Marriedtothemusic seeks first stakes win in Affirmed Success
By Sean Morris | 04/30/2014 12:23 PM ET
Marriedtothemusic will go in search of his first stakes victory on Friday at Belmont Park in the $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-breds.
The six-furlong Affirmed Success will be run as race 3 on Friday's nine-race card, which also features the simulcast from Churchill Downs of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, won last year by Princess of Sylmar. Post time for the Oaks is approximately 5:45 p.m.
First or second in all but one of his 10 career races, Marriedtothemusic will be making his second start for trainer Linda Rice, who took over the 4-year-old colt's training following the death of Dominic Galluscio. In his first start for Rice, a close friend of Galluscio's, the son of Disco Rico posted a 4 ½-length allowance victory over the main track of Aqueduct on April 3, covering the six furlongs in 1:08.98 and earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 101.
"He's pretty straightforward," said Rice of her barn's recent acquisition. "He's a neat horse to be around; he trains well on a daily basis and is a pleasure to have in the barn. He's still young and developing so we're hopeful [he can be a graded-stakes type], but you never really know."
Bred and owned by DutchessViews Farms, Marriedtothemusic began his career with a victory in a $35,000 maiden claiming race for New York-breds. Subsequently eighth in a starter allowance race, Marriedtothemusic rebounded with another win in a $35,000 claiming race that came off the turf, the last time he was offered for a tag.
He followed that performance with a 5 ¾-length win at Saratoga Race Course on July 21, earning a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort and extinguishing any doubts about his off-the-turf score.
After making two more starts at Saratoga, both second-place finishes, Marriedtothemusic hit the sidelines for nearly five months. He made his return to the races a winning one on January 18 at the Big A, then proceeded to win again 13 days later at the same trip and track. Bumped up to stakes company for his next start in the Hollie Hughes, he ran well over an inner track labeled "good", but tired to finish second behind Be Bullish, who will also contest the Affirmed Success.
Cornelio Velasquez returns aboard Marriedtothemusic, the 6-5 favorite in the field of six. They will leave from post position 5.
Trainer David Jacobson will send out two runners Friday, the aforementioned Be Bullish, and Night Maneuver, a horse he claimed for $50,000 on January 30 at the Big A on behalf of owners Drawing Away Stable.
Be Bullish, also owned by Drawing Away Stable and Jacobson, will be making his 76th career start on Friday. The 9-year-old gelding is 15-23-12 from his first 75 starts. Since Jacobson claimed the son of Pure Prize for $25,000 on November 3, he is 2-for-3, with his lone defeat in that span coming to stablemate Night Maneuver.
Be Bullish will be ridden by Junior Alvarado and depart from post position 2, while Night Maneuver will leave from post position 6 with Chris DeCarlo in the irons. The entry is 8-5 on the morning line.
Rounding out the field are Half Nelson, winner of a first-level allowance race for statebreds in his last start; Bug Juice, who took an optional claimer in the slop at the Big A last out; and Weekend Hideaway, runner-up in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park in his most recent outing.
The field for the Affirmed Success: