NEWS: racing

Third time’s the charm for Winston’s Chance in Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes

Monday, August 19th, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

In the 2017 and 2018 editions of Finger Lakes’ $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up, Char-Allie Stable and Kathy Haers’ Winston’s Chance had to settle for a pair of seconds. In his third try in the 1 1/16-mile contest this Monday, the 6-year-old gelded son of Roaring Fever set things straight for his connections with an authoritative victory and a trip to the winner’s circle.

Breaking from post two as the 3-5 favorite in the contentious field of five, the Debra Breed-trainee got away cleanly under jockey Nazario Alvarado and set up in third in the three-path for the trip around the clubhouse turn. Meanwhile Danebury (4-1), having gunned his way out of post four, had crossed over to assume a 1 1/2-length lead. Special Story pressed the pace two-wide.

As the early fractions ticked by in 23.69 and 47.22, Winston’s Chance advanced to within a length of Danebury, took over second from Special Story in short order and drew even with the pacesetter in the far turn.

Striking the front past the quarter pole, Winston’s Chance was essentially home free. He put Danebury completely away in upper stretch and opened his advantage to the point beyond which closers could threaten.

Winston’s Chance stopped the clock at 1:45.35 after completing a mile in 1:38.26. He crossed the finish line with 2 3/4 lengths to spare. Fleet Irish (4-1) rallied from last in the middle of the track to get a neck in front of Big Gemmy (3-1) for the place. Special Story finished fourth 3 1/4 lengths back, a neck ahead of Danebury. Uncle Sigh, Blugrascat’s Smile and Invaluable Will were scratched.

Winston’s Chance began the year in sprints at Finger Lakes in May and June, finishing third in a conditioned allowance and last in the George Barker Stakes. His form picked up with a pair of performances in routes. Second to graded stakes winner Control Group in an open allowance at Finger Lakes on June 25, just 12 days ago he finished third behind two very good horses –  Mr. Buff and Dynamax Prime – in Saratoga’s Evan Shipman.

For his career Winston’s Chance has won a third of his races – nine of 27 – with an additional 6 seconds and four thirds, earning $295,047 in all. Winner of the Leon Reed Memorial in 2018, Winston’s Chance can now put a second black-type victory on his resume. He has four additional stakes placings.

Bred by Sherry Washburn, Winston’s Chance is the first foal and one of three winners from three foals to start out of Betty’s Chance. A two-time winner by Duckhorn, Char-Allie Stable’s Betty’s Chance was bred in New York by Washburn in partnership with Michael Haers. Second dam Erica’s Chance (American Chance) New was bred in New York by Edwin Wachtel and also campaigned by Char-Allie Stable.

In 2019 Betty’s Chance foaled a colt by Honorable Dillon and has been bred to Destin.

Carrera Cat pounces to win stakes debut in Union Avenue

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Stone Bridge Farm and Very Un Stable’s Carrera Cat took eight tries to break her maiden, but once she got that out of the way, the speedy 4-year-old daughter of New York sire Courageous Cat has been virtually unstoppable as she has risen through the ranks.

She upped the ante once again on Thursday when she scored a commanding victory in her stakes debut, Saratoga’s featured $100,000 Union Avenue at 6 1/2 furlongs for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Carrera Cat began her career as a turf-meant runner, placing in four of eight starts either on – or rained off – the grass. In her first “pure” dirt race at Aqueduct last November 8, she aired by four lengths in a 7-furlong state-bred maiden special weight. She improved on that performance next out on New Year’s Day, when she crushed state-bred allowance foes at the same trip by 10 1/2 lengths in the mud

Following that effort, according to trainer John Morrison, she needed some time. “As a two- and three-year-old she had a lot of minor physical issues,” said Morrison. “The race on New Year’s Day, she actually came out with a splint.” Seven weeks completely off and a total of 4 1/2 months on the bench did the trick, as it turns out.

Said Morrison, “When we started back with her, we knew we had a different horse. The time off allowed her to heal and get ahead of herself.”

Upon returning to competition, Carrera Cat won back-to-back races impressively at Belmont in May and June: a second-level state-bred allowance and first-level open allowance. In her Saratoga debut on July 17, she had a four-race win-streak snapped when she finished second by just a half-length in an open allowance. That contest is is emerging as a key race. The winner Special Relativity came back to win Saratoga’s Shine Again on July 31 and show horse that day, Talk Veuve to Me, won a competitive allowance four days ago.

The original field of eight for the Union Avenue was whittled down to six by the early scratches of Pauseforthecause and Flat Calm. On paper Baby Boss, Fair Regis and Carrera Cat promised speed, so bettors gravitated to the two inside fillies, Grade 3 winner Holiday Disguise and Bonita Bianca, winner of last year’s Union Avenue, who were both closers. They were, respectively, first and second choice at odds of 8-5 and 2-1. Carrera Cat was the third choice at 5-1.

Carrera Cat uncharacteristically stumbled at the break, but rushed into contention and settled two-wide, a length behind fellow-speedster Baby Boss who led the field.

Coglianese Photos

Keeping the pressure on through fast fractions of 22.26 and 44.67, Carrera Cat got down to real business as soon as she straightened away in the stretch. She promptly took over the top spot and drew away in the lane before crossing the wire a 2-1/4 length winner in a strong final time of 1:14.93 for 6 1/2 furlongs over the fast main track.

Holiday Disguise rallied in the stretch to out-finish Jc’s Shooting Star by a neck for second. Completing the order of finish were Fair Regis, Bonita Bianca and Baby Boss.

Maragh was pleased that Carrera Cat showed off an ability to pass horses in the Union Avenue. “We’ve been training her a lot in the morning for [coming from off the pace]. She showed in the morning she could, but in the afternoons is a different story. In her previous races, she inherited the lead because of her natural speed.

“We weren’t forced to try to hold a spot today and it worked. She loved it. She targeted the horse in front, and into the turn, she jumped onto the bridle and it felt like I had a ton of horse. She just continued on into the stretch. I just showed her the crop, I didn’t really have to tap her. She’s game today.”

Morrison, who is locally based, said, “It’s very nice to win, especially here. We targeted this race since May, so it’s very pleasing. [I told] Rajiv that she doesn’t have to have the lead. I think stumbling a little bit might have helped us a little bit, because she has a lot of high speed, and I wasn’t sure if there was anybody in here that could stay with her running. I thought she’d be better sitting off of somebody. It just worked out fine.

“I would prefer she break clean, but sometimes she breaks so sharp, you can’t get her back behind anybody. Turning for home and he’s [Maragh] looking around both ways, I felt pretty good. I know him, and I knew he had a lot of horse left.”

Bred by W. S. Farish, Carrera Cat has earned $274,856 from 13 starts, with five wins, three seconds and two thirds. She is out of Top Value, a placed Kentucky-bred daughter of Mineshaft who has produced four winners from four foals to race. Her first foal, a filly by Quality Road, is a multiple stakes performer in Canada. She has a 2-year-old filly by Big Brown named Fudge Brownie who has not yet started and a yearling filly by Quality Road.

Carrara Cat’s sire Courageous Cat (Storm Cat) entered stud at Lane’s End in 2012 before relocating in 2013 to Questroyal North in Stillwater.

No Hayne No Gayne edges Might Be to win Jack Betta Be Rite Stakes

Monday, August 12th, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

The 24th running of the $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares at at Finger Lakes on Monday was a nail biter. It took No Hayne No Gayne every inch of 1 1/16 miles to edge Might Be for the victory. The pair was co-favored at odds of 9-5.

No Hayne No Gayne is owned in partnership by Toby Sheets, ZBS Thoroughbreds, Paradise Farms Corp. and Louie J. Roussel III along with Steve Asmussen, who trains her. She is a 5-year-old daughter of Grade 1 winner, $1.3-million earner and two-time New York-bred Horse of the Year Haynesfield, who began his career at stud in 2012 at Airdrie Stud and has since relocated, first to California, then to Saudi Arabia.

No Hayne No Gayne came into the race as top top earner in the field of the five relatively well-matched fillies and mares that remained after the scratch of Lookin Kinda Crazy. Bet down to 1.90-1, she was just edged in favoritism by 1.85-1 Might Be, by Posse, a 5-year-old Chris Englehart trainee who was returning to the races after nearly 11 months on the bench. Having spent her career downstate, this was Might Be’s Finger Lakes debut. Each had placed in stakes company before, but both were looking for a first black-type win.

After a contested break and trip around the clubhouse turn, it wasn’t until early on the backstretch that the early scrum sorted itself out, with Might Be establishing a half-length lead in the two-path over New Girl in Town at the rail. No Hayne No Gayne raced three-wide in fourth with Elegant Jem for company.

As Might Be led the way through well-measured early fractions of 24.03 and 48.05, the field stayed compact, with four lengths covering the fillies and mares front-to-back.

Might Be maintained her half-length edge until the far turn, when New Girl in Town issued a challenge from the rail and No Hayne No Gayne menaced on the outside, leaving her to contest the lead between horses.

The three lined up across the track and, through upper stretch, each was in with a chance. In the final furlong Might Be clung to a slight lead over No Hayne No Gayne while New Girl in Town was outpaced in the dash to the wire.

The decision was nip and tuck to the finish line. At the final moment No Hayne No Gayne poked a head in front of Might Be to get the win under leading Finger Lakes jockey Jaime Rodriguez, stopping the clock at 1:47.34. New Girl in Town finished 4 1/4 lengths back in third. Completing the order of finish were 25-1 longshot Kateri Empire and Elegant Jem, who tired to last.

Bred by ZBS Thoroughbreds, No Hayne No Gayne has earned $291,721 in 25 starts, with five wins, four seconds and six thirds. Racing primarily at Belmont and Aqueduct, she has earned all five wins in routes. In 2018 she collected a pair of stakes placings in 2018 at Aqueduct in the Bay Ridge Stakes and Biogio’s Rose.

No Hayne No Gayne is one of three winners out of Star Orchid, who also produced stakes-placed filly Orchid Party, who has earned nearly $197,577. Her most recent reported foal is winner Rattle the Stars, a winning 3-year-old full-sister to No Hayne No Gayne.


Front-running Out of Orbit heads Broman-Serpe exacta in Saratoga Dew

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Thursday’s 16th running of the $100,000 Saratoga Dew for New York-bred fillies and mares at Saratoga Race Course produced a satisfying owner-trainer exacta.

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Out of Orbit went gate-to-wire under a heads-up ride by jockey Luis Saez. Closing into second was fellow Broman homebred and uncoupled stablemate Held Accountable. Trainer Phil Serpe saddled the pair.

While the Saratoga Dew was 4-year-old Out of Orbit’s stakes debut, stakes winner Held Accountable was making her second start in 13 days following a seven-month layoff. As Serpe put it after the race, “If we can get something like this done for Mr. and Mrs. Broman it’s good for us.”

The 1 1/8-mile Saratoga Dew attracted a field of six, but since Held Accountable was the only prior stakes winner in the group, introduced some new faces to the New York-bred stakes ranks.

One of the newcomers, Lucky Move, who earned an allowance win at the same trip two weeks ago at the Spa, took the lion’s share of the support and was bet down to 9-5 by post time. Fetching, a lightly raced but talented filly and the only sophomore in the field, was the 5-2 second choice for her dirt and stakes debut. Held Accountable and Out of Orbit with were next in the betting rankings at 7-2 and 9-2 respectively. Cartwheel at 6-1 was stepping up for her stakes debut. A third Broman homebred Turn and Bern was the field’s 13-1 longshot.

Blasting off from the inside post, Out of Orbit established a comfortable lead, then moderated the pace as the field strung out behind her – about 10 lengths from front to back. Unpressured along the backstretch and around the far turn, Out of Orbit kept to her task, preserving a one-to-two length cushion in front of Cartwheel, her nearest pursuer, as she carved out very comfortable fractions of 23.81, 49.01 and 1:13.99. The back-markers of the field were Held Accountable and Lucky Move.

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

Even as the closers began their bids, Out of Orbit never felt the heat. The 4-year old opened more daylight in upper stretch and was never menaced, even as her stablemate made a closing bid in the middle of the track.

Out of Orbit ultimately crossed the finish line 2 1/4 lengths to the good. Held Accountable under Eric Cancel, finished a head in front fellow-closer Lucky Move in third. Completing the order of finish were Cartwheel, Turn and Bern and Fetching. The final time for the nine furlongs was 1:54.09.

Serpe explained how the strengths of each his charges factored into his thinking about the race. “I was a little concerned about [Out of Orbit stretching out to 1 1/8 miles], but she came in here and really looked good and really was training great. Luis [Saez] is just a pro at that because if you’re not getting a breather, that’s one thing. But he slowed it down like he always does on the backside, and that filly can go at that pace anytime. My concern was holding on in the stretch, because I knew that Held Accountable would be coming.”

Saez chalked up the victory to his mount and a good trip. “We got away pretty easy. I knew Lezcano’s filly [Cartwheel] had some speed, but we broke well from the one hole. Last time, when I rode her [on June 21 at Belmont Park], she stumbled. Today, she broke good and we made the lead. She kicked on well turning for home.”

Cancel, aboard Held Accountable reported, “The trip was good. She’s just a laid-back filly who takes her time. I tried to time her right for her run. She was there, but [Out of Orbit] never stopped.”

A 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, Out of Orbit completed her New York-bred conditions in February with a second-level allowance win, and in four subsequent starts nibbled around the edges in open competition, compiling a pair of third-place finishes.

Freshened briefly between April 12 and June 21, she contested back-to-back sprints, finishing fifth in the slop at Belmont on June 21 and a non-competitive sixth at Saratoga on July 24. The sprint starts clearly served her well for the stretch-out.

Out of Orbit is the first foal out of Kibosh, a winning stakes-placed mare by Discreet Cat also bred by Bromans. She has a winning 3-year-old half-sister by the Broman homebred Friend Or Foe named Call It a Truce and a juvenile half-brother by American Pharoah named Not Phar Now. Kibosh foaled a Frosted colt this year and has been bred to Good Magic.

From 21 lifetime starts, Out of Orbit now four wins to her credit with five seconds and five thirds. She had earned $302,478.




Mr. Buff strongarms rivals in Evan Shipman Stakes

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

By Sarah Mace

Mr. Buff, a third generation homebred for Chester and Mary Broman through the male line, towered over his rivals on paper for Wednesday’s 38th running of the $100,000 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up at Saratoga Race Course. As it turned out, a dose of adversity at the gate meant that the confirmed front-runner and 3-5 favorite and was called upon to prove his mettle in a new way to secure the victory.

Coming into the 8-horse Evan Shipman, Mr. Buff had won five of seven starts at the 9-furlong distance of the race. His only real glitch at the distance came at the Fair Grounds on March 23 (or as trainer John Kimmel quipped the “unfair grounds”) when Mr. Buff was basically eased out of the Grade 2 New Orleans H. Nothing ended up being amiss physically with the 5-year-old gelding, so the connections put a line through the race and moved on.

Since the Fair Grounds, Mr. Buff has returned to his usual competitive ways. On May 27 he finished a close-up third after setting the pace in the Commentator Stakes, three-quarters of a length behind Pat On the Back, who was in career form. On June 30 in the 1 1/16-mile Saginaw Stakes he scored the most facile of victories, winning by 6-plus lengths geared down and earning his third career triple-digit Beyer.

The moments before the gates opened on the Evan Shipman did not go smoothly for Mr. Buff and regular jockey Junior Alvarado. As Alvarado reported, the big chestnut got a hind leg propped up on the narrow shelf where the assistant starter stands. Alvarado got out of the saddle while the gelding was put to rights, but even after Mr. Buff got all four legs squarely under him, he did not break particularly well when the latch was sprung. He ended up in the third position early while spotting pacesetter Sea Foam and three lengths.

Faced with the the unaccustomed position of chasing another horse on the lead, the Mr. Buff rose to the occasion. Tracking readily in third around the clubhouse turn he advanced into second midway along the backstretch.

Challenging Sea Foam directly with a half-mile to go, the pair vied head-and-head through the far turn.  Mr. Buff finally shook clear just past the quarter pole and opened up on the rest with huge, powerful strides. Ultimately he was geared down before crossing the finish line a 3 1/2-length winner. Following a half-mile in 47.48 and one mile in 1:37.44, the final time for nine furlongs over the fast track was 1:51.65.

Dynamax Prime (10-1), second to Mr. Buff in the Saginaw, closed from sixth to get the place, while longshot Winston’s Chance (36-1) finished another 2 1/2 lengths back in third. Sea Foam completed the superfecta, followed across the line by Vincento, Gio d’Oro, Twisted Tom and Evaluator. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Alvarado acknowledged the slow break and clarified the gate issue. “Sometimes, you just have to be confident. I didn’t have the best break. I wanted to be on the lead because it seems that’s where he’s most comfortable. But he got his hind leg stuck in the gate right before the break. He wasn’t standing great when we broke, he kind of missed the start. I had to hurry in front inside and be confident working my way through the field, and he was there for me every step of the way. He just does what he needs to do to win.”

Kimmel was impressed to see Mr. Buff succeed while passing horses. “He didn’t break sharp and for a horse that’s got a lot of ‘ones’ in his past performance line, for him to be in behind horses and come up the inside and outrun these horses, I was pretty proud of the effort,” said Kimmel.

The trainer continued, “The most important thing for him is to find his rhythm and he’s such a good moving horse with such a big stride that you put him on the bridle too soon and get him pulling on you, that’s not been very conducive.”

As to the moderate final time for the race, Kimmel added, “The time was kind of weird. I don’t think the track is very fast, but time, like they say, only matters in jail.”

Mr. Buff’s obvious superiority to his New York-bred rivals at this stage, naturally has Kimmel musing about jumping up in class. “We’ve been tinkering of the idea of a nice mile and an eighth, two-turn race, and we’ll evaluate him. If he comes out of this race without any issues, we’ll probably keep him eligible for the [Grade 1 $750,000] Woodward [on August 31].

Mr. Buff is sired by Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred multiple stakes winning homebred Friend or Foe, who is, in turn, a son of Friends Lake, the Bromans’ homebred graded stakes winner who took them to the Kentucky Derby in 2004 after winning the Florida Derby. He has won 10 of 30 starts, with six seconds and four thirds, including four stakes victories, and earned $678,786.

Mr. Buff’s dam Speightful Affair is 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. Unfortunately, her 2019 foal by Friend or Foe, who stands at Smallwood Farm in Virginia, was stillborn. She has been bred this year to Accelerate.

Celtic Chaos wins second Morrissey by a nose

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Two summers ago, Zilla Racing Stables’ Celtic Chaos (Dublin) won the 6 1/2-furlong, $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for older New York-breds at Saratoga with an explosive and well-timed late charge from well off the pace. This is the way he has earned virtually all of his victories.

In Sunday’s renewal of the race, however, he earned his ninth career win and third stakes victory by staying closer to the pace. Already on the scene when four horses lined up across the track in the final stages, the chestnut put his determination on full display when he dug deep to prevail by a nose.

Originally scheduled for 10 days ago on Thursday, July 25, the Morrissey was rained out when a freakish storm inundated an unsealed track, leading to a cancellation of the second half of the card. The original six rivals reentered when the race was redrawn for Sunday plus Vincento, who ended up scratching.

Coming into this year’s Morrissey, Celtic Chaos was in sharp form, winning an open $100,000 optional claiming race by nearly three lengths at Belmont Park on May 31 for which he earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 100. That victory was his first race under jockey Dylan Davis and he lay a little closer than usual to the pace that day. Davis had the return call on Sunday.

After the break, 8-5 favorite Gold for the King assumed the pacesetter’s role from post five, kept to an honest tempo by Eye Luv Lulu to his outside. T Loves a Fight raced in third at the rail and Celtic Chaos (5-1 fourth choice) was fourth.

The order of the top four remained unchanged as the field entered the turn, with Gold For the King extending his lead to two lengths. Celtic Chaos advanced between horses in the bend and at the head of the stretch spun out widest of all.

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

With a furlong to go, four horses were in with a shot: T Loves a Fight at the rail, Gold for the King in the two path, Built to Suit three-wide and Celtic Chaos on the outside.

By the finish line the four contenders were winnowed down to two, with the noses of Celtic Chaos and Built to Suit going up and down at wire. It took a photo to determine that Celtic Chaos got there first.

Build to Suit (5-2) in second, finished a length ahead of Gold for the King who was third. T Loves a Fight completed the superfecta another three-quarters of a length back, while Eye Luv Lulu and Saratoga Giro completed the order of finish. After opening splits of 22.79 and 45.70, six furlongs went in 1:09.33 and the final time for 6 1/2 furlongs over the fast track was 1:15.45. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Davis reported, “[Celtic Chaos] broke a lot sharper than usual and I just wanted to get him in good rhythm. He wanted to get running, so I took a shot going outside and he got it done. He dug in when [Manny] Franco [on Build to Suit] came up on the inside and he really fought to the wire. I thought I was on the losing side, but he got the head bob.”

Franco, on the losing end of that bob, said, “[Build to Suit] gave me all he had, and that was just a bad bob. He just got beat. He ran hard.”

Brad Cox, who took over Celtic Chaos’ training from Kiaran McLaughlin in July 2018, said, “I honestly didn’t think he got there, but the with a photo, you’ve got a shot, and then they put his number up. It was good. Dylan did a great job riding him. He put him in a great position. He’s put him up in the race a little closer the last couple races and it’s worked out really well. I’m very proud of him.”

Bred by Spendthrift Farm LLC and foaled at Cedar Ridge Farm in Pine Plains, Celtic Chaos is by former New York sire Dublin who has since relocated to Pennsylvania. Celtic Chaos’ dam Let Joy Reign, has produced five winners from six to race, including Louisiana-bred stakes-winner Osi Posse and Kentucky-bred multiple stakes performer Get a Notion. She produced a filly by American Pharoah this year.

Zilla Racing Stables purchased Celtic Chaos as a juvenile for $55,000 at the 2015 OBS spring sale.

In 35 starts, Celtic Chaos has compiled a record of nine wins, five seconds and eight thirds with 35 $659,947 in earnings. In addition to has pair of Morrissey wins, he captured the Affirmed Success stakes for state-breds in 2017 and has placed in six additional stakes races.

Kid Is Frosty doubles up on NYSS success with front-running Statue of Liberty score

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

NYRA/Janet Garaguso

By Sarah Mace

Kelly Mitchell’s Bad Boy Racing homebred Kid Is Frosty doubled the fun for her connections when she added an extra furlong and negotiated “good” turf with aplomb to win her second straight New York Stallion Stakes series race on Wednesday at Saratoga, the $150,000 NYSS Statue of Liberty division for 3-year-old fillies by eligible New York sires.

Throwing down the gauntlet after the break, she led the field from gate to wire on her way to an unchallenged 3-length victory. Kid is Frosty is by Frost Giant, currently fourth in the New York sire rankings and standing at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions LLC in Stillwater.

Trained by Brad Cox, Kid Is Frosty came into the Statue of Liberty having never finished off-the-board in eight prior starts. A maiden-breaker on dirt going six furlongs at Aqueduct on February 23 in her fourth race, two starts later on April 20 she made her stakes debut in the NYSS Fifth Avenue, which was run on a sloppy racetrack at 6 1/2 furlongs. She managed to finish second – best of the rest – behind divisional star Newly Minted.

Two starts later in the NYSS Cupecoy’s Joy, Kid Is Frosty tackled a new surface – grass – and added another 110 yards. The experiment was a resounding success. After patiently tracking a front-running long-shot, she hit the lead in the stretch and was able to hold off strong closer Niko’s Dream for her first black type win.

Kid Is Frosty was a narrow second choice in the betting at odds of 8-5, edged in popularity by Niko’s Dream at 7-5, whose supporters presumably trusted that the late-running type would profit from the extra furlong in the rematch and be able to run Kid Is Frosty down. He missed by just a neck in the Cupecoy’s Joy and Kid Is Frosty was spotting her rivals five pounds on Wednesday.

Sharp out of the gate from post 5, Kid Is Frosty immediately showed her hand. She took the lead, angled to the rail and issued her challenge to Niko’s Dream and the rest: “Catch me if you can.”

Leading the field by 1 1/2 lengths through the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch, Kid Is Frosty clocked the early fractions in 24.37 and 48.18, with Bangle Gal (6-1) and Sterling Beauty (17-1) pursuing to her outside.

By the quarter pole Bangle Gal began to fade, but Niko’s Dream, three-wide, was winding up her closing bid, advancing into second from fourth.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Asked for a little more with three-sixteenths to go, Kid Is Frosty responded readily, and kicked clear. She crossed the finish line with a three-length advantage under a hand ride. Following six furlongs in 1:11.85, the final time for the mile over the “good” turf was 1:35.22.

Niko’s Dream in second finished another three lengths clear of Sterling Beauty in third, while Rossellini and Dancing Slipper finished fourth and fifth separated by a neck. Bangle Gal and Subsidiary completed the order of finish. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Ortiz, who had the call for both of Kid Is Frosty’s prior NYSS efforts, said, “The main thing was to relax her and when she broke, she relaxed going into the first turn. On the backside, she was still relaxed. I knew I was going to have something at the end, and she handled it really well.”

The pilot added that he had confidence in Kid Is Frosty going in. “[The turf]’s a little soft, but last time I rode her, I had to make a middle move and she still won. I had a lot of confidence in her today. If I had a clear trip and waited and just move at the quarter pole, I knew she was going to be the best and everything worked out well. She’s much better on turf. She has a turn-of-foot on turf, so I think she’s a little better on that.”

Brad Cox’s assistant Dustin Dugas concurred, but said that one concern he and his team had pre-race was the added distance. “I think she feels at home on the turf,” said Dugas. “I was a little concerned about making the mile today, but she was never in doubt. The plan was to play the break and go from there. I thought that Casse’s horse [Subsidiary] would’ve shown a little more speed, to be honest. I thought she was going to be on the lead but once our horse got to the front, she kicked on and was comfortable the entire way.”

Sporting a record of three wins, including a pair of NYSS victories, four seconds and two thirds from nine starts, Kid Is Frosty has earned $280,834.

Kid Is Frosty is the first foal out of Murmure, a placed runner by Lemon Drop Kid who last changed hands at public auction when purchased for $20,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale by Cecil Seaman. Her most recent reported foal is a 2-year-old full to Kid Is Frosty sister named She’s Grrreat. She was bred this year to Blueskiesnrainbows.

Rinaldi delivers front-running tour de force in NYSS Cab Calloway

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Bond Racing Stable’s Rinaldi (Posse) is wasting no time making a name for himself in the New York-bred sophomore ranks. In his third career start he dealt seven rivals a sound defeat in Wednesday’s $100,000 Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series which was run at one mile over a “good” turf course at Saratoga. This was his second stakes victory.

On June 6, owner/trainer James Bond saw enough to like about his charge’s third-place finish in his Belmont debut to jump straight into stakes company when the opportunity offered. Rinaldi passed the test with flying colors with a convincing three-quarter-length win in the 7-furlong Spectacular Bid Division of the New York Stallion Stakes on June 23 after closely shadowing the pacesetter.

Four weeks later, reunited with Luis Saez who has been aboard since the beginning, Rinaldi added an extra furlong in the Cab Calloway and demonstrated conclusively that his first stakes win was no fluke.

Exiting post two like a shot, Rinaldi (3-1 second choice) was the first to show the lead, only to be joined by Smooth Tales, whose hand was forced by his outside draw.

Saving ground through the clubhouse turn, Rinaldi led by one length along the backstretch run. Meanwhile, 9-5 favorite Funny Guy tracked another length back in third as the quarter ticked by in 23.93 and half went in 48.51.

NYRA/Susie Raisher

Moving well under a loose rein, Rinaldi continued to blaze the trail through the far turn. Smooth Tales receded and Funny Guy began to loom as a clear and present danger at the head of the stretch.

Rinaldi repelled the favorite’s bid and began to put more daylight between himself and rest, ultimately opening up to a 4 1/4-length advantage by the time he crossed the wire in a final time of 1:36.28.

“He broke great, Saez said. “He was sharp and put me right there. He kept me clean all the way. At the half-mile pole, I felt that I had a lot of horse. Turning for home, he just took off for home and exploded. He’s really talented.”

Bond added, “He’s just stepping up the ladder slowly. We were hoping he would handle the distance and course and he answered that call. Luis [Saez] did his usual great job and made us all look good. I left it up to Luis because I’m not the one out there on that turf course. It [depends on] how they’re handling it going into the turn, and Luis has seen and done a lot more than I have.”

Bond feels that he has lots of options with his talented sophomore but won’t be rushing anything. “We’ll see where we go. We’re New York-bred, so we won’t be too overzealous. He’ll [run on] dirt, too. He handles the dirt very well in the morning.”

Bred by Barry Ostrager, Rinaldi is one of six winners from eight foals to start out of Kentucky-bred mare Dynamite Cocktail, a six-figure earner by Dynaformer. She has produced two other stakes horses, led by Hollinger (Black Minnaloushe), 2009 Sovereign Award Champion 2-year-old colt and earner of over $700,000. Rinaldi is Dynamite Cocktail’s most recent reported foal. Bond astutely picked the gelding out as weanling for only $5,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York fall mixed sale in Saratoga.

Bankit resurgent in New York Derby

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s Bankit, by New York sire Central Banker, has traveled further afield than most of his age-mates in the 2019 New York-bred sophomore class, racing on six different tracks in the first 11 starts of his career. He made the first tilt at his seventh racetrack, Finger Lakes, a winning one, coming from off the pace to score a decisive 1 1/4-length victory in Wednesday’s 47th running of the $150,000 New York Derby.

Bankit waged an extremely promising juvenile campaign for trainer Steve Asmussen, winning his second start, a Saratoga dirt sprint, by six-plus lengths. Second by a nose in the Funny Cide Stakes later in the meet, and unplaced in the Bertram F. Bongard at Belmont in the fall, he earned his first black type win with a good-looking 5 3/4-length closing score in the Sleepy Hollow on Empire Showcase Day.

The Sleepy Hollow performance prompted Bankit’s connections to take him on the road. On December 16 he turned heads when he finished second by a head to Kentucky Derby-bound Long Range Toddy in the open Remington Springboard Mile Stakes. Bankit’s next three starts also came in formidable company; the Smarty Jones and Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn and Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Unplaced in these three races, he returned to the state of his birth and New York-bred foes.

Not relishing a wide trip in the slop in the New York Stallion Stakes Times Square on April 20, Bankit followed up with a solid third to New York Derby Rival Blindwillie McTell in the Mike Lee Stakes on May 27. Jockey Eric Cancel made the trip to Finger Lakes to take the call in hopes of guiding his mount to his first victory of the year.

Bankit (5-2 second choice in the betting behind odds-on speedster Not That Brady), got out of the gate cleanly and spent the first half mile of the New York Derby in the rear guard, as Not That Brady led the field through early splits of 23.35 and 47.42, pressed along by 39-1 longshot Almendro.

Navigating the clubhouse turn in the two-path, Bankit advanced into third along the backstretch as Not That Brady enjoyed a solo one-length lead.

SV Photography

Blindwillie McTell took the first run at the leader in the far turn, but by the head of the stretch had company. Just Right made a bid at the fence, Bankit was looking to come between horses in the two path and Blindwillie McTell came widest of all. With three-sixteenths to go, the four stacked up across the track.

Just past the furlong marker, Bankit – undaunted by close quarters and some late-stage bumping – began to draw off as the quartet sorted themselves out.

Bankit drove clear, hitting the finish line a 1 1/4 length winner in a final time of 1:45.97. Not That Brady persisted, holding well to finish second, while 11-1 shot Just Right got third another half length back. Blindwillie McTell (5-2) completed the superfecta. [VIDEO REPLAY]

The New York Derby was originally scheduled to be run last Saturday, but the card was cancelled due to excessive heat.

Bred by Hidden Brook Farm, LLC in partnership with Blue Devil Racing, Bankit is the first foal and lone starter to date out of Sister in Arms, a Florida-bred mare by Colonel John. Blue Devil purchased the mare, as a Saratoga preferred yearling in 2012 for $125,000. She went on to win a pair of turf contests before moving on to broodmare duty. Since foaling Bankit, she has produced a juvenile colt by Awesome Again named Clifton Park and a yearling filly by Animal Kingdom. She did not bring her Hard Spun foal to term in 2019.

Bankit, who has now earned an impressive $468,625 in 12 starts from three wins, three seconds and a third, was well-received in two trips through the sales ring. As a yearling he brought $85,000 from SGV Thoroughbreds at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale. The following year he sold to Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC for $260,000 after turning in a furlong move in :10 2/5 at OBS March sale.



Wait a Minute springs upset in New York Oaks

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

Photos: SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Richie Rich Racing Stable and Jackie Stauffer’s Finger Lakes-based Wait a Minute carried the local hopes into Wednesday’s 33rd running of the $75,000 New York Oaks for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Given a 5-2 chance to beat her three rivals and overshadowed in the betting by downstate invader and 1-5 favorite Espresso Shot, Wait a Minute, who is also trained by Jackie Stauffer, pressed the pace early, took control along the backstretch and turned back the favorite’s bid before posting a 2-length victory.

A bay daughter of Discreetly Mine, Wait a Minute has been facing stakes company ever since her winning debut on October 1, 2018, with the best result to date coming when, in her first start against winners, she ran second to the talented Sassy Agnes in the Shesastonecoldfox Stakes at Finger Lakes last October. The filly rounded off her juvenile campaign in the Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct where she made no impact.

Returning to competition at three in Finger Lakes’ Niagara Stakes on June 17, Wait a Minute appeared to need a race, finishing 13 lengths behind winner Miss Lily. Next out, however, she put Farmington on notice. Stretching out to two turns for the first time and going 1 mile and 70 yards, she absolutely demolished a “non-winners of two lifetime” allowance field, posting an eye-popping 23 1/4-length victory.

Sharp out of the gate, Wait a Minute began the 1 1/16-mile journey of the New York Derby by pressing pacesetter Awillaway to her inside through an opening quarter mile in 23.81. Two-wide through the clubhouse turn, early along the backstretch Wait a Minute put away Awillaway, opened up a length and completed the half-mile in 47.45 on the lead.

Late-running Espresso Shot, who stumbled at the start, began her bid on the backstretch and advanced from last into second at the rail, getting on nearly even terms with Wait a Minute by the head of the stretch.

The two battled in upper stretch, but in the final furlong Wait a Minute dug in two-wide, under jockey Jose Baez, reclaimed a clear lead and cruised home unchallenged to win by 2 lengths. Espresso Shot had to settle for second, finishing 5 lengths ahead of Elegant Zip in third who finished well in advance of Willaway.

After a mile in 1:48.17, the final time for the 1 1/16 miles over the fast track. Presumptive favorite Newly Minted was scratched. [VIDEO REPLAY]

The New York Oaks was originally scheduled to be run last Saturday, but the card was cancelled due to excessive heat.

Bred by Gary and Stacy Machiz and foaled at Majestic View Farms International in Gardiner, Wait a Minute is the most recent reported foal out of Brazilian-bred Ess Brilha (Roi Normand). She produced seven winners from eight foals to start and Wait A Minute is her first offspring to earn black type. Her most outstanding foal previously was New Jersey-bred Papadopalous, a gelding by Mutakddim who has earned $214,873 in 44 starts.

Wait a Minute changed hands once at public auction, bring $10,000 form Nick J. Hines at the 2018 OBS open horses of racing age sale. From three wins and a second-place finish in six starts she has earned $83,329.