Awesome Native breaks his maiden with authority Dec. 15, 2022 (NYRA/Coglianese)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Farone Stables’ New York homebred Awesome Native made a victorious first start against winners in Saturday’s third race at Aqueduct Racetrack to remain undefeated through two lifetime starts for trainer Jorge Abreu.
Awesome Native, a 4-year-old son of Practical Joke, scored a dominant 6 1/4-length victory under the red-hot Manny Franco in a first-level allowance sprint against fellow state-breds. He stalked in third from 3 1/2 lengths off the pace under a patient Franco before going wide in the turn and unleashing an impressive turn of foot to complete the seven furlongs in 1:26.16 over the good main track.
The effort garnered an 82 Beyer Speed Figure, equaling his figure from his sharp debut score on December 15 sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs against state-breds in similar closing fashion under Franco.
“He came out of the race in good shape and he ate up good and walked good this morning,” said Abreu. “I have really liked this horse since Day One and he’s shown in the mornings that he’s got some talent.”
Abreu said the late-blooming colt has been well worth the wait and will look to a longer allowance for his next start.
“Manny had been breezing him and when he came back yesterday, he said, ‘The longer he goes, the better he gets,’” said Abreu. “I think I’ll go through his conditions and stretch him out to a mile and then put him in a stake. I don’t want to jump into a stake right away unless I really have to, but I don’t think that will be the case.”
Awesome Native’s dam, Bella Kateri, is a half-sister to fellow Farone Stables’ homebred King Angelo, who Abreu trains and sent out to a strong allowance victory on Friday at the Big A. Both Awesome Native and King Angelo hail from the family of graded stakes-winner and millionaire Restrainedvengence, as well as graded stakes-winner Bob’s Edge.
King Angelo has relished the switch from turf to dirt and has competed well against open company in his last two outings. The 6-year-old Lemon Drop Kid chestnut was a 5 3/4-length winner of Friday’s eighth race with a prominent trip under Franco in a 6 1/2-furlong first-level allowance, one start after a game runner-up effort in the same condition for his first start on dirt since July 2021.
“He really came around,” said Abreu. “I think he’s a better dirt horse than a turf horse because I think the turf has to be real firm and real fast for him to run good on it. He’s kind of a heavy horse, but he’s always been a good work horse in the mornings.”
King Angelo has made four starts for Abreu since moving from the care of conditioner Phil Serpe. He previously made 8-of-10 starts for Serpe over the grass, scoring three victories in state-bred company. In all, he boasts a career record of 14-4-3-4 with over $281,000 in earnings.
Abreu has enjoyed a successful beginning of the year so far at the Big A, winning 3-of-5 starts and hitting the board with another. His other victory came on January 6 with Gold Square’s New York-bred Quick Chaos, who graduated at fourth asking over a sloppy and sealed main track.
The 3-year-old son of Unified, who was bred by Cheryl Prudhomme and Dr. Michael Gallivan, was previously on-the-board in his first three outings when sprinting in stalking fashion against fellow state-breds. The bay colt put it all together with a stretch out in distance and a pacesetting trip under Franco to persevere by a half-length over Lifetime of Chance in a one-mile state-bred maiden special weight. The effort came on the heels of a distant second-place effort sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs in his first start back from a five-month layoff.
“That horse has always been a little bit of a tough guy,” said Abreu. “Johnny [Velazquez] rode him the first couple of times and he told me, ‘This horse wants to stretch out – he doesn’t want to do three-quarters.’ He ran third twice and then had a little bit of a hiccup. We sent him to the farm, brought him back, and he ran second going six and a half [furlongs]. Then the race came up at a mile, so it was a perfect setup. He grew up as a 3-year-old.”
Quick Chaos, who was purchased for $170,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-Bred Preferred Yearlings Sale, is out of the Mineshaft mare Rubicon. His second dam, Road to Mandalay, is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Bound and Soleil Rouge, the dam of graded stakes-winner Battle Bling.