Galaxina lights up tote board in $200K NYSSS Park Avenue
by Ryan Martin
Ascendant Farms’ homebred Galaxina displayed tactical speed to secure a 24-1 victory in Sunday’s $200,000 Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, a 6 1/2-furlong main track sprint for eligible New York-sired sophomore fillies, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Galaxina, by Giant Surprise, was sent to post as the longest shot in a six-horse field and rewarded her backers with a cool $50.50 for a $2 win wager.
The dynamics of the race were altered at the break when 1-5 favorite Yo Cuz broke poorly from the inside post and was unable to secure her usual frontrunning style. With Yo Cuz in last, Starship Laoban secured control of the pace, leading through an opening quarter-mile in 23.49 seconds over the fast main track. Galaxina tracked right off the flank of the pacesetter in second and came under a drive by Trevor McCarthy around the far turn with Yo Cuz in pursuit from the four path.
Galaxina and Starship Laoban engaged in battle in the stretch run with Bank On Anna keeping close company 3 1/2 lengths back in third. Galaxina inched past a stubborn Starship Laoban at the sixteenth pole to win her stakes debut by a length in a final time of 1:18.08.
Starship Laoban finished another 2 1/2 lengths to the better of third-place finisher Bank On Anna. Yo Cuz, Celebrity News and Kisses for Emily completed the order of finish. Gris Tormenta was scratched.
“She warmed up really well and broke really sharp,” said McCarthy, who also piloted Kazmike to victory in Saturday’s NYSSS Times Square. “I was able to get her to turn off nice and sit second. When she made that burst turning for home, she gave me everything she had.”
Galaxina cut back in distance for trainer Jimmy Bond, arriving at the NYSSS Park Avenue off a gate-to-wire maiden score at seven furlongs on February 26 at Aqueduct. The maiden victory came five weeks after finishing second on debut to eventual dual stakes-placed Stone Creator on January 16.
McCarthy piloted the filly in both of her previous starts and said she was well prepared for the race.
“She has been training really good and feeling really good coming into this,” McCarthy said. “I give a lot of credit to the Bonds. She’s a filly that probably looked a little under class, but with the right trip today and the way she’s been training, I expected her to run really good.”
Yo Cuz, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott for Dream Maker Racing, entered off a trio of stakes scores at the Big A. She captured the NYSSS Fifth Avenue in December ahead of scores against fellow New York-breds in the Maddie May in February and the East View in March.
Jose Ortiz, aboard Yo Cuz, said his filly’s chances were hampered at the break.
“She broke the first jump good, but the second jump she grabbed her quarter a little bit. It happens,” Ortiz said. “The main thing is to get her right. I still think she’s the best horse in the division. She’s a very nice filly. She was just unlucky today.”
Galaxina banked $110,000 in victory and over tripled her lifetime earnings which now stand at $162,500 through a 3-2-1-0 record. A New York homebred, Galaxina is out of the Lawyer Ron mare Strange Magic, whose dam, Lokoya Red, is a half-sister to 2008 Champion Turf Mare Forever Together.
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