Delaware earns 99 BSF from late-closing Danger's Hour victory
by NYRA Press Office
- Delaware earns 99 BSF from late-closing Danger’s Hour victory; Horologist garners 90 BSF in Top Flight score
- Eddie F’s Racing looking to reel in victories with Lobsta, Chowda and Oysta
- Laobanonaprayer posts bullet breeze for NYSSS Times Square; Brooklyn Strong may use Tesio as bridge to G1 Preakness
- Miss Marissa back on Belmont work tab
- Nicky the Vest out of racing action until summer
- Cross Country Pick 5 pays $25K, posts total pool of $180K
- Aqueduct spring meet Week 3 probables
Michael Dubb, Nice Guys Stables and Michael Caruso’s Delaware earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure with a visually-impressive score in the Danger’s Hour, while Horologist garnered a 90 Beyer for her Top Flight win on a lucrative Saturday card at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Newly minted North American stakes winner Delaware captured the Danger’s Hour in a course record time of 1:33.67 over the Big A inner turf.
Trained by Chad Brown and piloted by Manny Franco, the bay 5-year-old son of Frankel displayed a devastating turn of foot with a five-wide move in upper stretch to power past pacesetter Rinaldi for a three-quarter-length score.
“I don’t have any plans for his next race, but we were really pleased with the effort, especially with how much ground he made up in the stretch,” said Brown. “He looked fine this morning.”
Delaware was a Group 3 winner in France for trainer Andre Fabre before joining Brown’s contingent in North America. He made his U.S. debut in the First Defence on June 7, where he finished eighth beaten five lengths. The Danger’s Hour was a first North American victory for Delaware, who made his seventh start in the United States.
Bred by original owner Juddmonte Farms, Delaware was purchased by his current ownership group out of last year’s Keeneland November Sale. He is out of the Oasis Dream mare Zatsfine, who is a sibling to Grade/Group 1 winners Proviso and Byword.
The Brown-trained Analyze It, who finished last-of-7 in the Danger’s Hour, was reported to have bled.
The New Jersey-bred Horologist made her 2021 debut a winning one while providing Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and jockey Junior Alvarado with their combined third stakes victory of the 11-day Big A spring meet.
Horologist is owned by There’s A Chance Stable, Medallion Racing, Abbondanza Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Paradise Farms Corporation and David Staudacher.
“She was a little tired this morning, but she looked well,” said Mott assistant Leana Willaford.
Horologist, who was named New Jersey Horse of the Year last month, put together a successful 2020 campaign with graded stakes victories in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park and the Grade 2 Beldame Invitational at Belmont Park. She capped off her prosperous season in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland when ninth to Monomoy Girl.
Eddie F’s Racing looking to reel in victories with Lobsta, Chowda and Oysta
Ed Fazzone, proprietor of Eddie F's Eatery in Saratoga Springs, New York, is hoping Lobsta, who races under his Eddie F’s Racing banner, will serve up a stakes win in Saturday’s $200,000 NYSSS Times Square, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for eligible New York-sired sophomores at the Big A.
The dark bay Emcee colt is one of three progeny owned by Fazzone from the Chief Seattle mare Salty Little Sis, including a 4-year-old full brother in Chowda and a yearling half-brother by Micromanage named Oysta.
Lobsta breezed three-eighths in 37.21 Saturday on the Belmont dirt training track for Fazzone’s longtime trainer Gary Sciacca.
“He had a great breeze and if all goes well, we’ll be going in the sire stakes next weekend,” said Fazzone.
Fazzone partnered up with Sciacca on a few horses in the early 1990s before he moved his family to Florida. After returning to New York and opening up Eddie F’s Eatery in 2016, Fazzone launched Eddie F's Racing, a stable of mostly New York-bred horses in partnership with family, friends and customers.
“Gary does great with New York breds. He always has,” said Fazzone. “I'm a fan of the New York-bred program and I love New York racing. The purses are really good for state-breds and I'm always looking for people that come in the restaurant that want to get in for a little bit of fun. We’re looking to claim one or two at Belmont and freshen them up for Saratoga.
“The customers are always cheering us on,” he added. “We've been lucky and we’re looking forward to a good spring and summer coming up.”
A maiden win by Chowda at Aqueduct in November 2019 set the table for a productive sophomore season that saw the dark bay defeat winners in January there ahead of a three-quarter length score in the Gander in February.
Forced to scratch out of the Damon Runyon in March after a minor setback, Chowda returned from a six-month layoff to finish third in last year’s Times Square held in August at Saratoga.
Freshened after an off-the-board effort in October, Fazzone said Chowda has been gelded.
“He had a flake removed after the Damon Runyon and then we gave him some more time off. He’s coming back to Gary on Tuesday at Belmont and will start training to be ready for a late summer/fall run here,” said Fazzone.
Lobsta, a second-out maiden winner in January at Aqueduct, has followed a similar path to his full brother. He finished second in the Gander in February before clawing his way to a neck victory over winners last out on March 28 defeating Schokolade, who looked to be home free under Trevor McCarthy for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott in a one-turn mile on a sloppy and sealed Big A main track.
“He's a fighter,” said Fazzone. “He kept coming around the turn and was under a drive, and I thought it wasn't looking good for us. Trevor was just sitting there on Billy's horse and it looked like he'd win for fun, but we just kept coming at him. He's got some guts.”
Fazzone said the full siblings have different racing styles but share the same desire to win.
“Chowda doesn't like to let horses by him and will be up there and fight to the end, but doesn't really pass horses,” said Fazzone. “Lobsta, in his last race, he just kept coming and never gave up.”
While Fazzone is pleased with his troika of state-bred sons of Salty Little Sis, all bred in the Empire State by Fedwell Farm, the seafood connoisseur does rue the one that got away, a dark bay colt named Salty Heir.
“I took a shot when we bought Chowda and then I got Lobsta as a yearling just before Chowda ran, but I missed out on one in-between that is a 2-year-old now,” said Fazzone. “I'd imagine he'll show up this year in early summer. I was in Florida and didn't know he was for sale. I’d definitely have bought him, too. He’s by Micromanage like Oysta, but they didn't name him after seafood.”
Oysta is following in the footsteps of his half-siblings by going through his early paces at Woodberry Payne in Virginia.
“He's only a yearling and just got to Virginia this week. We'll see him next summer,” said Fazzone. “He's a good looking colt. Hopefully, his brother is a nice horse, too.”
With Sciacca just nine wins shy of 1,000 for his career entering Sunday’s card at the Big A, Fazzone said he’d love to be part of the winner’s circle celebration for the milestone score.
“Me and Gary go back 30-plus years. It would be great if we could get him the 1000th win,” said Fazzone. “He's a true New York trainer. He's seen it all and been around a long time. He goes back with the best of them.”
Laobanonaprayer posts bullet breeze for NYSSS Times Square; Brooklyn Strong may use Tesio as bridge to G1 Preakness
Laobanonprayer worked a bullet half-mile handily in 46.62 Saturday on the Parx main track in preparation for a start in Sunday’s $200,000 NYSSS Park Avenue, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for eligible New York-sired sophomore fillies at the Big A.
"She hit every point and galloped out in 58," said owner-trainer Daniel Velazquez. "She did it steadily. I asked the rider to finish up on her and then we'll take it easy into next weekend. I wanted to crank that speed into her."
Bred in New York by Christina Deronda, the Laoban bay was purchased for $15,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. The filly graduated at third asking in October 2020 in the Maid of the Mist, a one-turn mile for state-bred juveniles at Belmont Park, providing Velazquez his first stakes win.
Laobanonaprayer followed with an eight-length score in the seven-furlong NYSSS Park Avenue in December at Aqueduct ahead of a runner-up effort in the Franklin Square in her sophomore debut in January on a muddy Big A strip on January 16.
Last out, Laobanonaprayer finished fourth to undefeated Kentucky Oaks-contender Search Results in the open Busher Invitational traveling a one-turn mile on March 6 at Aqueduct.
Velazquez said the cut back in distance is within the talented filly’s reach.
"I think seven eighths hits her right on the money but New York stallion stakes is her kind and with her ability, she should be able to overcome the 6 1/2-furlongs," said Velazquez.
Kendrick Carmouche will retain the mount.
Velazquez said Brooklyn Strong came out of his fifth-place effort in last Saturday’s Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino in good order.
Owned by Mark Schwartz and bred in the Empire State by Cheryl Prudhomme and Dr. Michael Gallivan, the Wicked Strong gelding entered the nine-furlong Wood Memorial from a neck score in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Remsen on December 5 at the Big A.
"He came out of the Wood really good. It was a good tightener for him and a learning curve for me,' said Velazquez. "I went in there 100 percent believing in my horse but at the end of the day, going into those big races you need a big race. My horse showed up and he showed me that he belongs there. He was beat less than five lengths off a long layoff. He impressed me."
Velazquez said Brooklyn Strong could target the nine-furlong $125,000 Federico Tesio on April 24 at Laurel Park as a stepping stone towards the Grade 1 Preakness, second leg of the Triple Crown, slated for May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
"I think we're going to try the Preakness," said Velazquez. "We'll look at the Tesio as a target race for him and to keep him fit."
Velazquez said Brooklyn Strong had a difficult trip in the Wood Memorial but showed heart to finish 4 3/4-lengths back of longshot winner Bourbonic.
"I've watched the replay a dozen times and he never really got a break down the back side,” said Velazquez. “He was steadied behind traffic and that takes energy. When he finally found a hole he got banged around again. The mile and an eighth was a little hard on him off the layoff.”
Brooklyn Strong, a $5,000 purchase at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, captured the Sleepy Hollow in October 2020 at Belmont just one race following Laobanonprayer’s Maid of the Mist win on a memorable Empire Showcase Day card for the young conditioner.
“I’ve been nothing but lucky since I got these New York-breds. I'll go down to the Ocala at the end of the month and hopefully find a couple more superstars,” he said, with a laugh.
Miss Marissa back on Belmont work tab
Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan-winner Miss Marissa continues to work at Belmont Park in preparation for her first start since trainer James Ryerson gave her a freshening after running second in the Ladies Handicap in her 4-year-old debut in January at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Miss Marissa returned to the work tab on April 3 at Belmont with a three-furlong blowout on the training track and posted her second breeze back on Saturday at the same location, registering four furlongs in 52.27 seconds.
Cammarota Racing’s Miss Marissa enjoyed a successful sophomore campaign, going a 3-0-1 record in seven starts. Her victory at 10-1 odds in the Black-Eyed Susan on Preakness Day October 3 at Pimlico, in which she edged Bonny South by a neck, served as the highlight.
The He’s Had Enough filly ended her campaign with a sixth-place effort in the Grade 3 Comely on November 28 at Aqueduct before making her 4-year-old debut with a strong second-place effort in the Ladies Handicap going 1 1/8 miles at the Big A almost three months ago.
Ryerson gave Miss Marissa time off after that effort and said the respite seems to have made a positive impact as she resumes her training.
“She’s been training good since we freshened her; we have a little ways to go, probably another 45 days or so, but she’s doing fine and hopefully the break did some good,” Ryerson said. “There’s a lot of races out there for the older mares going a lot of ground on the dirt, so we’ll see how she come back. We have hopes of looking at some things down the road in Saratoga, but we’ll see prior to that.”
Ryerson said Miss Marissa could target a race during the 48-day Belmont spring/summer meet that runs from Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, July 11 as her first spot back. She broke her maiden on Big Sandy in her fourth career start in September 2019 and the appeal of not having to ship for a race is an additional benefit.
“It may depend on how she comes around and how the races start to shape up, but she’s doing fine so far and we’re very happy,” Ryerson said. “It’s still too early, but Belmont is definitely something we’re looking at in comparison to some other spots. We’re stabled here year-round, so we look to race as long as we can here as long as it makes sense.
“With her, we have hopes she can have a good year, but you don’t know. We’ll see how it works out,” he added.
WellSpring Stables’ Market Alert will return to stakes company after capitalizing on class relief with a half-length optional claiming score going six furlongs on February 21 at Aqueduct. Ryerson said he will enter Market Alert in Saturday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Times Square for 3-year-olds going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
Market Alert posted consecutive third-place finishes in Aqueduct stakes sprints to close his juvenile year, running in the money in the Notebook going six furlongs in November and closing 2020 in the NYSSS Great White Way in December.
The gelded son of D’Funnybone is 2-0-2 in six career starts, running exclusively on NYRA tracks, including a debut win on June 19 at Belmont before a seventh-place finish in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special and fourth in the Funny Cide during the summer meet at the Spa.
“The last time, I thought he showed that he filled out and was pretty physical,” Ryerson said. “His last two races, he’s put himself in it like he should, whereas earlier he was really hurting himself in his races by breaking poorly, not getting any position and having to overcome a little too much. He was having trouble dealing with that. He has tactical speed to be able to put himself in the race, and he’s done that in the last two.”
Nicky the Vest out of racing action until summer
Trainer Jonathan Thomas said Robert V. LaPenta’s Nicky the Vest had surgery to remove a chip in the lower joint of his right knee. He reported that the New York-bred son of Runhappy could return to his barn on June 1.
A winner of both career starts, Nicky the Vest was last seen winning the Gander on February 15 at Aqueduct Racetrack against his Empire State-bred counterparts. The 11 ¾-length romp in the one-turn mile promoted Thomas to consider the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, but ultimately stopped on the horse following his most recent work.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s hopefully inconsequential but it was enough to bother the horse,” Thomas said of the operation. “Dr. [John] Madison did it at Ocala Equine on Monday. He cleaned up nicely, the prognosis is good and fingers crossed he’s back with us June 1.”
Bred in New York by Highclere, Nicky the Vest was purchased for $110,000 at the 2019 OBS October Yearling Sale. He is the sixth progeny out of the Cat Thief mare Tazarine, whose other five progeny are all winners.
While Nicky the Vest will be on the shelf for the time being, Hard Love will make his sophomore debut for Thomas in Saturday’s $100,000 Woodhaven going 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds.
Owned by LaPenta in partnership with George Strawbridge, Jr.’s Augustin Stable, the son of Kitten’s Joy was victorious on debut at 11-1 odds going 1 1/16 miles over the outer turf at Belmont Park. He stalked a moderate pace, established command in upper stretch and battled with runner-up Big Everest to a two-length win.
Hard Love saw similar tactics in his next-out stakes debut, where he stalked gate-to-wire winner Never Surprised throughout the 1 1/16-mile journey.
“He’s going to be a little bit short, but he still has enough foundation for a spot like the Woodhaven,” Thomas said. “He’s trained well and we’re hopeful that this can lead him into longer races into the year. We’re happy with him and we’re a go for the Woodhaven.”
Thomas picked Hard Love for $200,000 out of last year’s OBS April Sale, where he was consigned by Eddie Woods.
Other probable starters for Saturday’s Woodhaven include Sifting Sands, Original, Shawdyshawdyshawdy and Extrasexybigdaddee.
Cross Country Pick 5 pays $25K, posts total pool of $180K
Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5, featuring stakes action from Aqueduct, Oaklawn Park and Keeneland Race Course, returned $25,507.25 for selecting all five winner’s for the 50-cent wager. The total was pool was $180,061.
The action started with the sequence’s lone non-stakes in Aqueduct’s Race 7, when Family Biz overtook Yankee Division in the stretch to win a one-mile main track allowance tilt for trainer Linda Rice. Family Biz, ridden by Eric Cancel, returned $13.80 on a $2 win wager, victorious for the second time in five starts this year.
Keeneland, located in Lexington, Kentucky, commenced the stakes action in Race 8 when Change of Control posted a rallying one-length victory in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint. Trained by Michelle Lovell and ridden by Colby Hernandez, Change of Control paid $19.80.
Aqueduct’s first turf stakes of the year saw another double-digit payout, with the British-bred Delaware winning his first North American start with an impressive come-from-behind effort in the $100,000 Danger’s Hour in Race 8. The Chad Brown trainee set a Big A track record for one mile on the inner turf course, running down Rinaldi in the final sixteenth to hit the wire in 1:33.67 under a drive by jockey Manny Franco. Delaware, a Group 3 winner in France before arriving in the United States, paid $22.20.
King Fury provide the wager’s biggest payday, winning the Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington at 18-1 odds for trainer Ken McPeek. King Fury, who tracked in eighth position in the nine-horse field of 3-year-olds through the opening quarter-mile, registered a 2 3/4-length win under Brian Hernandez, Jr., winning the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Derby prep race that earned the winner 20 qualifying points to the “Run for the Roses” on May 1. King Fury paid $38.40 for winning Keeneland’s ninth race, while Unbridled Honor, Starrinmydreams and Proxy finished second, third and fourth to earn 8-4-2 points, respectively.
Oaklawn closed out the contest with By My Standards edging Rushie by a nose to win the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile for 4-year-olds and up on the main track in Race 9. By My Standards, with Gabriel Saez in the irons, returned $6.80 for his off-the-pace effort at the Hot Springs, Arkansas track, earning a win for trainer Bret Calhoun.
The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.
The Cross Country Pick 5 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. For more information, visit NYRABets.com.
Aqueduct spring meet Week 3 probables
Saturday, April 17
Probable: Extrasexybigdaddee (Mike Trombetta), Hard Love (Jonathan Thomas), Original (John Terranova), Shawdyshawdyshawdy (Jorge Abreu), Sifting Sands (Chad Brown)
Possible: It’s a Gamble (Kelly Breen), Yes This Time (Kelly Breen
$200,000 NYSSS Times Square
Probable: Devious Mo (Rudy Rodriguez), It’s Gravy (Kelly Breen), Lobsta (Gary Sciacca), Market Alert (James Ryerson), Noctilucent (James Bond), Papa Smooth (Mike Maker), Sinful Dancer (George Weaver), Writer’s Regret (James Ferraro)
Possible: The King Cheek (Jamie Ness)
Sunday, April 18
$100,000 Memories of Silver
Probable: Bravo Regina (Juan Vazquez), Fluffy Socks (Chad Brown), Frost Me (John Kimmel), Ingrassia (Chad Brown), Mischevious Dream (Christophe Clement), Oyster Box (Graham Motion)
$200,000 NYSSS Park Avenue
Probable: Bustin Bay (Antonio Arriaga), Jill’s a Hot Mess (John Kimmel), Laobanonaprayer (Daniel Velazquez), Laura’s Bellamy (Todd Pletcher)
Possible: Dramatic Twist (Patrick Quick), Rosey’s Peach (Domenick Schettino), Shaker Shack (Patrick Reynolds)