Atras considers NYSSS Times Square for Impressionist

March 12, 2022

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Rob Atras said Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ homebred Impressionist could make his next start in the $200,000 NYSSS Times Square on April 23 following two victories against fellow New York-breds by a combined 14 lengths.

The sophomore son of Mission Impazible earned a career-best 83 Beyer from a 5 1/2-length win in a six-furlong first-level optional claimer on Sunday at Aqueduct. He was a maiden winner at second asking over a sloppy and sealed Big A main track on January 1, winning by 8 1/2 lengths. 

“We’re thinking possibly the sire stakes,” Atras said. “We’re still going to assess how he came out of the race. I’m not sure if we would run once in between races or not.”

Impressionist displayed frontrunning tactics in both of his career wins. He was a late-closing third in his December 5 debut at the Big A when bumped at the break and trailed 10 lengths off the pace before rallying to finish third behind eventual stakes-placed Agility. 

“He’s got good speed, but I don’t think he’s solely a frontrunner,” Atras said. 

Out of the Seeking the Gold mare Stirring, Impressionist is a half-brother to previous Triple Crown participants Nowhere to Hide [17th in 2009 Kentucky Derby] and Conquest Mo Money [seventh in the 2017 Preakness]. 

Atras said he was proud of the rallying runner-up effort from Michael Dubb’s Battle Bling in Sunday’s Heavenly Prize Invitational.

The 4-year-old Vancouver filly, who Atras claimed for $62,500 three starts back on December 19, won the nine-furlong Ladies on January 16 at Aqueduct in her first start for her current connections. 

Atras said Battle Bling could stretch back out to nine furlongs in the $100,000 Top Flight Invitational on April 10 at Aqueduct.

“We don’t want to cut her back. A mile to a mile and an eighth are her best distances. We may try for the Top Flight,” Atras said. 

Stud El Aguila’s Eagle in Love broke his maiden at 15-1 odds on February 3 over a good and sealed Big A for Atras, who said the Dialed In sophomore could ship to Laurel Park for the $100,000 Private Terms on March 19 – a 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds. 

“He didn’t show a lot in the mornings, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him run so well first out. It seems to have woken him up,” Atras said.

NYRA Press Office
Photo: Rob Atras greets Maracuja and jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., after their victory in the Coaching Club America Oaks at Saratoga July 24, 2021. (Susie Raisher)

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