Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: March 15 to 17

Durkin’s Call Takes the Gander Stakes with Authority Sunday

By Bill Heller

Photo: Susie Raisher

Winning his second straight race powerfully, Wachtel Stable, Peter Deutsch and Christopher Dunn’s gelding Durkin’s Call, the even-money favorite in a field of just four, shot past front-running Kosciuszko and drew off, taking Sunday’s one-mile $100,000 Gander Stakes for three-year-old New York-breds at Aqueduct by 7 ½ lengths under Junior Alvarado. Durkin’s Call won the Gander Stakes, named for the popular New-York-bred gray gelding, in a final time of 1:37.90.

Kosciuszko, sent off at odds of 5-2 with Jose Lezcano riding, held on for second, a neck ahead of 3-1 Pipes and Kendrick Carmouche. Kaden’s Courage, who was adding blinkers and went off at 4-1 odds under Manny Franco, finished a distant fourth.

Richard and Kay Zwirn and Richard Gold bred Durkin’s Call, a son of Jump Start out of Feelin Abit Frisky by Posse who sold for just $4,000 as a yearling in October 2017. Formerly trained by Mike Trombetta, Durkin’s call was making his first start for Bill Mott off a nose victory in an open allowance race on February 1st under Julian Pimentel.

Alvarado, Durkin’s Call’s seventh different jockey in his ninth career start, got him away third in the quartet as Kosciuszko had to work to take the early lead away from Pipes on his outside through a :23.84 opening quarter-mile. Kosciuszko then spurted away to a 3 ½-length lead by running a half-mile in :46.87.

But Durkin’s Call was advancing quickly on the outside. He collared Kosciuszko and pulled away from the field, winning his first stakes start with a lot left.

“I worked him three times since they got him in the barn,” Alvarado said. “I was expecting something like he did today. Turning for home, I put him outside in the clear and asked him. After a few strides, he finished strong. He really galloped out good. We should have some fun with him going a mile and an eighth. It shouldn’t be a problem at all for him.”

Durkin’s Call is now three-for-seven on dirt with one second and one third. He has also raced twice on turf and has total earnings of more than $135,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Showing incredible gameness on the front end under Jose Lezcano, John Caputo & Lady DelPo and The Boys Racing’s freshened four-year-old gelding Morning Breez held off fast-finishing Candid Desire by a neck in a $67,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer Sunday. He completed the six-furlong distance in 1:11.04. Morning Breez was sent off at odds of 5-2 and Candid Desire went off at 8-1 odds in the field of eight.

Sudden Surprise, sent off at 11-1 odds under Mike Luzzi, finished third, a half-length behind Candid Desire while a nose in front of Ready to Escape, the even-money favorite under Junior Alvarado who got left at the start.

Hart Farm and Rhapsody Farm bred Morning Breez, a son of Morning Line out of Tico Breeze by Carson City who sold for $65,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2016 and is trained by Carlos Martin. In his previous start under Mike Luzzi on January 12th, Morning Breez finished fourth in the $105,000 Say Florida Sandy Stakes for New York-breds. Martin gave him plenty of time to recover, and Morning Line validated that decision with a gutsy score.

Lezcano sent Morning Breez to the lead, but he had plenty of company with three horses stacked two-, three- and four-wide on his outside through an opening quarter-mile in :22.88. With Sudden Surprise at his throat on the outside, Morning Breez still led past a half-mile in :46.47.

When Morning Breez put away Sudden Surprise, he had a new threat in Candid Desire, who was flying late. Morning Breez held him off to win.

Morning Breez is now three-for-17 on dirt with five seconds and one third. He finished third in his lone turf try and has total earnings of more than $270,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Patricia Generazio’s homebred five-year-old mare Beyond Discreet seized the lead near the sixteenth pole under Manny Franco and went on to a one-length victory in a mile-and-an-eighth $64,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $25,000 claimer. Sent off at 9-2 odds in the field of six, Beyond Discreet won in a final time of 1:55.10 to give Franco his second winner of the day.

Smiles From Sadie, the 2-5 favorite ridden by Junior Alvarado, rallied late to finish a clear second, 3 ¾ lengths ahead of 11-1 Cotton Candy Cutie and Luis Reyes. Turn and Bern, sent off at odds of 9-2 with Dylan Davis up, finished fourth, 2 ½ lengths behind Cotton Candy Cutie.

David Donk trains Beyond Discreet, a daughter of Discreetly Mine out of Beyond the Limit by Unbridled who finished third in a one-mile allowance/optional $25,000 claimer in her previous start on February 18th under Hector Diaz Jr.

Franco, who had piloted Beyond Discreet two starts back, settled her in fourth Sunday as 15-1 gray Dancingwthdaffodls made a quick three-wide move to take the early lead through a :24.43 opening quarter-mile. She then led the field by a length through a half-mile in :49.44 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.73.

Then Cotton Candy Cutie and Beyond Discreet both rallied as Dancingwthdaffodls tired. Both passed the pacesetter after a mile in 1:41.43. Beyond Discreet surged past Cotton Candy Cutie, then held off Smiles From Sadie to win.

Beyond Discreet improved her dirt record to six-for-30 with six seconds, six thirds and more than $190,000 in earnings.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Gary Broad’s four-year-old colt Roseboro broke slowly in his debut and then finished like a superstar, taking a six-furlong $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight by nearly seven lengths to give jockey Manny Franco his third winner of the afternoon Sunday and trainer Brian Lynch his second. Sent off at 2-1 odds in the field of nine, Roseboro won in a final time of 1:11.78.

Front-running Deputy Flag, the slight 2-1 favorite ridden by seven-pound apprentice Brian Hernandez, held on for second, a length and a quarter ahead of Light the Posse, who was adding blinkers and went off at odds of 7-2 from the outside post. There was a 5 ½-length gap back to 8-1 firster Apex Predator and Jose Lezcano in fourth.

Dana Marie Grimaldi bred Roseboro, who sold for $155,000 as a two-year-old in May 2017. He had a slew of impressive works for his debut, including his last one, four furlongs in a bullet :47 3/5 from the gate on March 11th on the Belmont Park training track, the fastest of eight horses working that distance that morning.

Franco allowed Roseboro to settle in a distant sixth early as Deputy Flag set the pace with a clear lead through a fast first quarter-mile in :22.60. He stretched his cushion to three lengths by running a half-mile in :46.34, but Franco had Roseboro closing strongly on the far outside.

Roseboro advanced into second at the top of the stretch, then blew past Deputy Flag in mid-stretch. He opened up on the field and won in-hand late in a heck of a debut.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In a six-furlong $28,000 conditional $14,000 claimer featuring seven New York-breds Sunday, Tzeonn Chang rallied Royal Kuda’s five-year-old gelding Manifest Destiny, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 60-1 odds, past Flatexcel, who was adding blinkers and went off the 7-5 favorite under Dylan Davis, by a neck to light up the toteboard. Manifest Destiny won in a final time of 1:12.25.

Hopper Dropper, the 2-1 second choice with seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez riding, finished third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Flatexcel while a neck ahead of 4-1 Take It to Scale and Rajiv Maragh.

Barry Ostrager bred Manifest Destiny, a son of City Zip out of Jb’s Golden Regret by Banker’s Gold who is trained by William Younghans. Manifest Destiny finished sixth by 13 ¾ lengths at 52-1 odds in his prior start on February 7th.

Breaking from the six and seven posts, respectively, Flatexcel and Manifest Destiny both showed early speed, racing three- and four-wide, respectively, on the outside of 68-1 Prince Slaughter, ridden by Luis Reyes, and Hopper Dropper. Prince Slaughter led Flatexcel narrowlythrough a :22.88 opening quarter-mile before both Flatexcel and Manifest Destiny advanced on the outside.

After a half-mile in :46.72, Flatexcel took a tenuous lead with Manifest Destiny testing him on his outside. Flatexcel was tenacious, but Manifest Destiny kept coming and gained the lead in the final 100 yards.

Manifest Destiny is now two-for-11 on dirt and one-for-12 on turf with two seconds and one third, giving him total earnings of more than $145,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In Sunday’s finale, a 6 ½-furlong $35,000 New York-bred maiden $30,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies, Michael Dubb, David Simon and Bethlehem Stable’s Midnitesalright made it look easy, beating 10 rivals at 4-5 odds in a 5 ¼-length romp to give jockey Manny Franco his fourth winner of the afternoon.

First Forever, sent off at odds of 9-2 under seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, finished a clear second, 4 ½ lengths ahead of 12-1 Flat Out Funky and Eric Cancel. Tousled, who was adding blinkers and went off at 9-1 odds with Reylu Gutierrez up, finished just another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

The New Hill Farm bred Midnitesalright, a daughter of Midnight Lute out of Curio by Bernardini who sold for $75,000 as a two-year-old in March 2018 and is trained by Jason Servis. Midnitesalright finished fourth in her two previous starts under Jose Lezcano.

Franco sent her to the lead from the eight post and she coasted on the front end through splits of :22.32 and :47.37. She won easily in a final time of 1:19.96.

Midnitesalright is now one-for-eight with two seconds, one third and earnings of more than $60,000.

 

Startwithsilver Finishes Fast to Take the Correction Stakes Saturday

Photo: Susie Raisher

Improving on her third-place finish in last year’s running of the race, Lady Sheila Stable and Iris Smith Stable’s five-year-old New York-bred mare Startwithsilver charged down the center of the track under Junior Alvarado to outfinish Yorkiepoo Princess and Dylan Davis by a neck to win Saturday’s six-furlong $100,000 Correction Stakes at Aqueduct in a final time of 1:11.19. Startwithsilver was sent off at 5-2 odds and Yorkipoo Princess went off at 3-1 odds in the field of six.

Sounds Delicious, who beat Startwithsilver when she won last year’s Correction Stakes by eight lengths, finished third under Manny Franco, a length and a quarter behind Yorkiepoo Princess, at odds of 7-2. Sower, the 9-5 favorite on the rail ridden by Jose Lezcano, reported home fourth, a half-length behind Sower.

Burning Sands Stable bred Startwithsilver, a daughter of Jump Start out of Office Miss by Silver Ghost who is trained by Linda Rice. Startwithsilver finished fifth by seven lengths under Davis in her previous start on February 16th in the $100,000 Broadway Stakes for New York-breds.

Think about that. Starwithsilver ran fifth in state-bred stakes company, then won in open stakes company. It’s never been better to be a New York-bred.

“The last race she ran, I had her at around 80 percent ready,” Rice said. “I knew she was ready today.”

Alvarado got Startwithsilver away fifth as 45-1 New York-bred Filibustin and Kendrick Carmouche took the field to a :22.64 opening quarter-mile and a half-mile in :46.28.

When Filibustin tired, the whole pack closed in. The horses closing the fastest were Yorkiepoo Princess and Startwithsilver on the far outside. Yorkiepoo Princess surged past Sounds Delicious to lead late, but she couldn’t hold off Startwithsilver, who powered past her on the outside in the final 200 yards.

“She likes to run on the outside, and I always have to time it with her because sometimes when she gets the lead, she gets a little lost,” Alvarado said. “She did everything right today and we got there in time.”

Startwithsilver improved her stellar dirt record to five-for-10 with one second and one third. She’s had success on grass, too, with two victories, four seconds and a pair of thirds in 11 starts. The versatile mare has now earned over $410,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In an eventful 6 ½-furlong $64,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $75,000 claimer for three-year-olds, NRB Racing Stable’s gray gelding Hushion turned back repeated challenges to win by a length and a quarter under Mike Luzzi. Dispatched at 6-1 odds in the field of seven, Hushion won in a final time of 1:18.65.

Funny Guy, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 6-1 odds under Junior Alvarado, finished second, a neck ahead of Rally Cap, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Manny Franco.

Trip Up, sent off at odds of 10-1 under Kendrick Carmouche, finished fourth, five lengths behind Rally Cap, but was disqualified for bumping 8-1 Saratoga Promise soon after the start. Saratoga Promise unseated jockey Jose Lezcano, who stood up quickly after tumbling on the ground. The disqualification moved up 5-2 Show Prince and Eric Cancel from fifth to fourth.

Before the start, The Big Lebanese, ridden by Dylan Davis, reared up in the gate, causing him to be a late scratch from the original field of eight.

Bruce Brown owns and trains Hushion, named for popular retired trainer Mike Hushion, a son of The Lumber Guy out of Australis Princess by Werblin. Hushion finished a front-running, hard-fought third in his previous race on February 7th under Luzzi, who has been his only jockey in six career starts.

On Saturday, Luzzi sent Hushion to the lead from the six post and he had to work hard to take a one-length lead on 29-1 Almendro, ridden by Reylu Gutierrez, and Rally Cap through a :23.20 first quarter-mile.

When Almendro tired, Rally Cap moved up to second and got within a half-length of Hushion after a half-mile in :46.96. After Hushion put Rally Cap away, Funny Guy made a late run. Hushion held him off as well in a gritty performance.

Hushion now is two-for-six with one second, a pair of thirds and a fourth, good for earnings of more than $100,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Sweeping past horses on the far outside around the far turn, Zilla Racing Stable’s gelding Trance, the 6-5 favorite in a field of seven, opened a four-length lead under Eric Cancel and held off 7-2 Fleet Warrior and Dylan Davis by three-quarters of a length to capture a $50,000 New York-bred $32,000 claimer for three-year-old New York-breds Saturday. He completed the six-furlong distance in 1:12.95.

Oh K Funnybone, sent off at odds of 22-1 with Mike Luzzi riding, finished third, three lengths behind Fleet Warrior while a head clear of 7-2 Who’s Driving and Manny Franco.

Anlyn Farms bred Trance, a son of Dialed In out of Mary Grace by Wildcat Heir who is trained by Brad Cox. Trance was dropping off a strong third-place finish in a New York-bred allowance/optional $60,000 claimer at 9-5  odds under Cancel on February 28th.

Trance got away fifth as 32-1 Power Source and Luis Reyes led the field to a first quarter-mile in :23.11.

Then Trance made an aggressive move on the far outside, gaining quickly. Trance struck the lead after a half-mile in :47.60, opened a four-length advantage and then held on as Fleet Warrior made a powerful late run.

Trance is now two-for-10 on dirt with one third and earnings of more than $45,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Woodlands Farm’s five-year-old New York-bred mare Tequila Sunday backed up her 6-5 odds with a thoroughly professional 2 ½-length coast-to-coast victory under Manny Franco in a $36,000 conditional $25,000 claimer. Tequila Sunday covered the one-mile distance in 1:41.19.

New York-bred Carlisle Belle, a 7-1 shot with Eric Cancel aboard, edged 7-2 New York-bred gray Needs No More and Rajiv Maragh by a head for second.

Miracle Man Racing Partners bred Tequila Sunday, a daughter of Shackleford out of American Passage by Quiet American who is trained by Bob Klesaris. She finished second on a sloppy track in her prior start on February 21st.

Franco got her away sharply Saturday and she never really had an anxious moment, posting splits of :23.92, :48.23 and 1:14.72.

Tequila Sunday is now two-for-23 on dirt with three seconds, three thirds and earnings of more than $95,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Trainer/co-owner Gary Gullo, Bob Petersons Stable and Frank Bellavia’s four-year-old New York-bred ridgling Desert Lights split horses decisively under Andre Worrie and went on to a 5 ¾-length victory in a seven-furlong $28,000 conditional $16,000 claimer. Sent off at 8-5 odds from the two post in a field of eight, Desert Lights won in a final time of 1:25.73.

Front-running Rockin Jo, the slight 3-2 New York-bred favorite ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, held second, a length and a quarter ahead of 7-1 Support Our Cause and Mike Luzzi. New York-bred Buss the Bell, who went off at odds of 6-1 with Dalton Brown up, finished fourth, another length and three-quarters behind.

Kingsport Farm bred Desert Lights, a son of Desert Party out of Light the Giant by Giant’s Causeway who sold for $15,000 in 2015. Desert Party finished second and third under Worrie in his previous two starts.

On Saturday, Worrie got Desert Party away fifth as Rockin Jo led Buss the Bell by a length and a half to two lengths through a first quarter-mile in :23.75 and a half-mile in :47.86.

Desert Lights had rallied into third by then, and he split the two horses in front of him with a burst to take control in mid-stretch. Then he opened up on the field to win easily.

Desert Lights is now two-for-six on dirt with two seconds and one third. He has also raced twice on turf and has total earnings of more than $60,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Saturday’s finale, another seven-furlong $28,000 conditional $16,000 claimer, was dominated by co-owner/trainer John Toscano and Michael Divitto Sr.’s five-year-old New York-bred gelding Latin Love Bug, bred by Debra Divitto. Flying around horses on the far outside on the far turn under Carlos Hernandez, Latin Love Bug drew off to a 5 ½-length victory at odds of 7-2 in a final time of 1:25.95.

Change of Venue, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Dylan Davis, finished second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of 5-2 Infield Is In and Samuel Camacho Jr.

Latin Love Bug, a son of Rule out of Princess Marly by Outofthebox, finished fourth in his prior start on February 16th.

Latin Love Bug got away fifth as Takeoff, the 2-1 second choice adding blinkers under seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez, took the field to an opening quarter-mile in a pedestrian :24.07.

Latin Love Bug then rushed up on the far outside, making the front after a half-mile in :48.53. Latin Love Bug drew off and won utterly isolated.

Latin Love Bug is now two-for-19 with three seconds, four thirds and earnings of more than $80,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Our Sugar Bear Stable’s She Makes Me Smile gave longshot players at Aqueduct a reason to smile Saturday, rolling to a 2 ½-length victory under seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez at 35-1 odds in a $35,000 New York-bred maiden $30,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies. She completed the one-mile distance in 1:42.72.

Heartbustingirl, the 1-2 favorite in a field of seven piloted by Manny Franco, came in second, nearly two lengths ahead of 4-1 Miss Flambe and Chris DeCarlo. There was a 4 ¼-length gap back to 13-1 Princessof Philmar and Eric Cancel in fourth.

Stone Bridge Farm bred She Makes Me Smile, a daughter of Include out of Verona Dale by Siphon who is trained by Bruce Brown. She Makes Me Smile was dropping in maiden claiming price off a distant third-place finish under Martinez in a maiden $50,000 claimer on February 10th.

Martinez set up She Makes Me Smile in fourth on the far outside as 19-1 Boosted Ego and seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez led Princessof Philmar narrowly as Heartbustingirl shadowed them in third through a half-mile in :47.86.

Then Heartbustingirl rallied three-wide and She Makes Me Smile advanced four-wide around the far turn.

Heartbustingirl struck the front briefly before She Makes Me Smile charged past and opened a clear lead in mid-stretch. She maintained a clear margin all the way to the finish line.

She Makes Me Smile is now one-for-nine with one second, one third and earnings of more than $30,000.

 

Vincento Gets Up in Time to Win an Allowance Race Friday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Rallying from sixth in mid-stretch under Manny Franco, All in the Family Racing’s new claim, the six-year-old gelding Vincento, got up on the far outside to nip Broadway Bay and Andre Worrie by a neck in a one-mile $67,000 New York-bred allowance race/optional $40,000 claimer Friday at Aqueduct. Sent off at 5-2 odds from the rail in a field of eight, Vincento won in a final time of 1:37.92 to give Franco his third victory of the afternoon.

Carthon, sent off at odds of 3-1 under Eric Cancel, finished just a nose behind Broadway Bay in third. Uncle Sigh, who also went off at 3-1 odds with Jose Lezcano aboard, finished fourth, one length behind Carthon.

Vince Scuderi bred Vincento, a son of Include out of Seeking the Silver by Grindstone who is now trained by Linda Rice. All in the Family Racing claimed Vincento from Scuderi for $40,000 on January 26th, when he finished third by 4 ½ lengths under Luis Reyes. Rice gave her new gelding a freshening and changed jockeys.

Franco let Vincento linger in seventh, far off the pace, as Carthon dueled with Uncle Sigh on the front end. Uncle Sigh led Carthon on his inside by a head after a :23.52 first quarter-mile, but Carthon took the lead by a half-length after a :46.85 half-mile.

They continued to duel as Broadway Bay rallied three-wide into third through three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.41. Broadway Bay continued his rally and Vincento, who was sixth, came charging down the middle of the track.

Broadway Bay and Carthon were noses apart when Vincento surged past both of them to win.

Vincento improved his dirt record to six-for-28 with one second and three thirds. He also has one win, one second and one third from seven turf tries, for total earnings topping $360,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Roddy Valente’s homebred, the grey New York-bred colt Stone Breaker, won his second straight race, taking a six-furlong $60,000 starter allowance/optional $75,000 claimer by 4 ½ lengths virtually wire-to-wire under Manny Franco. Sent off at 3-1 odds as the only New York-bred in a field of seven, Stone Breaker won in a final time of 1:11.13.

Longshot Statesboro, who went off at odds of 26-1 with Navin Mangalee up, edged 7-2 Clench and Junior Alvarado by a neck for second.

Gary Gullo trains Stone Breaker, a son of Eskendereya out of Stone Maker by Empire Maker who was making just his third career start after finishing a front-running second by a half-length at 19-1 odds in a New York-bred maiden $30,000 claimer, and winning a New York-bred maiden $50,000 claimer by 6 ¼ lengths at even money. Reylu Gutierrez rode Stone Breaker in both those starts.

Franco got him away sharply from the two post Friday and he led 2-1 Loverboy Lou and Kendrick Carmouche narrowly through an opening quarter-mile in a quick :22.44 and a half-mile in a testing :45.69. Loverboy Lou may have stuck a nose in front of Stone Breaker, but Stone Breaker responded immediately, regained the lead and drew away impressively to register his second straight victory.

With two wins and a second in three starts, Stone Breaker has already earned more than $65,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In a six-furlong $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies Friday, Kimberly Rushia’s freshened homebred Overtime Olivia and Dylan Davis dueled favored Awillaway into defeat, took the lead near mid-stretch and went on to win by one length. Dispatched at 4-1 odds in the field of eight, Overtime Olivia won in a final time of 1:33.33.

It’s My Catiecat, also sent off at odds of 4-1 under Reylu Gutierrez, rallied to finish second, a length and a quarter ahead of dead-heaters Anne’s Song, who went off at 2-1 odds from the rail under Eric Cancel, and 9-1 Two Many Tales, ridden by seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez.

Rule Syndicate co-bred Overtime Olivia, a daughter of Rule out of Instant Lady by Freud who is now trained by Antonio Arriaga. He freshened Overtime Olivia after she finished fifth at 7-2 odds under Manny Franco on January 5th, when she was trained by Jeffrey Englehart.

Davis got her away second on the outside of 8-5 Awillaway and Manny Franco. Awillaway led Overtime Olivia by a half-length through a half-mile in :46.44. Overtime Olivia then drew even with Awillaway, who proved tenacious. Overtime Olivia wore her down late, however, then held off It’s My Catiecat.

Overtime Olivia is now one-for-eight with one second, two thirds and earnings of more than $65,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Closing furiously on the inside under Eric Cancel, Steven Wecker, William Achenbaum, Joseph Grant, Patrick Brown and Al & Keith Riccio’s gray Today Comes Once overhauled Alphadora and Hector Diaz Jr. to win a $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies by a neck Friday. She completed the one-mile distance in 1:39.92. Today Comes Once was sent off at odds of 4-1 and Alphadora went off at 2-1 odds from the outside post in a field of six.

There was a gap of 10 ¼ lengths back to 3-1 Roziere and Kendrick Carmouche in third. Keepmyeyeontheboys, who went off at 8-1 odds under Adam Bowman, checked in a distant fourth.

Allen Hallett bred Today Comes Once, a daughter of Cross Traffic out of Follow My Lead by Elusive Quality who sold for $70,000 as a two-year-old in April 2018 and is trained by Gary Contessa. Today Comes Once was making just her third lifetime start after finishing third and fifth under Luis Reyes to begin her career.

Cancel let her settle in fifth as Alphadora had to work hard to take a narrow lead on the outside of Roziere and the 37-1 gray Alvernia, ridden by seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez. Alphadora cleared those two rivals after a half-mile in :47.03.

Then she opened up, spurting away to a four-length lead after three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.09. Today Comes Once had already started her strong rally by then, and she gained quickly on the inside as Alphadora drifted out a bit.

Today Comes Once kept coming and nailed Alphadora in the final 200 yards.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Rallying on the far outside under Hector Diaz Jr., Flying P Stable’s four-year-old gray filly Zecha won a six-furlong $36,000 conditional $25,000 claimer of all New York-breds by two lengths Friday. Dispatched at 5-2 odds in the field of six, Zacha won in a final time of 1:13.51.

Forever Daisy, the 8-5 favorite on the rail ridden by Eric Cancel, finished second, a neck ahead of 9-2 Amanda Lane and Samuel Camacho Jr. Office Irish, sent off at odds of 23-1 with Harry Hernandez aboard, finished another two lengths back in fourth.

Berkshire Stud bred Zecha, a daughter of The Factor out of Chamonix by Louis Quatorze who is trained by Bruce Levine. Zacha finished a strong second at 17-1 odds under Diaz in her previous start on February 18th.

Zecha got away fourth as 11-1 Intsjustnotyourday and seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez set the pace, getting a quarter-mile in :22.64 and a half-mile in :46.70. Then Amanda Lane and Zecha both rallied.

When Itsjustnotyourday tired, Amanda Lane took over briefly before Zecha went right on by near the sixteenth pole. She won going away.

Zecha is now two-for-14 on dirt with four seconds, two thirds and earnings topping $85,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ freshened five-year-old mare Got the Gist pounced on front-running Frosty Linz, opened a five-length lead and coasted home to win Friday’s opener, a one-mile $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, by 4 ¼ lengths under Kevin Carmouche. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of eight, Got the Gist won in a final time of 1:41.47.

Causin’ Trouble, the 2-1 favorite ridden by seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, rallied strongly to finish a clear second, 4 ¾ lengths ahead of 5-2 Wanna B Regal and Luis Reyes. Frosty Linz, sent off at odds of 5-1 from the outside post with Mike Luzzi aboard, saved fourth, a length and a half behind Wanna B Regal.

Stacy Leppala bred Got the Gist, a daughter of Lookin At Lucky out of Wine Bar by Cuvee who is trained by Danny Gargan. Got the Gist hadn’t raced since January 5th, when she finished a distant fourth at 5-1 odds under Eric Cancel.

Carmouche settled Got the Gist in second, a length behind Frosty Linz, through a :23.86 first quarter-mile. Got the Gist drew within a half-length of the leader after a half-mile in :47.93, then took over quickly and spurted away. She stretched her cushion to five lengths and won easily while being taken in-hand late.

Got the Gist is now one-for-six on dirt with one second. She also has one third from three turf tries, for combined earnings of more than $40,000.

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