Big Apple Triple Bonus Denied to Contessa Trainee as Understudy Takes NY Derby

Socialsaul squashed stablemate Preachintothedevil’s chances to win all three legs of the Big Apple Triple when he answered a stretch challenge from that one by pulling away to notch a 4 ¼-length victory in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack.

Preachintothedevil finished second to Socialsaul to round out an all-Contessa exacta. For the NYRA-based trainer, the victory was sweet because he “found out I have a really good horse in Socialsaul.” He said he’d hoped to have the one-two finishers in the race but is “not disappointed” that ‘devil’s loss means Contessa and his connections lost all chance at winning the $100,000 bonus being offered to the horse that could win all three legs of the Big Apple Triple.

Preachintothedevil won the first leg of the triple by scoring a confident victory in the Mike Lee Handicap at Belmont Park on June 26th. Contessa was on record as saying he thought Preachintothedevil could win all three legs of the series for 3-year-old NY-breds.

The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund partnered with Finger Lakes and NYRA to make the Triple bonus possible this year.

Immediately after the race, the trainer said, “Both horses are heading right back to Saratoga and they’re both going to run in the Albany (the third leg of the Big Apple Triple) at Saratoga Race Course on August 24th.”

Jockey John Grabowski (above) completed a personal triple with the victory: it was the third time he’s won the $150K NY Derby.

Socialsaul was bred by Thomas-Narlinger LLC and A R Properties and was foaled at Sequel Stallions in Hudson, NY. He was sired by the successful young stallion Read the Footnotes, who is owned by Sequel and stood in 2011 at Keane Stud in Amenia, NY.


Mary Ann Furman and her husband Dennis won a two-night stay in the Finger Lakes region, betting vouchers, and VIP treatment at the track as the winning entrants in our Big Apple Triple contest. If you would like to win a one-night stay in Saratoga with VIP treatment for the August 24th Albany Stakes, please enter our contest through the homepage of or at

Dennis says he collected a hefty wager on the Contessa exacta. How hefty? “Enough,” he said, “to take my wife shopping again at the nearby Waterloo Outlets mall.”

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