Updated on 09/18/2011 2:24AM

Chestoria off to fast start


With her victory in last Sunday's Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park, Chestoria became the 21st New York-bred to win an open stakes race in 2006.

A 2-year-old daughter of Chester House, Chestoria first hinted at her potential in her second start, when she scored a nine-length maiden win on the Belmont turf in restricted company on Oct. 6. She followed by winning the Miss Grillo, in which she finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.82. By comparison, Pickapocket needed 1:52.62 to win the 1 1/8-mile Pilgrim Stakes, the male counterpart to the Miss Grillo which was run three races later.

Bred by Berkshire Stud and Oak Cliff Breeders Inc., Chestoria is owned by Richard Balfour's E El R Stable and trained by Bruce Levine. She has 2 victories in 3 starts, and her career earnings are $76,030.

Balfour purchased Chestoria for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred 2-year-olds in training sale at Timonium on May 23.

Chestoria is out of R D Fille, a daughter of Dixieland Band who is a half-sister to Talloires, winner of the Caesars Palace Turf Championship and Group 1-placed in Italy. This family includes Will Dancer, who won the Group 1 Gran Criterium and placed in the Grade 1 Arlington Handicap, and Dancing Eagle, who was a Group 2 winner.

Levine indicated after the Miss Grillo that Chestoria may make her next start in the $125,000 Selima Stakes at Laurel Park on Nov. 25.

New York-bred champions Capades and J'ray won the Selima in 1988 and 2005.

A.P. Indy filly takes Maid of the Mist

Grand Merger, a 2-year-old New York-bred filly, won the $100,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes on New York Showcase Day at Belmont last Saturday, her second straight victory.

Owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman, Grand Merger possesses an outstanding pedigree. She is by A.P. Indy and out of the Cox's Ridge mare Immerse, making her a full sister to Grade 1 winner Stephen Got Even and stakes winner Indy Glory.

Stephen Got Even, winner of the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, is the sire of champion Stevie Wonderboy.

Indy Glory, winner of the Videogenic Stakes, placed in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and Grade 2 Monmouth Oaks.

Immerse is a daughter of Baroness Direct, winner of the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap and a half-sister to graded stakes winners Minneapple and Lyphard's Princess.

Baroness Direct is a granddaughter of Avie, the Gallant Man mare who produced champion Lord Avie.

Immerse, who placed in the Grade 1 Gazelle Stakes to Versailles Treaty, was purchased by the Bromans for $350,000 at the Keeneland November sale in 1997 while she was carrying Indy Glory.

The Bromans, who own Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, N.Y., were breeders of the year for New York Thoroughbred Breeders in 2004 and were the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's top breeder for New York in 2003.

Organizer's upset highlights Showcase Day

As it does each year, the New York Showcase Day provided good racing.

Organizer, a son of state sire Raffie's Majesty, upset the Empire Classic in a field that included Eclipse winner Funny Cide and graded stakes winners Spite the Devil and West Virginia.

Organizer was bred by Majesty Stud.

Carminooch and West Virginia, who finished second and third, are by state sire Tomorrows Cat, and West Virginia emerged from the Empire Classic as the 18th New York-bred millionaire, with earnings of $1,007,338.

Chief's Lake won his third consecutive race in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes. Owned by Vinery Stable, Chief's Lake is by Yonaguska out of the Salt Lake mare Lake Princess, who is a daughter of Eloquent, winner of the Grade 3 Railbird and placed in the Grade 1 Acorn and Grade 1 Mother Goose.

Trainer Tom Bush saddled two stakes winners on Showcase Day.

He sent out Gold and Roses, by state sire Gold Token, in the Hudson Handicap to win by a neck over Sharp Humor. The win was Gold and Roses's third in a stakes this year. Sharp Humor, who finished second to Barbaro in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, made his first start since sustaining an injury in the Kentucky Derby.

Gold and Roses is owned by Henry C. Gregory and was bred by Seth Gregory.

Bush also saddled Finlandia to win the Ticonderoga Handicap. A daughter of Royal Anthem, Finlandia was bred by Kathleen O'Connell and Nyala Farm.

* Last week's New York breeding column incompletely listed the buyer of a $55,000 weanling filly by Northern Afleet at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Sales Company's fall mixed sale Oct. 15. Heather Larson purchased the filly as agent for John Garretto.