Nasty Affair Makes an Amazing Rally to Win Thursday
By Bill Heller
In a performance that had to be seen to be fully appreciated, Jack Liebau’s three-year-old filly Nasty Affair gave the entire field a five-length head start, fell behind by some 16 lengths and then rallied under Irad Ortiz Jr. to beat The Great Johanna and Ricardo Santana Jr. by a long nose in a seven-furlong $78,000 New York-bred maiden special weight originally carded as a one-mile turf race at Saratoga Thursday. Both horses were sent off at odds of 7-2 in the field of 10. Nasty Affair’s victory in a final time of 1:23.93 on the “fast” track gave Ortiz his second winner of the afternoon.
Blame It On Mom, who went off at 6-1 odds under Joel Rosario, finished third, just a half-length behind The Great Johanna. Lady Macho, sent off at 7-1 odds with Jose Ortiz riding, finished fourth.
Tracy Egan bred Nasty Affair, a daughter of Liaison out of Just a Bella by Cryptoclearance who sold for $95,000 in October 2017 and is trained by Linda Rice. Nasty Affair was making just her second career start after finishing fifth at 16-1 odds under Irad Ortiz Jr. in her debut at Saratoga on July 28th.
She could not have started any worse, breaking extremely awkwardly and finding herself several lengths behind the entire field immediately. Then she dropped back even farther, so much that she was off the screen on television monitors.
Her recovery was aided by a three-horse scramble for the early lead, with Lady Macho eventually fighting her way to the front through a quick :22.48 opening quarter-mile. She was under pressure through a testing :44.95 half-mile.
Meanwhile, The Great Johanna made a wide sweeping rally around the far turn to battle for the lead as Nasty Affair, who had rallied on the inside, was angled out to the extreme outside with several horses still well in front of her.
The Great Johanna took a narrow lead as Blame It On Mom advanced on the inside and Nasty Affair flew into contention on the outside. The Great Johanna had a narrow lead with 100 yards left but Nasty Affair completed her remarkable recovery and got up in time to win.
A drop in class was all Klaravich Stables’ three-year-old New York-bred colt Internet of Things needed to get back to the winner’s circle. Sent off the 4-5 favorite in a field of seven under Irad Ortiz Jr., Internet of Things made a three-wide sweep around the far turn, hit the front near mid-stretch and drew away to a 3 ¾-length victory in a mile-and-an-eighth $35,000 conditional $16,000 claimer.
Purchasing Power, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 6-1 odds under Joel Rosario, edged 7-2 Curlin’s Knight and Jose Ortiz by a neck for second.
Christopher Shelli and Bill Wilks bred Internet of Things, a son of Mineshaft out of Thisgirlissmiling by Petionville who sold for $170,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2017 and is trained by Chad Brown. Internet of Things was returning to dirt and dropping in company off a sixth-place finish in his turf debut in a New York-bred allowance on July 21st here.
Ortiz settled him in third Thursday as 7-2 New York-bred Lucky Bet and Jose Lezcano set the pace with Curlin’s Knight chasing in second. Lucky Bet opened a two-length lead and maintained it through a half-mile in :48.70. Lucky Bet’s lead shortened to one length heading into the far turn.
Around the turn, Curlin’s Knight rallied two-wide and Internet of Things advanced three-wide. Both Curlin’s Knight and Internet of Things stormed past the front-runner. Curlin’s Knight struck the front but wasn’t ahead for long, as Internet of Things rallied past him and opened up on the field to win easily in a final time of 1:49.42 on the “good” track.
Internet of Things is now two-for-four on dirt with earnings of more than $45,000.
Absolutely refusing to lose, Blue Duck Racing and Leonard Green’s five-year-old horse Calculated Risker and Manny Franco held off slow-starting Shamrock Kid and Luis Saez by a nose to win an $83,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer Thursday, covering the mile-and-an-eighth distance in 1:50.88. Calculated Risker was sent off at odds of 5-1 from the rail and Shamrock Kid went off at 7-2 odds in the field of six.
Playthatfunnymusic, who went off at 14-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, finished third, six lengths behind Shamrock Kid while a short neck ahead of 5-2 Storm Prophet and Ricardo Santana Jr.
Topsmeade, LLC bred Calculated Risker, a son of Into Mischief out of Piccola Isola by Western Expression who is trained by Raymond Handal. Calculated Risker had won races at Parx and at Monmouth Park before finishing third in open company at Finger Lakes on July 24th.
Franco got him away fourth as Playthatfunnymusic set the pace with splits of :25.05, :49.93 and 1:14.26. Heading into the far turn, Calculated Risker moved up two-wide and Shamrock Kid, who had broken slowly, advanced three-wide.
At the top of the stretch, both Calculated Risker and Shamrock Kid passed Playthatfunnymusic, and they battled shoulder-to-shoulder all the way to the wire. Calculated Risker nursed a slight lead for the final sixteenth of a mile, grimly holding off Shamrock Kid to win.
Calculated Risker improved his dirt record to seven-for-23 with two seconds and five thirds. He also has one win from four turf starts, for combined earnings of more than $275,000.
Naked Avenger Wins Debut in the Slop at Saratoga Wednesday
Taking advantage of a gigantic hole on the inside under Luis Saez, Headless Horsemen Racing’s homebred first-time starter Naked Avenger, co-owned by Tee N Jay Stable, surged past odds-on Jewel of Arabia, who bore out badly through the stretch, to win a 5 ½-furlong $78,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies by a length and three-quarters at soggy Saratoga Wednesday afternoon. Sent off at 9-1 odds in the field of 10, Naked Avenger won in a final time of 1:05.13 on the sloppy track.
Jewel of Arabia, who went off at odds of 3-5 under Joel Rosario, still finished second while way on the outside. There was a 3 ¼-length gap back to 17-1 firster Never Heard of Her and Tyler Gaffalione. First-time starter Adorable Maya, sent off at 19-1 odds with Jose Lezcano aboard, finished fourth, a half-length behind Never Heard of Her.
Timothy Hills trains Naked Avenger, a daughter of Congrats out of Karmageddon by Wildcat Heir. Naked Avenger had 10 works at Monmouth Park for her debut, including two five-furlong bullets from the gate: one in 1:01 1/5 and the second in 1:00 2/5.
Naked Avenger got away second behind 5-1 firster Sophie Rules and Jose Ortiz, who took the field to an opening quarter-mile in :22.11. Then Naked Avenger dropped back to fourth, five lengths off the lead, heading into the far turn, as Jewel of Arabia advanced three-wide and Never Heard of Her moved up four-wide.
Coming out of the turn, Jewel of Arabia took a narrow lead as she began drifting out badly, and Sophie Rules tired. There was an enormous opening on the inside, and Saez was more than happy to send a resurgent Naked Avenger all the way to the lead. She took over and won handily as Jewel of Arabia, who was way out on the course in the 12-path according to the chart of the race, still salvaged second.
Owner/trainer Antonio Sano’s three-year-old colt Leaky Cup made his first start against New York-breds a tour de force, seizing the early lead under John Velazquez and then blowing away the competition, taking a six-furlong $80,000 New York-bred allowance coast-to-coast by 5 ½ lengths. The Florida shipper, sent off at 9-1 odds in the field of 10, won in a final time of 1:09.85.
Six Percent, who was adding blinkers and went off at 5-1 odds with Javier Castellano riding, finished second, two lengths ahead of Amundson, the 5-2 favorite ridden by Jose Ortiz. Runningwscissors, sent off at odds of 16-1 under Ricardo Santana Jr., checked in fourth, another three lengths back.
Kingsport Farm bred Leaky Cup, a son of Central Banker out of Spielzeit by Medaglia d’ Oro who had made all eight of his career starts in open company in Florida, the most recent a badly tiring front-running sixth-place finish as the 9-5 favorite in an allowance/optional $16,000 claimer.
He shot out of the gate from the five post Wednesday and held a clear lead the whole way through sizzling fractions: a quarter-mile in :21.67 and a half-mile in :44.62. Then he poured it on, winning by himself.
Leaky Cup is now four-for-nine with one second, one third and more than $105,000 in earnings.
Love and Love Wins an Open Claimer Sunday
Ruggeri Stable’s three-year-old New York-bred filly Love and Love stalked odds-on Take Charge Tina from third, ran her down in the stretch and went on to a four-length victory in Sunday’s finale at Saratoga, a mile-and-an-eighth $48,000 conditional $30,000 claimer switched from the grass to the “fast” main track. Sent off at 8-1 odds in a field of five, Love and Love won in a final time of 1:52.48.
Take Charge Tina, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., finished second, three lengths clear of 10-1 Incredible Miss and seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez.
Carl Bennett bred Love and Love, a daughter of Goldencents out of Fly the Colors by Giant’s Causeway who sold for just $12,000 in October 2017 and is trained by Mike Miceli. Miceli took the blinkers off Sunday. Love and Love was returning to dirt off a 12th-place finish at 83-1 odds under Eric Cancel in a New York-bred grass allowance with blinkers added on August 4th. Her only previous race on dirt was an extremely distant eighth-place finish at 31-1 odds under Davis on October 5th.
Santana sent Take Charge Tina to the lead and Incredible Miss applied modest pressure two-wide while Davis kept Love and Love a clear three-wide third not far behind. They remained 1-2-3 in that order through three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.30.
Love and Love made her move around the far turn three-wide. She advanced into second and then took on the favorite. Love and Love took over near the sixteenth pole and drew away, winning easily.
Now one-for-two on dirt, Love and Love also has one win and one second in five turf tries, for combined earnings of just under $70,000.
Noda Brothers, LLC’s six-year-old New York-bred mare Riot Worthy, trained by Orlando Noda, rallied three-wide under Junior Alvarado around the far turn, then wore down front-running Served Cold to win a seven-furlong $38,000 conditional $16,000 claimer by a length and a half Sunday. Sent off the 9-5 favorite from the outside post in a field of seven, Riot Worthy won in a final time of 1:24.19 on the “good” main track.
Served Cold, who went off at odds of 5-1 with Luis Saez aboard, held on for second, a half-length ahead of 25-1 New York-bred Cotton Candy Cutie and Luis Reyes. There was a 5 ¼-length gap back to 42-1 New York-bred Zecha and seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez in fourth.
Advantage Training and Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Passaretti bred Riot Worthy, a daughter of Patriot Act out of Silkworth by Distinctive Pro who finished second by a length and a quarter under Alvarado at 5-1 odds in her previous start in an open $12,500 claimer on a muddy track July 26th.
Alvarado settled Riot Worthy in fourth as Served Cold led by two lengths through a first quarter-mile in :23.51 and a half-mile in :46.45.
Heading into the far turn, 4-1 Clairvoyant Lady and Irad Ortiz Jr., who had been chasing in second, moved up two-wide as Riot Worthy gained three-wide.
Served Cold put away Clairvoyant Lady but had no answer for Riot Worthy, who stormed down the center of the track. Riot Worthy took over and edged away late.
Riot Worthy is now five-for-26 on dirt with 13 seconds and three thirds. He also has a win from two turf tries, for combined earnings of more than $410,000.
Giant Boo Boo Makes No Mistakes and Wins Saturday
James Riccio’s four-year-old New York-bred gelding Giant Boo Boo, the even-money favorite in a field of nine under Jose Ortiz, made a three-wide sweep around the far turn, collared front-running 23-1 New York-bred There He Goes and Manny Franco in mid-stretch and went on to a half-length victory in a $32,000 conditional $14,000 claimer at Saratoga Saturday. Giant Boo Boo covered the six and a half furlongs in 1:15.65.
New York-bred Desert Lights, sent off at odds of 5-1 with seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez riding, rallied strongly to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of 26-1 New York-bred gray Thesis and Kendrick Carmouche. Yet another New York-bred, 23-1 Dooley and Eric Cancel, finished fourth, just a neck behind Thesis.
Dutchess Views Farm and Gina Bentivgna bred Giant Boo Boo, a son of Frost Giant out of Bobity Boo by Pico Central (BRZ) trained by Jeremiah Englehart, who continues to have an outstanding meet. Giant Boo Boo was dropping off a late-tiring sixth-place finish under Luis Saez in an open $35,000 claimer on July 24th.
Ortiz let Giant Boo Boo alternate in third and fourth early as There He Goes led 16-1 New York-bred Sams Last Ghasp and Junior Alvarado by a length through an opening quarter-mile in :22.19. Then Sams Last Ghasp moved up two-wide and Giant Boo Boo made his bid three-wide around the far turn.
Giant Boo Boo came out of the turn a bit wide and There He Goes continued to battle with him in early stretch. Giant Boo Boo finally wore down There He Goes, opened a length-and-a-half lead and then held off Desert Lights to win.
Giant Boo Boo is now three-for-nine on dirt with four seconds and earnings of more than $80,000.
In Saturday’s finale on a track turned sloppy by late thunderstorms, a seven-furlong $80,000 New York-bred allowance, Wise Racing’s three-year-old filly More Mischief, the slight 5-2 favorite in a field of 10 ridden by Javier Castellano, rallied on the outside around the final turn, powered past the leaders and drew away to a 2 ¼-length victory in a final time of 1:24.85. That gave Castellano his third winner of the afternoon.
Mary’s Girl, sent off at 12-1 odds under Irad Ortiz Jr., made a strong rally to finish second, 4 ¼ lengths ahead of 17-1 Not About the Nail and Dylan Davis. Sweet Meadow Mist, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Joel Rosario, finished fourth, a length behind Not About the Nail.
Anlyn Farms bred More Mischief, a daughter of Into Mischief out of Gracilia by Mr. Greeley who sold for $350,000 as a two-year-old in March 2018 and is trained by Chad Brown. More Mischief was third by a length and a quarter at 7-2 odds under Castellano in her previous start on July 27th.
More Mischief broke sixth as 42-1 Overtime Olivia and Eric Cancel took the field to an opening quarter-mile in :22.81 and a half-mile in :46.38.
Castellano sent More Mischief on the far outside around the far turn and she gained quickly into contention. She struck the lead near mid-stretch and powered away from the field to win handily.
More Mischief is now two-for-six with two seconds, one third and earnings topping $130,000.
Mo Ready Wins Grass Debut Under Jose Ortiz Friday
Benefitting from a sweet trip under Saratoga’s leading jockey Jose Ortiz, Repole Stable’s homebred colt Mo Ready won his turf debut, taking Friday’s opener at Saratoga, a mile-and-a-sixteenth $78,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for two-year-olds on the grass, by a length and a half. Sent off at even money as part of an entry, Mo Ready won in a final time of 1:43.57.
First-time starter Maxwell Esquire, sent off at odds of 5-1 with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, finished second, a length ahead of Turbo Drive, who was adding blinkers and went off at 7-1 odds under Dylan Davis. Another firster, 21-1 Noble Emotion and Javier Castellano, finished fourth, a neck behind Turbo Drive.
Todd Pletcher trains Mo Ready, a son of Uncle Mo out of Ready and Good by More Than Ready who was making his third career start. He debuted on May 10th at Belmont Park and finished a late-weakening fourth at 2-5 odds under John Velazquez, and then finished second by a half-length under Jose Ortiz in a seven-furlong race switched from the turf to the muddy main track as the even-money favorite at Saratoga on July 28th.
On Friday, Mo Ready alternated in third and fourth as 31-1 Kobe, who had added blinkers under Tyler Gaffalione, set the pace with Turbo Drive chasing in second through a half-mile in :49.46.
Heading into the far turn, Kobe led Turbo Drive by a half-length as Mo Ready moved up three-wide to join them.
In the stretch, Mo Ready surged past both horses and opened up, taking a 3 ½-length lead. He cruised home to win handily.
Mo Ready has now earned more than $60,000.
Shrugging off an 11-month absence under Irad Ortiz Jr., Blue Streak Racing’s three-year-old filly Prairie Fire made her second career start a winning one, inhaling front-running firster Let’s Maga in mid-stretch and drawing off to a 5 ½-length victory. Sent off the 5-2 favorite in a field of 11, Prairie Fire won in a final time of 1:03.70.
Tarallucci, who went off at odds of 5-1 under Joel Rosario, finished second, one length ahead of 7-2 Lookbothways and Kendrick Carmouche. Kathy’s Cause, sent off at 8-1 odds with Luis Saez riding, finished fourth, 2 ½ lengths behind Lookbothways.
Mary E. Eppler Racing Stable and A. Leonard Pineau bred Prairie Fire, a daughter of Posse out of Swallow Falls by Smoke Glacken who is trained by Danny Gargan. Credit Gargan with an outstanding job getting Prairie Fire ready. She hadn’t raced since September 14th at Belmont, when she finished eighth at 5-1 odds in her debut in a maiden special weight under David Cohen.
Ortiz settled Prairie Fire in mid-pack as Let’s Maga, who went off at 13-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, took the field to a quarter-mile in :22.00.
Let’s Maga continued to lead around the far turn as Prairie Fire, who had rallied into fourth, continued to make progress quickly.
Let’s Maga was still in front after a half-mile in :45.70 before Prairie Fire rocketed past her. Prairie Fire opened up on the field to win impressively.
Showing great courage on the front end under Jose Ortiz, Gary Broad’s odds-on five-year-old mare Ratajkowski held off a furious charge from Singular Sensation and Luis Saez to win an $80,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $25,000 claimer by a neck Friday, completing the mile and an eighth in 1:48.40. Ratajkowski was sent off at odds of 1-2 and Singular Sensation went off at 11-1 odds in the field of seven.
Beyond Discreet, sent off at 13-1 odds with Manny Franco up, finished a distant third, nearly 10 lengths behind Singular Sensation. Paved With Gold, who was adding blinkers and went off at 3-1 odds under Irad Ortiz Jr., finished fourth, 3 ¾ lengths behind Beyond Discreet.
John Hicks and H and H Farm bred the lightly raced Ratajkowski, a daughter of Drosselmeyer out of Quiet North by Quiet American who is trained by Brian Lynch. Ratajkowski was making just her fourth career start after finishing a game front-running second by three-quarters of a length under Jose Ortiz at even money on July 25th at the same nine-furlong distance.
Jose Ortiz sent Ratajkowski right to the lead again, and she quickly opened a length-and-a-half lead on Paved With Gold through a :22.87 first quarter-mile. Ratajkowski stretched the lead to two lengths after a :47.65 half-mile, and maintained that lead through three-quarters in 1:11.46.
Then Paved With Gold tired and Ratajkowski had a new challenger, Singular Sensation, who roared up to her. Ratajkowski held a head lead on Singular Sensation through a mile in 1:35.61.
Singular Sensation kept up the pressure, but Ratajkowski gamely held her off all the way to the wire.
Ratajkowski is now two-for-four with one second, one third and earnings topping $100,000, quite an accomplishment for a mare who made her debut this year at the age of five.
In Friday’s finale, a one-mile $48,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer on the grass, Michael Imperio, Carl Lizza Racing Stable, Lianna Stables and Take a Shot Stables’ three-year-old gelding I’m Elmer J Fudd, adding blinkers under Manny Franco, tracked front-running longshot Big Wonder, took over when asked and drew away to win by a length and a half in a final time of 1:36.81. I’m Elmer J Fudd was sent off at odds of 11-1 and Big Wonder went off at 48-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez.
Cause for Celebration, sent off at 9-1 odds with Ricardo Santana Jr. riding, finished second, a head clear of Big Wonder in third. Will’s Bay, who went off at 25-1 odds from the extreme outside post in the field of 11 under seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, finished another half-length back in fourth.
Dutchess Views Farm, Eric Bishop and FG Stallion, LLC bred I’m Elmer J Fudd, a son of Frost Giant out of Purely Excessive by In Excess (IRE) who sold for $30,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2017 and is trained by Rudy Rodriguez. I’m Elmer J Fudd was making just his third career start after finishing fifth and seventh under Franco.
Franco got I’m Elmer J Fudd away second as Big Wonder held a clear lead through three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.44. Then I’m Elmer J Fudd made his move. He took the front and edged away to win handily.
Now one-for-three, I’m Elmer J Fudd has more than $30,000 in earnings.