02/13/2013 4:32PM

Aqueduct: Moro Stakes benefits from inability of Stymie to fill

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Trainer Gary Sciacca is giving Saratoga Snacks some time off at Fair Winds Farm in New Jersey.

For the second straight year, the $75,000 Stymie Stakes was not carded. No horses were entered for the 1 1/8-mile stakes race for 4-year-olds and up at Aqueduct.

Four horses that were nominated to the Stymie instead went in the $75,000 Moro Stakes, which was open to horses who have started for a claiming price. The Moro, at 1 1/8 miles, drew a field of six and will be carded as race 4 on Saturday’s 10-race program.

The 9-year-old Ea, winner of the Coyote Lakes Stakes at 1 1/2 miles in his last start, is the only stakes winner in the field. He will break from post 5 under David Cohen.

Ea has won 11 of 42 starts, including two at 1 1/8 miles.

As the 123-pound highweight, Ea will spot five pounds to the rest of the field that includes Maryland shipper Layers, Burned Bridges, Joan’s Choice, Isn’t He Perfect, and Keep Me Informed.

Saratoga Snacks to get turned out

When Graydar romped to victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, it served to flatter the New York-bred Saratoga Snacks, who handed Graydar his lone defeat in an allowance race last fall at Belmont Park.

From that allowance race, Saratoga Snacks ran second to Lunar Victory in the $250,000 Empire Classic before winning the Alex M. Robb Stakes on Dec. 26.

Trainer Gary Sciacca said Wednesday that Saratoga Snacks will ship to Hogan Equine at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J., for some turn-out time.

Sciacca said Saratoga Snacks, owned by newly elected Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells, will likely rejoin his New York string in early April.

“She’s got a beautiful turn-out paddock down there,” Sciacca said of equine orthopedic surgeon Dr. Patricia Hogan. “She’ll keep an eye on him. She really loves this horse. He’s used to New York. He won’t mind the cold.”

Sciacca has previously said he would like to get Saratoga Snacks into graded stakes later this summer at Belmont and Saratoga.

Since the Robb, Saratoga Snack has been alternating walking and jogging in the barn.

◗ Harold Lerner, a longtime owner of trainer Gary Contessa’s donated $2,000 to the Exceller Fund in honor of Contessa’s 2,000th career win recorded Feb. 7. Contessa is a member of the board of directors of the Exceller Fund, which acquires horses that might be at risk for slaughter and works to provide a future for horses whose racing careers are complete.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's ludicrous that NYRA would counter-schedule its own stakes race with an overnight attracting the same quality of horses. The Moro could have been saved for another time, or its standards considerably lowered, instead of cancelling out a race with some degree of (minor, but still some) history associated with it. Fill your main stakes schedule first, without cannibalizing yourself with lesser races.