Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: April 19 & 20

Repole Stables’ Analyze the Odds and Surprise Wonder Run 1-2

By Bill Heller

Sent off the 1-5 favored entry in a 4 ½-furlong $100,000 maiden special weight for two-year-olds, Repole Stable’s colts Analyze the Odds and Surprise Wonder ran 1-2 at Aqueduct Thursday. Analyze the Odds took a brief early lead under Irad Ortiz, Jr., surrendered it to Magnanimus Man, then flew by him late to win by 4 ½ lengths in a final time of :52.53. Surprise Wonder and John Velazquez rallied from last to finish second, edging Magnanimus Man, who was sent off at odds of 7-2 under seven-pound apprentice Rayan Gazader, by a head.

Todd Pletcher trains both Analyze the Odds and Surprise Wonder. Lansdowne Thoroughbreds bred Analyze the Odds, a colt by Overanalyze out of The Sense Angel by Mineshaft who sold for just $15,000 as a yearling last October.

Analyze the Odds broke sharply to lead briefly before Magnanimus Man streaked past him. Magnanimus Man stretched a neck lead after a first quarter in :23.18 to 2 ½ lengths by running a half-mile in :46.54. Then Analyze the Odds went after Magnanimus Man. He zoomed past him to open a gaping lead. Surprise Wonder closed powerfully to get up for second.

By winning the second of eight $100,000 maiden races offered by NYRA this spring, Analyze the Odds earned a $7,500 breeder award and $5,000 owner award, in addition to a $7,000 owner bonus. Including the $50,000 purse, that’s $69,500 earned by the Repole homebred just for winning his debut. Todd Pletcher also earned a $3,000 trainer bonus for the win, plus another $2,000 bonus for Surprise Wonder’s second-place finish. In addition to his $20,000 purse, Surprise Wonder earned a $3,000 breeder award and a $4,000 owner award, plus a $4,500 owner bonus. That’s a total of $33,500 earned by Surprise Wonder for finishing second in a maiden race. In all, Repole Stable earned a remarkable $101,000 in purses, awards and bonuses from this race alone, proving once again that it truly pays to breed and race New York-breds.


Cleverly rated on the front end by Angel Arroyo, John Mahr’s idle five-year-old New York-bred mare Rockin Alli trounced seven opponents, winning a one-mile $50,000 open $32,000 claimer on the grass by 3 ¼ lengths. Sent off at 4-1 odds, Rockin Alli won in a final time of 1:36.80.

Comet Sixty Two, sent off at odds of 3-1 under Rajiv Maragh, finished second, a length ahead of 5-1 Nisharora and Eric Cancel.

Duncan Lloyd bred Rockin Alli, a daughter of Stonesider out of All About Allison by City Zip who is trained by Raymond Handal. Her 12-1 morning line odds Thursday were surprising considering she had two victories, a second and a third in four prior starts out of town, the last on February 24.

Arroyo got her away first from the three post, and she led 5-1 La Inseperada and Irad Ortiz, Jr. by three-quarters of a length through a quarter in :24.55, a half-mile in :49.92 and three-quarters in 1:14.21. Arroyo then asked his mare for more and she opened up on the field impressively, drawing away by running her final quarter-mile in a sparkling :22.59.

Rockin Alli is now five-for-14 on grass with one second and one third. She also had three thirds from six starts on dirt, for combined earnings of nearly $120,000.


Getting a perfect setup for his patented late kick, owner/trainer Steve Klesaris’ new claim, the nine-year-old New York-bred gelding Bug Juice, rolled to his 18th career victory Thursday, winning a seven-furlong $40,000 open $20,000 claimer by three-quarters of a length under Irad Ortiz, Jr. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of five, Bug Juice won in a final time of 1:25.57 to hike his career earnings to more than $800,000.

Point Hope, sent off at odds of 9-2 from the rail under seven-pound apprentice Luis Reyes, closed quickly on the rail to finish second, 6 ¼ lengths ahead of Tasunke Witco, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Angel Arroyo.

Milfer Farm bred Bug Juice, a son of Mingun out of Twilight Empress by Twilight Agenda. Klesaris claimed him for $16,000 when he finished fourth at 3-1 odds on March 31st.

Ortiz settled Bug Juice in last early as 9-1 Marble Falls and 2-1 Monster Mash dueled on the front end through a quarter in :23.05 and a half-mile in :46.37. Ortiz then swung Bug Juice, who had moved up to third on the rail, outside for a clear run at the leaders. Bug Juice kicked in quickly, opened a three-length lead and cruised home.

Bug Juice is now 15-for-56 on dirt with three seconds and six thirds. He also has two thirds from four turf tries, and three wins, one second and two thirds from six starts on synthetic, for combined earnings of more than $805,000.


Taking full advantage when Mo Focused bolted to the outside fence in early stretch, Island Whirl Racing’s three-year-old colt Cournoyer won a one-mile $31,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer by 2 ¼ lengths. Dispatched at 6-1 odds in the field of eight, Cournoyer won in a final time of 1:37.46.

Mo Focused, who was dead even with Cournoyer, racing shoulder-to-shoulder at the top of the stretch, bolted when struck once left-handed by Manny Franco, angled out to the outside fence, and still finished a well-clear second as the 4-5 favorite, 14 ¼ lengths ahead of 6-1 Nut Nut and Angel Arroyo in third. The Donald Problem, a 47-1 shot piloted by Pablo Fragoso, was another length and a quarter back in fourth.

Mares Rule II bred Cournoyer, a son of Shackleford out of Spanish Post by Flatter who sold for $190,000 as a yearling in August 2015 and is now trained by Chris Englehart. Island Whirl Racing claimed Cournoyer for $25,000 when he finished fourth as the 6-5 favorite in a route race on March 19th. In his first start for his new connections on April 2nd, Cournoyer finished fourth with Lasix added in a maiden $40,000 claimer at 9-2 odds. Despite the drop in maiden claiming price Thursday, he went off at higher odds.

Cournoyer broke well from the six post and dueled with Mo Focused early. Cournoyer led Mo Focused by less than a length through a quarter in :22.96 and a half-mile in :46.08. Around the far turn, Mo Focused drew closer despite trying to get out.

Mo Focused seemed fine coming out of the far turn and drew even with Cournoyer. But when Franco hit him once left-handed, Mo Focused angled out sharply and wound up near the outside fence. Franco never gave up on him and he held on for second easily.

Cournoyer is now one-for-five with more than $20,000 in earnings.


Passing hoses quickly in the final sixteenth of a mile, Francis Paolangeli’s idle homebred Tiznow’s Smile rallied to a length-and-a-quarter victory under Manny Franco in a seven-furlong $57,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $75,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies Thursday. Sent off the 2-1 favorite in a field of six, Tiznow’s Smile won in a final time of 1:25.34.

Satin Sheets, sent off at odds of 3-1 under Kendrick Carmouche, nosed 7-1 front-running Zealous Scholar and Eric Cancel for second. Overnegotiate, who went off at 5-2 odds from the rail under Rajiv Maragh, finished another 1 ¾ lengths back in fourth.

Charlie Baker trains Tiznow’s Smile, a daughter of Tiznow out of Serenity’s Smile by Dixie Brass who was dropping into allowance company off a second-place finish in a stakes at 3-1 odds, her fifth consecutive in-the-money finish, on December 30th. Baker did a great job getting his filly to fire off a near-four-month layoff.

Tiznow’s Smile got away fifth as Zealous Scholar set the pace under pressure from Satin Sheets through a quarter in :23.79, a half-mile in :47.83 and three-quarters in 1:12.26. They continued to battle as Tiznow’s Smile arrived on the scene on the far outside. Tiznow’s Smile powered past the two front-runners to win going away.

Tiznow’s Smile is now two-for-seven with three seconds, one third and earnings topping $150,000.


Jake and Todd Pletcher’s One Last Cast Wins a $100,000 Maiden Race Wednesday

Racing more like a seasoned pro than a two-year-old debuting filly, Jake and Todd Pletcher’s homebred New York-bred One Last Cast flew past favored Shivoo inside the sixteenth pole and drew off to a 3 ¼-length victory under Irad Ortiz, Jr. in Wednesday’s opener at Aqueduct, a $100,000 maiden special weight. She completed the 4 1/2 furlongs in :54.53. One Last Cast was sent off at odds of 4-1 and Shivoo was the even-money favorite in a field of six first-time starters under Rajiv Maragh.

Shivoo salvaged second, a half-length ahead of 7-2 New York-bred Analyzeyurspending and John Velazquez.

Todd Pletcher trains One Last Cast, a daughter of Algorithms out of Firsttotheline by First Samurai that he co-bred with his father Jake.

One Last Cast broke first on the rail, but Ortiz took him back as Shivoo shot to the lead. One Last Cast and 4-1 Bangle alternated in second and third, a length and a half behind Shivoo after an opening quarter mile in :23.30. Shivoo stretched her lead to 2 ½ lengths as One Last Cast rallied into second after a half-mile in :47.97. Ortiz asked his filly for more in mid-stretch and she responded quickly, closing the gap before blowing by the frontrunner in deep stretch.

This was the first of eight maiden races each with $100,000 purses that will be offered this spring as part of NYRA’s ongoing program for two-year-olds leading up to the Astoria and Tremont, run on June 8 and 9 as the first juvenile stakes of the year. In addition, bonuses worth a total of $20,000 will be offered to the owner and trainer of NY-breds that finish first, second or third in any state-bred or open maiden juvenile race held during the Aqueduct spring and Belmont spring-summer meets. Under the bonus program, supported in partnership with the NY Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, owners receive $7,000 for a first-place finish, $4,500 for second and $2,500 for third. Trainers receive a bonus of $3,000 for first, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third.

By winning the race, One Last Cast earned a $50,000 purse, a $7,500 breeder award and a $5,000 owner award for Jake and Todd Pletcher. They also received the $7,000 owner bonus for their win, and Todd Pletcher earned the $3,000 trainer bonus. That’s $72,500 in total earned by the Pletchers for winning NYRA’s first two-year-old race of the season. Pletcher also earned a $1,000 trainer bonus for Analyzeyurspending’s third-place finish, and owner-breeder Repole Stable earned $1,750 in Fund awards in addition to the $10,000 purse. Not a bad start for these NY-bred two-year-olds.


Cleverly ridden by Junior Alvarado, Sean Shay’s three-year-old gray colt Terry O Geri overtook dueling pacesetters Wrong Ben and Horoscope and went on to a 4 ½-length victory in a $57,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $75,000 claimer. He completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:24.20. Terry O Geri was sent off at odds of 7-1, Wrong Ben went off at 7-2 odds under Rajiv Maragh, and Horoscope was the even-money favorite in the field of five ridden by Manny Franco.

Horoscope was a clear second, 6 ¼ lengths ahead of 4-1 Mollica and Cornelio Velasquez. There was a gap of 4 ¼ lengths back to Wrong Ben in fourth.

Sequel Thoroughbreds and JMJ Racing Stable bred Terry O Geri, a son of Freud out of Throbbin’ Heart by Smoke Glacken who is trained by Gary Contessa. Terry O Geri battled on the front end and tired to finish fourth in his previous start at 21-1 odds with Alvarado aboard for the first time on April 2nd.

Alvarado changed tactics Wednesday, letting Terry O Geri settle in third as Wrong Ben and Horoscope hooked up immediately after breaking from adjoining posts. Under heavy pressure from Horoscope, Wrong Ben led by a head to a neck through splits of :23.10 and :45.99. Then Terry O Geri, who had been 2 ½ lengths behind the leaders, geared up three-wide.

Wrong Ben led Horoscope by a head with Terry O Geri closing in on the far outside after three-quarters in 1:10.94. Horoscope finally put away Wrong Ben but couldn’t hold off Terry O Geri, who drew off and won in hand.

Terry O Geri, who finished 10th on turf in his debut, is now two-for-three on dirt with earnings topping $60,000.


Guyana Rocky LLC’s five-year-old mare Abounding Spirit shadowed front-running Frostie Anne, struck the lead readily when asked by Chris DeCarlo and captured a one-mile $57,000 New York-bred allowance by a length and a half Wednesday. Sent off the 5-2 third choice in a field of six, Abounding Spirit won in a final time of 1:39.03.

Five Star Rampage, sent off at odds of 9-2 under John Velasquez, rallied to finish a clear second, four lengths ahead of 2-1 Three Eighty Eight and Irad Ortiz, Jr. His Girl Friday, a 37-1 shot piloted by Dalton Brown, finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

T Scott Brawley bred Abounding Spirit, a daughter of Read the Footnotes out of Halle’s Aptitude by Aptitude who is trained by Randi Persaud. Guyana Rocky claimed Abounding Spirit for $16,000 when she finished second on March 17th. In her first two starts for her new connections, Abounding Spirit finished first by 6 ¾ lengths and second by a half-length in a pair of open $16,000 claimers.

Abounding Spirit set up on the flank of front-running Frostie Anne, who was sent off at 2-1 odds from the rail under seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr. Frostie Anne led Abounding Spirit by less than a length through splits of :24.11 and :47.48. Then Abounding Spirit took over, hitting three-quarters in 1:12.35. She opened a two-length lead and cruised home comfortably in front.

Abounding Spirit improved her record to eight-for-29 with eight seconds, five thirds and earnings of a tad under $170,000.


In a seven-furlong $40,000 open $20,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies Wednesday, Aron Yagoda’s New York-bred Gobi wore down front-running Shesmyheartandsoul and went on to a length-and-a-quarter victory under seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr. Sent off at 3-1 odds from the rail in a field of eight, Gobi won in a final time of 1:26.14.

New York-bred Salori’s Bank, a 30-1 shot ridden by Dylan Davis, rallied strongly to finish second, a neck in front of 9-1 New York-bred Preziosa and Irad Ortiz, Jr. Shesmyheartandsoul held on for fourth, nearly two lengths behind Preziosa.

Linda Rice trains Gobi, a daughter of D’ Funnybone out of Star Forty Nine by Luhuk who was bred by Dan Bearden. Gobi finished third in her three-year-old debut on March 12th.

Gobi got away fourth as Shesmyheartandsoul led by two to three lengths through a quarter in :22.94 and a half-mile in :46.19. Gobi moved up to second, then hooked up with the frontrunner. Gobi kept the pressure on and cleared Shesmyheartandsoul past mid-stretch.

Gobi is now two-for-four with one third and more than $35,000 in earnings.


In Wednesday’s accident-marred finale, seven-pound apprentice Luis Reyes rushed Heart of Success Racing Stables’ six-year-old mare Double Mane to the lead and she dominated 10 opponents, winning a six-furlong $31,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer by 3 ¼ lengths at 26-1 odds.

Jockey Dylan Davis was unseated from his mount, Little Chiseler, in the middle of the race and taken to first aid for evaluation.

Sapporo, the even-money favorite in the field of 11 ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, rallied late to finish second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of 2-1 Party Mint Star and seven-pound apprentice Addiel Ayala. Verona Blue, sent off at odds of 88-1 under Davis’ sister Jackie, finished fourth. An objection against the second-place finisher Sapporo by Party Mint Star’s trainer Carlos Martin was not allowed by the stewards.

C.R. Figueroa, Jr. trains Double Mane, a daughter of Here’s Zealous out of Bass Lake by Hennessy who was bred by Kaz Hill Farm. Double Mane had shown speed before tiring to ninth in her prior start on March 20th, her first race since mid-July, at 9-1 odds. Bettors didn’t seem impressed Wednesday, sending her off at nearly three times those odds.

Reyes hustled Double Mane past Verona Blue to take the lead after an opening quarter in :22.57. Double Mane led by a length and a half after a half-mile in :46.57, stretched the margin to more than four lengths and won by herself geared down in a final time of 1:13.60.

Double Mane is now one-for-13 on dirt with five thirds and earnings of more than $35,000.

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