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Big Apple Babies

Big Apple Babies is a series that takes a glance at the pedigrees and sales histories of select 2-year-olds who are making their debuts in maiden special weight races at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course. Many of history’s best horses have commenced their careers in New York, and Big Apple Babies will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.



Jon Forbes



DECODER (2yo bay filly, War Front—Database, by Known Fact) is out of a mare who won the Beautiful Day Stakes at Delaware Park. This filly is a full sister to G1 Makers 46 Mile and G2 Monmouth Stakes winner Data Link and a half-sister to stakes-placed Wiki. Their dam is a full sister to two-time stakes winner Vespers, herself the dam of G1 Donn Handicap winner Hymn Book. Vespers and Database are both half-sisters to Vesper Cat, dam of G3 Noble Damsel Stakes winner Strike the Bell.

Owner: Stuart S. Janney, III
Trainer: Claude McGaughey, III
Jockey: Jose Lezcano


AFLEET BIRD (2yo chestnut filly, Afleet Alex—Bird Harbor, by Boston Harbor) is out of a mare who won on debut at age two. Her third dam is Dear Birdie, who ran 2nd in Louisiana Downs’ Senorita Stakes but is most renowned as the dam of G1 Champagne Stakes, G1 Belmont Stakes, and G1 Travers Stakes winner Birdstone and G1 Kentucky Oaks and G1 Acorn Stakes winner Bird Town. Both Birdstone and Bird Town were winners at two, with Birdstone a winner on debut and Bird Town victorious in her second career start. From three foals to race Bird Harbor has two winners but no two-year-old winners.

Owner: Marylou Whitney Stables
Trainer: Nicholas Zito
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik


SENSATIONALIZE (2yo bay filly, Street Sense—Stormy West, by Gone West) is the first foal of a mare who won four stakes races and earned $367,153 in 21 lifetime starts. Her second dam, Storm Beauty, was a three-time stakes winner with 5 wins and earnings of $178,164 in 15 starts. Storm Beauty is also the dam of Renaissance Lady, who finished second in four stakes races at age two, including a runner-up effort in the G3 Debutante Stakes.

Owner: Diane Snowden
Trainer: William Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado


PAPER KITE (2yo dark bay/brown filly, Bernardini—Narjis Flower, by Pleasant Colony) is a half-sister to G2 San Clemente and G3 Iowa Oaks winner Storm Mesa and multiple stakes winner She Be Classy. Narjis Flower’s other foal to race was a Eurosilver gelding named Hardtenonthehop, who is a winner in seven career starts.

Owner: Darley Stable
Trainer: Thomas Albertrani
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Sales history: $60,000 Fasig-Tipton November Weanling


BUSTLE (2yo bay filly, More Than Ready—Vanquished, by Empire Maker) is out of a mare who is a half-sister to Critical Eye, whose stakes wins include graded victories in the Gazelle Handicap (G1), Hempstead Handicap (G1), Sheepshead Bay Handicap (G2), and Ladies Handicap (G3). Critical Eye won on debut at age two and has three winners from four foals to race.

Owner: Dorothy Alexander Matz
Trainer: Michael Matz
Jockey: Ramon Dominguez