Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: February 17 to 23

Ice Princess Delivers at 2-5 in the Maddie May Stakes Sunday

By Bill Heller

Photo: Chelsea Durand

Coolly waiting for room to run at the top stretch under Manny Franco, Flying P Stable, R. A. Hill Stable and Corms Racing Stable’s gray Ice Princess, the 2-5 favorite in a field of five, slipped between horses and ran down 34-1 longshot Courageous Girl and Dylan Davis for a 2 ½-length victory in the fifth running of the one-mile $100,000 Maddie May Stakes for New York-bred three-year-old fillies Sunday at Aqueduct. Taking her second straight race and third in four career starts, Ice Princess won in a final time of 1:39.70.

Courageous Girl ran a dynamite race herself, dueling with and putting away 3-1 Nicky Scissors and Eric Cancel, then doing her best to make Ice Princess work hard for the victory. Courageous Girl was a clear second, nearly six lengths ahead of 9-2 Myawaya and Jose Lezcano. Holmdel Park, sent off at odds of 9-1 under Kendrick Carmouche, finished fourth, a length behind Myawaya.

Mina Equivest bred Ice Princess, a daughter of Palace Malice out of Happy Clapper by Awesome Again who sold for $75,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2018 and is trained by Danny Gargan.

Ice Princess made a spectacular debut on a sloppy track at Belmont Park September 6th, winning a New York-bred maiden special weight by 12 lengths as the 8-5 favorite. She then stepped up big-time into the Grade 1 Frizette on October 6th. Sent off at 15-1 odds, she finished fourth by 7 ¼ lengths. She returned to the races on January 20th, winning a New York-bred allowance by 4 ½ lengths as the 1-2 favorite. Franco rode her in all three races.

She got away a close last of the quintet Sunday as Nicky Scissors led Courageous Girl by less than a length through a half-mile in :47.15. Ice Princess was a close fourth on the rail as Courageous Girl took a narrow lead on the outside of Nicky Scissors after three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.59.

When Courageous Girl put away Nicky Scissors, Franco had a seam to work with, and he deftly angled Ice Princess out for a clear run. As soon as he did, Ice Princess responded immediately. She took over the front, but had to work hard to get away from Courageous Girl. She did, however, and won going away.

“My filly was the favorite, so they weren’t going to let me do it easily,” Franco said. “I had horse the whole way. I felt that as soon as I got her out and I asked my filly, she was going to respond the best.”

Courageous Girl’s trainer, David Donk, was proud of his filly’s effort: “She really hung in there, and the winner had to get by her and really earn it.”

Ice Princess did. Now three-for-four with a fourth in a Grade 1 stakes, Ice Princess has earned just under $150,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Taking charge immediately under Kendrick Carmouche, Dennis Narlinger’s four-year-old filly Sadie Lady won her second straight race easily, cruising to a 5 ¼-length coast-to-coast victory in a six-furlong $67,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer Sunday. Sent off the 2-1 second choice in a field of six, Sadie Lady won in a final time of 1:12.13.

Awillaway, who went off at odds of 5-1 under Eric Cancel, finished second, three lengths ahead of 9-2 Prairie Fire and Jose Lezcano. Puffery, the 3-2 favorite ridden by Reylu Gutierrez, finished another neck back in fourth.

JMJ Racing Stables bred Sadie Lady, a daughter of Freud out of Zucca by Read the Footnotes who is trained by Rob Atras. Sadie Lady won an open $35,000 claimer wire-to-wire by 4 ¼ lengths as the 9-5 favorite under Manny Franco in her prior start on January 17th.

Carmouche got her away sharply from the three post, and she maintained a length-and-a-half lead through a speedy :45.73 half-mile. Rather than tiring off those fractions, she poured it on, winning handily despite being taken in-hand late.

Sadie Lady is now three-for-seven on dirt with one third. She also has a victory and a third from five grass starts, for combined earnings of more than $140,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Noda Brothers, LLC’s six-year-old New York-bred gelding Danny California, trained by Orlando Noda, rallied from last to finish second under Luis Rodriguez Castro, then ran down front-running Super Silver and Kendrick Carmouche to win a mile-and-an-eighth $55,000 starter allowance by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:55.25. Danny California was sent off at odds of 5-2 and Super Silver was the slight 2-1 favorite in the field of five.

New York-bred Shock Therapy, who went off at 9-1 odds with Eric Cancel riding, finished third, 6 ½ lengths behind Super Silver.

West Point Thoroughbreds and 3C Thoroughbreds bred Danny California, a son of Afleet Alex out of Cinco de Mayo Mia by El Corredor who finished fourth by 9 ¾ lengths at 5-2 odds in a one-mile starter allowance under Castro in his prior start on January 17th.

On Sunday, Danny California got away last as Super Silver began a wire-to-wire mission, leading by a length through three-quarters in 1:14.03. Danny California had advanced into second by then.

Super Silver extended the lead to 2 ½ lengths in mid-stretch before Danny California made his final bid. Super Silver dug in, but Danny California wore him down in deep stretch and edged away.

Danny California is now four-for-20 on dirt with two seconds and a pair of thirds. He also has one second from three turf tries, for total earnings of more than $185,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Jockey Kendrick Carmouche rang up his third victory of the day with an easy win in Sunday’s finale, a six-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer, as Zilla Racing Stables’ gelding Tapizearance backed up his 6-5 odds in the field of 10, winning by nine lengths in a final time of 1:12.92.

Danegeld, sent off at odds of 12-1 under Reylu Gutierrez, finished second, three lengths ahead of 32-1 Beta and seven-pound apprentice Heman Harkie. Brunate, who was shedding blinkers and also went off at 12-1 odds under five-pound apprentice Julio Correa, finished fourth, 3 ½ lengths behind Beta.

Linda and Bruce McConnell bred Tapizearance, a son of Tapizar out of I’m Authorized by Cryptoclearance who is trained by Brad Cox. Tapizearance led late before tiring to finish third by a length and a quarter under Jose Lezcano at 3-1 odds in his previous start at one mile on a sloppy track January 19th.

Carmouche got Tapizearance away third on the outside as 6-1 Catzalionbythetale and Manny Franco dueled with 7-2 first-time starter Fridaybeers and Jose Lezcano through a quick opening quarter-mile in :22.67.

Then Tapizearance struck the front, hitting the half-mile in :46.87. He quickly spurted away from the field to win utterly isolated at the finish line.

Tapizearance is now one-for-nine with one second, three thirds and earnings of more than $60,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Empire Racing Club’s gelding Now and Again stalked front-running False Alarm and Christian Santiago Reyes for three-quarters of a mile, struck the lead readily when asked by Jose Lezcano and went on to a two-length-victory in a one-mile $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer for three-year-olds Sunday. Sent off at 2-1 odds in the field of eight, Now and Again won in a final time of 1:43.00.

Honorable Avenue, who went off at odds of 3-1 under Oscar Gomez, broke outward from the outside post but rallied to finish second, two lengths ahead of 62-1 Oliver Witha Twist and Daisuke Fukumoto. Our Papa G, who was shedding blinkers and went off at 48-1 odds under seven-pound apprentice Heman Harkie, finished fourth, a length and a half behind Oliver Witha Twist.

Jumping Jack Racing bred Now and Again, a son of Awesome Again out of Ever and Anon by Carson City who sold for $25,000 in October 2018 and is trained by Linda Rice. Now and Again finished a front-running fifth under Manny Franco at 18-1 odds in his prior race on January 23rd.

Lezcano set up Now and Again in second as 12-1 False Alarm took the field through splits of :24.06, :47.64 and 1:14.06.

When Lezcano asked Now and Again, he took the front quickly and opened a three-length lead. He coasted home for a handy victory.

Now and Again is now one-for-five with one third and earnings of more than $20,000.

 

Mr. Buff Becomes Legendary with 20-Length Stakes Score Saturday

Photo: Susie Raisher

On Saturday at Aqueduct, Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred six-year-old gelding Mr. Buff crossed over from top horse to legend, winning his third straight stakes, the $100,000 Haynesfield for New York-breds, by 20 lengths as the 1-5 favorite under Junior Alvarado while in-hand late. He also became racing’s newest millionaire.

“He’s a fast horse,” Alvarado said. “It’s simple.”

Trainer John Kimmel said, “He really put that group away easily. He was geared down right to the wire.”

Honor Up, sent off at odds of 4-1 under Manny Franco, finished second, one length clear of 5-1 Syndergaard and Jose Lezcano. Twisted Tom, who went off at 13-1 odds with Dylan Davis up, finished another length back in fourth.

Mr. Buff, a son of Friend Or Foe out of Speightful Affair by Speightstown, began his stakes winning streak with a 7 ½-length score as the 1-2 favorite in the $104,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes on December 26th. He stepped up to open company to win the $102,000 Jazil Stakes by five lengths at 3-5 odds on January 25th. By winning the Haynesfield Stakes Saturday, Mr. Buff improved his record at Aqueduct to eight-for-13 with three seconds.

He was cutting back from a mile-and-an-eighth to one mile Saturday, a distance where he’d only won one of eight starts.

Alvarado got him out of the gate quickly on the rail, but Syndergaard, breaking from the two post, decided to test him early. Mr. Buff led Syndergaard by just a nose through a :23.23 first quarter-mile.

Mr. Buff stretched his lead to three-quarters of a length by running a mighty fast second quarter in :22.53, hitting the half-mile in a taxing :45.76.

It didn’t tax Mr. Buff, who opened a 4 ½-length lead by running three-quarters of a mile in 1:10.15.

Then he took off. “He’s such a cool horse and knows what to do,” Alvarado said. “I asked him a little and he took off again. He gave me the extra kick.”

Past mid-stretch, Alvarado couldn’t stand the curiosity. He peeked back over his right shoulder to see if anyone was coming. What he saw was the other horses getting farther and farther away as Mr. Buff poured it on in a sensational style despite being taken in hand.

Mr. Buff’s victory was his 14th in 35 dirt starts with six seconds and four thirds. He has earned more than $1.05 million.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Manny Franco shot Morris Bailey’s seven-year-old gelding Playwright inside of three horses at the top of the stretch to make the lead and he won his second straight race, giving Franco his fourth of the afternoon, by a length and a half in a one-mile $67,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer. Sent off at 5-2 odds from the rail in the field of seven, Playwright won in a final time of 1:38.71.

Carthon finished a well-clear second, 13 ½ lengths ahead of 5-1 gray Frosted Ice and Junior Alvarado. Longshot Real Dan, who was adding blinkers and went off at 44-1 odds under Romero Maragh, reported home a distant fourth.

Eaton & Thorne, Inc. bred Playwright, a son of Super Saver out of Tartan Lady by Malibu Moon who is trained by Danny Gargan. Playwright won his prior start in a New York-bred allowance by 3 ¾ lengths as the 6-5 favorite under Franco on January 31st.

Franco let him linger in last Saturday as 23-1 Horoscope and Luis Rodriguez Castro led 5-1 Big Mountain and Dylan Davis narrowly through torrid fractions: a quarter-mile in :22.68 and a half-mile in :45.76.

Big Mountain got past Horoscope as Frosted Ice gained on the far outside around the far turn. Playwright had rallied into fourth by then, and he shot through on the rail to strike the front after three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.33.

Playwright opened a three-length lead as Carthon rallied into second. Despite drifting out a couple of times through the stretch, Playwright held Carthon off to notch his second straight triumph.

Playwright is now six-for-26 with nine seconds, three thirds and earnings topping $265,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Paul Giacopelli’s homebred Pot of Hunny and Eric Cancel ran down front-running even-money firster Honey Money and Jose Lezcano near the sixteenth pole and went on to a three-length victory in a six-furlong $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies Saturday, prompting a great call from announcer John Imbriale: “It’s going to be a honey of an exacta.” Sent off as the 3-1 second choice in the field of seven, Pot of Hunny won in a final time of 1:13.61.

Another firster, 6-1 Leyte and Dylan Davis, finished third, 3 ¾ lengths behind Honey Money while two lengths ahead of 54-1 Idaka and Samuel Camacho Jr.

Gary Sciacca trains Pot of Hunny, a daughter of Bayern out of Hundred Acre Wood by Teuflesberg who was making just her second career start after rallying to finish third by five lengths at 10-1 odds under Cancel on February 1st.

Cancel settled Pot of Hunny in fourth early as Honey Money tried wiring the field through a first quarter-mile in :22.39 and a half-mile in :46.74.

Honey Money had a three-length lead to work with but Pot of Hunny, who had rallied three-wide into second, shot past her and drew off.

With a win and a third to begin her career, Pot of Hunny has earned more than $40,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Beautifully rated on the front end by Jose Lezcano, St. Elias Stable’s homebred colt Jerry the Nipper made his second career start a winning one, taking a one-mile $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for three-year-olds by 6 ¾ lengths. Sent off at 5-2 odds in the field of seven, Jerry the Nipper won in a final time of 1:39.17.

Whichwaytomalibu, sent off at odds of 7-2 with Junior Alvarado in the saddle, finished second, nearly four lengths clear of 22-1 Stash My Money and Reylu Gutierrez. There was a gap of 3 ½ lengths back to Farragut, the 2-1 favorite under Eric Cancel, in fourth.

Peta Ryan co-bred Jerry the Nipper, a son of Liam’s Map out of Aqua Regia by Pollard’s Vision who is trained by Todd Pletcher. Jerry the Nipper caught a sloppy track when he made his debut under Lezcano on January 25th, finishing second by 4 ¼ lengths at 3-1 odds.

On Saturday, Jerry the Nipper led Whichwaytomalibu by a length through a half-mile in :47.41, then kissed the field goodbye, opening a daylight lead and maintaining it to the wire.

With a victory and a second in two starts, Jerry the Nipper has earned $45,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Prestine Racing got its second victory of the afternoon when their six-year-old mare Bertranda backed up her 4-5 odds in a field of four with an easy wire-to-wire 6 ¾-length score under Manny Franco in a $46,000 New York-bred $25,000 claimer, completing the six-furlong distance in 1:10.76.

Letmetakethiscall, sent off at odds of 3-2 with Jose Lezcano riding, finished second, 10 ¼ lengths ahead of 9-2 Taylor’s the Boss and Kendrick Carmouche. First Forever, who went off at 9-1 odds with Eric Cancel up, finished a distant fourth.

Gus Schoenborn bred Bertranda, a daughter of Boys At Toscanova out of Princess Maura by Cape Canaveral who is trained by Gary Gullo. Bertranda was dropping back into a claimer off a brave third-place finish by three-quarters of a length in a New York-bred allowance/optional $40,000 claimer under Dylan Davis at 5-2 odds on January 10th.

Franco took advantage of the rail Saturday, gunning Bertranda to the lead under modest pressure from Letmetakethiscall through a half-mile in :45.67.

Letmetakethiscall drew within three-quarters of a length of Bertranda, who took off when Franco asked for a bit more. She quickly spurted free and widened her lead all the way to the wire while in-hand late.

Bertranda improved her dirt record to six-for-40 with eight seconds. On turf, she has two thirds from eight races, for total earnings of more than $335,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Prestine Racing’s five-year-old New York-bred gelding We Should Talk, the 3-2 favorite under Manny Franco in a field of seven, scored a three-quarter-length victory in a six-furlong $22,000 open $8,000 claimer Saturday. We Should Talk won in a final time of 1:12.31.

Moneymeister, sent off at odds of 9-2 under Daisuke Fukumoto, finished a clear second, 6 ½ lengths ahead of 5-1 Daddy DT and Dylan Davis.

SF Racing bred We Should Talk, a son of Gemologist out of Sarah Her Highness by Milwaukee Brew who is trained by Gary Gullo. We Should Talk was dropping into an $8,000 claimer off a fourth-place finish in an open $25,000 claimer under Eric Cancel at 4-1 odds on January 18th.

Franco got him away second on the outside of 8-1 Lucky Six, who was adding blinkers under Oscar Gomez. Lucky Six led We Should Talk by a length through an opening quarter-mile in :22.66. We Should Talk drew within a half-length of Lucky Six after a half-mile in :46.10.

We Should Talk then took the front and opened a three-length lead on Moneymeister. Moneymeister closed the gap late, but We Should Talk held on for the victory.

We Should Talk is now three-for-13 on dirt with three seconds. He also has one win and one second from seven turf tries, for combined earnings topping $200,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

A bobble at the break did nothing to deter West Point Thoroughbreds’ Desbordes, the 3-2 favorite in a field of 11, from scoring an emphatic 11 ½-length victory in a one-mile $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies, giving jockey Manny Franco his fifth victory of the day Saturday. It was also the second victory of the day for West Point and for trainer George Weaver.

First-time starter Mizzen the Mark, sent off at 8-1 odds under Eric Cancel, closed well to finish second, a length and a half ahead of 8-1 Wicked Kheisha and Daisuke Fukumoto. Empress Luciana, who went off at odds of 19-1 under Samuel Camacho Jr., finished a distant fourth.

Robert Butler and Shirley Aidekman-Kaye bred Desbordes, a daughter of Central Banker out of Last Rendezvous by Bates Motel who sold for $95,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2018. Desbordes finished sixth by seven lengths under Reylu Gutierrez in her previous start on February 5th at 7-1 odds.

Franco didn’t panic when Desbordes bobbled at the break, and she recovered quickly to beat 5-1 Just Stay Home, ridden by five-pound apprentice Julio Correa, and 7-1 Stuy Town Baby with Dylan Davis aboard to the early lead through a :24.08 first quarter-mile. Desbordes led Stuy Town Baby by less than a length through a half-mile in :48.44 and three-quarters in 1:15.44.

Then Franco asked his filly for more and she hit another gear, opening up daylight and increasing her lead all the way to the finish line.

Desbordes is now one-for-six on dirt with one second. She also has two starts on turf, for total earnings of more than $40,000.

 

Shipper Ilchester Cheetah Wins Allowance in New York Friday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Showing dazzling speed, Designated Hitters Racing’s New York-bred Charles Town shipper Ilchester Cheetah won her second straight race, taking a six-furlong $70,000 allowance/optional claimer for three-year-old fillies by one length under Jose Lezcano Friday at Aqueduct. Sent off at 6-1 odds in the field of seven, Ilchester Cheetah won in a final time of 1:11.58 to give Lezcano his second victory of the day.

Kansas Kis, who went off at odds of 13-1 with Reylu Gutierrez aboard, finished second, five lengths clear of New York-bred Fierce Lady, the 6-5 favorite adding blinkers under Eric Cancel.

Cheryl Anne Prudhomme and Dr. Michael Gallivan bred Ilchester Cheetah, a daughter of Itsmyluckyday out of Margaret Lilian by Political Force who is trained by Jeremiah O’Dwyer. Ilchester Cheetah won an open allowance/optional $30,000 claimer by 4 ½ lengths as the 3-5 favorite in her previous start on February 6th in West Virginia.

She couldn’t have broken any sharper from the two post in New York Friday, immediately taking a two-length lead through a quick opening quarter in :22.74. She stretched her advantage to three lengths by running a half-mile in :46.55 and had enough left to hold off Kansas Kis for the victory.

Ilchester Cheetah is now five-for-nine with one second, one third and earnings of more than $135,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

With one last desperate lunge under Manny Franco, Zilla Racing Stables and Acqua Nova Stable’s 23-1 longshot Titan’s Will edged 4-5 Prince of Pharoahs and Jose Lezcano by a head in a $64,000 New York-bred allowance for three-year-olds Friday to score his second straight victory. Titan’s Will covered the one-mile distance in 1:39.11.

Giant Shoes, who held a slight lead on the outside of Prince of Pharoahs for more than a half-mile, finished third, 2 ½ lengths behind the favorite. Wild Banker, sent off at odds of 6-1 under Eric Cancel, finished 8 ¾ lengths behind Giant Shoes in fourth.

Patricia Ziefle and Bloom Racing bred Titan’s Will, a son of Congrats out of Miss Sugarmagnolia by Flower Alley who sold for $85,000 as a two-year-old in April 2019 and is trained by Orlando Noda. Titan’s Will was stepping up to face winners off a 4 ½-length victory under Franco in a New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer as the 3-2 favorite on January 30th.

Franco settled Titan’s Will in fourth early as Giant Shoes set the pace on the outside of Prince of Pharoahs while never clearing him through a half-mile in :48.20.

Prince of Pharoahs then surged to the lead on the inside of Giant Shoes as Titan’s Will charged up three-wide to join them.

When Giant Shoes weakened, Prince of Pharoahs and Titan’s Will hooked up, battling through the stretch. Prince of Pharoahs was tenacious and clung to a narrow lead in deep stretch, but Titan’s Will surged again to nail the favorite in the final 50 yards.

Titan’s Will is now two-for-six on dirt with one second and one third. He’s also raced once on turf and has total earnings of more than $65,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Jockey Reylu Gutierrez gave co-owner/trainer Rudy Rodriguez, Anil Poyah and Michael Imperio’s five-year-old New York-bred gelding Bad Guy a beautiful trip, rallying him from last up the rail to a three-length victory in a one-mile $36,000 conditional $25,000 claimer. Sent off at 9-2 odds in the field of seven, Bad Guy won in a final time of 1:41.27.

Dr. Devera’s Way, who was adding blinkers and went off at 5-1 odds under Benjamin Hernandez, nipped 5-2 New York-bred Legion of Storm and Eric Cancel by a head for second.

Hidden Lake Farm and Anthony Grey bred Bad Guy, a son of Power Broker out of Diane’s Birthday by With Approval who finished third by 4 ¾ lengths under Gutierrez in his previous start on December 31st, his first race off a $16,000 claim by his present connections on November 20th.

On Friday, Gutierrez let Bad Guy linger in last as three horses dueled on the front end through a half-mile in :49.15. Gutierrez deftly split horses, then angled Bad Guy back to the rail to get through on the inside in early stretch.

Bad Guy stormed to the lead and drew off to an easy score.

Bad Guy is now one-for-21 on dirt with three seconds and eight thirds. He also has one victory, three seconds and a trio of thirds from 14 grass starts, for combined earnings topping $225,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

McCourt Racing’s new claim, the four-year-old gelding The Joke’s On You, shedding blinkers in his first start for new trainer Linda Rice, absolutely toyed with four opponents to take Friday’s opener, a one-mile $33,000 New York-bred maiden $25,000 claimer, wire-to-wire by 13 ¼ lengths as the 1-5 favorite under Jose Lezcano. The Joke’s On You won in a final time of 1:42.83.

Da Berg, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Eric Cancel, finished a clear second, 7 ½ lengths ahead of the 21-1 gray Wisecrack and Samuel Camacho Jr. Go With Honor, sent off at odds of 6-1 with five-pound apprentice Julio Correa up, reported home a distant fourth.

Saratoga Glen Farm and Distorted Humor Syndicate bred The Joke’s On You, a son of Distorted Humor out of Bit of the Bubbly by A.P. Indy who sold for $55,000 as a yearling at Saratoga in August 2017. McCourt Racing claimed him for $25,000 when he finished fourth by 7 ¾ lengths with Manny Franco riding as the 3-2 favorite on January 11th. Rice freshened him up, took off his blinkers and switched riders to Lezcano, and he got pounded at the betting windows.

The Joke’s On You broke sharply from the outside post and raced with a two-length lead through a half-mile in :49.44. First Wisecrack, then Da Berg took their best shot at the favorite around the far turn, but couldn’t keep up with him after Lezcano gave him his cue. He quickly opened daylight and expanded his lead through the stretch.

The Joke’s On You is now one-for-six with one third on dirt. He has also raced once on turf and has total earnings of more than $35,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Breaking like a shot from the rail under Manny Franco, Ochre House Stable and Boston Boyz Racing’s gray Left Leaning Lucy captured Friday’s finale, a six-furlong $41,000 New York-bred maiden $40,000 claimer for three-year-old fillies, by a length and a quarter. Dispatched at 5-1 odds in the field of seven, Left Leaning Lucy won in a final time of 1:13.15.

Another gray first-time starter, Tiny Magoo and Dylan Davis, rallied to finish a strong second at 3-1 odds, 8 ¼ lengths clear of Hayezhee, who was adding blinkers and also went off at 3-1 odds under Junior Alvarado. Central Exit, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Eric Cancel, finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.

Elisabeth Conroy bred Left Leaning Lucy, a daughter of The Lumber Guy out of Good Humor Gal by Distorted Humor who is trained by David Donk. Left Leaning Lucy was making just her second career start after finishing fifth in her debut under Eric Cancel at 15-1 odds on February 9th.

Franco got her out of the gate incredibly well and she took an immediate two-length lead, one she maintained through an opening quarter-mile in :22.74. She increased her lead to three lengths through a :47.00 half-mile and had enough left to hold off a late charge by Tiny Magoo.

 

Mission Wrapitup Romps Without Blinkers Thursday

Photo: Adam Coglianese

Trainer Bruce Brown decided to remove blinkers from Our Sugar Bear Stable’s gray gelding Mission Wrapitup and he responded with a powerful performance, rallying from last to win a six-furlong $64,000 New York-bred allowance/optional $80,000 claimer for three-year-olds by 3 ½ lengths under Eric Cancel Thursday at Aqueduct. Sent off at 6-1 odds in the field of five, Mission Wrapitup wrapped it up in a final time of 1:13.34. Power Up Paynter was sent off at odds of 3-1. Problems with the timer delayed the card, and no split fractions were available.

Front-running Power Up Paynter had a three-length lead in mid-stretch but had to settle for second, three lengths in front of Notorious Flirt, the slight 3-2 favorite piloted by Kendrick Carmouche. Impetuous, the 8-5 second choice on the rail ridden by Dylan Davis, checked in fourth, five lengths behind Notorious Flirt.

Chester and Mary Broman bred Mission Wrapitup, a son of Mission Impazible out of Thatza Wrap by Hard Spun who sold for $35,000 as a two-year-old in March 2019. Mission Impazible finished a front-running third at 7-1 odds under Cancel in his prior start on January 23rd. Brown took the blinkers off and Mission Wrapitup settled in last early Thursday.

Power Up Paynter broke second but quickly rushed up to take the lead on Impetuous after a quarter-mile in :23.16. Power Up Paynter stretched his advantage to three lengths after a half-mile in :47.12 and maintained it through mid-stretch, but had no answer when Mission Wrapitup came storming down the center of the track.

Mission Wrapitup shot past the pacesetter and drew off to an impressive score.

Mission Wrapitup is now two-for-nine on dirt with one second and a pair of thirds. He’s also raced once on grass and has combined earnings of more than $135,000.

Problems with the timer plagued Aqueduct Thursday, with fractional splits not being posted as they happened. The issue caused a delay before Thursday’s second race.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Albert Fried Jr.’s homebred four-year-old gelding Moonlight Now and Junior Alvarado lost the lead in deep stretch to new gelding Clever Fellow and Manny Franco, then came again to win a $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight by a head Thursday. He completed the one-mile distance in 1:39.34. After an inquiry and an objection by Franco against the winner, the stewards ruled there would be no change in the order of finish. Midnight Now was sent off at odds of 9-2 and Clever Fellow went off at 7-2 odds in the field of seven.

Dancers for Token, the even-money favorite ridden by Trevor McCarthy, finished third, 2 ½ lengths behind Clever Fellow. Kingfish, who went off at 9-2 odds with Jose Lezcano up, finished a distant fourth.

Charlie Baker trains Moonlight Now, a son of Tiznow out of Moonlightandbeauty by Capote who finished fourth by 10 ½ lengths under Alvarado in his previous start on December 20th. Baker freshened Moonlight Now and he returned with a much sharper effort.

My Prime, a 16-1 shot on the rail with Luis Rodriguez Castro aboard, led Moonlight Now by a half-length for a half-mile with Clever Fellow tracking them intently from third.

After a half-mile, both Moonlight Now and Clever Fellow passed My Prime and began a head-to-head battle that lasted nearly the length of the stretch, with Moonlight Now coming on again after Clever Fellow put a head in front. The two horses seemed to brush each other several times through the stretch, with the stewards ruling that they didn’t see enough to warrant a disqualification of the winner.

Moonlight Now is now one-for-five on dirt with more than $40,000 in earnings. He’s also raced once on turf.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

In Thursday’s opener, a six-furlong $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight, Joseph Lowe’s four-year-old filly Anydayisherday and five-pound apprentice Romero Maragh made an aggressive early move to take on odds-on Midnight Banker and Eric Cancel, put that rival away and drew off to a 2 ¼-length victory in a final time of 1:14.46. Anydayisherday was sent off at odds of 8-1 and Midnight Banker went off at 4-5 odds in the field of six.

Enough Love, the 2-1 second choice on the rail ridden by Jose Lezcano, finished third, a half-length behind Midnight Banker while nearly four lengths clear of 42-1 first-time starter Newyorkciti Dancer and Benjamin Hernandez.

Tammy and Robert Klimasewski bred Anydayisherday, a daughter of Alpha out of Stormy Peron by Hard Spun who sold for just $12,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2017 and is trained by Michael Simmonds. Anydayisherday finished seventh by 11 lengths under Joey Martinez with blinkers added on December 28th at odds of 16-1 in her prior start.

Maragh got her away third, then rushed her up to second to match strides with Midnight Banker. The two battled head-to-head all the way to mid-stretch, when Anydayisherday put away the favorite. Anydayisherday finished strongly for a handy victory.

Anydayisherday is now one-for-10 with three seconds, one third and earnings of more than $80,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Luis Rodriguez Castro got Kantarmaci Racing and American Pastime Stables’ new claim, the four-year-old New York-bred filly Nasty Affair, now trained by Mertkan Kantarmaci, up in the final strides to win an exciting one-mile $36,000 conditional $25,000 claimer by a neck. Sent off at 5-2 odds in a field of six New York-breds, Nasty Affair won in a final time of 1:41.62 to give Castro his third winner of the day.

First Dawn, a 10-1 shot ridden by Eric Cancel, finished second, one length ahead of 5-2 Smiles From Sadie and Manny Franco. There was a 1 ¾-length gap back to Intoxicologist, the 9-5 favorite ridden by Dylan Davis, in fourth.

Tracy Egan bred Nasty Affair, a daughter of Liaison out of Just a Bella by Cryptoclearance who finished second by 3 ½ lengths under Eric Cancel when Kantarmaci Racing and American Pastime Stables claimed her for $25,000 on January 10th.

On Thursday, Nasty Affair got away last as 6-1 Petalite and Junior Alvarado took the field from gate to mid-stretch under heavy pressure from Intoxicologist and 18-1 Causin’ Trouble, ridden by Kendrick Carmouche.

Then the other three horses in the race all came charging at the three front-runners, creating a moment when all six horses were spread across the track nearly even. In the final 200 yards, Nasty Affair and First Dawn separated themselves from the others, with Nasty Affair getting up just in time.

Nasty Affair is now two-for-seven with two seconds, one third and earnings topping $90,000.

 

Longshot Amundson Takes the Hollie Hughes Wire-to-Wire Monday

Photo: Susie Raisher

Jorge Vargas Jr. rode Barry Schwartz’s homebred four-year-old gelding Amundson hard to get the early lead and he never relinquished it, taking the 42nd running of the six-furlong $100,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes for New York-breds by two lengths Monday at Aqueduct. Sent off at 15-1 odds in the field of eight, Amundson won in a final time of 1:10.87.

Last year’s Hollie Hughes winner My Boy Tate, the 2-1 favorite on the rail ridden by Manny Franco, rallied from last to finish second, a neck in front of 17-1 Morning Breez and Eric Cancel. Binkster, a 14-1 shot ridden by Dylan Davis, finished just another neck back in fourth.

Horacio DePaz trains Amundson, a son of Curlin out of Bridgehampton by Bernardini who had won two straight New York-bred allowance races before shipping to Laurel Park to contest an open $100,000 stakes on November 30th. Amundson made the lead in mid-race but tired to finish sixth by 4 ½ lengths at 5-2 odds. DePaz gave Amundson plenty of time to recover, and he delivered a powerful performance Monday.

Vargas rode Amundson aggressively from the four post to take a neck lead on 4-1 Eye Luv Lulu and Jose Lezcano through a :22.49 quick first quarter-mile. Amundson then stepped away to a two-length lead by running a half-mile in a testing :45.44.

But Amundson had plenty left, and he maintained that margin all the way home.

“He was brave up front,” Vargas said. “I was going a little fast, but nobody was putting any pressure on me, and I took advantage of it. He relaxed really well. Every time I asked him, he gave me something.”

Amundson is now four-for-eight with one third and earnings of more than $165,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Beautifully ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, Roddy Valente’s homebred four-year-old filly Bustin to Please, co-owned by Darlene Bilinski and co-bred by her husband Dr. Jerry Bilinski, skirmished on the lead, lost it briefly and then came on again to win her second straight race, a six-furlong $64,000 New York-bred allowance, by three-quarters of a length. Sent off as part of the 8-5 favored entry in the field of 10, Bustin to Please won in a final time of 1:12.53 to give Carmouche his second winner on Monday’s card.

The gray Awesome Debate, sent off at odds of 13-1 with Jorge Vargas Jr. aboard, led late before finishing a clear second, 6 ½ lengths ahead of 9-1 Wailin Josie. Queendom, who went off at 31-1 under Daisuke Fukumoto, was another half-length behind in fourth.

Claudio Gonzalez trains Bustin to Please, a daughter of Valente’s undefeated Bustin Stones out of Little Polka Dot by Orientate who won an open $16,000 claimer by 4 ¼ lengths at Laurel Park in her previous start on January 17th.

Carmouche hustled her to the lead from the two post but she had plenty of company from 19-1 Accabonac Harbor, ridden by Dylan Davis, two-wide and Awesome Debate three-wide. Bustin to Please led by just a nose after an opening quarter-mile in :22.49. Around the far turn, Accabonac Harbor stuck a head in front but tired suddenly.

That left Awesome Debate second by a head after a half-mile in :46.82. Awesome Debate put a neck in front of Bustin to Please in mid-stretch, but Bustin to Please responded immediately. She regained a narrow lead and edged away in the final yards.

Bustin to Please is now five-for-nine with one second, one third and earnings of just under $100,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Jorge Vargas Jr. swept the late daily double, rallying Twin Creek Farm’s homebred gelding More Graytful, co-owned by Brent Gasaway, to a length-and-a-quarter victory in Monday’s finale, a six-furlong $60,000 New York-bred maiden special weight for three-year-olds. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite from the 12 post in a field of 12, More Graytful won in a final time of 1:12.37.

Double Shot, sent off at 5-1 odds under Manny Franco, closed a ton of ground to finish second, a length and a half ahead of 15-1 first-time starter yaBanker and Dylan Davis. Front-running firster Walrus Gumboot, who went off at odds of 9-1 under Jose Lezcano, was just a nose behind Ernie Banker in fourth.

Brad Cox trains More Graytful, a son of Graydar out of More Than Beauty by More Than Ready who finished second by a neck under Joel Rosario and second by three-quarters of a length under Jose Lezcano in his first two starts.

Vargas settled More Graytful in mid-pack as Walrus Gumboot led by less than a length through a quarter-mile in :22.52 and a half-mile in :46.28. More Graytful was gaining on the outside quickly by then, and he went after the front-runner.

More Graytful took over late, opened a clear lead and held off a furious finish by Double Shot to win.

With a victory and a pair of seconds in three starts, More Graytful has earned more than $55,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Green Polka Farms’ homebred New York-bred filly Officer Hutchy and Jose Lezcano wore down front-running Rude Awakening and Eric Cancel in mid-stretch, then spurted away to take a $55,000 starter allowance for three year-old fillies by three lengths Monday, completing the seven-furlong distance in 1:27.45. Officer Hutchy was the 8-5 favorite and Rude Awakening the 5-2 second choice in the field of eight. Longshot gray Lake Chicot, sent off at odds of 48-1 under Reylu Gutierrez, finished third, nearly five lengths behind Rude Awakening.

Linda Rice trains Officer Hutchy, a daughter of Boys At Toscanova out of A. P. Hutchy by Patriot Act who had a win and a pair of seconds, one of them in a $100,000 division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, in her first three starts.

Breaking from the five and six posts, respectively, Rude Awakening and Officer Hutchy got away 1-2. Rude Awakening led Officer Hutchy by a length and a half through a :22.56 first quarter. Officer Hutchy drew within a half-length of the frontrunner after a half-mile in :46.84, then amped up the pressure.

Rude Awakening dug in bravely, but Officer Hutchy got to her near the sixteenth pole and drew away late.

With two wins and two seconds in four starts, Officer Hutchy has earned more than $160,000.

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Photo: Adam Coglianese

Incredibly hot Eric Cancel rallied Five C’s Stable’s seven-year-old New York-bred gelding Nuclear Code up the rail and he drew away to a 2 ½-length victory in a six-furlong $28,000 open $10,000 claimer, giving Cancel his third winner of the afternoon in Monday’s fifth race and his 12th victory in the last four days. Sent off at 7-1 odds in the field of eight, Nuclear Code won in a final time of 1:12.97.

Liam Let’s Go, who went off at odds of 5-2 under five-pound apprentice Julio Correa, finished second, a half-length in front of 55-1 So Sublime and Maicol Inirio.

J. I. Racing bred Nuclear Code, a son of Jump Start out of Fourth Chapter by Touch Gold who is trained by Ralph D’Alessandro. Nuclear Code finished second by three lengths under Cancel in his previous start at 15-1 odds on February 1st.

Cancel got Nuclear Code away sixth Monday as 5-1 The Forty Factor and Reylu Gutierrez took the field to a half-mile in :46.84.

Then Liam’s Map rallied strongly on the outside as Nuclear Code advanced quickly along the rail. Nuclear Code powered past the tiring pacesetter and spurted clear to win impressively.

Nuclear Code is now four-for-25 on dirt with six seconds, four thirds and earnings of more than $75,000.

5 thoughts on “Bill Heller’s New York-Breds at the Races: February 17 to 23

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