Stan the Man takes on fellow veterans in $100K Gravesend
by Ryan Martin
Long Lake Stable’s Stan the Man will commence his 7-year-old campaign as part of an experienced five-horse field in Saturday’s 62nd running of the $100,000 Gravesend, a 6 ½ furlong test for 4-years-old and upward at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by John Terranova, Stan the Man has a proven affinity for the Aqueduct main track, boasting a 15-5-5-1 record, including a victory in the Queens County in December 2019.
The chestnut son of Broken Vow has finished no worse than third in his last four starts, all of which against stakes company. Following a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 True North on June 27 at Belmont Park, he won the Tale of the Cat on August 20 at Saratoga against fellow Gravesend aspirant My Boy Tate.
Stan the Man arrives at the Gravesend off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Kelso on October 3 at Belmont Park and was a last out second to Share the Ride in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight on November 29 at Aqueduct.
Stan the Man, facing a field that boasts three additional contenders making their 7-year-old debuts, enters off a sharp five-furlong bullet in 1:01.20 over the Belmont training track on December 28.
Bred in Kentucky by Emma Quinn, Dermot Quinn, Scott Pierce and Debbie Pierce, Stan the Man is out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Nite in Rome. Jockey Eric Cancel will ride Stan the Man from post 5.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez conditioned 8-year-old Backsideofthemoon to a victory in the Queens County on December 19 at the Big A and will attempt to get a stakes victory into another seasoned veteran with 13-time winner Pete’s Play Call, who was claimed for $62,500 from former trainer John Toscano last out after winning going six furlongs on November 27 at Aqueduct.
Owned by Michael Dubb, the soon-to-be 8-year-old Maryland-bred son of Munnings will attempt to add a second stakes win to his ledger after winning the Bonapaw in December 2019 at Fair Grounds Race Course for former trainer Mike Maker.
Pete’s Play Call has put together a consistent 2020 campaign with a 12-4-3-0 record and Rodriguez said that he is hopeful he can get the new year started with momentum.
“He’s doing very well. John did a good job with him. It’s a step up but we’re going to take a chance and hope for the best,” Rodriguez said. “He’s been very consistent. His numbers keep going up and he fits our program well. We just hope he can come back to the plate.”
Pete’s Play Call will be ridden by Jorge Vargas, Jr. from post 3.
M and A Racing’s soon-to-be 7-year-old Happy Farm makes his debut for trainer Linda Rice, who previously won the Gravesend with Frazil (2011) and Do Share (2017).
The son of Ghostzapper won the 2019 Grade 3 Fall Highweight at the Big A ahead of a runner-up effort to Firenze Fire in last year’s Gravesend. He will arrive at this year’s event off a 10-month layoff and has not raced since finishing second to multiple Grade 1-winner Mind Control in the Grade 3 Tom Fool on March 7.
Jockey Jose Lezcano will guide Happy Farm from post 1.
Three-time stakes winner My Boy Tate seeks his first victory since taking the NYSSS Thunder Rumble last November at Aqueduct. Trained, bred and co-owned by Michelle Nevin in partnership with Little Red Feather Racing, the son of Boys At Tosconova’s two other stakes victories also were at Aqueduct when taking the Say Florida Sandy and Hollie Hughes during the 2018 winter meet.
My Boy Tate boasts a 9-5-2-1 record at the Big A and will be ridden by Manny Franco from post 4.
Completing the field is Drafted, who finished fifth last out in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight for trainer David Duggan. The 7-year-old son of Field Commission was a two-time Group 3 winner in the United Arab Emirates for former trainer Doug Watson.
Breaking from post 2, Drafted will be ridden by Dylan Davis.
The Gravesend is slated as Race 8 on Aqueduct’s nine-race program, which offers a first post of 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
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