Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: August 3 to 9

Goodbye Brockley Barely Beats Wegetsdamunnys in Thursday Stakes

By Bill Heller

The finish photo said it all, showing that Hilly Fields Stable’s homebred Goodbye Brockley, the 9-5 favorite in a field of seven ridden by Luis Saez, had finished maybe an eighth of an inch ahead of Wegetsdamunnys, sent off at 4-1 odds under Manny Franco, in the 16th running of the $100,000 Statue of Liberty Turf Division of the New York Stallion Series on Fabulous Fillies Day at Saratoga Thursday. The winning time for the one-mile distance on the “yielding” inner turf course was 1:39.25.

Kreesie, sent off at odds of 3-1 under Jose Ortiz, lacked room through the stretch but rallied to finish third, 2 ½ lengths behind Wegetsdamunnys while a neck ahead of 32-1 Barrel of Destiny and Kendrick Carmouche.

Phil Serpe trains Goodbye Brockley, a daughter of Cosmonaut out of Ladywell Court by Powerscourt (GB) who had finished second by a half-length to Kreesie in her previous start in a seven-furlong turf division of the New York Stallion Series at Belmont Park on June 24th under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Saez, who had won an allowance race on Goodbye Brockley two starts back at Belmont on May 28th, got Goodbye Brockley away a tight fourth as three horses battled head-to-head on the front end – 3-1 Byself and Irad Ortiz Jr., 12-1 Miss Jen and Jose Lezcano, and 11-1 Crashing Connie and Emanuel De Diego – through a half-mile in :50.98.

The field remained tightly packed through early stretch when Goodbye Brockley emerged in between horses and Wegetsdamunnys joined her on the outside. They went head-to-head to the finish line, crossing the line in tandem and leaving everyone wondering who won the photo.

The nose bob went to Goodbye Brockley.

“That was very tight,” Serpe said. “Did we (win)? Didn’t we? I had no idea. My hat’s off to the horse who was second.”

Goodbye Brockley is now three-for-five with one second on grass. She also has one second and one third from a pair of dirt starts, for total earnings of more than $175,000.

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Of course Eric Fein’s homebred four-year-old filly Pink Twist, co-owned by Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Guri Singh and Jerry Walia, won on Fabulous Fillies Day Thursday at Saratoga, where the color pink symbolizing the battle against breast cancer was the theme. With Luis Saez contributing a flawless ride on the 6-5 favorite in the field of six, Pink Twist captured a mile-and-an-eighth $77,000 New York-bred allowance by 2 ½ lengths in a final time of 1:51.76.

Pas de Deuce, sent off at odds of 7-1 with Rajiv Maragh riding, finished second, a length and a half ahead of 5-2 Puffery and Jose Ortiz. There was a gap of 3 ½ lengths back to 36-1 Peaches and Spice and Eric Cancel in fourth.

John Terranova trains Pink Twist, a daughter of Malibu Moon out of Pumpkin’s Pride by Louis Quatorze whose only poor race was an eighth-place finish on a sloppy track with blinkers added May 21st at Belmont Park with Saez riding for the first time. Terranova removed the blinkers and Pink Twist bounced back with a strong second under Irad Ortiz Jr. at Belmont on July 11th.

Saez regained the mount Thursday and he got Pink Twist out of the five post in a stalking second on the outside of 8-1 My Girl Annie and Mike Luzzi. Puffery was a close third. My Girl Annie took the field to the far turn, where both Pink Twist and Puffery made their moves for the lead. Pink Twist drew even with the front-runner as Ortiz sent Puffery up three-wide. Pink Twist took the lead and Puffery moved within a half-length of her before mid-stretch. Then Saez asked Pink Twist for a bit more and she surged away to win comfortably.

Pink Twist is now two-for-six with three thirds and earnings of more than $110,000.

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Dylan Davis wisely took a hold of Old First Ward Stable’s three-year-old filly Mamma White Socks, who was shedding blinkers, to concede the lead to Mama Mary and Luis Saez, then rallied his filly past the tired front-runner to win Thursday’s finale, a 5 ½-furlong $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight switched from the turf to the “fast” main track, by three-quarters of a length. Sent off at 6-1 odds in a field of six, Mamma White Socks won in a final time of 1:04.79.

Carrera Cat, sent off at 6-1 odds under Rajiv Maragh, rallied to finish second, a half-length ahead of Mama Mary in third. Dorothy’s Dream, who went off at odds of 9-2 under Manny Franco, finished a non-threatening fourth.

William Niarakis Jr. bred Mamma White Socks, a daughter of Courageous Cat out of Three’s a Charm by Three Coins Up who is trained by Joe Sharp. Mamma White Socks was making just her third career start after finishing third on grass and fourth on a sloppy track in an off-the-turf race.

Mamma White Socks and Mama Mary broke from adjoining posts, the one and two, and quickly hooked up. Then Davis took Mamma White Socks back to second through a blistering first quarter in :21.93. Mama Mary went on to open a two-length lead, but Mamma White Socks came back at her on the outside and went right on by.

Mamma White Socks now has total earnings of more than $50,000.

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Walking L Thoroughbreds’ two-year-old gray filly Time Warp and Javier Castellano tracked front-running first-time starter Jot and Jose Ortiz for a half-mile, took her on in early stretch and put her away, drawing off to a 4 ¼-length victory in Thursday’s opener at Saratoga, a $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight switched from the turf to the “fast” main track. She completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:24.56. Time Warp was sent off at odds of 5-1 and Jot went off at 3-1 odds in the field of eight.

Honorable Rose, sent off at 7-1 odds under Luis Saez, rallied to be a distant third, 5 ¾ lengths behind Jot while three-quarters of a length ahead of Molly’s Party, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Jose Lezcano.

Joseph Picozzi and Saratoga Glen Farm bred Time Warp, a daughter of Cairo Prince out of Two Hearts by Deputy Minister who sold for $230,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2017 and is trained by Kenny McPeek. Time Warp was making just her second career start after finishing eighth by 23 ¼ lengths under Dylan Davis in her debut at Saratoga on July 25th.

Castellano got her away second from the four post Thursday and she shadowed Jot, who took the lead on the rail. Jot led Time Warp by a length to two lengths through splits of :22.88 and :46.17.

When Castellano asked Time Warp to go after the front-runner, she quickly closed in, battled briefly with her and then drew away to win handily.

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Paradise Farms Corp. and Little Red Feather Racing’s new claim, the four-year-old colt Surface Strike, sent off as the 1-2 favorite under Manny Franco in a field of seven, stalked front-running Dove Shoot and Javier Castellano, took the front easily when asked and drew away to a 6 ¼-length victory in a $45,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer switched from the turf to the dirt Thursday. He completed the five and a half furlongs in 1:04.38.

Cross Multiply, who was adding blinkers and went off at 6-1 odds under Joel Rosario, finished a well-clear second, 12 lengths ahead of 31-1 Ed’s Quick Cat and Carlos Camilo in third. Dove Shoot, sent off at odds of 3-1 from the rail, came home an extremely distant fourth.

Chester and Mary Broman bred Surface Strike, a son of Smart Strike out of Spritely by Touch Gold who is now trained by Michelle Nevin. Paradise Farms Corp. and Little Red Feather Racing claimed Surface Strike for $40,000 when he finished a front-running eighth on grass July 8th at Belmont Park. Nevin freshened her new colt, and he ran huge.

Riding Surface Strike for the first time, Franco got him away sharply from the five post and they set up on the outside of Dove Shoot, who broke on top. Dove Shoot led Surface Strike by a tight length through an opening quarter-mile in :22.18.

Then Franco asked Surface Strike for more, powering up to Dove Shoot and blowing right on by, hitting the half-mile in :45.56 with an expanding lead. He won utterly isolated.

Surface Strike is now one-for-four on dirt with one third and earnings of more than $30,000.

 

Tiznow’s Smile’s Furious Finish Gets the Win at 20-1 Wednesday

Seemingly out of it in mid-stretch, Francis Paolangeli’s homebred four-year-old longshot filly Tiznow’s Smile flew down the center of the track under Joel Rosario to beat favored Lady Bergen and Jose Lezcano by a head in a six-furlong $80,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer Wednesday at Saratoga. Tiznow’s Smile was the 20-1 longshot in the field of six on the rail; Lady Bergen, who had a four-length lead in deep stretch, was the 7-5 favorite.

Baby Boss, sent off at odds of 9-2 with Jose Ortiz up, finished third, three lengths behind Lady Bergen while a neck ahead of 6-1 Sandy Belle and Ricardo Santana Jr.

Charlie Baker trains Tiznow’s Smile, a daughter of Tiznow out of Serenity’s Smile by Dixie Brass who finished fifth by 22 ¾ lengths on a sloppy track at Belmont Park in her previous start July 15th under Eric Cancel.

Rosario let her settle in last as Lady Bergen nursed a narrow lead over Baby Boss through an opening quarter-mile in :22.71 and a half-mile in :45.92. When Lady Bergen then spurted away to lead by four lengths, she looked home-free.

But someone forgot to tell Tiznow’s Smile, who made up ground with gigantic strides and nailed the favorite right on the wire.

Tiznow’s Smile is now three-for-15 on dirt with four seconds, four thirds and earnings of more than $235,000.

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Skychai Racing’s colt Somelikeithotbrown made a spectacular rally around the far turn under Jose Ortiz and went on to a powerful in-hand victory by eight lengths in his turf debut in a mile-and-a-sixteenth $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight on the grass for two-year-olds Wednesday. Leaving at 5-1 odds from the two post in a field of nine, Somelikeithotbrown won in a corrected time of 1:44.51.

Doups Point, sent off at 3-1 odds under Joel Rosario from the outside post, finished second, a length and a half clear of 5-1 Early Retirement and Ricardo Santana Jr. First-time starter Impazible Odds, who went off at odds of 22-1 with Junior Alvarado aboard, checked in a distant fourth.

Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables bred Somelikeithotbrown, a son of Big Brown out of Marilyn Monroan by Tapit who is trained by Mike Maker. Somelikeithotbrown didn’t get to run on turf in his debut, which was switched to the sloppy main track at Saratoga on July 22nd, when he finished seventh at 13-1 odds.

Ortiz had him seventh early in a gapped-out field as 29-1 firster The Glominator and Eric Cancel battled on the front end with Early Retirement. They separated themselves from the rest of the field through a half-mile in a corrected :47.50.

They continued their battle into the far turn before the pack quickly closed in. Ortiz sent Somelikeithotbrown up on the far outside and he inhaled the leaders and quickly opened a daylight lead, one he padded through the stretch without even being asked.

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Racing with blinkers added, Red Storm Stable and Gerard Stuchbury’s three-year-old New York-bred filly Beautiful Buzz rushed to the lead under Junior Alvarado and took five rivals coast-to-coast to win a six-furlong $44,000 conditional $25,000 claimer by 2 ¼ lengths Wednesday. Sent off the 8-5 favorite, Beautiful Buzz won in a final time of 1:11.30.

Another New York-bred, 9-2 She’sakittykat and Joe Bravo, finished second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of 6-1 Elizabeth Nicole and Luis Saez in third.

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds bred Beautiful Buzz, a daughter of Teuflesberg out of Royal Waltz by City Zip who sold for $22,500 as a two-year-old in May 2017 and is trained by Rudy Rodriguez. Beautiful Buzz was dropping in claiming price from $40,000 to $25,000 off a tiring sixth-place finish under David Cohen at Belmont Park on June 24th.

She broke sharply from the three post under Alvarado, who was riding the filly for the first time, and she led Elizabeth Nicole by a half-length after a first quarter-mile in :22.75, then by just a head after a half-mile in :45.92.

Then Alvarado asked Beautiful Buzz for a bit more and she spurted away to a 2 ½-length lead, one she maintained all the way to the wire.

Beautiful Buzz is now two-for-seven with one third and earnings of more than $60,000.

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Javier Castellano rallied Chris Larsen’s three-year-old filly Ailish to a length-and-a-quarter victory in a 5 ½-furlong $45,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer on the grass Wednesday. Sent off the 5-2 favorite in a field of 12, Ailish won in a final time of 1:04.30.

Front-running Truly Courageous, sent off at odds of 6-1 under Jose Lezcano, nipped 6-1 Reconsider It and Joel Rosario by a head for second. There was a length-and-three-quarter gap back to Paz the Wine, who was adding blinkers and went off at 7-1 odds under Jose Ortiz, in fourth.

3 C Stables bred Ailish, a daughter of Twirling Candy out of Sabel Browne (IRE) by Footstepsinthesand (GB) who is trained by Jorge Abreu. Ailish was making just her fourth career start and dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time off fifth-, fourth- and sixth-place finishes.

Castellano settled her in mid-pack after a slow start as Truly Courageous set the pace under pressure from 23-1 Puffin Patty and Kendrick Carmouche through a first quarter-mile in :22.59 and a half-mile in :46.14.

By then, Castellano had Ailish in full gear on the outside, and she stormed to the lead past-mid-stretch on the way to a comfortable victory.

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Siedman Stables’ four-year-old gelding JJ’s Dreaming made it look easy Wednesday. Taking control of the race immediately on the rail under Jose Ortiz, JJ’s Dreaming romped in a mile-and-an-eighth $77,000 New York-bred allowance by 10 lengths on a track downgraded from “fast” to “good” after some earlier rain. JJ’s Dreaming was the 3-2 second choice in a field of five.

Speke, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Jose’s brother Irad Ortiz Jr., chased the whole way in second after stumbling at the start. He held on to be a distant second, a half-length ahead of 20-1 Kerry Boy and Abel Lezcano. Danny California, who was adding blinkers and went off at 8-1 odds under Dylan Davis, reported home a distant fourth.

Mark Hennig trains JJ’s Dreaming, a son of Freud out of JJ Cuvee by Cuvee who had finished second in his two prior starts.

Jose Ortiz got JJ’s Dreaming away in front, and he led Speke by three-quarters of a length to a length and a half through splits of :24.16, :48.05 and 1:13.06. Then JJ’s Dreaming poured it on, opening a gaping lead through the stretch and winning easily in a final time of 1:54.51 while in-hand, giving Jose Ortiz his second winner of the afternoon.

JJ’s Dreaming is now two-for-seven on dirt with two seconds and one third. He’s also raced three times on turf and has combined earnings of more than $115,000.

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Racing with blinkers on, Crossed Sabres Farm’s three-year-old gray gelding Wild Colonial Boy wore down front-running Giant Boo Boo in deep stretch to win Wednesday’s finale, a 6 ½-furlong $39,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, under Irad Ortiz Jr. by 2 ½ lengths. Sent off as the 3-1 second choice from the extreme outside post in a field of 12, Wild Colonial Boy won in a final time of 1:18.81.

Giant Boo Boo, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Irad’s brother Jose, finished a well-clear second, more than a dozen lengths ahead of 9-1 Latin Love Bug and Joel Rosario. Theresa’s Boy, sent off at odds of 10-1 under Luis Saez, finished an extremely distant fourth.

Pucker Ridge Farm bred Wild Colonial Bay, a son of The Lumber Guy out of Embrace Change by Hook and Ladder who sold for $7,500 in 2015 and is trained by Marcus Vitali. Wild Colonial Boy was making just his third career start after finishing a distant fourth and a distant second in a pair of open maiden claimers at Gulfstream Park.

Giant Boo Boo broke well and took the field to a :46.33 half-mile as Wild Colonial Boy advanced into second. Giant Boo Boo had a two-length lead in early stretch, but Wild Colonial Boy closed in, struck the lead and drew away.

 

Therapist Rolls in the Cab Calloway; Now Six-for-Eight in Career

With sublime ease, Oak Bluff Stables’ three-year-old colt Therapist collared front-running Collective Effort in early stretch and cruised to a 5 ½-length victory in the 16th running of the one-mile $100,000 Cab Calloway Division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series Monday at Saratoga. Sent off at 1-5 odds in a field of just three, Therapist won his second straight stakes race in a final time of 1:37.94 on the “good” inner turf course to improve his all-grass career record to six-for-eight.

Collective Effort, sent off at odds of 9-2 under Manny Franco, held on to second, 3 ½ lengths clear of 6-1 Ten Eyck and Eric Cancel.

Trainer Christophe Clement co-bred Therapist, a son of Freud out of Lady Renaissance by Smart Strike who has done little wrong in his career. His only two defeats were a third-place finish in a Grade 3 stakes and a sixth-place finish in a Grade 2. He bounced back off that sixth to win another division of the Stallion Stakes Series by two lengths at 1-2 odds over Collective Effort on June 24th at Belmont Park. Collective Effort lunged in and hit the starting gate in that Belmont stakes race, his second start with blinkers added.

On Monday Franco sent him straight to the front, and Collective Effort led Therapist in second by two-to-four lengths through a soft half-mile in :50.13 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.49.

By then Ortiz had given Therapist his cue, and he zoomed up quickly on the outside. Therapist flew past Collective Effort and drew off in an impressive performance.

“When you have a nice horse like that in a three-horse field, it’s hard to get beat,” Ortiz said.

Therapist is making a habit of not getting beaten. He is now six-for-eight with one third and has earned more than $360,000.

“I know it’s only a three-horse field, but he ran well and was impressive,” Clement said. “He has a very good turn of foot. To win for Oak Bluff Stables is a big deal for me. It’s wonderful to win for people who have a long-term relationship.”

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Closing with giant strides down the center of the inner turf course under Irad Ortiz Jr., Madakat Stables’ four-year-old filly Chestnut Street collared Chiclet’s Dream, her uncoupled stablemate in trainer Chad Brown’s barn, and powered away to a three-length victory in a mile-and-a-sixteenth $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight Monday. Sent off the 6-5 favorite in a field of nine, Chestnut Street won in a final time of 1:44.90.

Chiclet’s Dream, the 9-5 second choice ridden by Javier Castellano, held on for second, a length and a quarter ahead of 16-1 front-running firster on the rail Star of the East and Jose Ortiz. The gray Spring Drama, sent off at odds of 5-1 under Joel Rosario, was another length back in fourth.

Mrs. Gerald Nielsen bred Chestnut Street, a daughter of the late Scat Daddy out of Near and Dear by Red Ransom who sold for $210,000 at the Saratoga Yearling Sale in August 2015.

Chestnut Street was making just her third career start. She brushed the starting gate then rallied from 10th to finish sixth in her debut at Belmont Park on May 10th at 4-1 odds. She then finished second by a nose as the 2-1 favorite on June 24th at Belmont.

Irad Ortiz Jr. settled her in seventh early as Star of the East set a comfortable pace: a first quarter-mile in :24.39 and a half-mile in :49.03. Star of the East was still in front around the far turn but Chiclet’s Dream, who had been traveling in third, made her bid for the lead. Farther back, Irad Ortiz Jr. had Chestnut Street in full gear on the far outside.

After three-quarters in 1:13.86, Chiclet’s Dream struck the lead as Chestnut Street rallied quickly into contention. Chiclet’s Dream opened a three-length lead past mid-stretch, but Chestnut Street blew by her to win going away in an impressive performance.

Now one-for-three with one second, Chestnut Street has earned more than $50,000.

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Busting out of the starting gate on the rail under Irad Ortiz Jr., Darlene Bilinski’s debuting colt Bustin to Be Loved, bred by her husband Dr. Jerry Bilinski and Equestrian Relations, dominated his nine rivals Monday, taking a six-furlong $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-olds by 2 ½ lengths. Sent off at 19-1 odds, Bustin to Be Loved won in a final time of 1:10.41.

In a tight three-horse photo, Just Right, who was adding blinkers and went off at 12-1 odds under John Velazquez, finished second, barely ahead of 6-1 Red Zinger and Joel Rosario. Stop Me If You Can, who was adding blinkers and went off at 5-1 odds with Jose Ortiz up, finished another nose back in fourth.

Gary Contessa trains Bustin to Be Loved, a son of Bustin Stones out of Beam of Love by Private Timber who sold for $80,000 in April. Contessa worked Bustin to Be Loved nine times for his debut, seven at Belmont Park and two on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga. None of the works were eye-catching, which explains how any horse ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., the leading jockey at the Saratoga meet, could go off at 19-1.

Bustin to Be Loved made it easy for Irad Ortiz Jr., breaking like a pro out of the starting gate and setting a sizzling pace: an opening quarter-mile in :21.86 and a half-mile in :45.10. Then he kept right on going, winning comfortably in a spectacular debut.

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Rallying on the far outside under John Velazquez, co-owner/trainer David Donk, Suzanne Haslup and Sean Carney’s five-year-old mare Eloweasel beat Mentality and Luis Saez by one length in an $80,000 New York-bred grass allowance/optional $40,000 claimer Monday. She completed the five and a half furlongs in 1:03.93. Eloweasel was sent off at odds of 10-1 and Mentality was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10.

Alabama Bound, who went off at 37-1 odds under Florent Geroux from the extreme outside post, finished third, 3 ¼ lengths behind Mentality while three-quarters of a length ahead of 56-1 Same Kinda Crazy.

Fox Ridge Farm bred Eloweasel, a daughter of City Zip out of A.P. Test by A.P. Indy who finished second by a half-length at 4-1 odds in her prior start at Belmont Park on July 13th under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Velazquez got Eloweasel away in mid-pack as 11-1 Royal Inheritance and 7-2 Noble Freud, with Irad Ortiz up, battled for the early lead through a :22.42 first quarter-mile and a half-mile in :45.67.

Then Mentality, who had been tracking the pacesetting tandem from third, made her move. So did Eloweasel, who had worked her way up to fourth.

Past mid-stretch, Mentality made the lead, but it was short-lived as Eloweasel out-sprinted her to the wire.

Eloweasel is now three-for-21 on turf with three seconds and five thirds. She also has one second from three dirt starts, for total earnings of more than $220,000.

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In Monday’s finale, a 6 ½-furlong $39,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, David Tanzman, Gustavo Rodriguez and Steven Speranza’s new claim, the four-year-old gray colt Merger of Banks, overcame a poor start under Irad Ortiz Jr. and surged to a 2 ½-length victory, giving Ortiz his fourth winner of the day.

Wheresthebarber, sent off at 21-1 odds under Jose Lezcano in the field of 11, finished second, three lengths clear of 5-1 firster Global Impact and Eric Cancel. Shuffling Madness, who went off at odds of 9-1 with Luis Saez riding, finished another two lengths back in fourth.

Kaz Hill Farm bred Merger of Banks, a son of Bank Heist out of Merger of Equals by Holy Bull who is now trained by Rudy Rodriguez. The new owners claimed Merger of Banks for $25,000 when he finished a front-running second by a length under David Cohen at 7-2 odds on July 4th.

He stumbled out of the starting gate Monday, but Ortiz quickly got him into stride and he challenged for the early lead with Pure Quality, who was adding blinkers and went off at 6-1 odds under Ricardo Santana Jr., through a first quarter in :21.90.

Pure Quality took a two-length lead by running a half-mile in :45.16, but Merger of Banks rallied past him, opened a clear lead in mid-stretch and went on to the victory in a final time of 1:16.97.

Merger of Banks is now one-for-15 with three seconds, two thirds and more than $70,000 in earnings.

 

Sandy’z Slew Beats Disco Partner in the Troy Stakes Sunday

Jose Ortiz put James Riccio’s eight-year-old New York-bred gelding Sandy’z Slew where he likes to be – on the lead – and he scored his third straight victory, taking Sunday’s 15th running of the 5 ½-furlong $200,000 Grade 3 Troy Stakes at Saratoga by three-quarters of a length over Blind Ambition and Javier Castellano.

Sent off at 4-1 odds from the seven post in a field of eight, Sandy’z Slew won in a final time of 1:05.07 over a “yielding” Mellon turf course.

New York-bred Disco Partner, the 3-2 favorite ridden Irad Ortiz Jr., finished third, two lengths behind Blind Ambition, who went off at odds of 9-2.

The 1-3 finish by New York-breds in this Grade 3 stakes came just a day after Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits finished 1-2 in the Grade 1 $1.2 million Whitney, marking what is believed to be the first exacta finish by New York-breds in a Grade 1 stakes.

After the Troy, Ortiz dismounted from Sandy’z Slew. “He didn’t break down, but he took a bad step near the quarter pole,” Ortiz said. “So I pulled him up. I think he’ll be okay.”

Robert Hahn bred Sandy’z Slew, a son of Limehouse out of Charleston Spring by Capote who is trained by Jeremiah Englehart. Sandy’z Slew was stepping back up to stakes company off a pair of open allowance victories, one at Aqueduct and one at Belmont Park.

He shot to the lead Sunday, leading Disco Partner, who was much closer to the pace than he usually is, by one length through a first quarter-mile in :22.58 and a half-mile in :46.22.

Through the stretch, Disco Partner couldn’t keep up and Blind Ambition rallied past him into second. Blind Ambition was slowly gaining on Sandy’z Slew, who had enough left to hold on.

Sandy’z Slew is now eight-for-31 on grass with six seconds and three thirds. He also has two victories, two seconds and two thirds from 12 dirt starts, for combined earnings of more than $680,000.

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Rallying powerfully down the center of the track under Nazario Alvarado, Allie Stable and Kathy Haers’ five-year-old gelding Winston’s Chance upped his Saratoga record to two-for-two, winning a seven-furlong $80,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer by 2 ¾ lengths Sunday. Sent off at 7-2 odds from the rail in a field of six, the Finger Lakes shipper won in a final time of 1:25.03.

Heavy Meddle, sent off at odds of 5-2 under Junior Alvarado, led late but had to settle for second, a length and a quarter ahead of 7-2 Horoscope and Irad Ortiz Jr. Longshot Holy Week, who went off at 38-1 odds under Eric Cancel, checked in another length back in fourth.

Sherry Washburn bred Winston’s Chance, a son of Roaring Fever out of Betty’s Chance by Duckhorn who is trained by Debra Breed. Winston’s Chance finished second by a neck in his previous start under Nazario Alvarado at Finger Lakes on July 24th.

Winston’s Chance was hustled up to second early, but fell back to fifth as Horoscope and 4-1 O Shea Can U See and Jose Lezcano battled on the front end through a half-mile in :45.83.

Nazario Alvarado took Winston’s Chance to the far outside for a clear run at the head of the stretch and he closed powerfully, storming past Heavy Meddle, who had rallied to the lead in mid-stretch, to win going away.

Winston’s Chance is now seven-for-16 with three seconds, two thirds and earnings topping $175,000.

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In an absolutely incredible come-from-behind victory under Javier Castellano, Doubledown Stables’ debuting three-year-old colt Gambler’s Fallacy made up some 25 lengths to win a $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight switched from the turf to the dirt by 2 ½ lengths Sunday. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of seven, Gambler’s Fallacy covered the mile and an eighth in 1:53.81.

Local Counsel, sent off at 7-1 odds under Jose Lezcano, led late but had to settle for second, 6 ½ lengths clear of Okeamo, who went off at odds of 7-2 under David Cohen. Constant Knight, who went off at 16-1 odds under Rajiv Maragh, finished fourth.

Christopher Shelli bred Gambler’s Fallacy, a son of Violence out of Fear This by Ghostzapper who sold for $275,000 as a two-year-old in April 2017 and is trained by Chad Brown.

Panic Attack, sent off at 10-1 odds, set the early pace as Gambler’s Fallacy fell far behind the field. At one point early, he was some 15 lengths off the horse in next-to-last.

Once Gambler’s Fallacy got going, Castellano had to take him six-wide around the far turn, but he kept coming. He got Local Counsel in his sights inside the sixteenth pole, and rolled past him to win going away.

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Barry Schwartz’s idle homebred, the four-year-old filly Miss Sizzle, pressed front-running Shanghai Glory, took the lead when asked by Dylan Davis and went on to a 2 ½-length victory in Sunday’s finale, a 5 ½-furlong $48,000 conditional $40,000 claimer switched from the turf to the “fast” main track. Sent off at 5-1 odds in the field of eight, Miss Sizzle won in a final time of 1:04.59.

Samara finished second, a head in front of Naples Legacy in third.

Charlie Baker trains Miss Sizzle, a daughter of First Defence out of Lady Rapper by Grand Slam who was returning to dirt off an eighth-place finish in her turf debut on April 15th. Baker freshened his filly and she delivered a strong performance.

She broke sharply from the five post, right outside of Shanghai Glory in the four post. Shanghai Glory led Miss Sizzle by a half-length through a first quarter-mile in :22.60. Shanghai Glory maintained that margin to early stretch, when Davis asked Miss Sizzle for a bit more. She responded by taking over and drawing away to win handily.

Miss Sizzle is now two-for-five on dirt, with earnings of more than $50,000.

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Flying on the far outside under Kendrick Carmouche, Beast Mode Racing’s new claim, the four-year-old gelding Fleet Irish, sent off at 11-1 odds as the only New York-bred in a field of nine, rallied from seventh in mid-stretch to edge 4-1 Rockford and Joel Rosario by a neck in a $40,000 open $20,000 claimer Sunday. He completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:23.66. Top of the Page, sent off at odds of 3-1, finished third, a half-length behind Rockford.

Newtown Anner Stud bred Fleet Irish, a son of Dublin out of Mia’s First by Malabar Gold who sold for $30,000 in 2015 and is now trained by Robert Falcone Jr. Beast Mode Racing claimed Fleet Irish for $14,000 when he won by 7 ¾ lengths at 4-5 odds under Manny Franco at Belmont Park on June 30th.

Fleet Irish was far back early as 6-1 No Distortion and Florent Geroux took the field to a first quarter-mile in :22.76 and a half-mile in :45.60. When No Distortion tired, the pack closed in.

The horse moving fastest of all was Fleet Irish, who got up thanks to a perfectly timed rally by Carmouche.

Fleet Irish is now four-for-17 with three seconds, three thirds and more than $185,000 in earnings.

 

Diversify Delivers Again in the Delayed Grade 1 Whitney Saturday

The Whitney was worth the wait. In a powerful front-running performance, Ralph and Lauren Evans’ five-year-old New York-bred gelding Diversify ran his winning streak to three with a dominant 3 ½-length victory under Irad Ortiz Jr. as the 8-5 favorite in a field of eight in the slop at Saratoga Saturday afternoon after a weather delay of more than a half hour.

Diversify is the third New York-bred to win the Whitney, following Fio Rito (1981) and two-time winner Commentator (2005 and 2008).

With a game second-place showing under Joel Rosario, Mind Your Biscuits, the all-time leading New York-bred earner who was carrying seven pounds less than Diversify, created what is believed to be the first New York-bred exacta finish in a Grade 1 stakes.

“The 1-2 finish by proven Grade 1 winners Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits is a historic finish in a historic race at the most historic track in the nation,” Tracy Egan, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeder Fund, said. “And both horses are New York-sired!”

Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding bred Diversify, a son of Bellamy Road out of Rule One by Street Cry who has been brilliantly managed in his career by trainer Rick Violette. Violette had originally planned on waiting for the Grade 1 $750,000 Woodward Stakes on September 1 for Diversify’s next start following an epic 6 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park on July 7th.

“He did not have to run in the Whitney,” Violette said. “Everything he did said, `Run.’ He ate well. He shipped up here well. He breezed well last Sunday and came out of it good. His blood work came back well, so I said, `Okay stupid, stop being a chicken and run him.’”

Mind Your Biscuit’s trainer, Chad Summers, had targeted the Whitney for Mind Your Biscuit’s next start, his first longer than one mile, off his nose loss in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile on June 9th.

Both trainers would naturally have been nervous waiting for such a mega Grade 1 stakes under any circumstances but, along with the fans at Saratoga and the millions watching around the world on NBC Sports live television coverage, they had to wait for more than a half hour after the original post time as the New York Racing Association delayed the race due to lightning in the area and torrential rain.

Earlier in the day, NYRA had taken the unprecedented step of canceling the two grass stakes after the Whitney, the Grade 3 Waya and the Lure, due to excessive rain before Saturday’s card. However, most of Saturday afternoon was dry and the main track was “fast.”

That changed in a hurry when a new storm system decided to invade Saratoga Springs. Horses were kept under tack, pacing inside until the all-clear after lightning had completely left the area. “All these horses were stars,” Violette said. “They had the tack on for an hour in the paddock, and they behaved remarkably well.”

During the delay, NYRA announced that the track condition had changed to “good.” Then it was changed again to “muddy,” and finally to “sloppy.”

When the Whitney field walked on to the track, they were greeted with a loud roar from the fans, most of whom had braved the weather to see Saratoga’s signature stakes for older horses.

When the starting gate opened, Diversify rocketed to the lead immediately, making concerns about early-speed longshot Dalmore affecting the race moot. Dalmore wasn’t fast enough to keep up with Diversify.

Diversify led Dalmore by a length and a half after an opening quarter in :23.22, then by a length and a half through a :46.50 half-mile. Diversify increased his margin to three lengths by running three-quarters of a mile in 1:10.70.

Diversify stretched his margin to four lengths as Mind Your Biscuits advanced into second and tried to close the gap. He couldn’t. But Mind Your Biscuits gamely held off 38-1 Discreet Lover and Manny Franco by a half-length for second.

“I thought Diversify might get just a little bit tired, but Diversify just kept going,” Summers said. “Great job by Rick to have him ready.”

Indeed. Diversify got the mile and an eighth in the slop in 1:49.62.

Ortiz was thrilled. “I wanted to be on the lead,” Ortiz said. “He did everything right for me. He was ready. He proved he could keep going.”

Where he goes next is up to Violette, who mentioned the Jockey Club Gold Cup as a possible target.

Diversity is now 10-for-15 with two seconds and earnings of nearly $2 million.

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Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred four-year-old colt The Caretaker rallied from off the pace under Luis Saez to win his second straight race, a $77,000 New York-bred allowance switched from the turf to the “fast” main track, by 2 ½ lengths Saturday. He completed the five and a half furlongs in 1:03.99 as the 8-5 favorite in a field of six.

Front-running Vistal, sent off at odds of 6-1 from the rail under Jose Ortiz, was a clear second, 4 ½ lengths ahead of 3-2 Call Me a Star and Irad Ortiz Jr. Belleville Spring, who also went off at 6-1 odds with Joel Rosario aboard, finished just another half-length back in fourth.

Kiaran McLaughlin trains The Caretaker, a son of Speightstown out of Safety Net by A.P. Indy who won an open $50,000 starter allowance at Belmont Park wire-to-wire by 2 ¼ lengths at 6-1 odds under Saez in his previous start on July 12th at Belmont Park.

Saez changed tactics Saturday, settling The Caretaker in fourth. Vistal, who broke fourth, was ridden hard on the rail by Ortiz to take a half-length lead on the inside of 19-1 Looking Ready and Kendrick Carmouche through a :22.30 opening quarter-mile.

Vistal sped away to a two-length lead by running a half-mile in :45.39 as The Caretaker rallied into second and went after the leader. The two separated themselves from the rest of the field, with The Caretaker overpowering Vistal and drawing away late.

The Caretaker is now three-for-15 on dirt with five seconds, three thirds and earnings of more than $185,000.

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Dutchess Views Farm’s three-year-old colt Ragnar Lothbrok tracked dueling leaders Toga and Preternatural, blew by them in mid-stretch and went on to a three-quarter-length victory under David Cohen in a six-furlong $45,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer. Sent off at 6-1 odds in the field of nine, Ragnar Lothbrok won in a final time of 1:10.94 on a track upgraded from “good” to “fast” in Saturday’s third race.

Our American Star, who went off at odds of 7-1 under Junior Alvarado, rallied strongly to get second, two lengths clear of Preternatural, the 3-1 favorite ridden by Kendrick Carmouche. There was a gap of a length and a half to Ninja Boys, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 18-1 odds with Luis Saez riding.

Sunrise Stables and Gary Tolchin bred Ragnar Lothbrok, a son of Heavy Breathing out of Lavender Hill by Langfuhr who is trained by Gary Gullo. Ragnar Lothbrok was making just his second career start after he pressed the lead and tired to finish fifth at 8-1 odds in his debut under Cohen at Belmont Park on July 11th.

Cohen took Ragnar Lothbrok off the pace Saturday and he settled into a dream trip in third, two to four lengths off the dueling pacesetters, Preternatural and Toga, a first-time starter who went off at 9-1 odds from the rail under Rajiv Maragh.

Preternatural and Toga went head-to-head through an opening quarter-mile in :22.17 and a testing half-mile in :45.42.

By then, Cohen had Ragnar Lothbrok rallying three-wide to join them as Our American Star rallied behind Ragnar Lothbrok four-wide.

Both Ragnar Lothbrok and Our American Star drove past a game Preternatural, with Ragnar Lothbrok taking the front. Our American Star tried to drive past him, but Ragnar Lothbrok had enough left to hold on.

 

Miss Mystique Rallies to Win Off-the-Turf Allowance Friday

Rallying on the far outside under Rajiv Maragh, Treadway Racing Stable’s three-year-old filly Miss Mystique wore down Stonefactor and Kendrick Carmouche to capture a 5 ½-furlong $77,000 New York-bred allowance switched from the grass to the sloppy main track by a neck Friday at Saratoga. Sent off at 7-2 odds in the field of seven, Miss Mystique won in a final time of 1:05.67.

Stonefactor, sent off at odds of 5-2 under Kendrick Carmouche, held second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Rock Ave. Road, part of a 7-2 entry under Abel Lezcano. The gray Lulu’s Pom Pom, also sent off at 7-2 odds with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds bred Miss Mystique, a daughter of Teuflesberg out of Malibu Mystique by Malibu Moon who sold for $100,000 as a two-year-old in April 2017 and is trained by Leah Gyarmati.

After winning her debut by three lengths as a two-year-old on July 13, 2017, Miss Mystique made five consecutive stakes starts, finishing third twice, before switching to turf, where she finished fifth twice heading into Friday’s race.

She got away fifth as Lulu’s Pom Pom dueled on the front end with Stonefactor through an opening quarter-mile in :22.10 and a half-mile in :46.28.

By then, Miss Mystique had rallied on the far outside into third. Miss Mystique kept coming on the outside and gradually wore down a tenacious Stonefactor.

Miss Mystique is now two-for-seven on dirt with two thirds. Including her two turf tries, she has bankrolled more than $130,000.

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A drop in class was all Lady Sheila Stable, Edition Farm and Janet and Gary Anderson’s beautiful gray two-year-old filly She’s Trouble needed to get to the winner’s circle. Dropping back into maiden company off a fourth-place finish in a $100,000 stakes, She’s Trouble and Irad Ortiz Jr. blew past front-running She Will Rock and Ricardo Santana Jr. to capture a six-furlong $75,000 New York-bred maiden special weight by five lengths. Sent off at 3-1 odds in the field of seven, She’s Trouble won in a final time of 1:12.26 on the sloppy track.

She Will Rock, sent off at 7-2 odds, held well for second, three lengths clear of 27-1 firster Mary’s Gal and Jose Lezcano. There was a gap of nearly three lengths back to More Mischief, the 3-5 favored firster ridden by Jose Ortiz in fourth.

Clyde Taylor bred She’s Trouble, a daughter of Into Mischief out of Roses Plus by Value Plus who sold for $125,000 in 2016 and is trained by Linda Rice.

She’s Trouble finished third by 7 ½ lengths as the 7-5 favorite in her debut at Belmont Park on June 14th, then finished fourth by 3 ½ lengths as the 3-1 favorite in the $100,000 Lynbrook Stakes at Belmont Park on July 15th.

At Saratoga Friday, She’s Trouble settled in fourth from the two post as She Will Rock took the field to an opening quarter-mile in :22.59. More Mischief rushed up from third to challenge She Will Rock around the far turn as She’s Trouble began her rally three-wide.

She Will Rock put away More Mischief through a half-mile in :46.50 before She’s Trouble roared up on the outside with a powerful rally. She’s Trouble maintained her momentum, took the lead and opened up.

She’s Trouble has already earned more than $50,000 in just three starts.

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Manny Franco angled Neal Allread’s six-year-old gelding H Man to the outside in mid-stretch and he ran down favored Sudden Surprise and David Cohen to take a $50,000 New York-bred $25,000 claimer going away by 2 ½ lengths on the sloppy main track Friday. He completed the six-furlong distance in 1:10.98. H Man was sent off at odds of 7-2 and Sudden Surprise was the 6-5 favorite in the field of six.

Global Positioning, who went off at 5-1 odds from the rail under Mike Luzzi, edged 5-2 Ostrolenka and Joel Rosario by a nose for third, a length and a half behind Sudden Surprise.

Eric Fein bred H Man, a son of Musket Man out of Private Port by Sea Salute who is trained by Jeremiah Englehart. H Man was coming off a second-place finish in a New York-bred allowance at Finger Lakes at even money on July 9th.

Franco got H Man away fourth on the rail from the two post as Sudden Surprise set the pace from the three post under pressure from 12-1 For Pops and Jose Lezcano two-wide and Ostrolenka three-wide through an opening quarter-mile in :22.79 and a half-mile in :46.13.

Sudden Surprise put For Pops and Ostrolenka away, but had a fresh challenge from H Man after Franco got him to the outside for a clear run. H Man blew past Sudden Surprise and won impressively, his first victory at Saratoga in his fourth try.

H Man is now eight-for-45 in his ultra-productive career with 10 seconds, five thirds and earnings of more than $300,000.

2 thoughts on “Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: August 3 to 9

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