Stonewall Star finds her form in $100K Biogio’s Rose
Stakes Recap
Mar 24, 2024
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Stonewall Star finds her form in $100K Biogio’s Rose

by Christian Abdo

Barry Schwartz’s graded-stakes placed New York homebred Stonewall Star returned to winning ways in Sunday’s $100,000 Biogio’s Rose, a one-turn mile for older state-bred fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Horacio De Paz, the 4-year-old Flatter bay attended the pace under Isaac Castillo before pouncing in the turn and hanging on for a 1 1/4-lengths victory. Stonewall Star, who won the six-furlong Key Cents as a juvenile, entered the winner’s circle for the first time since the seven-furlong Wide Country last February at Laurel Park.

“She was always a talented filly, we just had trouble bringing her back to form. I think just letting the pace be a little easier back in New York-bred company [helped] and I figured she could stretch out,” said De Paz. “Isaac rode a great race, controlled, and just let her be where she was comfortable and not rush her. I’m very happy for her to come back.”

Stonewall Star broke sharply from the outermost post 5 to clear Venti Valentine to her inside and sit just off of the Jose Lezcano-piloted Security Code who led the field out of the chute from the inside post. Venti Valentine stalked the front pair, as Bustin Bay sat in behind with Sweetest Princess the trailer through an opening quarter-mile in 24.35 seconds over the fast main track.

Security Code, who won the state-bred Broadway last out on February 17, continued to lead down the backside but Stonewall Star never let her put more than a head in front, with Venti Valentine still pressuring a half-length back to her outside through a half-mile in 47.61.

Castillo asked Stonewall Star to pick it up entering the turn and she immediately put a head in front of Security Code who tried to battle back on the inside as Venti Valentine stalked close through three-quarters in 1:11.95.

Stonewall Star had a 1 1/2-length lead at the stretch call as Kendrick Carmouche tipped a loaded Bustin Bay to the outside while Sweetest Princess sought running room along the rail. But Stonewall Star, who finished a distant sixth in her last two starts versus open optional claiming company, responded when asked by Castillo in the stretch and staved off an oncoming Bustin Bay, crossing the wire in a final time of 1:36.51.

It was 2 1/2-lengths back to Venti Valentine who held on for third by 1 1/4-lengths over Security Code. Sweetest Princess rounded out the order of finish. Sweet Mystery, Lady Mine, and Bon Adieu were scratched.

Castillo said his filly had plenty in the tank down the lane.

“She's really kind. The trainer did a very good job to get the filly to relax before the race,” Castillo said. “I know the [other] horses were coming, but she feels so comfortable up there. When I asked her, she still had so much left."

Bustin Bay, who looked for her first stakes win, won a one-turn mile versus optional claiming company under Carmouche here on March 14.

“My filly ran just as good as she ran last time. She didn't leave as sharp as I wanted but I was in a perfect spot the whole way,” Carmouche said. “It was an easy first quarter, I think that's what got me.”

Out of the Proud Citizen mare Jonata, Stonewall Star is a full-sister to multiple stakes-winner La Fuerza and a half-sister to Whatlovelookslike, winner of the Port Washington in July at Belmont Park.

Stonewall Star, who landed a game third in the Grade 2 Beaumont last year at Keeneland, banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 12-5-1-4. She returned $11.60 for a $2 win bet.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, the Biogio’s Rose card was moved in its entirety to Sunday due to a strong coastal storm.

Live racing resumes Thursday at Aqueduct with an eight-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the winter meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at

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