winter mixed sale.

In 2018 Speightful Affair produced a full sister to Mr. Buff named Miss Buff. With no surviving foal last year, she has been bred to Accelerate.

A Freud of Mama crashes NYSS Fifth Avenue party at 23-1

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

A Freud of Mama, owned and bred by William Butler and raced exclusively on turf by trainer Mike Maker in four prior starts, made a spectacular dirt debut at Aqueduct on Sunday. Advancing from mid-pack in the turn, and passing two horses in the final sixteenth, she clinched a victory in the $500,000 Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes series for New York-sired juvenile fillies Aqueduct.

Like its companion race for males (the NYSS Great White Way won on Saturday by Bank On Shea), the Fifth Avenue got a makeover in 2019. Lengthened by a furlong to seven panels, the purse was hiked to $500,000, up from $150,000 last year.

Also like its companion race, the Fifth Avenue attracted a bulky and eclectic field. The 11 fillies represented nine current or former New York stallions and the group included everything from first-time starters and maidens, to graded stakes performers.

Breaking from post six under Jorge Vargas, Jr., A Freud of Mama settled in mid-pack in seventh on the backstretch, while some of her better-regarded rivals contested the lead. Time Limit by Bustin Stones (4-1 second choice) showed the way over the muddy (sealed) track through splits of 23.08 and 46.47. Also up on the pace, were Linda Rice-trained Officer Hutchy by Boys at Tosconova (11-1), who broke her maiden on debut on November 21, and heavily-favored Key Cents winner Big Q by Big Brown (1-2).

Remaining in close touch with the scrum on the lead, A Freud of Mama began a steady advance between horses in the turn. By the time she angled out into the three-path for the stretch drive, she was a clear third. Time Limit still led by two lengths and Officer Hutchy showed no signs relenting in second.

Coglianese Photos

The order of the first three remained unchanged until the final sixteenth, when the extra distance began to factor. A Freud of Mama passed both rivals to take the lead before going on to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Officer Hutchy took over second, leaving Time Limit to settle for the third a neck back.

After six furlongs in 1:12.19, the final time for seven furlongs over the off-going was 1:25.81. First-time starter Bank Sting, by Central Banker, completed the superfecta at a whopping 51-1.

Jorge Vargas, Jr. who piloted A Freud of Mama to victory said, “It was the first time she was getting kickback, so it took her a little bit to get used to it. Once she got into the bridle, she was there for me.”

Jockey Dylan Davis aboard impressive runner-up Officer Hutchy – a Green Polka Farms homebred, and second-time starter – said, “[Officer Hutchy] ran great. She broke sharp and put me in a good spot. I just stayed with her down the lane and she was inching back up and [A Freud of Mama] pushed her to finish a little stronger. She got up for second and I thought she was going to win for a little bit. She ran a good race off the maiden win.”

A Freud of Mama has earned $342,068 from two wins and third in five starts. She broke her maiden second out at 5 1/2-furlngs on the grass at Belmont Park on September 13. Plunging immediately into deep waters, she also finished a solid third in the Grade 3 Matron. The filly was foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia.

Despite her first four starts on grass, the bay filly, whose name derives from her perennially-leading New York sire Freud, had dirt promise in her pedigree. Her dam Mama Theresa, who was bred in New York by Barry Weisbord and Margaret Santulli, was a multiple stakes-placed runner on dirt and a half-sister to two-time New York Horse of the Year and current sire Haynesfield, winner of the 2010 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Mama Theresa, who was purchased by Butler for $65,000 at the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds, has produced four winners from four foals to start.


Central Banker’s Bank On Shea gets the bob in Great White Way thriller

Saturday, December 14th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

On a foggy Saturday at the Big A, with slop underfoot, Shea D Boy’s Stable 10-1 Bank on Shea, a bay juvenile colt by Central Banker, translated a final surge at the rail into a big payday, just getting his nose in front of favorite Dream Bigger to win the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes (NYSS) series. Repole Stable’s Dream Bigger by Mission Impazible lost nothing in defeat, having already valiantly reeled in another stubborn rival in midstretch.

The NYSS Great White Way, which is restricted to 2-year-old progeny of nominated New York stallions, was first run in 1985, but underwent a dramatic makeover in 2019. The contest added an extra furlong, going to seven panels, and received an eye-popping purse hike from $150,000 to $500,000. This race, along with juvenile filly division of the NYSS, the $500,000 Fifth Avenue to be featured at Aqueduct on Sunday, are the crown jewels of the 10-race series which doubled its total purses in 2019 from $1,150,000 to $2,300,000.

The Great White Way attracted a large and diverse original field of 14 which, even after a pair of scratches, represented 11 different current or former New York stallions. The group included everything from a pair of maidens to multiple stakes winner Dream Bigger. Four horses entered in the 7-furlong event on the main track had decidedly turf profiles.

After an even beginning, the horses sliced their way through the fog up the backstretch with 79-1 longshot Colormepazzi leading from post two pressed hard by 20-1 Moonachie, who broke from the extreme outside. With these two in the vanguard, the quarter went in 23.51 and the half ticked by in 46.97 over the sloppy (sealed) going. Dream Bigger tracked a length back in third.

Once the field straightened away for the stretch run, Moonachie took control of the top spot. At this point it seemed that the outcome would be a matter of whether or not Dream Bigger, now in second, could collar the new leader.

Dream Bigger did collar Moonachie with sixteenth to go, but Bank On Shea, who raced midpack early, had advanced his way into contention at the rail. Getting up on even terms with Dream Bigger for the last three strides, he won the bob at the wire, securing a nose win.

After six furlongs in 1:12.34, the final time for seven was 1:26.59. Captain Bombastic, by Forty Tales, rallied to finish third as the 3-1 second choice, followed across the line by the overachieving Moonachie in fourth.

Jose Lezcano, who had the call for the first time aboard Bank On Shea, and won his fourth race on the day in the NYSS Great White Way, said, “[Bank On Shea] broke good, but [rating] was kind of my plan. I saw a lot of speed. I didn’t want to be involved in the speed early. I wanted to have one run from the quarter-pole to the wire, and it worked out today. He got to the eighth pole and I saw the other horse keep running. I said, ‘maybe we won’t get there,’ but finally in the last three jumps, he finished. He handled [the wet track] really good.”

Bank On Shea won his Saratoga debut on July 14 with a closing rally. Off until the Notebook Stakes on November 17, he finished third, six lengths behind winner Dream Bigger. Both starts came over fast going.

Henry Argueta, assistant to trainer Jason Servis, observed, “He had never run before on a wet track, but the horse was doing so well in the morning. We were expecting a big race. [Dream Bigger] opened up a lot, but when [Bank On Shea] ran at Saratoga [in his debut win on July 14] he was covered up and when he got to the clear, he took off. At the top of the stretch, I wasn’t sure but when he started running, I thought he might just get there.”

Manny Franco, aboard of Dream Bigger who had won the battle but lost the war, said, “It was a good trip, but he was going seven-eighths for the first time and he got a little bit tired. [Bank On Shea] came running hard. It was a tough beat.

Bred by Dr. Scott W. Pierce and foaled at McMahon’s of Saratoga Thorughbreds, Bank On Shea is the first foal out of Miss Moultree, a daughter of Uncle Mo who did not race. She last changed hands at public auction when purchased by Ellen Caines for just $2,200 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

Shea D Boy’s Stable came across Bank On Shea at the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds, where they signed a ticket for $110,00.

The $275,000 winner’s share of the Great White Way purse brings Bank On Shea’s earnings to $329,900 from two wins and third in three starts.



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

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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