Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: September 11 to 15

New Claim Morning Breez Shocks Them at 18-1 Sunday

By Bill Heller

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Making his first start off the claim for Charles Hallas, the four-year-old gelding Morning Breez parlayed a flawless ride by Jose Lezcano into a neck victory at 18-1 odds in a seven-furlong $70,000 New York-bred grass allowance Sunday at Belmont Park. Morning Breez won in a sparkling final time of 1:20.52.

Shiraz, sent off at odds of 7-2 under Luis Saez, edged 32-1 Outrageous Bet and Luis Reyes by a head for second. Discretionary Marq, who went off at 6-1 odds from the rail with Kendrick Carmouche up, finished fourth, a length and a half behind Outrageous Bet.

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 now trained by Bob Klesaris. Hallas claimed Morning Breez for $40,000 at Saratoga on August 8th, when he finished a distant sixth on dirt at 8-1 odds under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Lezcano set up Morning Breez in second on the outside flank of 6-1 Leaky Cup and Manny Franco. Leaky Cup nursed a narrow lead on Morning Breez through fast splits: a quarter-mile in :21.86 and a half-mile in :44.61. Morning Breez drew even with Leaky Cup in mid-stretch and powered away to a two-length advantage. Shiraz and Outrageous Bet closed in, but Morning Breez held them safe in a game performance.

Morning Breez is now one-for-three on turf with one third. He is three-for-22 on dirt with seven seconds and five thirds, for combined earnings of more than $365,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Nedlaw Stable’s two-year-old colt Harris Bay made a dramatic debut Sunday under Dylan Davis, storming past heavily favored gray Dream Bigger and Jose Ortiz to win a six-furlong $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight by three-quarters of a length in a fast final time of 1:09.21. Harris Bay was sent off at odds of 11-1 from the rail and Dream Bigger went off at 1-5 odds in the field of seven.

Tapizearance, who went off at 8-1 odds with Joel Rosario riding, finished third, five lengths behind Dream Bigger while 2 ½ lengths ahead of 10-1 Hold My Call and Kendrick Carmouche.

WinStar Farm bred Harris Bay, a son of Carpe Diem out of Hot Spa by Latent Heat who sold for $170,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2018 and is trained by John Kimmel. Kimmel gave Harris Bay 10 works for his unveiling. The last two were solid five-furlong moves in 1:01 4/5 at Saratoga and 1:01 from the gate at Belmont Park.

Harris Bay broke sharply but settled in mid-pack as Hold My Call led Dream Bigger by a half-length through a first quarter-mile in :22.33 and a half-mile in :45.32.

Dream Bigger then took over as Harris Bay charged into second and went after the favorite. Harris Bay went right on by in deep stretch to post the upset.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Jose Ortiz got Clark Brewster’s seven-year-old New York-bred gelding Banana Thief up in the very last stride to edge Coltandmississippi and Jose Lezcano by inches in Sunday’s finale, a six-furlong $50,000 open $25,000 claimer on the grass, in a sharp final time of 1:07.73. Banana Thief was the 2-1 favorite and Coltandmississippi was the 5-2 second choice from the outside post in the field of eight.

A pair of 9-1 shots, Dalarma, ridden by Luis Reyes, and New York-bred Samadi Sky with Manny Franco up, finished third and fourth, respectively.

NY Kitten Foals, LLC bred Banana Thief, a son of Kitten’s Joy out of Majestic Feline by Johar who is trained by Steve Asmussen. Banana Thief finished second by a nose and second by a half-length in his previous two starts.

Ortiz got Banana Thief away sixth as 4-1 New York-bred New York’s Finest, ridden by Joe Bravo, and 10-1 New York-bred Ethan Hunt dueled on the front end through a half-mile in :44.79.

Then Coltandmississippi, who had been third, took the lead as Banana Thief rallied on the outside. Coltandmississippi was game, and he and Banana Thief hit the wire together in a tight photo, one that revealed Banana Thief had won.

Banana Thief is now five-for-30 on grass with six seconds and seven thirds. He also has one second from three dirt starts, for total earnings of more than $360,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Nice Guys Stables and Steve Hornstock’s odds-on two-year-old filly Tequila Fog and Luis Saez chased gray pacesetter Fortune’s Girl, struck the lead and held off Cruising Strong by a head to win a six-furlong $46,000 New York-bred maiden $50,000 claimer in a final time of 1:12.61. Tequila Fog was sent off at 4-5 odds and Cruising Strong went off at odds of 9-1 under Jose Lezcano in the field of 10.

High School Crush, who went off at 7-2 odds with Manny Franco aboard, finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Cruising Strong while a length and a half ahead of 6-1 Top Hat Invasion and Luis Reyes.

Mr. and Mrs. Grant Whitmer bred Tequila Fog, a daughter of Giant Surprise out of We Kept Her by Victory Gallop who was dropping into a maiden claimer in her second career start after finishing a distant fourth under Chris Landeros in a maiden special weight at Saratoga on August 29th.

Tequila Fog tracked Fortune’s Gal, sent off at 9-1 odds under Joel Rosario, through a first quarter-mile in :22.88 and a half-mile in :47.05.

Tequila Fog then rallied to the lead and just held off fast-finishing Cruising Storm.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Eric Cancel did a great job rating Shadowfax Stable’s three-year-old colt Alphastest on the lead and he captured a six-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer on the grass by a half-length. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of nine, Alphastest won in a final time of 1:09.18.

Clear the Ramp, who went off at odds of 30-1 under Dylan Davis, nipped 19-1 Capt. Courageous and Joe Bravo by a neck for second. Daring Disguise, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Jose Lezcano, was just another head back in fourth.

Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Pineau bred Alphastest, a son of Alpha out of Miss Double Take by Double Honor who sold for $20,000 in October 2017 and is trained by George Weaver. Alphastest finished fourth under Cancel at 11-1 odds in his previous start at Saratoga on August 7th.

Cancel hustled him to the lead Sunday and Alphastest nursed a one-length lead on Clear the Ramp through a first quarter-mile in :22.52 and a half-mile in :45.79.

Alphastest had enough left to hold off Clear the Ramp, Capt. Courageous and Daring Disguise.

Alphastest is now one-for-five on turf with one second and earnings of more than $35,000.

 

Build to Suit Wins Open Allowance at 1-5 Odds Saturday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

In a perfectly timed rally under Manny Franco, Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s five-year-old New York-bred ridgling Build to Suit captured a 6 ½-furlong $85,000 allowance/optional $62, 500 claimer by 2 ¼ lengths as part of the favored 1-5 entry in a field of six Saturday at Belmont. Build to Suit, who has finished in the money in all nine of his starts, won in a final time of 1:15.62 to give Franco, who won five races Friday, his second winner in the day’s third race.

Fuel the Bern, who went off at odds of 8-1 with Kendrick Carmouche up, finished second, 3 ¼ lengths ahead of 3-1 front-running New York-bred Eye Luv Lulu and Jose Lezcano.

Spendthrift Farm bred Build to Suit, a son of Dominus out of Aspen Mountain by Chief Seattle who is trained by Chad Brown. Build to Suit was dropping into open allowance company off a second-place finish by a nose at 5-2 odds under Franco in the $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds at Saratoga on August 4th.

Build to Suit settled in third Saturday as Eye Luv Lulu led Fuel the Bern by less than a length through a quarter-mile in :22.96 and a half-mile in :45.65.

Build to Suit ranged up three-wide, overtook the dueling leaders and won handily.

Build to Suit is now five-for-nine on dirt with two seconds, a pair of thirds and earnings of more than $260,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Showing great tenacity under John Velazquez in a virtual match race, Barry Schwartz’s homebred three-year-old new gelding Amundson edged Lutsky and Kendrick Carmouche by a half-length after they battled on the front end from the start to the finish of a 6 ½-furlong $66,000 New York-bred allowance Saturday. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of seven, Amundson won in a final time of 1:16.62.

Amundson, who was shedding blinkers and went off the 9-5 favorite, led narrowly on the outside of Amundson but had to settle for second, nearly 11 lengths ahead of another new gelding, 5-2 Invest, ridden by Javier Castellano. Foolish Ghost, who went off at odds of 13-1 from the rail under Manny Franco, checked in a distant fourth.

Horacio DePaz trains Amundson, a son of Curlin out of Bridgehampton by Bernardini who caught a sloppy track at Saratoga in his previous race on August 21st, when he finished third as the 5-2 favorite under Jose Ortiz.

Breaking from the two and five posts, respectively, Amundson and Lutsky hooked up immediately and dueled for the lead. Lutsky nursed a narrow advantage through a first quarter-mile in :22.51 and a half-mile in :45.43.

In mid-stretch, Amundson surged on the inside to stick a head in front of Lutsky. Lutsky was game, but Amundson inched away to win.

Amundson is now two-for-five with one third and earnings of more than $70,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Jacob Schnoor Jr.’s two-year-old filly Saratoga Beauty pressed the pace set by first-time starter Maru, struck the front and won a six-furlong $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight by a length and a quarter Saturday under Kendrick Carmouche. Sent off at 6-1 odds in the field of seven, Saratoga Beauty won in a final time of 1:11.79.

Magnetique, who went off at odds of 4-1 under John Velazquez, rallied strongly to finish second, 3 ¼ lengths clear of 6-1 Maru and Manny Franco. First-time starter Dancing Kiki, sent off at 8-1 odds with Dylan Davis aboard, finished fourth, a half-length behind Maru.

Richard Greeley bred Saratoga Beauty, a daughter of Macho Uno out of Wicked Beauty by Vindication who sold for just $15,000 in October 2018 and is trained by Patrick McBurney. Saratoga Beauty finished fourth and third in her first two starts under Paco Lopez.

Breaking from the four and five posts, Maru and Saratoga Beauty got away 1-2. Maru led Saratoga Beauty by a half-length after an opening quarter-mile in :22.54. Saratoga Beauty drew within a neck of the front-runner after a :45.88 half-mile, then wore her down in early stretch to take the front.

Saratoga Beauty opened a two-length lead and held off Magnetique. Saratoga Beauty has now earned more than $45,000 in her first three starts.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Scott Zimmerman’s three-year-old New York-bred gelding Honorable Hero wore down front-running New York-bred Fotis, took the lead and held off Mo Regrets by a neck to win a mile-and-a-sixteenth $39,000 conditional $30,000 claimer on the grass, giving Eric Cancel his second winner of Saturday afternoon. Dispatched at 8-1 odds in the field of 10, Honorable Hero won in a final time of 1:42.01.

Fotis, sent off at 23-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, held on for third, one length behind Mo Regrets while a length and a half ahead of 61-1 New York-bred Time Expired and seven-pound apprentice Heman Harkie.

Saratoga Glen Farm bred Honorable Hero, a son of Honorable Dillon out of Winter Romance by Benchmark who sold for $30,000 in May 2018 and is trained by John Toscano Jr. Honorable Hero dueled on the front end before weakening late to finish fifth under Ricardo Santana Jr. at 9-1 odds in his previous race at Saratoga on August 14th.

Cancel got him away second as Fotis took a two-length lead through a :23.59 first quarter-mile. Honorable Hero narrowed the gap, drawing within a nose of the frontrunner after three-quarters in 1:11.95.

Fotis was tenacious, but Honorable Hero wore him down late, struck the front and held off Mo Regrets.

Honorable Hero is now two-for-10 on turf with two seconds and two thirds. He has also raced on dirt four times and has total earnings of more than $115,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

In Saturday’s finale, a six-furlong $39,000 conditional $30,000 claimer on the grass, Mike Luzzi rallied John and Carol Spinello and Conrad and Linda Zurich’s five-year-old New York-bred mare Something Joyful from last to a length-and-a-quarter victory. Sent off at 5-1 odds in the field of 10, Something Joyful won in a final time of 1:09.11.

Appreciate, sent off at odds of 16-1 with seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez up, finished second, a half-length ahead of 25-1 New York-bred Tradeable and Rajiv Maragh. New York-bred Mike’s Girl, who went off at 5-2 odds under Kendrick Carmouche, finished another length back in fourth.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey bred Something Joyful, a daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of Littlebitoflove by High Yield who is trained by Jeremiah Englehart. Something Joyful was dropping into an open claimer off a 10th-place in a New York-bred allowance under Jose Lezcano at Saratoga at 11-1 odds on July 31st.

Something Joyful was last early as 47-1 New York-bred Overtime Olivia and Dylan Davis led 5-1 Shanghai Bonnie, ridden by Jose Lezcano, by a half-length through fast splits: a quarter-mile in :21.40 and a half-mile in :44.81.

When the front end collapsed, 17-1 New York-bred Itsakeyper and Luis Reyes and Appreciate led briefly before Something Joyful stormed past both of them to win going away.

Something Joyful is now two-for-seven with two seconds in her all-grass career, for earnings topping $80,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Trainer Steve Klesaris added blinkers to La Marca Stable’s homebred four-year-old gelding Mr. Vincent and he blew past front-running Big Wonder and then held off fast-finishing Causeforcelebration by a neck to win a mile-and-a-sixteenth $41,000 New York-bred maiden claimer Saturday under Eric Cancel. Sent off at 11-1 odds in the field of nine, Mr. Vincent won in a final time of 1:42.54.

Causeforcelebration, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, settled for second, four lengths clear of 8-1 Big Wonder and Luis Reyes. The Happy Giant, who went off at odds of 5-2 under Rajiv Maragh, finished fourth, another half-length back.

Mr. Vincent, a son of Here Comes Ben out of Vicarious Sara by Deposit Ticket, finished seventh in his prior start under Irad Ortiz Jr. at 8-1 odds at Saratoga on August 23rd.

Cancel, Mr. Vincent’s sixth different jockey in nine starts, settled him in mid-pack as Big Wonder set the pace, posting splits of :24.15, :48.41 and 1:12.29. Mr. Vincent had rallied into third by then, and he charged to the lead.

Mr. Vincent opened a three-length lead but Causeforcelebration came flying at him late. Mr. Vincent gamely held him off to score.

Mr. Vincent is now one-for-eight on grass with two thirds and earnings of more than $35,000.

 

Jc’s Shooting Star Gives Franco His Fifth Winner Friday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Riding with the utmost confidence, Manny Franco rallied Shooting Star Stable’s seven-year-old New York-bred mare Jc’s Shooting Star, the 9-5 second choice in a field of five, five-wide around the far turn to post a length-and-a-quarter victory in a six-furlong $85,000 grass allowance/optional $100,000 claimer for his fifth winner Friday. Jc’s Shooting Star won in a final time of 1:08.61.

Souper Striking, sent off at odds of 5-1 under Irad Ortiz Jr., edged 4-1 Boos (FR) and Jose Lezcano by a neck for second.

Miracle Man Racing Partners bred Jc’s Shooting Star, a daughter of Miracle Man out of American Passage by Quiet American who is trained by David Donk. Jc’s Shooting Star was returning to grass off third-place finish on dirt in the $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes for New York-breds at 6-1 odds under Franco on August 16th at Saratoga.

Jc’s Shooting Star got away last of the quintet as the gray Factorofwon, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Javier Castellano, led Boos (FR) by a neck through a blazing opening quarter-mile in :21.10. Factorofwon maintained a narrow lead on Boos (FR) around the far turn as Souper Striking and Jc’s Shooting Star rallied four- and five-wide, respectively.

When the horses straightened for home after a half-mile in :44.18, both Jc’s Shooting Star and Souper Striking rallied past the tired pacesetters. Jc’s Shooting Star proved stronger than Souper Striking and drew away late, completing an afternoon Franco will never forget.

Jc’s Shooting Star is now five-for-23 on grass with three seconds and a pair of thirds. She also is two-for-24 on dirt with six seconds and nine thirds, for total earnings of more than $680,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Manny Franco made it four-for-four in Friday’s fourth race in what was his easiest victory of the day, as Lawrence Goichman’s homebred two-year-old filly My Sassy Sarah rallied to a 4 ¼-length victory in a six-furlong $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight on the grass. Sent off the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven, My Sassy Sarah won in a quick final time of 1:08.20.

Stronger Than You Think, who went off at odds of 7-2 with Jose Lezcano aboard, finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of 4-1 Jen’s Battle and Irad Ortiz Jr. Desbordes, sent off at 13-1 odds under John Velazquez, finished fourth, another 2 ½ lengths back.

Michelle Nevin trains My Sassy Sarah, a daughter of Summer Front out of Sarah’s Pleasure by Street Cry (IRE) who led late before finishing third by a length under Franco in her debut at 4-1 odds at Saratoga on August 2nd.

On Friday, she got away fourth. Stronger Thank You Think broke first, but Keypit, who went off at 38-1 odds from the rail under seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez, rushed up to take a neck lead through a :21.80 first quarter-mile. Kepypit led Stronger Than You Think by a half-length through a half-mile in :44.85 as My Sassy Sarah advanced quickly three-wide.

Stronger Than You Think put away Keypit to make the lead but had no answer for My Sassy Sarah, who flew past her. My Sassy Sarah drew away impressively to win by herself.

With a victory and a third in her first two starts, My Sassy Sarah has earned more than $40,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

A drop in class in his second career start was all Clark Brewster’s homebred colt Candygramformongo, co-owned by Gold Square LLC and co-bred by Al Gold, needed to hit the winner’s circle Friday. Sent off the 6-5 favorite from the outside post in a field of six, Candygramformongo won a six-furlong $46,000 New York-bred maiden $50,000 claimer under Irad Ortiz Jr. by 2 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:12.87.

Forever Wicked, sent off at 25-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez, finished second, a length and a quarter ahead of 9-2 gray Diannesimpazible and Manny Franco. Macho Boy, who was shedding blinkers and also went off at odds of 9-2 under Kendrick Carmouche, checked in another neck back in fourth.

Steve Asmussen trains Candygramformongo, a son of Majestic City out of To the Nines by Super Saver who showed early speed in his debut before tiring to finish sixth under Ricardo Santana Jr. at 12-1 odds in a maiden special weight at Saratoga on August 28th.

Ortiz got him away second on the flank of Macho Boy, who led by less than a length through a first quarter-mile in :22.51 and a half-mile in :46.16.

When Ortiz asked Candygramformongo for more he took the lead readily, opened a clear lead and won handily.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Riding his third winner in Friday’s third race at Belmont Park Friday, Manny Franco rallied Fortune Farm’s four-year-old filly Makin’ Out to a length-and-a-half victory in a one-mile $66,000 New York-bred allowance race. Sent off the 3-2 favorite in a field of five, Makin’ Out won in a final time of 1:37.35.

Not About the Nail, sent off at odds of 5-1 under Dylan Davis, finished second, three lengths clear of 2-1 Nasty Affair and Irad Ortiz Jr. Front-running 13-1 Love and Love and Eric Cancel reported home fourth.

Windhorse Thoroughbreds bred Makin’ Out, a daughter of Flat Out out of Mischief Maker by Cape Town who sold for $30,000 as a two-year-old in 2017 and is trained by Bruce Levine. Makin’ Out was making just her second start of the year after finishing 10th at 9-2 odds in her return at Saratoga on July 27th, her first race in more than 10 months.

Franco let Makin’ Out race in fourth as Love and Love set the pace under pressure from Not About the Nail through a half-mile in :46.85. Then Not About the Nail took the front as Makin’ Out rallied into third on the outside.

Makin’ Out advanced into second and powered past Not About the Nail to win.

With two victories and one third in five starts, Makin’ Out has earned more than $85,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

With blinkers added in her second career race, William Butler’s two-year-old homebred filly A Freud of Mama and Manny Franco captured a six-furlong $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight on the grass by a length and a half Friday. Sent off at 5-1 odds from the rail in a field of seven, A Freud of Mama won in a final time of 1:08.79.

Mazel Eighteen, also sent off at odds of 5-1 with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, finished second, a half-length ahead of Stretchthestory, the slight 8-5 favorite ridden by Joel Rosario. First-time starter Moon Delight, who also went off at 8-5 odds under Javier Castellano, finished fourth, one length behind Stretchthestory.

Mike Maker trains A Freud of Mama, a daughter of Freud out of Mama Theresa by Carson City who rallied from ninth to finish sixth in her debut at Saratoga under Luis Saez at 17-1 odds on August 23rd at Saratoga. Maker added blinkers and A Freud of Mama responded with a much stronger performance.

Franco got A Freud of Mama away second as 8-1 firster Grudge and Kendrick Carmouche set a hot pace. Grudge stretched a two-length lead on A Freud of Mama after an opening quarter-mile in :21.75 to four lengths by running a half-mile in a taxing :44.31.

When Franco gave A Freud of Mama her cue she cut into the deficit quickly, shot past the frontrunner and won handily.

 

Pauseforthecause Romps in Open Allowance Thursday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Showing no effect from an early duel for the lead, Chester and Mary Broman’s idle four-year-old New York-bred filly Pauseforthecause and John Velazquez spurted away to a 5 ½-length victory in a 6 ½-furlong $85,000 allowance/optional $62,500 claimer Thursday afternoon at Belmont Park. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite from the rail as the only New York-bred in a field of five, Pauseforthecause won in a final time of 1:15.82.

Honor Way, the 3-2 second choice ridden by Manny Franco, finished second, 3 ¼ lengths ahead of 12-1 Squan’s Kingdom and Dylan Davis.

Kiaran McLaughlin trains Pauseforthecause, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of Spritely by Touch Gold who hadn’t raced since July 12th at Saratoga, when she finished a distant fifth in an open grass allowance at 14-1 odds under Rajiv Maragh. Credit McLaughlin for getting his mare ready to fire off a two-month layoff.

Pauseforthecause broke sharply on the rail, but Lezendary, sent off at odds of 9-1 from the two post under Luis Reyes, pushed a head in front on the outside through a :22.26 first-quarter mile. They were even after a half-mile in :45.12, but Velazquez had a ton of horse left.

Given her cue, Pauseforthecause spurted away suddenly and powerfully, winning utterly isolated at the wire.

Pauseforthecause is now five-for-15 on dirt with two seconds and five thirds. She also has a pair of seconds and a third from six grass starts, for total earnings topping $374,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Rallying from far back under Manny Franco, Taste of Victory Stables’ new claim, the five-year-old horse The Caretaker, surged past longshot Show Prince and seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez to take a $70,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer by one length Thursday. He completed the six and a half furlongs in 1:16.26. The Caretaker was sent off at odds of 3-1 and Show Prince went off at 20-1 odds in the field of eight.

Sudden Surprise, part of the 5-2 favored entry ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, finished third, 2 ¾ lengths behind Show Prince while two lengths clear of 11-1 Five Star Bunt and Rajiv Maragh.

Raymond Handal now trains The Caretaker, a son of Speightstown out of Safety Net by A.P. Indy. Taste of Victory Stables claimed The Caretaker for $25,000 on August 4th at Saratoga, when he finished second by a length under Luis Saez as the 2-1 favorite.

Franco settled The Caretaker in seventh as Sudden Surprise’s entrymate Special Story, ridden by Junior Alvarado, led Show Prince by a half-length to a length through an opening quarter-mile in :22.92 and a half-mile in :47.55.

Then Show Prince drew even with Sudden Surprise as The Caretaker rallied three-wide into third.

Show Prince then took the front as The Caretaker advanced into second. Show Prince was game, but The Caretaker wore him down late to score.

The Caretaker is now five-for-24 on dirt with six seconds, six thirds and earnings of more than $310,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

In Thursday’s finale, a one-mile $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer on the grass, Repole Stable’s three-year-old filly Recess, the 8-5 favorite in a field of 11, rallied to a length-and-a-quarter victory in a final time of 1:35.32 to give Manny Franco his second victory of the day.

The gray Farcical, sent off at odds of 6-1 from the rail with Junior Alvarado riding, edged 5-2 Fika and Kendrick Carmouche by a neck for second. Big Expense, who went off at 7-1 odds under Rajiv Maragh, finished fourth, a half-length behind Fika.

Niall Brennan and Mark Keller bred Recess, a daughter of Point of Entry out of Liquify by More Than Ready who is trained by Todd Pletcher. Recess had finished a much-troubled fourth in her previous start under Irad Ortiz Jr. on August 2nd at Saratoga as the 3-2 favorite. The comment about that race in the Daily Racing Form read “brutal trip, no chance.”

Franco got her away seventh as 66-1 Bull Feathers and Joey Martinez set a fast pace as 9-1 Handle With Care and seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez chased in second. Bull Feathers had a two-length lead after a fast first quarter-mile in :22.37. She was a length in front of Handle With Care after a half-mile in a testing :45.84.

Recess had advanced into third by then, and she collared the tiring leaders and opened a two-length lead. She cruised home to win comfortably.

Recess is now one-for-five on turf.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ six-year-old New York-bred mare Bareeqa, the 3-5 favorite in a field of six contesting Thursday’s opener at Belmont Park, gave her backers a cause for concern when she hesitated at the start, but she got the job done under Jose Lezcano, winning a $50,000 open $25,000 claimer on the grass by a half-length. Bareeqa covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:42.64.

Front-running New York-bred Vip Nation was tenacious through the stretch but had to settle for second, four lengths ahead of 7-2 Glam and Manny Franco.

Sequel Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Hidden Lake Farm bred Bareeqa, a daughter of Girolamo out of Arabic Dancer by Woodman who is trained by Danny Gargan. Bareeqa was dropping into an open claimer off a fourth-place finish in a New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer at 16-1 odds under Lezcano on August 28th at Saratoga.

She missed the start Thursday, but Lezcano got her back into the race as Vip Nation set a slow pace: a first quarter-mile in :25.69, a half-mile in :50.04, and three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.56.

Bareeqa, who had rallied into fourth, continued to close on the far outside around the far turn and advanced into second. She engaged Vip Nation, who gamely tried to fight her off all the way to the wire. Bareeqa edged clear in deep stretch to prevail.

Bareeqa improved her impressive grass record to eight-for-28 with four seconds and two thirds. She also has one victory and four thirds from eight dirt starts, for total earnings of more than $360,000.

 

Ratajkowski is Magnificent in Victory Wednesday at Belmont Park

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Rewarding her connections’ patience in her again, Gary Broad’s mare Ratajkowski, who didn’t make her debut until the age of five on May 25th, won her second straight race and third in five starts by a whopping 10 ½ lengths under Jose Ortiz in a mile-and-a-sixteenth $70,000 New York-bred allowance race/optional $40,000 claimer Wednesday at Belmont Park. Sent off the 4-5 favorite in a field of six, Ratajkowski won in a final time of 1:41.87.

Cartwheel, sent off at odds of 5-1 from the rail under Jose Lezcano, led briefly in mid-race before finishing a distant second, a neck in front of 9-1 Maiden Beauty and Javier Castellano. Beyond Discreet, who went off at 20-1 odds under John Velazquez, reported home a distant fourth.

John Hicks and H and H Farm bred Ratajkowski, a daughter of Drosselmeyer out of Quiet North by Quiet American who is trained by Brian Lynch.

Ratajkowski finished third in her debut at Belmont on May 25th as the 8-5 favorite. Lynch added Lasix and she won a maiden special weight by 3 ¼ lengths at 2-5 odds on June 20th. Her next two starts were at Saratoga. She finished second by three-quarters of a length at even money on July 25th, and first by a neck on August 16th at 1-2 odds.

Ortiz, who has ridden Ratajkowski in all her races, got her away first from the five post Wednesday. She led Cartwheel on the rail by a half-length after a first quarter-mile in :22.94.

Cartwheel then took the front, leading by one length after a half-mile in :45.58.

Then Ratajkowski quickly drew even around the far turn, took the front and began to draw away while in-hand. She hit three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.70 with an expanding lead, and when Ortiz set her down she hit another gear, winning by daylight in her most impressive performance.

With three victories, one second and one third in her five starts, Ratajkowski has earned more than $140,000.

She’s been worth the wait.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Equine Info Exchange’s three-year-old gray filly Sterling Beauty rallied from far back under Jose Ortiz to win Wednesday’s finale, a mile-and-a-sixteenth $62,000 New York-bred maiden special weight on the grass, by 1 ¾ lengths. Sent off at 9-2 odds in the field of 12, Sterling Beauty won in a final time of 1:41.43.

Marquet Legacy, who went off at 5-1 odds with Manny Franco riding, edged 4-1 The Great Johanna and Joel Rosario by a neck for second. Amos, sent off at odds of 18-1 under Joe Bravo, finished just another nose back in fourth.

Sterling Beauty, a daughter of Central Banker out of Them There Eyes by Holy Bull was bred by Kathleen Feron and is trained by David Donk. Sterling Beauty finished a close fourth at 5-1 odds under Irad Ortiz Jr. in her previous start at Saratoga on August 15th.

Jose Ortiz let her settle in tenth as 38-1 Double Happiness, ridden by seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, and 6-1 Petalite with John Velazquez up dueled on the front end through splits of :23.54, :47.64 and 1:12.20.

Sterling Beauty, who had been taken off the inside to the extreme outside, was full of run late. She struck the front and drew away, giving Ortiz his second victory of the day.

Sterling Beauty is now one-for-six on grass with three thirds. She also has one third from three dirt starts, for combined earnings of more than $75,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Circle B Racing’s three-year-old New York-bred filly Moyne Spun backed up her 3-5 odds under Javier Castellano with a handy one-length victory in a one-mile $39,000 conditional $30,000 claimer on the grass Wednesday. Moyne Spun won in a final time of 1:34.85.

New York-bred Ascender, sent off at odds of 6-1 in the field of eight with Manny Franco up, rallied to finish second, a neck ahead of 4-1 New York-bred Alley to Calvary and Joel Rosario.

William Lynn bred Moyne Spun, a daughter of Hard Spun out of Abbey Street by Street Boss who is trained by Brad Cox. Moyne Spun was dropping into an open claimer off an 11th-place finish in a New York-bred allowance at Saratoga on August 4th.

Castellano, as he frequently does, gave her a great trip, stalking dueling leaders Alley to Calvary and 5-1 Zandora, ridden by Dylan Davis, through a half-mile in :47.39.

Castellano sent Moyne Spun up three-wide around the far turn and she streaked to the lead. She had plenty left to hold off Ascender.

Moyne Spun is now two-for-six with three thirds on grass, for earnings of more than $55,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

In a $28,000 open $10,000 claimer Wednesday, co-owner/trainer Jeffrey Englehart and Richard Roys’ four-year-old New York-bred filly Letmetakethiscall, with Dylan Davis aboard, tracked front-running Elizabeth Nicole and Jose Lezcano, took the lead readily when asked, opened a three-length lead and coasted home to win her second straight race by three-quarters of a length. She completed the six-furlong distance in 1:11.02. Letmetakethiscall was the 2-1 second choice and Elizabeth Nicole was sent off at odds of 7-2 from the rail in a field of seven.

Karen’s Gem, who went off at 3-1 odds with Manny Franco aboard, finished a clear second, 6 ½ lengths ahead of 20-1 New York-bred Parlapiano and seven-pound apprentice Heman Harkie. Another New York-bred, Reata’s Reward, part of the 2-1 slightly favored entry under seven-pound apprentice Benjamin Hernandez, finished just another nose back in fourth.

Danzel Brendemuehl and Sandra Lombardo bred Letmetakethiscall, a daughter of Take Charge Indy out of Spring Elusion by Elusive Quality who sold for $65,000 as a two-year-old in 2017. Letmetakethiscall won her previous start at Finger Lakes, a New York-bred allowance, by 1 ¾ lengths on August 31st.

Davis got her away second, and she was two lengths off Elizabeth Nicole after an opening quarter-mile in :22.30. Letmetakethiscall drew within a length of the frontrunner after a half-mile in :45.85.

Dylan asked for a bit more, and Letmetakethiscall shot past Elizabeth Nicole to open a three-length cushion in mid-stretch. She won handily.

Letmetakethiscall is now six-for-15 with one second, one third and earnings of more than $145,000.

**********************************************************

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Heads of Plains Partners and It’s All About The Girls Stable’s idle three-year-old filly Appletini made her first start in a maiden claimer a winning one, taking a six-furlong $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer easily by 3 ½ lengths wire-to-wire under Manny Franco Wednesday at Belmont Park. Sent off at 7-2 odds from the rail in a field of eight, Appletini won in a final time of 1:11.51.

Lookbothways, part of an 8-5 entry under Jose Lezcano, finished second, a half-length ahead of Irish Banker, also sent off at odds of 8-5 under Jose Ortiz. Annette’s Humor, a 20-1 shot ridden by Harry Hernandez, finished fourth, three lengths behind Irish Banker.

Sequel Thoroughbreds bred Appletini, a daughter of Maclean’s Music out of My Royal Girl by Midnight Royalty who sold for $50,000 in 2016 and is trained by Raymond Handal. Appletini was making just her third lifetime start. She made her debut in an open maiden special weight at the Fair Grounds on March 17th for trainer Ronald Moquett, finishing ninth and being placed eighth after a disqualification.

Switched to Handal’s barn in New York, she finished a distant fifth in a New York-bred maiden special weight on June 20 under Franco. Handal gave her a good freshening, dropped her into a maiden claimer and reaped the rewards of that decision.

She broke in front immediately and never had an anxious moment, leading by a length and a half through an opening quarter-mile in :22.38 and a half-mile in :45.86. She then opened up on the field and won easily.

5 thoughts on “Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: September 11 to 15

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *