Saddle Up Jessie earns 87 BSF for $150K Heavenly Prize score
Feb 11, 2024
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Saddle Up Jessie earns 87 BSF for $150K Heavenly Prize score

by NYRA Press Office

  • Saddle Up Jessie earns 87 BSF for $150K Heavenly Prize score
  • Super Chow points to G3 Tom Fool; Power Squeeze on to G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks
  • The Big Torpedo targets $100K Gander; Charging entered in Colonel Power at Fair Grounds
  • Aqueduct Racetrack Week 7 stakes probables

Michael J. Ryan’s Saddle Up Jessie earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure for her 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 Heavenly Prize Invitational, a one-turn mile for older fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Brittany Russell, the 5-year-old More Than Ready dark bay went wire-to-wire under Manny Franco when taking command of an early three-way battle for the lead and setting splits of 23.96 seconds, 47.71 and 1:12.57 over the fast main track. She maintained a comfortable advantage into the stretch as Movie Moxy and Spiked gave chase, but there was no denying Saddle Up Jessie, who completed the course in 1:38.23.

Russell said Saddle Up Jessie emerged well from her effort, but will remain at Belmont Park until the active Equine Herpesvirus quarantine has been lifted.

“She looks great today,” said Russell. “She’s still in New York because of the quarantine, but she looks great this morning. She deserved the win, so I’m glad we went up there. It was a good spot.”

The win came on the heels of a close runner-up effort in the two-turn nine-furlong Ladies on January 6 at the Big A where she finished a neck back of a closing Comparative, who exited that effort to win the Grade 3 Bayakoa at Oaklawn.

Russell said she had no concerns about the cutback for Saddle Up Jessie, who also won the nine-furlong Carousel around two turns in December at Laurel Park.

“I thought she would handle the one turn just fine,” said Russell. “I don’t think you can take anything away from her in the Ladies. Comparative came back to win that race at Oaklawn and she’s a grinding, tough, good filly. For Jessie to run second to her – yes, it stinks not to win the race – but she got beat by a nice filly and she came back and redeemed herself.”

Bred in Kentucky by Ryan’s Kinnickinnic Stables, Saddle Up Jessie was originally sold as a yearling and started her career on the turf in California. She was claimed for $20,000 last January ahead of her first start for Russell in June, a 17 1/2-length graduation in a maiden claiming tilt at Delaware Park.

She has now won or finished second in each of her seven dirt starts since moving to the Russell barn.

“We just found what she likes,” said Russell. “She’s a good horse. She was always a very good work horse and it’s always been there.”

Russell added she has not yet mapped out a potential next start for Saddle Up Jessie.

“We have a couple spots [in mind], but we’re just going to sit tight and make sure she can get out of New York and get home to train before we make anything a definite plan,” said Russell. “We’re just going to do what we can for the moment, and then make a decision.”

Russell also provided an update on Hillwood Stable’s talented 4-year-old Maryland-bred Post Time, who was last seen winning the restricted one-mile Jennings by 6 1/2 lengths on January 28 at Laurel. The son of Frosted earned a career-best 104 Beyer for the effort and has won 6-of-7 lifetime starts, including additional stakes triumphs in the 2022 Maryland Juvenile and the City of Laurel in November.

Russell said Post Time is being pointed to his graded stakes debut in the seven-furlong Grade 3 General George slated for Saturday at the Maryland oval.

“He’s a really good horse, and we knew he was a good horse last year; he just needed some time,” said Russell. “It was a huge race last time. The George will be a cutback, but I think he’ll handle it just fine.”

An $85,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale, Post Time is out of the graded stakes-placed Fairbanks mare Vielsalm.


Super Chow points to G3 Tom Fool; Power Squeeze on to G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks

Trainer Jorge Delgado and owner Lea Farms have teamed up for a solid start to the 2024 season, taking the Grade 3 Toboggan on February 3 here with Super Chow and the Suncoast on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs with Kentucky Oaks prospect Power Squeeze.

"We're having a good year so far. They support me in every decision I make,” said Delgado, who also sent out Lea Farms’ Rapture Bay for a maiden score Saturday at Gulfstream Park. “They back me up when things don't go well and also when things go really well. It's a pleasure to work for them.”

Super Chow, a 4-year-old Lord Nelson colt, made the grade with a powerful frontrunning performance in the seven-furlong Toboggan, edging clear to a 4 1/4-length score over a muddy and sealed track to make the grade and provide jockey Madison Olver with her first career stakes win.

“He came back great. He's enjoying the weather up there and training very well after the race. All good signs," Delgado said.

Olver guided Super Chow through a trio of on-the-board efforts in stakes sprints last year, finishing second in both the My Frenchman and Jersey Shore at Monmouth Park ahead of a third-place effort in the Carle Place here in October.

Delgado said he wasn’t too concerned about the pacey Super Chow trying to stretch his speed to seven furlongs.

"Not really. He's a horse that is always in the money and in the race," Delgado said. "It all depends on who he's facing and the kind of trip he can get, but that day there was a lack of speed and I believe that was the major key in the race.

"It was also key that she [Olver] knew the horse. She rode him three times before that race," added Delgado. "She knew what to expect and got him going right away from the gate. She got the best out of him."

Super Chow previously finished third in the 2022 Grade 2 Saratoga Special and second in last year’s Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream Park. He was a four-time stakes winner prior to making the grade, capturing the Bowman Mill at Keeneland and Inaugural at Tampa Bay Downs in 2022 along with last year’s Limehouse and Hutcheson at Gulfstream.

Super Chow, who has banked $590,650 through a 16-7-4-4 record, will now point to the six-furlong Grade 3, $175,000 Tom Fool Handicap on March 2 here.

"He's a six-furlong specialist and has run really good there two times on the Aqueduct main track," Delgado said.

Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Super Chow was a $75,000 purchase at the 2022 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. A full brother to stakes winner Princess Indy, Super Chow is out of the Warrior’s Reward mare Bonita Mia.

Power Squeeze, a sophomore daughter of Union Rags, graduated at third asking with Olver aboard in October at Delaware Park. She followed with a five-length score under Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the one-mile Cash Run on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream Park.

On Saturday, with Daniel Centeno up, Power Squeeze saved ground in third position in the one-mile and 40-yard test before living up to her name by squeezing through on the rail with an eighth of a mile to run en route to a 2 3/4-length score.

"She's a big filly. A big chestnut with a long stride and good conformation. The further she gallops in the morning, the better she goes," Delgado said. "I believe the further distance she goes will be even better for her."

Power Squeeze, who picked up 20 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points Saturday, will now point to the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile test on March 30 offering 100-50-25-15-10 points to the top-five finishers.

"She's done really well so far - five starts, three wins, and four times in the money. She's a multiple stakes-winner and we're going to be pointing to the Grade 2 at Gulfstream," Delgado said.

Power Squeeze, a half-sister to stakes winner Call On Mischief, is out of the multiple stakes-winning Awesome Again mare Callmethesqueeze, who is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Royal Squeeze and stakes-winner Squeezer's Palace. Power Squeeze was purchased for $90,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and has banked $188,650 through a 5-3-1-0 record.


The Big Torpedo targets $100K Gander; Charging entered in Colonel Power at Fair Grounds

Thomas Albrecht, Vincent Fusaro and James Klein’s eye-catching maiden winner The Big Torpedo will look to make his next outing in the $100,000 Gander, a one-turn mile for New York-bred sophomores, on February 25 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Tom Morley, the son of Big Brown graduated last out with a 10-length romp over 10 rivals in a local one-mile state-bred maiden on January 13. There, he led each step of the way over the muddy and sealed footing to draw off with ease under Eric Cancel and complete the course in 1:38.56.

“He’s doing very well and we’ll point to the Gander,” said Morley. “We were very pleased with his last race. He’s a colt who has been going in the right direction, which is typical of our horses. We aren’t hard on them in their debut and we like to see them improve with racing. He couldn’t have been more impressive last time.”

The Big Torpedo finished a game second in his November debut when sprinting six furlongs on the turf ahead of a stretch-out to seven furlongs and a switch to dirt for the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way against fellow eligible state-sired juveniles on December 16. There, he was part of a dramatic run from the turn to the finish that saw him check hard with rivals at the quarter pole and cross the wire fourth. He was elevated to third following the disqualification of runner-up Brick Ambush.

“I think he might be a better horse on turf, and he has very turf-y action to him,” said Morley. “But, I’m very pleased to have been proven wrong about him on the dirt. He probably would have gotten very close to winning the Stallion Stakes if he hadn’t gotten annihilated at the quarter pole. It’s helpful when they’ve run well on turf, on dirt, and on a wet track. He’s a big, strong boy. He takes his racing well and eats well. He’s got a lot of ability.”

The Big Torpedo has worked over the Belmont Park training track twice since his maiden win, most recently covering a half-mile in 50.36 seconds Thursday in company with stakes-winner Locally Owned.

“He worked very well with him,” said Morley. “We’re planning one more breeze this week on Friday or Saturday depending on the weather and the track and then we should be all systems go for the Gander.”

The breeze was the first in one month for Flying P Stable’s Locally Owned, who has not raced since finishing third in a May optional claimer at Churchill Downs. Similarly, his 5-year-old stablemate Curbstone has not raced since finishing fifth in a July route at Saratoga Race Course.

Morley, who sent out Cees Get Degrees to a win on Friday at the Big A off an extended layoff, said both Locally Owned and Curbstone are working steadily towards a return to the races next month.

“Locally Owned is doing great, and it’s always nice to see the older horses coming back,” said Morley. “It’s great to see Curbstone back breezing well as well. Sometimes horses just need a bit of a vacation, and I think Cees Get Degrees proved that the other day coming back off a six-month layoff. They just needed a break, and they’re both working well. We’re looking for spots in March for those two.”

In his southern string, Morley had nominated both Charging and Son of a Birch to the 5 1/2-furlong Colonel Power at Fair Grounds Race Course on Saturday. The former has been entered in the turf sprint for older horses, while the latter will instead point to an allowance race next.

Fugget About It Racing Stable’s Charging was haltered by Morley for $35,000 out of a distant off-the-board finish in an August claiming sprint at Saratoga and has been a model of consistency since moving to new connections. He finished second by a nose in an October starter allowance at Belmont at the Big A in his first effort off the claim two starts before back-to-back allowance level victories at Fair Grounds. His latest win in a New Year’s Day allowance came in wire-to-wire fashion and was awarded a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He’s doing great and the five and a half furlongs seems to really suit him,” said Morley. “We’re hoping he’s very competitive on Saturday, and then he would be a horse to really think about Saratoga with if he is a stakes caliber horse. He’s run two huge races, and he’s got to take a big step up now.”

Charging has drawn post 2 in the nine-horse Colonel Power with Mitchell Murrill in the irons.

Son of a Birch, who is co-owned by Morley with Santa Rey Stable, has finished a game second in his last two starts at allowance level at Fair Grounds, including a good effort behind Charging in a December sprint and a last-out neck defeat to Gilded Ruler on January 4.

“He’ll run in the ‘a-other-than.’ He’s been a little unlucky in his couple starts down there,” said Morley. “It would be good if he can win there and then come back here. I think six furlongs is probably his optimal distance, and the five and a half [furlongs] at Fair Grounds is a touch too short for him. He’s doing great.”


Aqueduct Racetrack Week 7 stakes probables

Saturday, February 17

$100K Ruthless

Probable: Ghalia Princess (Brad Cox), Kissedbyanangel (Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon), Low Society (Mike Maker)

Possible: Tiarella (Horacio De Paz)

$100K Broadway (NYB)

Probable: Gone and Forgotten (Maker), Kant Hurry Love (David Duggan), Majestic Return (Michelle Giangiulio), Security Code (Phil Serpe), Venti Valentine (Jorge Abreu)

Possible: Golden Rocket (Patricia Farro)

Sunday, February 18

$100K Maddie May (NYB)

Probable: Bernietakescharge (Domenick Schettino), Cara’s Time (Mitchell Friedman), Midnight Concerto (Kenny McPeek), Munny Grab (De Paz), My Mane Squeeze (Maker), Rumint (Keri Brion), Walk With Me (Duggan)

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