Uncle Heavy garners career-best 84 BSF for G3 Withers score
Feb 4, 2024
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Uncle Heavy garners career-best 84 BSF for G3 Withers score

by NYRA Press Office

  • Uncle Heavy garners career-best 84 BSF for G3 Withers score
  • Apprentice jockey Maddy OIver notches first stakes win with Super Chow
  • Lady Brew to ship in for Listed $150K Heavenly Prize Invitational
  • Aqueduct Racetrack Week 6 stakes probables

Michael Milam’s Pennsylvania-bred Uncle Heavy earned a career-high 84 Beyer Speed Figure for his thrilling nose victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Withers, a nine-furlong test for sophomores, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

For his victory, the Social Inclusion bay took home the maximum allotment of 20-10-6-4-2 Kentucky Derby qualifying points distributed to the top-five finishers, respectively.

Trained by Butch Reid, Jr., Uncle Heavy stalked 2 1/2 lengths off a contentious pace battle between El Grande O, Seminole Chief and Khanate down the backstretch before the latter two back-pedaled at the three-quarters call and left El Grande O alone on the lead at the top of the lane. Uncle Heavy steadily made up ground through each point of call from sixth-of-9 to come into contention exiting the turn with a four-wide move. The large colt needed the length of the stretch to find his best stride under Mychel Sanchez, but got up just in time to nail El Grande O by a nose in a final time of 1:53.79 over muddy and sealed footing.

“He got a good Beyer and it was a good race,” said Reid, Jr. “It was a visually impressive race and I like the way he was striding out the last fifty yards there. That was the key impression to me. I don’t think there’s any question he can keep going further.”

Reid, Jr. said that due to an Equine Herpesvirus quarantine at Belmont Park, Uncle Heavy has shipped to a farm in Pennsylvania where he awaits clearance to return to his home base of Parx Racing.

“He came out of it very well, and I’m very happy with him,” said Reid, Jr. “He was very sharp and bouncing around the barn last night. He’ll get a few days of rest on the farm, which will be nice.”

Uncle Heavy entered the Withers from a successful first try around two turns in the one-mile and 70-yard state-bred Wait For It on December 27 at Parx with a similar trip to the Withers. He graduated on debut sprinting six furlongs in October at the Bensalem oval.

Reid, Jr. said plans for Uncle Heavy’s next start are still being discussed, but indicated after the race that the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 6 at the Big A could be considered. The historic nine-furlong test for sophomores awards 100-50-25-15-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

“We just want to digest this one right now and make sure we get him back here [to Parx] and that he’s happy,” said Reid, Jr. “We’ve got to make some decisions and we’re just getting to that now.”

Bred by Barbara Reid, Reid, Jr.’s sister-in-law, Uncle Heavy is out of the winning New York-bred Tiz Wonderful mare Expect Wonderful. His third dam, Stilled, is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Runspastem and the unraced Hafifah, the dam of graded stakes-placed millionaire Pioneer Spirit.

Reid, Jr. also reported LC Racing, Cash is King and Gary Barber’s multiple stakes-winner Morning Matcha has been enjoying her winter freshening in Florida, where she has recently started galloping again for the first time since winning the NYSSS Staten Island on December 3 at Aqueduct. Reid, Jr. said he anticipates the now 5-year-old daughter of leading New York sire Central Banker will return to his Parx stable in about 30 days.

Recently, Reid, Jr. sent out multiple graded stakes-winner Dr B for her final outing when finishing a game second to Hot Fudge in the seven-furlong Interborough on January 27 for LC Racing and Cash is King. The 6-year-old Liam’s Map bay won back-to-back editions of the Grade 3 Go for Wand at the Ozone Park oval in 2022-23 and banked over $600,000 in her five seasons of racing.

Reid, Jr. said Dr B, who retires with a record of 23-6-8-2, exited her final effort in good order and has shipped to Kentucky ahead of a planned breeding to 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline.

“She’s already down at Taylor Made in Kentucky and is in good shape,” said Reid, Jr. “She was the nicest mare to be around and that was made even more pleasurable with the way she just went over and gave it to you every time she ran. At that middle distance, she was a tough customer, and she gave her all every time you took her over there.”


Apprentice jockey Maddy Olver notches first stakes win with Super Chow

Lea Farms’ Super Chow provided 24-year-old apprentice jockey Madison Olver with her first career stakes win with a powerful frontrunning performance in Saturday’s Grade 3 Toboggan, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Jorge Delgado, the 4-year-old Lord Nelson colt exited post 5 and dictated terms through splits of 23.69 seconds and 47.66 over the muddy and sealed track. Super Chow opened up by three lengths at the stretch call and despite drifting out late, easily secured the 4 1/4-length score over graded stakes-winner Manny Wah in a final time of 1:25.10.

“He hasn't been able to get the lead for a while, so with a seven-furlong race it was pretty clear we were going to get the lead and I wanted to make sure he knew that's what we were going for,” Olver said. “We weren’t trying to rate or sit back, so I asked him out of there and he took the lead.

“He likes being out there,” added Olver. “At the three-eighths, he took a beautiful deep breath for me and was ready to reengage. I gave him a little more to keep a length between me and the followers. At the quarter-pole, I gave him a little kiss and a little tap on the shoulder and he went on.”

Olver, who recently received an extension to continue to ride as an apprentice through March 8, said she was thrilled to earn her status as a graded stakes-winning jockey.

“My phone is still blowing up, actually. The support and the kind words mean a lot to me,” Olver said.

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.

Olver had piloted Super Chow to a trio of on-the-board efforts in stakes company last year in the My Frenchman [2nd] and Jersey Shore [2nd] at Monmouth Park and in the Carle Place [3rd] at Belmont at the Big A.

Olver said the past experience with Super Chow helped immensely in Saturday’s score.

“The first time I rode him I only knew who the horse was, so I watched all the replays and he ran great for me that day,” Olver said. “It was my first stakes ride ever and we were second and he tried his heart out.

“The second time I was more confident because I knew the horse and knew what he liked and didn't like,” continued Over. “And the third time was even better. He's been in New York since Monday, so I was getting on him in the mornings, too, which really helped me reorientate myself with him.”

Olver grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she enjoyed riding and breaking mustangs and honing her horsemanship skills. When she turned 18, she reached out to trainer Gina Rarick to begin her racing journey in France where she spent two years learning the ropes before moving back to the U.S. to continue her education working horses for trainer Christophe Clement.

She launched her career in November 2022 here and earned her first victory in her 16th attempt on December 9, 2022, aboard Curbstone for trainer Tom Morley in a $40,000 claiming route.

Olver said she’s very appreciative of how far she’s come as a rider in a short period of time.

“One thing that hasn't changed is how much I love it. I'm very grateful for that,” Olver said. “Now [with more experience], I can see what's happening around me and know which horses are going really good in a race and I’m aware of what’s around me and how my horse is doing and how to react if a horse doesn't respond to something I’m doing in that moment.

“I've learned how to manage my business and how to ask for opportunities,” added Olver, who represents herself. “I'm learning every day and my approach is more finely tuned. There's still things I need to work on but it's amazing to see yourself learn and progress.”

Olver said she enjoyed a celebratory visit with Super Chow this morning.

“I went over and loved on that horse and thanked him for what he gave me,” Olver said. “He's a really sweet horse. He was great this morning and seemed very proud of himself. I'll never be able to repay that and I'm immensely thankful to him and to all the other horses that have gotten me to this point.”

Potential upcoming sprint targets for Super Chow at the Big A are the six-furlong Grade 3, $175,000 Tom Fool Handicap on March 2 or the seven-furlong Grade 2, $250,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets on April 6.

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.


Lady Brew to ship in for Listed $150K Heavenly Prize Invitational

Trainer Steven Chircop, who enjoyed a runner-up effort here last month from JDLP Holdings' Princess Mayfair in the Busanda, will look to go one better for the same connections with stakes-placed Lady Brew in Saturday's Listed $150,000 Heavenly Prize Invitational.

Lady Brew, who boasts a record of 21-3-6-6 for purse earnings of $268,852, has notched wins on turf and synthetic at Woodbine. The 5-year-old Point of Entry mare will cut back in distance for the one-turn mile affair following a distant third-place finish to likely returning rival Saddle Up Jessie in the nine-furlong Carousel on December 23 in her dirt debut at Laurel Park.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Lady Brew, a half-sister to stakes-winner Shamans Girl, is out of the Milwaukee Brew mare Ginger Brew, who was named Canada's Champion 3-Year-Old filly of 2008. Ginger Brew is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Bourbon Bay.

"With her pedigree from her father's side, I was a little bit worried about the dirt. Her mom was a machine and ran on anything," Chircop said. "Maybe just being on it and racing on it has made the difference. If she can get a pace set up, she's going to run her race."

Lady Brew, who campaigned exclusively at Woodbine prior to her most recent outing, did not race as a 2-year-old and needed seven starts to break her maiden, which she accomplished in September 2022 one month after a fifth-place finish in the Bison City.

Last year, she brought her form to a new level, posting a record of 10-2-4-3, earning a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure in an October optional-claiming score ahead of a distant effort in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf in November when racing wide from the outermost post 12 going 12 furlongs.

"As a 2-year-old, I thought Lady Brew was going to be a serious horse," Chircop said. "It's been a while getting going, but it seems like the older she's getting the more she's progressing into the horse we thought she would be.”

Lady Brew went a half-mile in 48.90 Friday over the Penn National dirt in her second breeze back and Chircop said he has been encouraged by her recent works.

"My goal by taking her away was to get her some black type and we were fortunate to get that in her first start," Chircop said. "Her half-sister was a stakes-winner first out at Woodbine and she's made a decent amount of money herself and seems to be putting it all together now. The sky is the limit and anything else she does is a bonus.

"She's training as good right now as she's ever trained in her life," Chircop added. "I really like that the race is a one-turn mile and if she can get some pace, I think she'll show up."

Chircop said Princess Mayfair is slated for a possible return to the Big A next weekend in an allowance tilt as a prep for the Listed one-mile $200,000 Busher for 3-year-old fillies, offering 50-25-15-10-5 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points.

The West Coast dark bay made her first three starts over the Woodbine synthetic, graduating at second asking in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint on December 2. She returned two weeks later to finish a game second against the boys in a 1 1/16-mile optional-claimer around two turns.

Last out, Princess Mayfair set the pace over muddy and sealed going in the nine-furlong Busanda, fighting on gamely down the lane to finish second, just one length back of the victorious Gin Gin. She earned 10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points for the gritty effort.

Chircop noted that Princess Mayfair encountered issues shipping to New York from Penn National on the morning of the Busanda when the van she was traveling on broke down more than an hour into the journey. The filly returned to Penn National as Chircop swiftly made other arrangements to ship the filly to the Big A for her dirt debut.

“She came out of the race really good - better than I expected," Chircop said. "I really thought with everything that happened with shipping that day that it would have knocked her out."

Princess Mayfair endured a difficult debut when a distant ninth sprinting six-furlongs in November at Woodbine, shying away from her pony in the pre-race buildup and throwing her rider. Once loaded into the gate, she broke awkwardly and never factored while racing wide.

She has raced with blinkers on in each start since, but Chircop said he is keen to take the head gear off going forward.

"I'd really like to get a race into her and take the blinkers off. Once Gin Gin passed her last time and she had seen the horse, she tried to come back,” Chircop said. “It was never a plan to put the blinkers on but after the disastrous first start running away from horses, I thought I better put the blinkers on her. But now it's time to take them off. If she's going to go in those big races, I need her to relax a little bit. She never wears the blinkers to work.”

A $50,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Princess Mayfair has banked $63,431 through a record of 4-1-2-0.


Aqueduct Racetrack Week 6 Stakes probables

Saturday, February 10

$150K Heavenly Prize Invitational

Probable: Cairo Sugar (Jorge Abreu), Into Happiness (Mark Hennig), Lady Brew (Steve Chircop), Saddle Up Jessie (Brittany Russell)

Possible: Opus Forty Two (Arnaud Delacour), Spiked (John Terranova)

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