Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: January 9 to 12

Scilly Cay Wins Rego Park to give Linda Rice Her 2,000th Victory

By Bill Heller

Photo: Adam Coglianese

By any measure, Linda Rice is among the nation’s elite trainers year after year. On Sunday afternoon at Aqueduct, she scored her 2,000th victory when Alpha Delta Stables’ homebred three-year-old colt Scilly Cay and Jose Lezcano captured the 6 ½-furlong $100,000 Rego Park Stakes for New York-breds by 2 ½ lengths in a final time of 1:19.00. Scilly Cay, who gave Rice her second victory of the afternoon, was sent off at odds of 9-5 in the field of four.

“It’s exciting,” Rice said. “These milestones are very meaningful, so to have one here at Aqueduct for Jon Clay of Alpha Delta, who is one of my great clients, is very exciting and rewarding.”

Harris Bay, who went off at 6-1 odds under Junior Alvarado, edged Dream Bigger, the 1-2 favorite ridden by Manny Franco, by a half-length for second. Notorious Flirt, the 12-1 longshot in the quartet ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, finished just another neck back in fourth.

Scilly Cay, a son of Fed Biz out of French Satin by French Deputy, finished second by a length and a quarter to Dream Bigger in his previous start under Lezcano in the $100,000 Notebook Stakes on November 17th.

Breaking from the three and four posts, respectively, Dream Bigger and Scilly Cay got off 1-2, with Dream Bigger ahead by a half-length after a :22.45 opening quarter-mile. Scilly Cay was just a neck off the favorite through a :45.94 half-mile.

Then Scilly Cay surged past Dream Bigger and opened a clear lead, one he maintained all the way to the finish line.

Rice got a hug from Lezcano and then by Carmouche for her immense accomplishment, noted by a sign in the winner’s circle proclaiming “Linda Rice 2,000 Victories.”

“She’s a very good trainer,” Lezcano said. “Being a trainer is not easy, and she does a tremendous job. Honestly, I don’t see anyone else out there doing what she’s doing. She has won several meets on the toughest circuit, and I’m always grateful of the opportunities she’s given me to ride her horses.”

Scilly Cay is now two-for-four with one second, one third and earnings topping $120,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Wise Racing’s freshened four-year-old filly More Mischief turned a one-mile $67,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer into a laugher Sunday, hitting the front in early stretch and drawing off to a 7 ¾-length victory. Sent off at 5-2 odds in a field of seven, More Mischief won in a final time of 1:38.45.

Mary’s Girl, who went off at 10-1 odds with Dylan Davis up, grabbed second, a length and a half ahead of 14-1 Unbridledadventure and Hector Diaz Jr. Elegant Zip, a 9-1 shot ridden by Eric Cancel, reported home fourth, another three-quarters of a length back.

Anlyn Farms bred More Mischief, a daughter of Into Mischief out of Gracilia by Mr. Greeley who is trained by Chad Brown. More Mischief hadn’t raced since October 19th, when she finished eighth in the $157,000 Iroquois Stakes at 7-1 odds. Brown did a fine job getting his filly ready off a near-three-month layoff.

More Mischief raced in third early as She Takes Charge, the 2-1 favorite on the rail ridden by Jose Lezcano, set the pace as 9-1 Elegant Zip and Eric Cancel chased in second through a half-mile in :46.40.

Then Elegant Zip took over as More Mischief rallied into second. More Mischief struck the lead after three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.43 and opened up on the field impressively.

More Mischief is now three-for-eight with two seconds, one third and earnings of more than $180,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

McCourt Racing’s four-year-old filly Prairie Fire surged to the early lead, took on heavy pressure and still got the job done under Jose Lezcano, taking her second straight race, a six-furlong $64,000 New York-bred allowance, by one length Sunday. Sent off the 2-1 favorite from the rail in a field of 11, Prairie Fire won in a final time of 1:13.33.

Collegeville Girl, the 5-2 second choice under Angel Castillo, nosed 9-1 Quietude for second. Eye’s On You, a 44-1 shot ridden by Andre Worrie, finished fourth, 2 ½ lengths behind Quietude.

Mary Eppler Racing Stable and Leonard Pineau bred Prairie Fire, a daughter of Posse out of Swallow Falls by Smoke Glacken who is trained by Linda Rice. In her prior start a week earlier, Prairie Fire captured a $50,000 starter allowance by a length and a quarter at 2-1 odds.

Lezcano hustled her away from the start and she led 7-1 Overtime Olivia and Reylu Gutierrez by just a head through a first quarter-mile in :22.94 and a half-mile in :47.46.

Prairie Fire shook free and opened a two-length advantage. Collegeville Girl and Quietude both cut into that margin, but Prairie Fire kept them at bay all the way to the wire.

Prairie Fire is now four-for-eight with one second and earnings of more than $125,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Charlie Baker, owner, trainer and breeder of the three-year-old filly Sure Stitch, thought enough of her to debut her in the $518,000 Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Series on December 15th. After she finished seventh by 13 ½ lengths under Junior Alvarado, Baker decided to add blinkers and drop her into a $60,000 maiden special weight Sunday. She responded with a 2 ½-length victory under Eric Cancel. Sent off at 3-1 odds in the field of 10, Sure Stitch won in a final time of 1:41.35.

Dancing Kiki, who went off at odds of 9-2 from the outside post, finished second, a half-length ahead of Micromillion, the 9-5 favorite on the rail ridden by Jose Lezcano. I’m Fine, sent off at 6-1 odds with Jorge Vargas Jr. up, finished fourth, a length and three-quarters behind Micromillion.

Sure Stitch is a daughter of Giant Surprise out of Sonic Sound by Sligo Bay (IRE).

Cancel got her away a wide fourth from the nine post as 72-1 Havin’ a Party and Manny Franco set the pace under heavy pressure from 81-1 Bella Domenica, ridden by Luis Cardenas, and 10-1 Goosarella, with Junior Alvarado up, through a half-mile in :47.43.

Sure Stitch joined the leaders on the far outside and took the front after three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.32.

Dancing Kiki had advanced into second, and she took her best shot at Sure Stitch, who had plenty left to repel her. Sure Stitch spurted away in deep stretch to a handy victory.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Coming from off the pace in the field of just four under Kendrick Carmouche, Flying P stable’s four-year-old New York-bred filly Lookbothways won her second straight race Sunday, rallying to win a 6 ½-furlong $36,000 conditional $25,000 claimer by 3 ½ lengths. Sent off at 7-2 odds in the field of four, Lookbothways won in a final time of 1:21.28.

New York-bred Abraxan, who was adding blinkers and went off at 5-2 odds with Reylu Gutierrez aboard, finished second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of 12-1 Appreciate.

Kingsport Farm, Hidden Lake Farm and David Campbell bred Lookbothways, a daughter of Cross Traffic out of Agilion by Lion Heart who sold for $75,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2017 and is trained by Bruce Levine. Lookbothways was facing winners for the first time after taking a New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer by two lengths under Carmouche at 2-1 odds on December 5th.

Carmouche settled Lookbothways in third as Wisconsin Night, the 1-2 favorite ridden by Jose Lezcano, set the pace under pressure from Abraxan through an opening quarter-mile in :22.93. Abraxan drew even with Wisconsin Night and then went right on by as Lookbothways rallied strongly after a half-mile in :47.24.

Lookbothways charged up to Abraxan and took over near mid-stretch, drawing away to an impressive second straight score.

Lookbothways is now two-for-12 with five seconds, two thirds and earnings of more than $105,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In Sunday’s finale, a six-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer for three-year-olds, Three Diamonds Farm’s colt Future Book, who was making his first start in a maiden claimer, sprung out of the starting gate under Jorge Vargas Jr., stretched his lead to six lengths and held on for a 2 ½-length win. Sent off at 5-1 odds in the field of seven, Future Book won in a final time of 1:13.03.

Kilmarknock, who went off at odds of 9-2 with Eric Cancel riding, finished second, 4 ¼ lengths clear of 4-1 first-time starter Wesworld and Dylan Davis. There was a five-length gap back to Bronze Lion, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Junior Alvarado in fourth.

Stonegate Stables bred Future Book, a son of Competitive Edge out of Salute to Summer by Colonel John who sold for $150,000 as a two-year-old in May 2019 and is trained by Mike Maker. Future Book was dropping into a maiden claimer off distant fifth- and sixth-place finishes to begin his career.

Vargas, who had ridden Future Book in his prior start, got him out of the gate like a shot. Pressed by Kilmarknock, Future Book took the field to a :22.65 opening quarter-mile, then shook clear after a half-mile in :46.74. He opened a six-length lead and then coasted home in front.

 

Arthur’s Hope Takes the Say Florida Sandy Stakes Saturday

Photo: Susie Raisher

Kendrick Carmouche is one of New York’s best riders on the front end, and he showed why Saturday at Aqueduct, deftly guiding Raul DelValle’s six-year-old horse Arthur’s Hope to a one-length coast-to-coast victory in the seven-furlong $100,000 Say Florida Sandy Stakes, named for one of the most successful and popular New York-bred horses of all time. Sent off at 4-1 odds in the field of six, Arthur’s Hope won in a final time of 1:23.42.

T Loves a Fight, who went off at odds of 9-2 under Dylan Davis, chased in second the whole way. Aveenu Malcainu, sent off at 11-1 odds from the rail with Jorge Vargas Jr. up, finished third, a length and a quarter behind T Loves a Fight while nearly four lengths ahead of The Caretaker, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Jose Lezcano.

Monhill Farm bred Arthur’s Hope, a son of Smart Bid out of Prom Dance by Citidancer who is trained by Marco Salazar. Arthur’s Hope finished a tiring fourth in an open allowance in his prior start under five-pound apprentice Julio Correa at 8-1 odds on December 28th.

Carmouche got him out of the gate quickly from the five post, and he led T Loves a Fight by a length to a length and a half through a first quarter-mile in :23.17 and a testing half-mile in :45.90.

T Loves a Fight then drew within a half-length of Arthur’s Hope, who responded immediately, edging away in deep stretch.

“The trainer called from Delaware this morning and said to just put him on the lead and don’t fight with him too much,” Carmouche said. “We got to just put them to sleep and just coast home. He ran awesome.”

Arthur’s Hope is now 12-for-26 with three seconds and earnings of more than $260,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Bond Racing Stable’s freshened six-year-old New York-bred gelding Cerretalto, trained by Jim Bond, split horses decisively under Reylu Gutierrez and drew away to his second straight victory, scoring by 2 ½ lengths Saturday in a 6 ½-furlong $70,000 allowance race. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of six, Cerretalto won in a final time of 1:18.50.

Scoreswhenhewants, who went off at odds of 3-1 with Jose Lezcano aboard, finished second, nearly four lengths clear of 7-2 Shamrocked and Manny Franco. Front-running New York-bred Ready to Escape, sent off at 4-1 odds from the rail with five-pound apprentice Declan Carroll up, finished fourth, a length and a half behind Shamrocked.

Song Hill Thoroughbreds bred Cerretalto, a son of Tizway out of Riserva by Dixie Brass who hadn’t racing since November 8th, when he won a New York-bed allowance by nine lengths under seven-pound apprentice Joey Martinez at 7-1 odds.

Gutierrez got him away a close fifth as Ready to Escape took the field to an opening quarter-mile in :22.74 and a half-mile in :46.27.

Then Shamrocked advanced from third into second as Cerretalto arrived on the scene. Gutierrez shot him between Ready to Escape and Shamrocked to take the front. Cerretalto drew away later in an impressive performance.

Cerretalto is now six-for-14 on dirt with two thirds. He’s also raced once on turf and has total earnings of more than $250,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Gumpster Stables’ four-year-old homebred Big Mountain sprinted to the lead under Dylan Davis from the outside post in a field of 10 and never had an anxious moment, taking a one-mile $64,000 New York-bred allowance easily by six lengths in a final time of 1:37.99. Big Mountain went off at odds of 8-1.

Playwright, the slight 3-1 favorite with Manny Franco up, finished second, four lengths ahead of 32-1 High Command and Benjamin Hernandez. Just a nose behind High Command, 5-1 Bebe Banker and Reylu Gutierrez dead-heated for fourth with 10-1 Ten Twenty Nine and Eric Cancel.

Trainer Ralph D’Alesandro co-bred Big Mountain, a son of Big Brown out of Wild in Montana by Yankee Victor who finished second by a neck under five-pound apprentice Julio Correa in his prior start on a sloppy track at 18-1 odds on December 14th.

On Saturday, Big Mountain sprang out of the gate to immediately take the lead. Davis rated him well on the front end through splits of :23.26, :46.43 and 1:11.26. Big Mountain increased his lead through the stretch to win isolated at the finish line.

Big Mountain has a fine record of six-for-14 with one second and three thirds, for earnings of more than $140,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Trainer/co-owner Chad Summers and ARC Racing’s six-year-old New York-bred gelding Quest for Fire prompted the pace set by New York-bred Bassman Dave, took over in mid-stretch and went on to a 2 ¾-length victory under Luis Rodriguez Castro in a $28,000 conditional $16,000 claimer Saturday. He completed the six-furlong distance in 1:13.53. Quest for Fire was sent off at odds of 10-1 from the fat outside post, and Bassman Dave went off at 5-1 odds from the rail in a field of nine.

Our Stormin Norman, the 4-5 favorite ridden by five-pound apprentice Declan Carroll, rallied to grab second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Bassman Dave and Benjamin Hernandez.

Donald Newman bred Quest for Fire, a son of City Zip out of So N So by Freud who finished sixth under Castro in his previous start on December 21st at 12-1 odds.

Quest for Fire broke first but conceded the lead to Bassman Dave. Bassman Dave led Quest for Fire by three-quarters of a length through a quarter-mile in a sharp :22.47 and a half-mile in :46.32.

Then Quest for Fire shot past the pacesetter and began to draw away, winning handily.

Quest for Fire improved his dirt record to two-for-12 with five thirds. He also has one third from two turf tries, for total earnings topping $75,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

R and H Stable’s four-year-old gelding Principal Dancer and Reylu Gutierrez tracked front-running Gongheifatchoy and Gary Richards from second, pounced in early stretch and drew off to a 4 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s opener, a $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, completing the six-furlong distance in 1:13.60. Principal Dancer was sent off at odds of 7-2 from the two post and Gongheifatchoy went off at 3-1 odds from the rail in a field of seven.

Apex Predator, also sent off at 7-2 odds under Dylan Davis, rallied to finish second, three lengths clear of Gongheifatchoy. The Joke’s On You, the 3-2 favorite ridden by Manny Franco, finished fourth, a half-length behind Gongheifatchoy.

Stone Bridge Farm bred Principal Dancer, a son of Central Banker out of Bunhead by Hard Spun who sold for $50,000 as a two-year-old at Ocala in April 2018 and is trained by Jim Bond. Principal Dancer finished a much-improved third under Gutierrez in his previous start on December 15th, his first in a maiden claimer.

On Saturday, Gongheifatchoy and Principal Dancer broke 1-2, with Gongheifatchoy leading by a half-length after an opening quarter-mile in :22.98. Gongheifatchoy edged away to a one-length lead though a :47.28 half-mile.

Then Gutierrez gave Principal Dancer his cue, and he quickly shot past the frontrunner and spurted away to an easy score.

Now one-for-four with one third, Principal Dancer has earned more than $20,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In a six-furlong $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies Saturday, NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Bloom Racing Stable’s freshened City Temper, bred by Bloom Squared, won a four-horse scramble for the early lead and rolled to 4 ¼-length victory in her dirt debut under Eric Cancel. Sent off the 5-2 second choice in a field of nine, City Temper won in a final time of 1:13.77.

High School Crush, the 4-5 favorite piloted by Manny Franco, finished a clear second, 3 ¼ lengths ahead of 7-1 Hot Little Honey, who was adding Lasix and blinkers under Reylu Gutierrez. There was a 4 ¼-length gap back to 14-1 first-time starter Pretty Fabulous and Andre Worrie.

Danny Gargan trains City Temper, a daughter of Majestic City out of Frangipanni by Cape Town who sold for $62,000 as a two-year-old in May 2019 and is trained by Danny Gargan. City Temper was making just her second career start after finishing a front-running fifth in her career debut in a maiden special weight on grass under Kendrick Carmouche at 6-1 odds on November 23rd. Gargan gave her plenty of time to recover, switched surfaces and dropped her into a maiden claimer.

City Temper, who broke well from the two post, outkicked High School Crush, Hot Little Honey and 7-1 Jimmys Lass, ridden by Hector Diaz Jr., to take a narrow lead through a :23.64 first quarter-mile. City Temper edged away to lead by three-quarters of a length after a half-mile in :47.23.

Then City Temper shook free and opened up on the field, hitting mid-stretch with an expanding lead. She finished strongly for the handy victory.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Dylan Davis conceded the early lead on Eagle View Farm’s gray Gipsey Sorceress, then angled her out for a clear run in early stretch and zoomed to a 4 ¾-length victory in Saturday’s finale, another six-furlong $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, this one for three-year-old fillies. Sent off at 9-2 odds from the two post in a field of 10, Gipsey Sorceress won in a final time of 1:15.23 to give Davis his second victory of the day.

Love Me Tomorrow, the 1-2 favorite from the outside post shedding blinkers under Jorge Vargas Jr., finished fast to edge Menzamenz, who was adding blinkers under Kendrick Carmouche and went off at 8-1 odds, by a head for second. More Diamonds, sent off at odds of 5-1 from the rail with five-pound apprentice Declan Carroll riding, checked in fourth, a length and a quarter behind Menzamenz.

Stone Bridge Farm bred Gipsey Sorceress, a daughter of Mission Impazible out of Gleaming Lady by Suave who sold for only $2,000 in October 2018 and is trained by Michael Miceli. Gipsey Sorceress was making her first start in New York off a fourth-place finish in an open maiden $16,000 claimer at 10-1 odds at Tampa Bay Downs on December 7th.

Gipsey Sorceress broke sharply from the two post, but Davis took a hold of her and let her settle in fourth as More Diamonds and Menzamenz battled on the front end through a quick :22.57 first quarter-mile. They continued their battle through a :47.15 half-mile.

Then Davis got Gipsey Sorceress off the inside and she shot past the dueling pacesetters and opened up, winning handily.

Gipsey Sorceress is now one-for-four on dirt with one third and earnings of more than $20,000.

 

Forgotten Hero Gamely Holds on to Win an Allowance Friday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Charles Festa’s homebred four-year-old filly Forgotten Hero, co-owned by trainer John Toscano Jr., shot to the lead under Reylu Gutierrez, opened a seven-length cushion after setting a torrid pace, and then held off favored Puffery and Junior Alvarado by a short head to win a six-furlong $67,000 New York-bred allowance Friday afternoon at Aqueduct. Dispatched at 4-1 odds in the field of six, Forgotten Hero won in a final time of 1:12.44.

Puffery, sent off at odds of 2-1, finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of 5-2 Bertranda and Dylan Davis. Archumybaby, who went off at 5-1 odds under Kendrick Carmouche, finished fourth, 2 ¼ lengths behind Bertranda.

Sequel Stallions New York co-bred Forgotten Hero, a daughter of Mission Impazible out of Seattle Ash by Seattle Sleet who finished a front-running fourth by 5 ½ lengths under Benjamin Hernandez in her previous start on December 6th. She had two sharp four-furlong works since, in :48 and :49.

Forgotten Hero sprung out of the starting gate, taking the lead by a length and a half immediately. He stretched a 2 ½-length lead after a fast opening quarter-mile in :22.63 to seven lengths, hitting the half-mile in a testing :45.90.

Both Puffery on the inside of Forgotten Hero and Bertranda on the outside closed in quickly, but Forgotten Hero dug in and gamely held off both of them for the victory.

Forgotten Hero is now three-for-seven on dirt. She also has four starts on grass, for combined earnings of more than $180,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Winning Move Stable and Vaccaro Racing Stable’s five-year-old New York-bred mare My Roxy Girl and Manny Franco ran down longshot Sea Sparkle and Luis Cardenas past mid-stretch and drew away to a 2 ½-length victory in a six-furlong $55,000 starter allowance Friday. Sent off at 2-1 odds in the field of seven, My Roxy Girl won in a final time of 1:12.70.

Sea Sparkle, who went off at odds of 43-1, held on for second, a half-length ahead of 9-2 Mo Flash and Jose Lezcano.

Sequel Thoroughbreds bred My Roxy Girl, a daughter of Emcee out of Mosaico by City Zip who is trained by Linda Rice. My Roxy Girl finished seventh under Jorge Vargas Jr. in her prior start in a New York-bred allowance at 6-1 odds on December 20th.

Franco settled her in fourth in the clear on the outside as Sea Sparkle and Carrizo, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, dueled on the front end through a half-mile :46.62.

Sea Sparkle put away the favorite but was quickly confronted on the far outside by My Roxy Girl, who had rallied strongly into second. My Roxy Girl maintained her momentum and charged past the longshot leader to win going away.

My Roxy Girl is now eight-for-37 with 11 seconds, six thirds and earnings of more than $490,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

With surprising ease, Sal-Lou J G Stable’s six-year-old New York-bred mare Jacqueline D and Luis Rodriguez Castro tracked front-running My Chesa Charm and Hector Diaz Jr., took the lead readily when asked and drew off to a 4 ¼-length victory in a six-furlong $28,000 open $10,000 claimer. Sent off at 6-1 odds in the field of eight, Jacqueline D won in a final time of 1:13.66.

Stars Wilburn, who went off at odds of 77-1 under Benjamin Hernandez, finished second, 2 ¾ lengths clear of New York-bred Starlite Mission, the 4-5 favorite on the rail ridden by Manny Franco. My Chesa Charm salvaged fourth, nearly two lengths behind Starlite Mission.

Trainer Dominick Schettino and Salvatore Como bred Jacqueline D, a daughter of Overdriven out of Givonna S by Abaginone. Jacqueline D finished second by 1 ¾ lengths under Castro in in her previous race at 22-1 odds on December 6th.

Castro got her away sharply Friday, settling her second as My Chesa Charm led by a length and a half to two lengths through a first quarter-mile in :23.44 and a half-mile in :47.73.

Jacqueline D then drew in quickly and shot past the frontrunner, opening up a four-length lead. She finished strongly.

Jacqueline D improved her dirt record to four-for-31 with eight seconds and four thirds. She also has one second and one third from seven turf tries, for total earnings of just under $120,000.

 

Odds-On Dark Money Wins Wire-to-Wire Thursday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Joseph and Michael Zinman’s freshened four-year-old gelding Dark Money, sent off as half of the 1-2 favored entry, broke first on the rail and stayed there under Manny Franco, taking a $67,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer by two lengths Thursday at Aqueduct. He covered the six-furlong distance in 1:11.84.

Big Empire, who went off at odds of 3-1 with Eric Cancel aboard, finished second, almost two lengths ahead of 9-1 Durkin’s Call and Dylan Davis. Dark Money’s entrymate Thesis finished fourth under Jose Lezcano, a half-length behind Durkin’s Call.

Cedar Meadow, Inc. bred Dark Money, a son of Central Banker out of Candelabra by Purge who is trained by Rudy Rodriguez. Dark Money was dropping into allowance company off an eighth-place finish in a $150,000 division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series under Lezcano on November 24th. Rodriguez gave Dark Money plenty of time to recover, and he returned ready to run.

Dark Money took a one-length lead on the 12-1 gray Hushion and Kendrick Carmouche through a :23.40 opening quarter-mile. He maintained that advantage through a half-mile in :47.21.

Then Franco gave Dark Money his cue, and he put away Hushion and opened up on the field. He was four lengths clear near the sixteenth pole and cruised home to win handily.

Dark Money is now five-for-11 with a pair of seconds and earnings of more than $170,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Sent to the lead immediately by Manny Franco, William Punk Jr. and Philip DiLeo’s four-year-old filly Petalite, who was adding blinkers and went off the 4-5 favorite in a field of five, rolled to a 3 ½-length victory in a one-mile $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight. Petalite won in a final time of 1:43.44.

Flattering Eyes, sent off at odds of 5-1 under five-pound apprentice Declan Carroll, chased in second the whole way. More than seven lengths behind Flattering Eyes, Dancing Slippers, the 6-5 second choice ridden by Eric Cancel, nosed La Rubia, a 53-1 shot adding Lasix under Leonardo Corujo, for third.

John Hicks and Howard Nolan bred Petalite, a daughter of Liaison out of Tishmeister by City Zip who sold for $22,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2017 and is trained by David Donk. In her prior start on December 13th, Petalite weakened late to finish third under Franco as the 3-2 favorite.

Franco hustled her to the lead Thursday, and she posted splits of :25.08, :50.30 and 1:16.59. Though she drifted out a bit through the stretch, she remained clear to the finish line.

Petalite is now one-for-three on dirt. She also has two thirds from four turf tries, for total earnings topping $70,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Edition Farm’s homebred four-year-old gelding Bulwark survived an early speed duel, took the lead and drew away late to an impressive 4 ¾-length score in a 6 ½-furlong $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight Thursday. Sent off at 5-1 odds from the rail in a field of seven, Bulwark won in a final time of 1:19.51.

The gray Quickflash, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Dylan Davis, was squeezed at the start but rallied from last to finish second, one length ahead of 4-1 Freudian Fate and Eric Cancel. There was a 6 ½-length gap back to 9-2 Big Boy Me and Junior Alvarado in fourth.

Rick Schosberg trains Bulwark, a son of Hard Spun out of Awesome Bull by Holy Bull who finished fifth on a sloppy track, behind both Quickflash and Freudian Fate, in his prior start on November 24th.

Bulwark broke sharply on the rail and immediately hooked up with 18-1 first-time starter Striking Causeway and Reylu Gutierrez. Bulwark and Striking Causeway dueled head-to-head through a quick opening quarter-mile in :22.64. After a half-mile in :46.76, Bulwark shook away and spurted clear as Quickflash made an impressive rush into second.

Bulwark, however, had plenty left and turned a two-length advantage into a four-length victory.

Now one-for-four, Bulwark has earned more than $40,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Taste of Victory Stables and Toga Party Racing Stable’s three-year-old New York-bred gelding San Juan Diego took charge past mid-stretch and went on to a three-length victory under Reylu Gutierrez in Thursday’s finale, a 6 ½-furlong $31,000 conditional $16,000 claimer. Sent off at 2-1 odds in the field of eight, San Juan Diego won in a final time of 1:19.76.

New York-bred Latin Love Bug, who went off at odds of 9-1 under Luis Cardenas, finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of 2-1 Flat Rate and Manny Franco. Another New York-bred, 20-1 Fleet Warrior and Dalton Brown, finished just a nose behind Flat Rate in fourth.

Dutchess Views Farm, Sunrise Stables and Golden Goose Enterprises bred San Juan Diego, a son of Heavy Breathing out of Fortuesque by Fortunate Prospect who is trained by Raymond Handal. San Juan Diego was dropping off a sixth-place finish in a New York-bred $25,000 claimer on December 5th under Franco.

Gutierrez set San Juan Diego in the clear in mid-pack as 10-1 Strategic Outlook and Benjamin Hernandez led narrowly through a :23.24 first quarter. Then Flat Rate hit the front after a :47.57 half as San Juan Diego rallied into second on the outside.

San Juan Diego maintained his momentum, took over and opened up to win handily.

San Juan Diego is now three-for-17 with one second, four thirds and earnings of more than $160,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Grey Fox Stable and Cash Rice’s four-year-old New York-bred colt Captain Frost, trained and co-bred by Linda Rice, made it look easy in Thursday’s opener, seizing the lead immediately under Jose Lezcano and taking a $22,000 open $8,000 claimer coast-to-coast by five lengths. Sent off the slight 2-1 favorite in a field of six, Captain Frost won in a final time of 1:41.51.

New York-bred Eden Ridge, who went off at odds of 6-1 with Andre Worrie aboard, finished second, nearly four lengths clear of Immunity, who was adding blinkers and went off at 10-1 odds under Keivan Serrano. New York-bred gray Seven Lilies, sent off at 7-2 odds with Luis Rodriguez Castro up, finished another two lengths back in fourth.

Antonio Miuccio co-bred Captain Frost, a son of Frost Giant out of My Sweet Candy by Candy Ride (ARG) who finished a front-running third under Carroll on New Year’s Day in a $10,000 claimer at 16-1 odds.

Breaking sharply from the two post, Captain Frost took control, stretching a two-length lead after an opening quarter-mile in :23.73 to five lengths after three-quarters in 1:13.83. He drew off to a seven-length advantage and was taken in-hand by Lezcano, still winning easily.

Captain Frost is now three-for-eight with earnings of more than $70,000.

5 thoughts on “Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: January 9 to 12

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