Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: May 10 to 14

Bareeqa Rallies from Last to Win Her Second Straight Sunday

By Bill Heller

Disdaining saving ground while moving from last in a field of six, Irad Ortiz, Jr. rallied Midwest Thoroughbred’s four-year-old filly Bareeqa to her second straight victory Sunday at Belmont Park. After rallying five-wide on the far turn, Bareeqa ran down favored About That Base and John Velazquez to take a mile-and-a-sixteenth $64,000 New York-bred allowance switched from the turf to the “good” main track by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:47.19. Rallying on the rail, Victor Coeur and Rajiv Maragh finished just a neck behind About That Base in third. Vortex Road, sent of at 14-1 odds under Eric Cancel, finished an extremely distant fourth.

Bareeqa went off at odds of 2-1, About That Base was the 4-5 favorite, Votre Coeur was sent off at 11-1 odds and Vortex Road was 14-1.

Sequel Thoroughbreds and Lakland Farm bred Bareeqa, a daughter of Girolamo out of Arabic Dancer by Woodman who is trained by Danny Gargan. In her prior start on grass April 21st, Bareeqa won an open starter allowance by a length and a quarter as the 7-5 favorite.

Ortiz led her settle in last as About That Base, who hadn’t started since a victory on December 8th, set the pace and Vortex Road raced on her flank in second through splits of :25.02, :50.30 and 1:15.87.

Ortiz sent Bareeqa up on the extreme outside on the far turn, and she hit the head of the stretch nearly even with About That Base. The two fillies battled the length of the stretch while Victor Coeur arrived late on the scene. Bareeq powered past About That Base in deep stretch to win.

Bareeqa’s victory was her first in six dirt starts, though she had three thirds. On grass, she’s four-for-13 with three seconds and one third. Her total earnings are now a tad under $175,000.

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Ben Mondello’s five-year-old mare Lakeside Sunset tracked front-running Krista’s Persona, took over readily when asked by Rosario Montanez, and powered to a 2 ½-length victory while drifting a bit wide in a 6 ½-furlong $47,000 New York-bred $25,000 claimer. Sent off the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven, Lakeside Sunset won in a final time of 1:18.97.

Moondance Joy, sent off at odds of 8-1 under Jose Ortiz, rallied to finish second, 2 ¼ lengths clear of 5-2 Champagne Ruby and Irad Ortiz, Jr. Lady Luciano, a 13-1 shot ridden by seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr., was another four lengths back in fourth.

Carol Kaye, James Boyce and Jeanne Baker bred Lakeside Sunset, a daughter of Bellamy Road out of Sadler’s Sarah by Wayne County who is now trained by John Toscano, Jr. Mondello claimed Lakeside Sunset for $25,000 when she finished sixth in open company on February 2nd. In her first two starts for her new connections, Lakeside Sunset won an open $25,000 claimer by 3 ¾ lengths and finished fourth in a state-bred starter allowance.

Montanez set her up in second Sunday as 5-1 Krista’s Persona and Angel Arroyo set the pace. Krista’s Persona led Lakeside Sunset by two lengths after a first quarter in :23.14 and by a length and a half through a :46.75 half-mile. Then Montanez said ‘go’ and Lakeside Sunset quickly drew even with the frontrunner and went right on by. She opened a clear lead and maintained it while drifting out a bit.

Lakeside Sunset is now four-for-16 on dirt with two seconds and five thirds. She’s also had two thirds from five grass starts, for total earnings of more than $210,000.

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A day after Chester and Mary Broman’s homebreds Highway Star and Bar of Gold finished 1-2 in the Grade 2 Ruffian Stakes, the Bromans were back in the Belmont Park winner’s circle with another homebred after their three-year-old ridgling Undercover Agent won a seven-furlong $32,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer by 2 ¼ lengths under Dylan Davis. Sent off the 4-5 favorite in a field of eight, Undercover Agent won in a final time of 1:26.86 on a track rated “good.”

The gray Rossie Val, who went off at 5-1 odds with seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr. aboard, finished second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Fullback Foye, who was shedding blinkers and also went off at 5-1 odds under Luis Saez. Zaguri, who was shedding blinkers as well and went off at 21-1 odds with seven-pound apprentice Luis Reyes riding, was another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

Mike Hushion trains Undercover Agent, a son of Girolamo out of Unbridled Star by Unbridled who was returning to dirt Sunday off a third in his grass debut on April 15th.

Davis got Undercover Agent away third as 12-1 Lion Sleeps and Angel Arroyo set the pace on the rail and Rossie Val raced on his flank in second through a quarter in :23.51 and a half-mile in :47.61. Then Davis sent Undercover Agent up three-wide on the outside to close in. Rossie Val put away Lion Sleeps, but couldn’t handle Undercover Agent, who took over near the sixteenth pole and won comfortably.

Undercover Agent now has a win, a second and a pair of thirds from five dirt starts. Combined with his third on turf, he’s earned more than $40,000.

 

Broman Homebreds Highway Star and Bar of Gold Run 1-2 in G2 Ruffian Stakes in the Slop

In a New York-bred exacta of Chester and Mary Broman’s homebreds in the 41st running of the one-mile Grade 2 $250,000 Ruffian Stakes on a sloppy track at soggy Belmont Park Saturday, Angel Arroyo and Highway Star edged Bar of Gold and Joel Rosario by a half-length in a final time of 1:39.05. Highway Star, who won her second straight race and fifth in her last six starts, was sent off at odds of 5-1 and Bar of Gold was the 6-5 favorite in the field of five thanks to her five-for-five record on wet tracks.

High Ridge Road, sent off at 5-2 odds from the rail under Jose Ortiz, finished third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Bar of Gold.

“We got a very good trip,” Highway Star’s trainer Rodrigo Ubillo said. “Angel did a great job.”

Highway Star is a four-year-old daughter of Girolamo out of Stolen Star by Cat Thief who brought a three-for-three record at Belmont and a one-for-one record on wet tracks into the Ruffian.

Indulgent, sent off at 3-1 odds under Irad Ortiz, Jr., set the pace, leading Highway Star by a length through a quarter in :23.84, a half-mile in :48.11 and three-quarters in 1:12.69.

Then Bar of Gold, who had been last, launched her rally on the far outside. Arroyo kept Highway Star on the inside and found room on the rail. In mid-stretch, the Ruffian was a two-horse race, with Highway Star making the lead and holding off Bar of Gold.

“This filly ran really great,” Arroyo said.

Highway Star is now seven-for-nine on dirt with one third. She has also raced once on turf and has total earnings of more than $610,000.

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In a wild, blanket finish Saturday, Bran Jam Stable’s four-year-old gelding Nobody Move and Cornelio Velasquez nosed incredibly game front-runner Bond Vigilante and Manny Franco in a 6 ½-furlong $67,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer. Nobody Move was sent off at odds of 4-1 and Bond Vigilante went off at 9-2 odds in the field of nine.

Riff Raff, who went off at 9-1 odds under Rajiv Maragh, finished third, just a half-length behind Bond Vigilante while a nose ahead of 5-2 Curious Cal and Joel Rosario.

Paul Pompa, Jr. bred Nobody Move, a son of D’ Funnybone out of Proud Lisa by Proud Citizen who is trained by John Toscano, Jr. Nobody Move finished sixth in an open $50,000 claimer at 12-1 odds under Rosario Montanez in his previous start on April 2nd.

Bond Vigilante raced to the lead from the five post, leading 5-1 True Bet and Javier Castellano by a length after a first quarter in :22.59. Bond Vigilante stretched his lead to two lengths by running a half-mile in :46.42. Then the pack closed in.

Bond Vigilante had several challengers on his outside and one by Nobody Move on his inside. He refused to wilt and nearly pulled it off in a courageous effort. Nobody Move nailed him on the wire, winning in a final time of 1:19.24.

Nobody Move is now two-for-18 on dirt with three seconds, six thirds and earnings of more than $175,000.

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Chester and Mary Broman’s freshened homebred, the three-year-old colt Can You Diggit, made a wide rally under Rajiv Maragh to win a mile-and-a-sixteenth $64,000 New York-bred allowance by 2 ¾ lengths during a downpour on the sloppy main track Saturday. Sent off at 9-2 odds from the outside post in a field of nine, Can You Diggit won in a final time of 1:47.22.

Dynamax Prime, sent off at odds of 6-1 from the rail under seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr., nosed 9-2 Two Down One to Go and Kendrick Carmouche for second. Third Son, who went off at 76-1 odds with Angel Arroyo aboard, finished another 3 ½ lengths back in fourth.

Jimmy Jerkens trains Can You Diggit, a son of Tiznow out of Mineralogist by Mineshaft who hadn’t raced since finishing fourth on February 24th under Antonio Gallardo.

Maragh, who had ridden Can You Diggit to a 2 ¾-length maiden victory two starts back, got him away sixth early as Conquest Prankster, the 9-5 favorite under Jose Ortiz, set the pace, leading Two Down One to Go by three-quarters of a length through a half-mile in :47.82. Can You Diggit had fallen back to seventh at that point.

Then Two Down One to Go picked up the pressure on Conquest Prankster, drawing within a head as Can You Diggit advanced on the far outside into fifth after three-quarters in 1:12.92.

Two Down One to Go took the lead as Can You Diggit rallied into second. Can You Diggit continued his rally and powered past Two Down One to Go in the final sixteenth of a mile.

Can You Diggit is now two-for-seven on dirt with one second, one third and earnings of just under $85,000.

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In Saturday’s finale, a seven-furlong $64,000 New York-bred allowance switched from the grass to the main track, Jose Lezcano guided trainer/co-owner Rick Schosberg and Clear Star Stable’s six-year-old gelding Toohottoevenspeak to a length-and-a-quarter victory over Fleet Irish and Manny Franco in a final time of 1:26.38. Toohottoevenspeak was sent off at odds of 18-1 and Fleet Irish went off at 7-2 odds in the field of 12.

Lucky Lou Pal, sent off at 8-1 odds under Luis Saez, finished third, 4 ¼ lengths behind Fleet Irish. H Man, who went off at odds of 3-1 under Angel Arroyo, finished just a neck behind Lucky Lou Pal in fourth.

Seth Morris bred Toohottoevenspeak, a son of Stonesider out of Cayerless and Hot by Unusual Heat who had posted a pair of seconds and two thirds in his previous four starts.

Lezcano got Toohottoevenspeak away in mid-pack as 16-1 D’ Eloquent and Chris DeCarlo led briefly before being passed by H Man after a half-mile in :46.60. Toohottoevenspeak advanced into second and Fleet Irish moved up on the inside after three-quarters in 1:12.90. Toohottoevenspeak struck the lead and held off Fleet Irish late.

Toohottoevenspeak is now two-for-18 on dirt with four seconds and eight thirds. He’s also raced twice on grass and has total earnings of more than $125,000.

 

Five Star Rampage Edges Three Eighty Eight in Allowance Thriller Friday

Pushed to the limit by Three Eighty Eight, Late Night Stables’ four-year-old filly Five Star Rampage held on to win a mile-and-a-sixteenth $64,000 New York-bred allowance by a nose under John Velazquez at Belmont Park Friday. Five Star Rampage was the even-money favorite in the field of six and Three Eighty Eight went off at 7-2 odds under seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr.

Zealous Scholar, sent off at odds of 4-1 with Manny Franco aboard, finished an extremely distant third, 15 ½ lengths behind Three Eighty Eight. Longshot Beyond Discreet, who went off at 30-1 odds under Eric Cancel, checked in fourth.

Sequel Thoroughbreds and JMJ Racing bred Five Star Rampage, a daughter of Quality Road out of Genisa by Storm Cat who sold for $175,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2014 and is trained by Jimmy Jerkens. Five Star Rampage was a solid second by a length and a half at 4-1 odds in her prior start on April 19th.

Velazquez settled her in fourth as Zealous Scholar had to work on the inside to take the early lead away from Beyond Discreet. Zealous Scholar led No Hayne No Gayne, who was adding blinkers and went off at 3-1 odds from the rail under Irad Ortiz, Jr., by three-quarters of a length after No Hayne No Gayne moved into second through a :23.87 first quarter. Zealous Scholar’s lead on No Hayne No Gayne was a half-length after a half-mile in :47.29, and three-quarters of a length after three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.87.

Then Three Eighty Eight rushed up on the far outside to challenge for the lead, while Velazquez slickly got Five Star Rampage off the rail for a clear run. They hooked up in mid-stretch and battled on the lead while leaving the rest of the field far behind. Five Star Rampage gamely held off Three Eighty Eight by a nose to win in a final time of 1:45.99.

Five Star Rampage improved his dirt record to two-for-11 with two seconds, two thirds and earnings of more than $110,000.

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Superbly rated on the front end by Joel Rosario, Ivery Sisters Racing’s five-year-old gelding Black Tide made it two-for-two off the claim, taking a mile-and-a-sixteenth $64,000 New York-bred grass allowance by a length and a quarter. Sent off at 3-1 odds from the nine post in a field of 10, Black Tide won in a sharp final time of 1:40.32.

Longshot Nutzforboltz, who went off at odds of 36-1 under Rosario Montanez, rallied for second, nearly two lengths clear of the 5-2 gray Vintage Matters and John Velazquez. Stormin Stephen, sent off at 18-1 odds under Dylan Davis, finished another length and three quarters back in fourth.

Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds bred Black Tide, a son of Hold Me Back out of Turn the Tide by Theatrical (IRE) who is now trained by David Cannizzo. Ivery Sisters Racing claimed Black Tide for $25,000 when he finished seventh on dirt February 2nd at Aqueduct. Cannizzo freshened his new gelding and switched him to grass. Black Tide responded with a 7 ¼-length coast-to-coast victory in an open $25,000 claimer on April 23rd. Cannizzo moved him up to state-bred allowance company Friday, and Rosario maintained the mount.

Black Tide had to work hard to beat 63-1 Fun Guy and Eric Cancel to the lead, and he then created immediate separation by zipping to the quarter in :22.79 four lengths in front. Black Tide maintained that advantage, hitting a half-mile in :45.16, and stretched the margin to five lengths by running six furlongs in 1:09.07.

Black Tide began to weaken a bit while still comfortably in front in mid-stretch. He was leg weary late, but still a length and a half in front of Nutzforboltz at the wire.

Black Tide is now three-for-11 on grass with one second and four thirds. He also is one-for-17 on dirt with four seconds and one third, for combined earnings of more than $210,000.

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In a thrilling starting-gate-to-finish-line duel by two first-time starters Friday, Spa City Stable’s colt Presence of Mind and Manny Franco edged Freudian Flip and Luis Saez by a head in a five-furlong $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-olds in a final time of 1:00.21. Presence of Mind was sent off at odds of 3-1 and Freudian Flip went off at 16-1 odds.

Surprise Wonder, the 3-5 favorite who was the only horse in the field of nine who had previously raced, struggled home third under John Velazquez, 6 ½ lengths behind Freudian Flip. Trinni Juice, sent off at odds of 70-1 under seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr., finished a distant fourth.

Neal, Patricia and Kiaran McLaughlin bred Presence of Mind, a son of Trappe Shot out of Dixie Dawn by Dixie Union who is trained by George Weaver. Presence of Mind had several strong works for his debut, and he went off the second favorite.

Breaking from the three and five posts, respectively, Freudian Flip and Presence of Mind hooked up immediately, with Presence of Mind leading by a head on the outside of Freudian Flip through a first quarter in :22.51 and a half-mile in :46.84. Then Freudian Flip stuck a head in front, but Presence of Mind answered immediately and eked out a narrow victory.

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Confidently ridden by Rajiv Maragh, James McGowan’s freshened four-year-old New York-bred gelding Steve’s Image, who was shedding blinkers, rolled to a 5 ½-length victory in a six-furlong $25,000 open $12,500 claimer Friday. Sent off at 2-1 odds in the field of five, Steve’s Image won in a final time of 1:11.93.

Another 2-1 New York-bred, Bustin the Bank, finished second under seven-pound apprentice Luis Reyes, nearly four lengths clear of 12-1 Non Stop.

Edward Barker trains Steve’s Image, a four-year-old gelding by Ready’s Image out of Queensteen by Bernstein who was bred by Phil Birsh and sold for $32,000 as a two-year-old in May 2015. Steve’s Image hadn’t raced since finishing sixth at 2-1 odds in a $25,000 New York-bred claimer on February 11th under Kendrick Carmouche.

Steve’s Image broke first, but Maragh widely took a hold of him and settled him in fourth as 9-2 Majestic and Dylan Davis, Bustin the Bank and 2-1 Street Shark and Luis Saez battled three-across-the-track through a first quarter in :22.40 and a half-mile in :46.74.

Bustin the Bank put away Majestic and Street Shark, but had no answer for Steve’s Image, who flew past him to win easily.

Steve’s Image is now three-for-11 on dirt with three seconds. He also has one victory from four turf tries, for total earnings of more than $120,000.

 

I Still Miss You Impresses in Debut Victory Thursday

In an impressive debut from the rail under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Gold Star Racing Stable, Matthew Hand and Brian McKenzie’s I Still Miss You dueled first-time starter Caitriona and Manny Franco into defeat on the way to a 3 ½-length victory in a $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies Thursday at Belmont Park. I Still Miss You, who gave Ortiz his third winner in Thursday’s first three races, was sent off at odds of 5-1 and Caitriona, who held on well for second, went off at 20-1 odds in the field of 10.

Firster Forty Nights, sent off at 10-1 odds under Paco Lopez, finished third, a length behind Caitriona while 6 ½ lengths ahead of 5-1 firster Dreams Are Pazible and Javier Castellano in fourth.

Emcee Stable bred I Still Miss You, a daughter of Majestic Warrior out of Lion’s Terms by Lion Hearted who is trained by Jeremiah Englehart. I Still Miss You tipped off her readiness with a bullet five-furlong gate work of 1:01 3/5 on the Belmont Park training track, fastest of nine at that distance on the morning of May 4th.

I Still Miss You broke alertly from the rail, as did Caitriona from the three post, and they remained 1-2 the entire way. I Still Miss You led by a half-length after an opening quarter in :22.80 before Caitriona pushed a head in front after a half-mile in :46.71. Then I Still Miss You put away her challenger and opened a clear lead, winning by herself.

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Deftly splitting horses under Jose Ortiz, Cherry Valley Farm’s three-year-old new gelding Dr. Koy, who was adding Lasix and went off the 6-5 favorite in a field of 12, captured a seven-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer on the grass Thursday by a length and a quarter in a final time of 1:22.98.

Legendary Humor, sent off at 104-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Luis Reyes, finished fast to grab second, a half-length ahead of 9-1 Jegos Fire, who leapt at the start under Joel Rosario, in third. Oh So Sinister, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 27-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Kevin Mendez, was just another length back in fourth.

Crossed Sabres Farm bred Dr. Koy, a son of Blame out of Coy Cat by Hold That Tiger who sold for $170,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2015 and is trained by Christophe Clement. Dr. Koy was dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time after finishing seven on grass, fifth on dirt and sixth on grass to begin his career.

Ortiz got Dr. Koy away third from the 11 post as 29-1 Arctic Schiller and Rosario Montanez battled 101-1 Wintry, who broke from the 12 post under Jose Lezcano, for the early lead. Arctic Schiller led Wintry by a neck after a quick opening quarter in :22.21. Arctic Schiller stretched his lead to three-quarters of a length after a half-mile in a testing :45.35.

Wintry then took the lead as 8-1 Outrageous Bet and Cornelio Velasquez rallied into second. Jegos Fire moved up on the far outside and Dr. Koy waited on the hedge for room. Ortiz found a narrow opening between Wintry and Outrageous Bet, and sent Dr. Koy through. Dr. Koy surged to the lead and held on to win.

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Anthony McCarthy’s three-year-old homebred filly Belle of the Spa made a spectacular turf debut under Luis Saez Thursday, completing a brave wire-to-wire victory by holding off first-time starter Piquet and Javier Castellano by a desperate head in a $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight on the turf. She completed the mile and a sixteenth in a final time of 1:43.99. Belle of the Spa, who was making just her second career start, was sent off at odds of 22-1 and Piquet went off at 7-1 odds in the field of nine.

Yet another longshot, Tizza Temper, who was adding blinkers under Manny Franco and went off at 29-1 odds, finished third, a length and a half behind Piquet. Silly Numbers, sent off at 6-1 odds under Jose Lezcano, finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

Bruce Brown trains Belle of the Spa, a daughter of Pure Prize out of Awkward Beauty by Devil His Due who finished seventh by 14 lengths on dirt in her debut on April 9th. She stepped up big-time on grass.

Saez sent her to the lead from the seven post, and she led Silly Numbers by a length through a quarter in :24.43 and a half-mile in :49.48. Silly Numbers drew within three-quarters of a length after three-quarters of a mile in 1:15.04. By then, Piquet had rallied into fifth.

Belle of the Spa’s lead was winnowed to a head with Silly Numbers still attacking two-wide, Tizza Temper gaining three-wide and Piquet rallying four-wide.

Belle of the Spa surged in mid-stretch as Piquet came flying down the center of the course. Saez had measured the finish line perfectly, and she gamely held on to the wire.

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In Thursday’s finale, a 6 ½-furlong $32,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, Eric Cancel rallied Team West Side Stable and Ann Zabar’s homebred three-year-old filly Party Mint Star to a 3 ½-length victory over first-time gray starter Tapceptional and Angel Arroyo in a final time of 1:20.27. Party Mint Star was sent off at odds of 3-1 and Tapceptional went off at 8-1 odds in the field of 13.

Giant Ending, sent off at 3-1 odds under Manny Franco, finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Tapceptional while a neck in front of 4-1 Desert Affair and Jose Ortiz.

Carlos Martin trains Party Mint Star, a daughter of Desert Party out of Double Mint by Eltish who had finished fourth or better in her five previous starts.

Cancel got her away in mid-pack as Majestic Melissa and Lady Rullah disputed the early lead through a quarter in :22.29 and a half-mile in :46.99. Then Tapceptional swept to the lead and Party Mint Star moved up sharply. Tapceptional held a tentative lead after three-quarters in 1:13.36, but Party Mint Star powered past her and drew off.

Party Mint Star now has a win, a second and a pair of thirds from six starts, for earnings of more than $45,000.

 

Holiday Disguise Wins Her Second Straight With Authority Sunday

Rocketing to the lead under Jose Ortiz, Lady Sheila Stable’s three-year-old filly Holiday Disguise went on to win by seven lengths to record her second consecutive victory Sunday at Belmont Park. Sent off at 3-1 odds in the field of eight, Holiday Disguise captured a 6 ½-furlong $64,000 New York-bred allowance in a final time of 1:17.84.

Royal Inheritance, the 6-5 favorite piloted by Manny Franco, edged 5-1 Decorator Jenn and seven-pound apprentice Hector Diaz, Jr. by a neck for second. Bahnahno, sent off at odds of 44-1 under Mike Luzzi, rallied strongly to finish fourth, 2 ½ lengths behind Decorator Jenn.

Dr. William Wilmot and Dr. Joan Taylor bred Holiday Disguise, a daughter of Harlan’s Holiday out of Thin Disguise by Yes It’s True who sold for $220,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2015 and is trained by Linda Rice. Holiday Disguise began her career with a rallying fourth on March 18th, then won a maiden special weight by a length and a quarter on April 9th. Cornelio Velasquez rode Holiday Disguise in her first two starts.

Ortiz let Holiday Disguise settle in fifth early Sunday as 9-1 Sing for Beauty and Chris DeCarlo set the pace and Royal Inheritance chased in second. Sing for Beauty led Royal Inheritance by a length after an opening quarter in :22.65, then by a half-length after a half-mile in :46.26.

Then Royal Inheritance took the lead as Decorator Jenn rallied along the rail and Holiday Disguise closed in quickly on the far outside.

Holiday Disguise struck the lead after six furlongs in 1:11.27 and opened a daylight advantage.

Now two-for-three, Holiday Disguise has already earned more than $70,000.

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In a field of nine New York-breds, Amanda Laderer’s five-year-old mare Lady Chocolatta struck the lead past mid-stretch under Samuel Camacho, Jr. and went on to a length-and-a-quarter victory in a 6 ½-furlong $28,000 conditional $16,000 claimer Sunday. Sent off at 13-1 odds, Lady Chocolatta won in a final time of 1:20.06.

Mary Pray for Us, the 5-2 co-favorite ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, finished second, a length and a quarter ahead of 5-2 co-favorite Quasney’s Angel, who nosed 3-1 Double Moon and seven-pound apprentice Luis Reyes for third.

Kathy and Mary Jo Herbert bred Lady Chocolatta, a daughter of Street Hero out of Chocolatta by Aptitude who gave trainer Gary Sciacca his second victory of the day. Lady Chocolatta finished a tiring eighth at 46-1 odds in her previous start under Kendrick Carmouche on April 5th.

Camacho settled her in mid-pack as Double Mane led 45-1 Persky’s Spirit and Rosario Montanez by a neck through a first quarter in :23.05 and a half-mile in :47.73. Then Lady Chocolatta, who was fourth, rushed to the lead, hitting the front after six furlongs in 1:13.29. Lady Chocolatta then held off Mary Pray for Us for the victory.

Lady Chocolatta improved her dirt record to two-for-17 with two seconds and one third. She’s also raced twice on turf and has total earnings of more than $65,000.

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In Sunday’s finale, a seven-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer on the grass, Black Duck Racing’s three-year-old colt Heldatgunpoint made his turf debut a winning one, scoring a two-length victory under Luis Saez. Dispatched at 14-1 odds in the field of 12, Heldatgunpoint won in a final time of 1:25.88.

Brooklyn Speights, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Joel Rosario, finished second, four lengths ahead of 9-2 Light the Vow and Chris DeCarlo. There was a 2 ½-length gap to 99-1 Carro de Oro and Jackie Davis in fourth.

Patricia Staskowsky Purdy bred Heldatgunpoint, a son of Courageous Cat out of Acquired Taste by Scarlet Ibis who sold for just $3,700 as a yearling and is trained by David Cannizzo. Heldatgunpoint finished sixth and eighth in his first two starts on dirt.

Saez got Heldatgunpoint away in mid-pack as 79-1 TR Royal set the pace under heavy pressure from 12-1 firster Café Y Blanco through a half-mile in :47.28. By then, Heldatgunpoint had rallied sharply on the outside into third.

Heldatgunpoint maintained his momentum and blew past the dueling pacesetters. He opened a four-length lead and cruised home to win.

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