Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: October 11 to 17

Five Star Bunt Scores Easily at 1-5 in Off-the-Turf Allowance Wednesday

By Bill Heller

Sent off the 1-5 favorite in a field of just four under Irad Ortiz Jr., John McCarthy Jr.’s three-year-old gelding Five Star Bunt cruised to a five-length victory Wednesday at Belmont Park in a six-furlong $66,000 New York-bred allowance switched from the turf to the “fast” main track. Five Star Bunt won in-hand late in a final time of 1:10.81 to give Ortiz his third victory of the day.

Washu Warrior, sent off at odds of 5-1 under Jose Lezcano, finished second, a length and a half ahead of front-running 5-1 Foolish Ghost and Luis Saez.

Barry Weisbord and Colts Neck Stable bred Five Star Bunt, a son of Posse out of Skye Castles by Sky Classic who sold for $40,000 as a yearling in October 2016 and is trained by Linda Rice. Five Star Bunt finished second by a length and a quarter under Ortiz in his previous race in the same company at 2-1 odds on September 29th. That was Five Star Bunt’s first race since the end of June, and he stepped forward big-time in his second race back Wednesday.

Ortiz got Five Star Bunt away second as Foolish Ghost led by a length and a half through a first quarter-mile in :22.63. Then Five Star Bunt closed in around the far turn.

He blasted past Foolish Ghost and won easily while being taken in-hand late.

Five Star Bunt is now three-for-nine on dirt with one second and one third. He also has one second from two turf tries, for total earnings of more than $140,000.

 

Byself Gets Through on the Rail to Win Allowance Sunday

Rallying along the rail under Luis Saez, My Meadowview Farm’s homebred three-year-old filly Byself edged Cartwheel and Jose Lezcano by three-quarters of a length in a seven-furlong $70,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park. Byself was the 9-5 favorite on the rail and Cartwheel was sent off at odds of 6-1 from the outside post in a field of seven.

Noble Freud, who went off at 3-1 odds under Irad Ortiz Jr., finished third, one length behind Cartwheel while a neck in front of 8-1 Satin Sheets and David Cohen.

Rick Violette trains Byself, a daughter of Noble Causeway out of Besige by Polish Numbers who finished second by a length and a quarter under Jose Ortiz in her previous start on September 7th.

Riding Byself for the first time, Saez let her race off the pace as Noble Freud set the tempo and Cartwheel chased in second through a first quarter-mile in :22.96. Cartwheel made an early move for the lead and made it after a half-mile in :46.33.

Cartwheel opened a two-length lead in mid-stretch as Byself arrived on the scene on her inside, gaining quickly. Byself maintained her momentum and got past Cartwheel, then edged away late to win in a final time of 1:24.34.

Byself is now three-for-five with two seconds in five dirt starts. She’s also raced once on turf and has total earnings topping $140,000.

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Morris Bailey’s four-year-old New York-bred gelding Blurred Line made his dirt debut a successful one Sunday, winning a mile-and-a-sixteenth $28,000 conditional $16,000 claimer by a nose under Mike Luzzi. Sent off at 5-1 odds in the field of six, Blurred Line won in a final time of 1:44.54.

Cookie Crisp, who went off at odds of 12-1 with Dalton Brown award, was a tough-beat second after rallying up the rail. Front-running New York-bred Rockin Jo, sent off at 5-2 odds with Dylan Davis aboard, finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Cookie Crisp.

Sequel Thoroughbreds and Cheryl Prudhomme bred Blurred Line, a son of Girolamo out of Fast Heart by Lion Heart who sold for $55,000 as a two-year-old in May 2016 and is trained by Danny Gargan. Blurred Line finished fifth on turf in his previous start in an open starter handicap at Saratoga on August 8th.

Luzzi, riding Blurred Line for the first time, had him alternating in second and third with Cookie Crisp as Rockin Jo opened a three-length lead through a :23.85 first quarter-mile. Rockin Jo maintained that cushion through a half-mile in :47.54 and was still in front after three-quarters in 1:12.40 before both Cookie Crisp on the inside and Blurred Line on the outside made their final bids.

Rockin Jo, though, wasn’t done and fought on tenaciously, leading until the final 200 yards, when both Blurred Line and Cookie Crisp passed him. Blurred Line outfinished Cookie Crisp narrowly in the final desperate strides.

Blurred Line is now one-for-one on dirt and one-for-six on grass with three thirds, for total earnings of more than $65,000.

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In Sunday’s finale, a six-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer switched from the turf to the “fast” main track, Hector Diaz Jr. rallied co-owner/trainer Bruce Grossman and Four Tags Stable’s idle three-year-old filly Exceed the Goal to a 2 ¾-length victory. Dispatched at 4-1 odds from the rail in a field of six, Exceed the Goal won in a final time of 1:12.60.

Smart Throb, sent off at odds of 2-1 under David Cohen, nipped 2-1 front-running Burkey’s Babe and Luis Saez by a head for second. Catania Rose, who went off at 7-1 odds under Abel Lezcano, finished a distant fourth.

Lawrence Goichman bred Exceed the Goal, a daughter of Hat Trick (JPN) out of Mandy’s Purse by Street Cry (IRE) who sold for $18,000 as a two-year-old in 2017. Exceed the Goal was dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time after finishing fifth and seventh in maiden special weights under Angel Arroyo when trained by John Terranova. She hadn’t raced since April 27th, but she came back running.

Diaz got Exceed the Goal away fourth as Burkey’s Babe took the field to a first quarter-mile in :23.47 and a half-mile in :47.28.

By then, Exceed the Goal had rallied into second. She charged past Burkey’s Babe to win her return impressively.

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Pam and Martin Wygod’s homebred two-year-old gelding Power Source made a spectacular wide rally under Javier Castellano to make the lead, then held off resilient front-running Grammi Dance and Luis Saez by three-quarters of a length to win a six-furlong $35,000 New York-bred maiden $30,000 claimer in a final time of 1:12.20 Sunday. Power Source was sent off at odds of 7-1 and Grammi Dance was the 2-1 favorite from the outside post in a field of nine.

Bank Note, sent off at 11-1 odds from the rail under Hector Diaz Jr., finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Grammi Dance while a head in front of 26-1 Highest Rank and Eric Cancel.

Stephen Lyster trains Power Source, a son of Courageous Cat out of Powerful Elegance by Smart Strike who was making just his second career start after finishing a rallying fourth at 96-1 odds in an open maiden $20,000 claimer at Churchill Downs on September 27th.

Castellano got Power Source away fourth as Grammi Dance streaked to the lead. Grammi Dance led by two to 2 ½ lengths through a first quarter-mile in :22.40 and into the far turn as Power Source came flying around horses on the far outside.

Power Source drew even and passed Grammi Dance after a half-mile in :46.34 and tried to get away from the frontrunner. But Grammi Dance came again and battled him all the way to the wire before Power Source finally put him away.

 

Fire Key Rallies to Win Another Open Stakes Saturday

Rallying on the far outside under Julien Pimentel, Backwards Stable’s homebred New York-bred mare Fire Key won her second consecutive open grass stakes, taking the six-furlong $100,000 Floral Park Stakes by a by three-quarters of a length Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park. Sent off at 7-1 odds as one of two New York-breds in a field of seven, Fire Key won in a final time of 1:13.03 on the “yielding” inner turf course.

Fear No Evil, sent off at odds of 7-1 under David Cohen, led late but had to settle for second, 4 ½ lengths clear of 5-1 Black Canary and Tyler Gaffalione. New York-bred Jc’s Shooting Star, who went off at 11-1 odds with Eric Cancel up, finished fourth, 2 ¾ lengths behind Black Canary.

Pat Kelly trains Fire Key, a daughter of Friesan Fire out of UR Key by Albert the Great who won a $100,000 grass stakes at Laurel Park by a nose under Pimentel on September 22nd at 11-1 odds on a yielding course.

On Saturday, Pimentel got Fire Key away fifth as 7-1 Battle Joy, with Pablo Fragoso riding, Black Canary and Fear No Evil disputed the early lead through a quarter-mile in :23.08 and a half-mile in :47.78

By then, Fire Key had rallied on the far outside into third. Fear No Evil struck the lead as Fire Key advanced into second. Fire Key rapidly cut into Fear No Evil’s advantage and then charged past her to win going away.

The victory made Fire Key three-for-seven with two seconds on Belmont Park turf. “She loves it here at Belmont,” Kelly said afterwards. “This is home, and she had a real nice work here last Sunday and ran back to it. She’s a nice filly.”

Her grass record proves it: seven victories and five seconds from 17 starts. She also has two seconds and a third from six dirt starts, for total earnings topping $480,000.

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South of Fifth Racing’s three-year-old gelding Magnetron, bred by SF Racing Group, and Luis Saez wore down Bad Guy and Dylan Davis late to take a $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight switched from the grass to the “fast” main track Saturday at Belmont Park. He completed the mile and a sixteenth in 1:45.47. Magnetron was sent off at odds of 3-1 and Bad Guy went off at 5-2 odds in the field of just five.

Front-running Paynter’s Prize, sent off at 10-1 odds with Manny Franco riding, finished third, five lengths behind Bad Guy. Jimmy Jazz, the 2-1 favorite on the rail ridden by Jose Lezcano, finished a distant fourth.

Michael Lerman trains Magnetron, a son of Take Charge Indy out of Holy Heavens by Holy Bull who sold for $57,000 as a two-year-old in March 2017. Magnetron was stepping back up to a maiden special weight off a second-place finish by a head at 10-1 odds in a New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer under Lezcano on September 22nd.

Saez settled Magnetron in fourth as Paynter’s Prize held a clear lead over 7-2 Perfect Jake and David Cohen through three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.19. Bad Guy, who had been tracking the top pair from third, rallied to take the lead as Magnetron took over second and closed in. Bad Guy fought the whole way, but Magnetron got to him in the final 200 yards to win.

Magnetron is now one-for-five on dirt with two seconds and one third. He has also raced four times on turf and has combined earnings of more than $55,000.

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Joseph Besecker’s new claim, the four-year-old New York-bred colt Sal the Turtle, rallied from off the lead to a length-and-a-half victory as the 1-5 favorite under Manny Franco in a $32,000 open $16,000 claimer Saturday. He completed the six-furlong distance in 1:09.92.

Front-running Big Guy Ian, sent off at 3-1 odds with Luis Saez aboard, saved second, 5 ¼ lengths clear of 12-1 New York-bred Sol the Freud and Luis Reyes. New York-bred Brimstone, who went off at odds of 13-1 from the rail under Hector Diaz Jr., finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

Sequel Thoroughbreds and Bloom Racing Stable bred Sal the Turtle, a son of Caleb’s Posse out of Northern City by City Zip who is now trained by Jorge Navarro. Besecker claimed Sal the Turtle for $25,000 when he finished third at 5-2 odds at Saratoga on August 27th. Navarro freshened his new colt and dropped him in claiming price, and bettors pounded him at the betting windows.

Franco, riding Sal the Turtle for the first time, got him away fourth in the field of six as Big Guy Ian set a fast pace with a clear lead, covering the opening quarter-mile in :22.38 and the half-mile in :45.19. By then, Sal the Turtle had advanced into third.

Sal the Turtle maintained his momentum, rallying into second, then went after the front-runner and powered past him near the sixteenth pole and drew away late.

Sal the Turtle is now five-for-11 with one second, two thirds and earnings of more than $165,000.

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Co-owner/trainer Rudy Rodriguez and Michael Imperio’s new claim, the three-year-old New York-bred filly Smiles From Sadie, rewarded their faith in her with a dominating 5 ½-length victory under Junior Alvarado in Saturday’s finale, a mile-and-a-sixteenth $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer switched from the grass to the dirt. Sent off as the 6-5 co-favorite in a field of six, Smiles From Sadie won in a final time of 1:44.06.

Dynamite Kitten, also sent off at odds of 6-5 under Joel Rosario, finished second, one length ahead of Annie’s Song, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 6-1 odds under Pablo Fragoso. Needs No Ice, who went off at 54-1 odds under Luis Reyes, finished another four lengths back in fourth.

JMJ Racing Stables bred Smiles From Sadie, a daughter of Freud out of Fickle Factor by Touch Gold. Rodriguez and Imperio claimed her for $40,000 when she finished second by a nose at 3-5 odds under Joe Bravo at Saratoga on August 22nd. Rodriguez gave his new filly a freshening and she came back running.

Alvarado kept her clear three-wide in third early as Dynamite Kitten dueled on the front end with 6-1 Handle With Care and Luis Saez through a half-mile in :47.09. Then Alvarado made his move with Smiles From Sadie. She took over the lead readily, opened up a daylight advantage and won easily while taken in hand late.

Smiles From Sadie now has a win and two seconds in three starts, for earnings of more than $40,000.

 

Honor Up Powers to an Impressive Victory Friday

Saratoga Seven Racing Partners’ three-year-old colt Honor Up rallied from seventh to first at the top of the stretch, then drew away to a 5 ½-length victory under John Velazquez in a seven-furlong $70,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer switched from the turf to the “good” main track Friday at Belmont Park. Sent off at 9-2 odds in the field of eight, Honor Up won in a final time of 1:24.30, giving Velazquez his second winner in Friday’s third race.

We Should Talk, sent off at odds of 5-1 with Joel Rosario up, finished second, a length and three-quarters ahead of front-running 3-1 Tribecca and Luis Saez. Ostrolenka, sent off at 9-1 odds from the rail under Joe Bravo, finished a distant fourth.

Gainesway Thoroughbreds bred Honor Up, a son of To Honor and Serve out of Unobstructed View by Yes It’s True who sold for $65,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2016. Honor Up was making his first start for trainer Michelle Nevin, who took over from Bill Mott after Honor Up’s last race at Saratoga on August 17th, when he finished a close fourth as the 7-2 favorite on turf under Junior Alvarado.

Riding Honor Up for the first time, Velazquez let him settle in seventh as Tribecca took the field to a first quarter-mile in :23.09 and a half-mile in :46.45. By then, Honor Up was gaining quickly on the outside. He advanced into second heading into the far turn and then was dead even with Tribecca coming out of it.

Honor Up then opened up impressively to win easily.

Honor Up improved his dirt record to two-for-nine with two seconds and one third. He’s also one-for-two on turf and has total earnings of more than $150,000.

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Rallying down the center of the track under Eric Cancel, Anstu Stable’s four-year-old gelding Abominable Snowman got up in time Friday to win a $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer by a half-length at odds of 15-1 on a track upgraded from “sloppy” to “good.” He completed the six-furlong distance in 1:13.73

Devilry, the 2-1 favorite under Luis Saez breaking from the outside post in the field of eight, edged 5-2 Back of the Woods and Irad Ortiz Jr. by a neck for second. No Hitter, sent off at odds of 4-1 with Javier Castellano up, finished fourth, three lengths behind Back of the Woods.

Windhorse Thoroughbreds bred Abominable Snowman, a son of Frost Giant out of North to Glory by Tiznow who sold for $32,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2015 and is trained by Michael Dilger. Abominable Snowman was making just his second career start after finishing ninth by 32 ½ lengths in his debut in the same class under Kendrick Carmouche at 19-1 odds on August 8th.

Cancel got Abominable Snowman away in third as Back of the Woods immediately took a length-and-a-half lead. Devilry advanced quickly to race on Back of the Woods’ outside as a close second through a quarter-mile in :23.37 and a half-mile in :47.53.

Cancel sent Abominable Snowman up three-wide and he caught the dueling leaders in deep stretch, edging away late.

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In Friday’s finale, a $44,000 conditional $35,000 claimer switched from the grass to the dirt, ZBZ Thoroughbreds’ homebred, the four-year-old New York-bred filly No Hayne No Gayne, co-owned by Toby Sheets and Paradise Farms and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., dueled New York-bred My Girl Annie and Javier Castellano into defeat after a near-mile battle on the front end and went on to a length-and-three-quarter victory. She covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.59. Both horses went off at 7-2 odds in the field of seven.

Arch of Troy, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Luis Saez, finished third, 2 ¼ lengths behind My Girl Annie while three-quarters of a length ahead of 5-2 New York-bred Salty Smile and Joel Rosario.

Steve Asmussen trains No Hayne No Gayne, a daughter of Haynesfield out of Star Orchid by Successful Appeal who finished sixth under Rosario in her previous race on September 7th, which was her first since mid-July.

This was a two-horse battle from start to finish with My Girl Annie, breaking from the outside post, hooking up immediately with No Hayne No Gayne on the rail. My Girl Annie nursed a narrow lead on the outside of No Hayne No Gayne, but couldn’t clear her through three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.25. Then No Hayne No Gayne surged on the inside to take the lead and draw away late.

No Hayne No Gayne is now three-for-17 with two seconds, five thirds and earnings of more than $165,000.

 

She’s So Shea D Gets Up in Final Strides Thursday

Irad Ortiz Jr. got Shea D Boys Stable’s first-time starter She’s So Shea D up in the final strides to nose favored front-runner Midnitesalright and Manny Franco in a $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies on a muddy track at Belmont Park Thursday. She completed the six and a half furlongs in 1:19.55. She’s So Shea D was sent off at odds of 7-1 and Midnitesalright was the 3-2 favorite in the field of nine.

Mary’s Girl, who went off at 11-1 odds with David Cohen riding, finished third, three lengths behind Midnitesalright while two lengths clear of 12-1 Roziere and Jose Lezcano.

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds bred She’s So Shea D, a daughter of Central Banker out of Properintroduction by Wild Dessert who sold for $47,000 earlier this year and is trained by Jason Servis. She’s So Shea D prepped for her debut with seven works at Monmouth Park, including a couple of good ones from the gate.

Ortiz got She’s So Shea D away fourth as Midnitesalright broke in front. Midnitesalright nursed a lead of a length and a half to two lengths through a first quarter-mile in :22.89 and a half-mile in :46.68.

Then She’s So Shea D, who had rallied into second, closed the gap quickly. Midnitesalright didn’t give in, but She’s So Shea D wore her down in the last desperate yards.

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Splitting horses decisively under Irad Ortiz Jr., co-owner/trainer Rudy Rodriguez and Michael Imperio’s debuting two-year-old filly Girl of Tosconova backed up her 9-5 odds with an 8 ¼-length romp in a $46,000 New York-bred maiden $50,000 claimer on a muddy track in Thursday’s opener, She completed the one-mile distance in 1:41.42.

Three Birds, sent off at odds of 9-2 under Eric Cancel, finished a clear second, nearly five lengths ahead of 10-1 Devil’s Flair and Joe Bravo. Quietude, who was adding blinkers and went off at 7-1 odds with Manny Franco aboard, checked in a distant fourth.

Bred by Tracy Egan, Girl of Tosconova is a daughter of Boys At Tosconova out of White Wedding Day by Crimson Guard whose last two of 10 workouts were modest bullets at five and four furlongs, respectively.

Ortiz settled her in fourth in the field of eight as Jose Lezcano hustled 3-1 Rose of Dublin on the rail to take a narrow lead over 9-2 Tropical Storm Em and Javier Castellano two-wide and Quietude three-wide through a quarter-mile in :22.91 and a half-mile in :47.65.

Tropical Storm Em couldn’t keep up, but Rose of Dublin and Quietude continued their front-end battle around the far turn.

Then Ortiz shot Girl of Tosconova through between Rose of Dublin and Quietude, and his first-timer split the pair like a seasoned horse, taking control of the race immediately after three-quarters in 1:15.10.

Girl of Tosconova poured it on late to complete a mighty impressive debut.

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Drawing Away Stable’s freshened three-year-old gelding There Goes Jose put away Tell Me Ma on the front end and went on to a 3 ¼-length victory under Joey Martinez in a six-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer switched from the grass to the main track, which was downgraded from “muddy” to “sloppy.” Sent off at 19-1 odds in the field of eight, There Goes Jose won in a final time of 1:12.78.

Our American Star, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Junior Alvarado, rallied strongly to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of 9-5 Cuarenta and Irad Ortiz Jr. There was a length-and-three-quarter gap back to 50-1 Ridolfo and Pablo Fragoso in fourth.

Lois Engel bred There Goes Jose, a son of Courageous Cat out of There Goes Molly by Chief Seattle who is trained by Robertino Diodoro. There Goes Jose finished 10th on grass in his previous start at Saratoga on August 20th.

Riding There Goes Jose for the first time Thursday, Martinez got him away sharply from the gate to beat new gelding Tell Me Ma, who went off at 9-2 odds under Luis Reyes, to the early lead. There Goes Jose stretched a one-length lead on Tell Me Ma after a first quarter-mile in :23.90 to a length and a half by running a half-mile in :46.06.

There Goes Jose then spurted away as Tell Me Ma couldn’t keep up. There Goes Jose continued on strongly to the wire for an emphatic victory.

There Goes Jose is now one-for-four on dirt.

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