08/24/2007 12:00AM

Big Apple bonus as elusive as ever


The $250,000 Big Apple Triple bonus remains unclaimed in the wake of Stunt Man's victory in the Albany Handicap at Saratoga last Wednesday.

Begun in 1999, the bonus is available to a 3-year-old New York-bred who sweeps the Mike Lee at seven furlongs, the New York Derby at 1 1/16 miles and the Albany at 1o1/8 miles.

The Mike Lee is at Belmont, while the New York Derby is at Finger Lakes.

Chief's Lake entered the Albany as the favorite off wins in the Mike Lee and New York Derby.

Along with Ferocious Won last year and Image Maker in 2000, he was the third runner with a chance to sweep the series.

Stunt Man won the Albany with a resolute stretch kick to earn his first stakes win. Dr. V's Magic finished second and Chief's Lake third in the $150,000 Albany, run for the 30th time.

Bred by Flying Zee Stables, Stunt Man is a son of New York sire Western Expression, who stands at Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y. Western Expression is also the sire of Thunderestimate, winner of the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes series on the Saratoga turf on Aug. 8.

Stunt Man, who had hit the board in the Mike Lee, New York Derby, and Cab Calloway, is owned by Winning Move Stable and trained by Gary Contessa, a two-time trainer of the year in the New York program. Stunt Man sent his career earnings to $201,666 with a slate of 4-3-3 in 14 starts.

Stunt Man is out of the Well Decorated mare Ribboned, herself a New York-bred who won the Niagara Stakes at Finger Lakes. She is also the dam of Taking the Redeye, an earner of $226,384, and of Won'tubemyneighbor, an earner of $119,857.

Ribboned is from the family of Mr. Epperson, champion sprinter in Canada and winner of the Grade 2 Nearctic Handicap, and Bachelor Beau, winner of the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes.

The first edition of the Albany, in 1978, was won by Fio Rito, the Finger Lakes star who captured the Whitney Handicap in 1981. The Albany often points to the state champion 3-year-old, with champions Prospector's Flag, Ave's Flag, Mr. Groush, Gander, Personal Pro and Private Emblem all winning the event in recent years.

Contessa suggested the next start for Stunt Man could be the $250,000 Empire Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park on Oct. 20.

Latitude Forty best of tough Yaddo bunch

Latitude Forty defeated a classy group of New York-bred turf females in the $100,000 Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga last weekend. The field included graded stakes winners J'ray and Sabellina, along with open stakes winners Half Heaven and Factual Contender.

Bred by Paul Hoffman and Donene Honnold, the 4-year-old Latitude Forty is by Chester House and out of Planchette, a daughter of former state sire Buckpoint. She is owned by Dee Zee Stable.

A statebred herself, Planchette placed in the Iroquois Stakes and is a half-sister to Actor's Aroma, winner of the Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes Race Track.

Latitude Forty sent her career earnings to $197,172 with a record of 4-1-3 from 14 starts.

Mayakovsky filly wins on turf

Racing fans remember New York sire Mayakovsky for his brilliant speed on dirt, such as breaking a decades-old track record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga in 1:03.32 in his career debut, or his Beyer Speed Figure of 102 for his debut as a 3-year-old in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

But Mayakovsky won on turf as a 4-year-old, and at Saratoga last Monday a New York-bred daughter of his, Mine or Who's, won her maiden on the grass going 1 1/16 miles.

The 2-year-old Mine or Who's, Mayakovsky's first winner and a member of his first crop to race, was bred by Rhapsody Farm and is owned by Zayat Stables LLC.

Purchased for $80,000 at the New York-bred preferred yearling sale, Mine or Who's is out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Stately Lady. She is a half-sister to Prado's Pride, who placed in the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf Handicap, from a family that includes Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Sissy's Time.

Mayakovsky, who also placed in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, stands at Mill Creek Farm in Saratoga, N.Y., for a fee of $3,000.