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Aqueduct: N.Y. Stallion Stakes divisions top card
By Dave Litfin
A pair of $125,000 New York Stallion Series races for 2-year-olds share top billing on Sunday’s nine-race program.
The Great White Way division for colts and geldings (race 3) and the Fifth Avenue division for fillies (race 8) each drew seven-horse fields.
Two other Stallion Series races for older sprinters, the Thunder Rumble and Staten Island, were rescheduled for Wednesday after failing to fill.
The only stakes winner in either of Sunday’s races is Matchmadeinheaven, a filly who has put in determined stretch runs to win her first three starts – all stakes – for Finger Lakes-based trainer Chris Englehart.
A cleverly named product of Utopia and Open Marriage, Matchmadeinheaven won the Lady Finger and Rachel Alexandra at her home track when unveiled in September. She cuts back in distance after a big late run to get up in the seven-furlong Joseph A. Gimma Stakes under Jose Lezcano.
“When I got to the quarter pole, I swung out and she took off like she was breaking from the gate,” Lezcano said. “She’s a very nice filly and she’ll get better with more racing.”
She will have to, because P J’s Superego, a New Jersey-bred filly by Freud based at Monmouth Park, comes off a maiden win against open company at Parx Racing that earned a 78 Beyer Speed Figure – the fastest in the lineup by several lengths. That was her second start for trainer Patricia Farro, and she is eligible to improve.
Dominic Galluscio, who sent out the maiden Shane Roars to win the 2011 Great White Way at 91-1, sends out logical contenders Nonnie Connie and Zekes Surprise in the Fifth Avenue, both sired by Frost Giant.
Nonnie Connie graduated by more than five lengths in a 14-horse maiden race on New York Showcase Day. Zekes Surprise puts blinkers on after finishing fourth in the Gimma.
Kelli Got Frosty, another Frost Giant filly, was a close third as the Gimma favorite for Rudy Rodriguez. She is one of two Aqueduct-based entrants, along with Gee Linz, an allowance winner at Belmont for David Jacobson. Jerusalem Stone, an off-the-turf maiden winner for Mark Hennig, completes the field.
Great White Way: Laila’s Jazz stands out
As the only two-time winner, including a stick-out Beyer of 75 for an allowance score at Belmont, Laila’s Jazz figures to go favored in the Great White Way. The Smooth Jazz colt, trained by Gary Contessa, suffered his first loss in the Bertram F. Bongard on a drying out track.
Meeker Avenue, idle seven weeks since wiring off-the-turf maidens in his debut for Dominick Schettino, will likely vie for the early lead with Stoneless.
Stoneless, naturally, is a gelded son of Bustin Stones, who was 6 for 6, including the Grade 1 Carter, for owner-breeder Roddy Valente and trainer Bruce Levine. Stoneless was named by Levine’s assistant, Tom Williams.
“It was so fitting, and it fits our character with the quarry and everything else,” said Valente, who is in the gravel business.
Here Comes Tommy, Madam I’m Adam, Patriot Class, and Petrocelli also entered.
Overdriven fourth in comeback race
Overdriven, who had suffered a series of setbacks since winning the 2011 Sanford for Repole Stable and Todd Pletcher, was never a factor and finished fourth, nearly 12 lengths behind runaway winner Sage Valley in Friday’s $75,000 Mr. Nasty overnight stakes.
Sage Valley ($4.40) set fractions of 21.95 and 44.79 seconds while pressed by Wild Target, reached midstretch well in command beneath Ramon Dominguez after six furlongs in 1:08.72, and coasted home by 6 3/4 lengths in 1:22.35 on a drying out track that had been upgraded from muddy to good. It was the third straight win for Sage Valley, and the fourth at the meet for leading trainer Rodriguez.
Wild Target held second over Raging Daoust. Overdriven, who never appeared to take hold of the track, was the 11-10 favorite and finished in front of only Guyana Star Dweej.
What I would like to know is why NYRA did not consider running a make-up program on Monday (11/12) for the two cancelled programs. That is a holiday (Veterans Day, which is observed on 11/12 because the actual holiday is on a Sunday this year) that probably would have brought some families to Aqueduct as I believe school kids still have that day off in spite of all the recent storms.
- 1.Posted 12/11/2013 03:00PM
- 2.Posted 12/10/2013 02:23PM
- 3.Posted 12/10/2013 02:25PM
- 4.Posted 12/11/2013 03:32PM
- 5.Posted 12/10/2013 07:22PM