04/19/2012 4:47PM

Aqueduct: Big purses lure Orseno back to New York


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – With the opening of the Belmont spring/summer meet a week away, there are some new as well as old faces showing up on the backstretch.

Joe Orseno qualifies as both. Orseno, a mainstay on the New York circuit for many years before leaving for New Jersey in the mid 2000s, has returned and will be stabled at Belmont with 30 horses. As of Thursday, Orseno had 13 on the grounds with more on the way.

Orseno, who trained Grade 1 winners Macho Uno, Red Bullet, and Perfect Sting for Frank Stronach about a decade ago, has been lured back to New York by the big purses created by the Aqueduct casino. He had spent the last several years wintering in Florida and then splitting his stable during the remainder of the year between Monmouth and Parx. Orseno said he will maintain a string at Parx during the spring and summer.

“The purse structure obviously is great, I own a home here, I saw an opportunity to move back into my house, and I’ve actually picked up some new clients because I was coming to Belmont,” Orseno said of his return. “I just think it’s a chance to better my stable. I’ve been winning but I like when I won the Preakness and the two Breeders’ Cups and the 11 Grade 1’s. And the only way I did that was when I was stabled here.”

Orseno said he is dealing mostly with claiming and allowance-type horses, but hopes the move here will translate into a higher quality of horse.

“I had a pretty good Gulfstream meet with a bunch of useful horses and that’s what I have right now, they’re useful,” Orseno said. “There are no stakes I’m looking for but there are quite a few one-other-thans and two-other thans that the pots are so good they’re now stakes. I’m hoping the young horses I get I can be back in the stakes program.”