Notes
Sep 17, 2020
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Liveyourbeastlife breezes in preparation for Preakness (G1)

by NYRA Press Office



  • Tax continues Saratoga works in targeting stakes action next month
  • Point of Honor possible for Beldame (G2); Farmington Road targets Belmont Derby (G1)
  • Rookie Report: Juveniles kick off Belmont fall meet in Opening Day's first race  

William H. Lawrence's Liveyourbeastlife, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, worked five-eighths in 59.89 seconds Thursday over the Belmont Park main track in preparation for the Grade 1 Preakness on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.

Trainer Jorge Abreu said he was pleased with the work, and the Kentucky-bred Ghostzapper colt will be supplemented to the third and final leg of the Triple Crown.

"He breezed really well today," said Abreu of the breeze in company with New York-bred Freaky Styley [59.80]. "He went in 59 and 4 which is something he's never done before. We're going to take a shot."

The dark bay Ghostzapper colt has improved with added distance capturing a nine-furlong allowance event over older horses on August 12 at Saratoga Race Course ahead of a closing second to Mystic Guide in the nine-furlong Jim Dandy on September 5.

"He didn't show much early on but every jockey that rode him never came back with a negative thing about him, they would say, 'this horse wants to run long,'" said Abreu.

Liveyourbeastlife utilized a prominent trip for his August 12 allowance win. After running sixth in the Jim Dandy, jockey Junior Alvarado said the horse struggled from the half-mile to the three-eighths pole.

"He's really weird. Sometimes he'll break and take himself back, the past two races he's been wanting to go," said Abreu. "Junior admitted he lost position at the half-mile pole and he had to do too much. If he had kept him forwardly placed, he probably would have won the race. He gave him too much to do from the quarter-mile pole on home."

Abreu said he expects Alvarado to retain the mount for the Preakness.

"He's a horse that needs somebody that knows him," Abreu said.

Liveyourbeastlife will have his final Preakness prep at Belmont one week from Saturday.

Out of the Kris S. mare Ellie's Moment, Liveyourbeastlife is a half-brother to Grade 1-winner on turf Time and Motion.

Lawrence Goichman's New York-bred Myhartblongstodady enjoyed a tremendous summer campaign at Saratoga with a pair of 1 1/16-mile wins on the turf, starting with an optional-claiming tilt on July 30 and a last out one-length score in the Yaddo that garnered a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

Abreu said the 5-year-old mare, by Scat Daddy and out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Rumor, will likely target the Ticonderoga; a 1 1/16-mile turf tilt on October 24 at Belmont as part of Empire Showcase Day. The Grade 3, $100,000 Athenia at the same distance the following day is also under consideration.

"She's been training really well. She came out of that last race in really good form," said Abreu. "I'm learning more towards the Ticonderoga against New York-breds instead of running her open right now and try to squeeze in one more win."

NY Final Furlong Racing Stable, Maspeth Stables and Parkland Thoroughbreds' multiple stakes winner Espresso Shot breezed a half-mile in 49.04 on September 13 on Big Sandy.

By Mission Impazible and out of the Medaglia d'Oro mare Glory Gold, Espresso Shot captured the 2018 East View against state-breds and won the open Busher Invitational in March 2019 , both on the Big A main track.

Last out, Espresso Shot finished second in a nine-furlong optional-claiming event that came off the turf when racing from a five-month layoff. The versatile filly launched her career in August 2018 with a third in a maiden turf sprint at Saratoga and after graduating in an off-the-turf route at Belmont a month later she was off the board in the Grade 2 Jessamine on the Keenland turf when exiting post 11 in a field of 13.

Abreu said he would like to give the filly another chance on the turf before considering a variety of options for the October 24 Empire Showcase Day card which will offer eight stakes worth $1.2 million.

"I'm looking at an allowance race on the turf on the 25th," said Abreu. "The first time she ran on the turf, she ran pretty well and then I ran her at Keeneland and she had a bad post. I'm not looking for excuses but I want to give her a shot in the allowance and take it from there. There's still a long way to go until Empire Showcase Day."

Klaravich Stables' Price Talk earned a lofty 86 Beyer when graduating at second asking in a 1 1/16-mile turf route on September 6 at the Spa. The 3-year-old Kitten's Joy chestnut crossed the wire first in a maiden claiming event on the same surface and distance on July 16 at Saratoga but was disqualified and placed fifth for interference.

Abreu said he is likely to take a conservative approach for Price Talk's next start although the Grade 1, $250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational on October 3, a 10-furlong turf test for sophomores offering a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, is a possibility.

"There's an allowance race for him on the second going a mile and a sixteenth for straight 3-year-olds," said Abreu. "I'll breeze him on Saturday and take it from there. He's been good so far, but if he breezes like he was breezing in Saratoga I would probably take into consideration putting him in a stakes race instead of the allowance.

"I don't think distance will be a problem for him," added Abreu. "I think the longer he goes, the better he's going to be."

***

Tax continues Saratoga works in targeting stakes action next month

Two-time graded stakes-winner Tax continues to train forwardly at Saratoga working towards his first start since running fifth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on May 2. The 2019 Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner has spent the summer at the Spa, including a bullet four-furlong work in 47.63 over the Oklahoma training track on Wednesday.

Trainer Danny Gargan said the 4-year-old Tax could next run in the Grade 3, $250,000 Pimlico Special on October 2 on the eve of the Preakness or the Grade 2, $200,000 Hagyard Fayette on October 10 at Keeneland.

His conditioner said a five-month layoff should mean a fresh horse. Tax has run just twice in the current campaign, starting with a ninth-place effort in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in January at Gulfstream Park.

"He's training phenomenal and I think he's coming back better than he's ever been," Gargan said. "He always runs good with a lot of time in between his races. That's always been the key for him, and we're really happy with how he's coming back."

Owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable, Tax made his stakes debut on the NYRA circuit as a juvenile, running third in the 2018 Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct Racetrack. Last year, his victory in the Grade 3 Withers and a second place effort in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets propelled him to the Triple Crown trail, where he placed 14th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and ran fourth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes before his Jim Dandy win.

After running seventh in the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers at Saratoga, Tax ended his sophomore year with a solid second in the Grade 3 Discovery in November at the Big A, registering the first triple digit Beyer of his career at 101.

New York-bred Ice Princess, also well-known to the NYRA circuit, could return to the worktab soon after running second to Makingcents in the Fleet Indian on New York Showcase Day September 4.

Owned by Flying P Stable, R.A. Hill Stable and Corms Racing Stable, Ice Princess is 6-3-1-0 with earnings of $179,189. The 3-year-old daughter of Palace Malice won the Maddie May in February at Aqueduct, building on a juvenile campaign in which she won her debut and followed with a fourth in the Grade 1 Frizette in October at Belmont.

"It's up in the air where to run her next," Gargan said. "She came out of the race good. She hadn't run in a long time. She had a bit of a rough trip and she probably should have won the race, so I was a little disappointed. But I don't really know where to run her next. She should be working in about three or four days."

Another regally named Gargan-conditioned horse looking to build on an impressive effort is Stunning Princess, who will face stakes competition for the first time after making a strong account of herself against quality competition in her first two starts. Also owned by R.A. Hill Stable, along with Brereton Jones, Stunning Princess will compete in Sunday's one-mile Grade 1, $250,000 Natalma on the turf at Woodbine.

In her debut, Stunning Princess ran second by two lengths on July 23 at Saratoga going 1 1/16 miles on firm turf. The victor in that race was Plum Ali, a Christophe Clement-trained next-out winner of the $500,000 Mint Juvenile Fillies in September.

Gargan wheeled the juvenile Cairo Prince filly back a month later and saw another strong second when defeated a nose to the Chad Brown-trained Ingrassia going 1 1/16 miles on Saratoga turf labeled good on August 19.

"I think the two fillies that beat us are two of the best [juvenile] fillies in the country," Gargan said. "The filly that beat us came back and won a half-million dollar race in Kentucky and could be the favorite in the Breeders' Cup [Juvenile Fillies Turf]. And the one who beat us in the second race is a highly respected filly in New York who is super nice. So, I'm excited to run her Saturday. I think the mile suits her better than the mile and a sixteenth. If she takes to it over there, I'm looking for a big effort."

***

Point of Honor possible for Beldame (G2); Farmington Road targets Belmont Derby (G1)

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Aron Wellman said Point of Honor could seek a second career graded stakes triumph in the Grade 2, $150,000 Beldame on October 4 at Belmont.

Trained by George Weaver, the 4-year-old Curlin chestnut filly last raced in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on August 8, where she was third to Vexatious, who upset reigning Champion Older Female Midnight Bisou.

Winless since capturing last year's Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico Race Course, Point of Honor has placed in all of five of her graded stakes efforts since, including missing by a nose as the favorite in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 13 at Belmont.

"We'd like to be able to find a softer spot, but it doesn't really exist with how the division is this year," Wellman said. "It's a mile-and-an-eighth. Yes, it's one turn but it's still a mile-and-an-eighth and it should be to her liking. She ran well first time going one turn at Belmont and that's the thought behind running her there."

Point of Honor breezed five furlongs over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on September 11, completing five furlongs in 50.45 over a track rated fast.

Bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms, Point of Honor is out of the Bernardini mare Zayanna, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winning millionaire Mr. Freeze.

Wellman also said stakes-placed Farmington Road will point to the Grade 1, $250,000 Belmont Derby on October 3.

The sophomore son of Quality Road, trained by Todd Pletcher, made his last out turf debut a winning one, when defeating winners in a first level allowance event going 9 ½ furlongs at Colonial Downs on July 29.

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbreds in partnership with Robert LaPenta and breeder Chrysallis Stables, Farmington Road was eighth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes earlier this year. He finished a good second on April 11 in the Oaklawn Stakes, where he was beaten a half-length to Mr. Big News, the eventual third-place finisher of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. The colt followed that effort with a fourth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in May.

"The race at Colonial was a good test run," Wellman said. "We contemplated going to Kentucky for the Dueling Grounds Derby or the American Turf and neither worked out. But we know he gets the distance. He seemed to appreciate the turf at Colonial. This seemed like a logical spot."

***

Rookie Report: Juveniles kick off Belmont fall meet in Opening Day's first race

Belmont Park's Fall Meet kicks off Friday with a field of six juvenile fillies seeking their first victory in a six furlong maiden special weight over the main track.

Shadwell Stables' well-bred Zainalarab was made the 8-5 morning line favorite for the event. The War Front bay was expected to debut in an August 29 maiden special weight at Saratoga but was scratched.

Bred in Kentucky by International Equities Holding, Zainalarab was a $1 million acquisition from the Gainesway consignment barn at last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, Zainalarab is the first progeny out of the graded stakes-winning Tapit broodmare Delightful Joy, who is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Cali Star. Both are out of graded stakes winner Graeme Six.

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will pilot Zainalarab from the rail.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Exact, a chestnut daughter of second-crop sire Competitive Edge.

Exact has trained at Belmont Park during the latter portion of the summer and recently recorded a sharp half-mile in 47.05 seconds from the gate on September 12, which was the fastest of 76 recorded works at the distance.

"She acts pretty quick," Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Aron Wellman said. "In a perfect world, maybe we would have had another five eighths in her. She had two gate works. We're hoping that her pretty pleasing works at this point translate well into the race. But as all Belmont races go, it's tough."

Bred in Kentucky by Paul Tackett Revocable Trust and Nick Mamatas, Exact was purchased for $82,000 at the OBS April Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, where she was consigned by DeMeric Sales.

Jockey Luis Saez will be aboard from post 2 at 2-1.

Hall of Famer Bill Mott sends out first-time starter White Frost for Gainesway Stable.

The Kentucky homebred daughter of Candy Ride is out of the Curlin mare Miss Frost, who was a two-time stakes winner over the turf at Saratoga and also produced multiple stakes-placed Torres Del Paine.

"She's been very good and done everything we asked her to do," said Leana Willaford, Mott's Belmont-based assistant. "It wouldn't surprise me if she ran well. I think she can handle six furlongs, but I also think she's one that's going to be able to go on."

White Frost has trained alongside Mott's division at Belmont all summer long and recently went five furlongs in 1:02.21 over the Belmont training track on September 13.

"She's breezed well and hasn't missed a beat all summer," said Willaford. "She's easy to train and has been very professional about everything."

White Frost will be piloted by Junior Alvarado from post 6 at 10-1.

Friday's 10-race program, which offers a first post of 1:00 p.m. Eastern, is headlined by the $80,000 Miner's Mark in Race 4. America's Day at the Races will present daily television coverage of the 27-day fall meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete America's Day at the Races broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Belmont Park, and the best way to bet every race of the 27-day fall meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, NYRA Bets is currently offering a $200 new member bonus in addition to a host of special weekly offers. The NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.


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NYRA Press Office

Trainer Ken McPeek has garnered plenty of knowledge and experience since starting his first runner in 1985. He’s known for his fearlessness when taking a gamble with his horses, like when he sent out Sarava to a shocking 70-1 victory in the 2002 Belmont Stakes for the dark bay’s first try against graded company, and more recently, scored a Grade 1 Preakness victory with upset filly Swiss Skydiver in 2020.