Aqueduct’s Saturday Card Highlighted by Claiming Championship Series

March 22, 2023

Racing at Aqueduct (Walter Wlodarczyk)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— The New York Claiming Championship series returns for the eighth year on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack with six starter events over the main track offering a combined $380,000 in purse money.

The New York Claiming Championship is open to horses which have started for a prescribed claiming price in 2022-23. The six-race series, each named after some of the most popular claiming horses to run at the Big A, features races at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 3/8 miles. A total of 57 horses were entered across the six races.

Trainer Oscar Barrera, III will send out four horses across the six starter events, including multiple stakes-placed New York-bred Know It All Audrey [post 8, Jose Gomez] and Dame Cinco [post 4, Dylan Davis] in the $75,000 Sis City in Race 9 at one-mile for older fillies and mares.

Barrera, III is currently leading Division A of the Under 20s Challenge in which trainers earn points based on their horses’ performances in overnight races at Aqueduct from January 1 through the end of the Big A spring meet on April 30. Barrera has accumulated 136 points through March 18, leading second-place Randi Persaud by 33 points.

“We’ve had a good winter and we can use that money to claim horses and keep growing,” Barrera, III said. “It also helps bring owners into the game and be more excited about claiming horses. It doesn’t always have to be about 2-and-3-year olds. You just have to keep dropping on horses and try to win shakes.”

Know It All Audrey wins an allowance optional claimer Jan. 19 (NYRA/Coglianese)

Know It All Audrey, a 4-year-old Shackleford bay owned by Barrera, III and Three Player’s Stable, finished second in the Bay Ridge in December here ahead of a state-bred optional-claiming score in January. She enters from a runner-up effort to Timeless Journey in the one-mile Biogio’s Rose on March 12.

“She ran into a nice filly that day, but she gave a great effort,” Barrera, III said. “I think she’s going to be tough to beat. She’s been training well and on her toes, which made it easier for me to bring her back on short rest.”

Gagliano Stables’ Dame Cinco was claimed for $32,000 last out from a narrow nose score in a six-furlong sprint on March 10 at Aqueduct. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Cinco Charlie mare has posted a record of 2-2-0 in her last five starts, including a 7 1/4-length allowance romp at the Sis City distance here in December and a runner-up effort in January to Funny How, who exited that effort to win the Broadway in which Know It All Audrey finished fourth.

“She’s a fantastic filly. I was excited to win the shake on her,” Barrera, III said. “She finished second by a nose to Funny How about four starts back and she came back to beat Audrey in the stake. I think stretching back out to a mile will be perfect for her to be able to break, relax and make her move.”

Stacy Lalman’s New York-bred Mosienko [post 7, Jason Huayas] will look to notch her first victory beyond seven furlongs. Trained by Dennis Lalman, the 6-year-old Hat Trick mare put together a four-race win streak last year that kicked off with a state-bred optional-claiming score in August at Saratoga and included another state-bred win at the Spa in September before two open-company victories at Belmont at the Big A in the fall. She made her seasonal debut in February when fourth in an open optional-claiming event.

Also entered are Kingdom Queen [post 1, Anthony Nunez], Chaysenbryn [post 2, Kendrick Carmouche], Mariah’s Fortune [post 3, Jaime Torres], Movie Moxy [post 5, Jose Lezcano], My First Love [post 6, Eric Cancel], Amity Island [post 9, Romero Maragh], Dancing Sophia [post 10, Trevor McCarthy], Tough Street [post 11, Manny Franco] and My Sweet Wife [post 12, Trevor McCarthy].

Melting Snow wins an allowance at Oaklawn Park on New Year’s Eve, 2021 (Coady Photography)

Claiming Championship Day kicks off in Race 1 as Melting Snow [post 1, Kendrick Carmouche], owned and trained by Charlie Baker, will attempt her fourth straight victory in the $55,000 Videogenic – a seven-furlong test for older fillies and mares.

The 5-year-old Dialed In mare was claimed by Baker last out following a local victory for a $32,000 tag on January 27. Prior to that effort, she was a double-digit lengths winner for a $16,000 tag on January 5 for trainer Rob Atras, one month after a win for a $10,000 tag for trainer Linda Rice.

Trainer Jimmy Ferraro will saddle a pair of runners in Icy Reply [post 5, Eric Cancel] and Meraviglioso [post 2, Jeremy Laprida]. Diana Citarella’s Icy Reply was claimed for $12,500 last out after finishing second going six furlongs on March 17. DeLuca Racing Stable’s Meraviglioso enters off a pair of third-place efforts.

Completing the field are Quality Stones [post 3, Jason Huayas], who races with blinkers off, Alarm Clock [post 4, Dylan Davis], and Triple P [post 6, Joey Martinez]. 

Jordan Wycoff’s Good Skate [post 1, Manny Franco], who has excelled since being stretched out to two turns, will test his stamina in the $75,000 Stud Muffin in Race 5, an 11-furlong test for older horses.

The 4-year-old American Freedom gelding was haltered by trainer Mike Maker for $35,000 out of a seven-furlong sprint score here on January 12 and promptly stretched out to nine furlongs to finish second in a January 29 allowance won by returning rival Tonal Impact. Last out, he led gate-to wire in a 10-furlong allowance tilt, scoring by 3 1/2-lengths and garnering a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

Tonal Impact [post 7, Kendrick Carmouche] has finished first or second in each of his last seven starts, including a pair of nine-furlong allowance scores since being haltered for $40,000 in November by trainer Linda Rice for owner A. Bianco Holding Limited.

Flying P Stable’s Locally Owned [post 5, Jaime Torres] captured the 2021 Grand Prix American Jockey Club Invitational for his current connections traveling 1 5/8-miles at Belmont Park for trainer Tom Morley. He was haltered for $20,000 five starts later out of a winning effort in August at Saratoga, but claimed right back for double that amount in September at Belmont at the Big A. He has hit the board in 2-of-4 starts since the claim and will carry just 111 pounds.

Also entered are Uno [post 2, Jason Huayas], Datesfreedom [post 3, Omar Hernandez Moreno], Will E. Sutton [post 4, Jose Gomez], Healing [post 6, Trevor McCarthy] and Centavo [post 8, Romero Ramsay Maragh].

In the $50,000 Dads Caps, a six-furlong test for older horses carded as Race 7, trainer Scott Lake will saddle Home Team Stable’s Easy Day [post 4, Kendrick Carmouche] in attempt of a third consecutive triumph.

The 6-year-old son of Daaher brags a highly consistent 18-7-4-3 record when travelling the six-furlong distance including his two previous efforts. Following a narrow victory in a February 13 starter optional claimer at Parx Racing, Easy Day displayed a 7 1/2-length romp in a starter allowance on March 7 over the same surface.

Scilly Cay victorious in a Dec. 17 allowance (NYRA/Coglianese)

Flying B Ranch Cattle Company’s Scilly Cay [post 1, Eric Cancel] will seek to keep his consistent form afloat for the trainer Linda Rice. The Fed Biz 6-year-old has finished in-the-money in eight of his last nine starts, including a local allowance triumph over a muddy and sealed main track on December 17. Scilly Cay provided Rice with her 2,000th career victory when capturing the 2020 Rego Park at the Big A.

Barrera, III will saddle Lohengrin Two [post 3, Dylan Davis], who has finished first or second in six of his last eight starts. The 8-year-old Langfuhr gelding was claimed for $8,000 three starts back and won first up for new connections in a $10,000 claimer on January 22 ahead of a pacesetting runner-up effort last out in a state-bred allowance.

“He’s an exciting horse. He’s pure speed,” Barrera, III said. “Last time, he went a little too quick up front but obviously the tactics aren’t going to change with him. Picking up Dylan is a big plus for the horse.”

Completing the field are Salto de Tigre [post 2, Jose Gomez], Warrior in Chief [post 5, Jason Huayas], R Boy Bode [post 6, Jackie Davis], Romantic Gamble [post 7, Trevor McCarthy], Charlie Five O [post 8, Omar Hernandez Moreno], and Zertz [post 9, Madison Olver].

Owner/trainer David Jacobson’s O’Trouble will vie for his fourth consecutive win when taking on 10 rivals in the $65,000 Peeping Tom, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for older horses in Race 8.

A 6-year-old son of In Trouble, O’Trouble has won his last three outings by open lengths, most recently taking a seven-furlong claiming event on February 9 at the Big A. He has been perfect in two starts for Jacobson, who claimed O’Trouble for $25,000 out of a win in a local January 1 sprint.

O’Trouble, who has hit the board in 18-of-22 lifetime starts, will emerge from post 9 in rein to Jose Gomez.

Ten Strike Racing’s Ragtime Blues [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche] will make his first start since being claimed for $25,000 out of a win on February 12 that garnered a co-field-high 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

Trained by Michelle Giangiulio, the graded stakes-placed Ragtime Blues battled for the early lead with Printrack before kicking clear down the stretch and posting a 3 1/2-length victory. The Union Rags bay earned his graded placing when second in the 2020 Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera at Santa Anita Park.

Completing the field are, Spectatorless [post 1, Luis Rodriguez Castro], Bezos [post 2, Romero Ramsay Maragh], who races with blinkers off, Glory Road [post 3, Dylan Davis], Royal Tryst [post 4, Jason Huayas], Quickflash [post 6, Jackie Davis], Durkin’s Call [post 7, Andre Worrie], Jemography [post 8, Trevor McCarthy], Luni Sima [post 10, Eric Cancel], and Russian to Win [post 11, Katie Davis].

Daddy Knows draws away to win a $16K claiming event Feb. 26 (NYRA/Coglianese)

Adelphi Racing Club, Cutair Racing, Dark Horse Racing and trainer Ray Handal’s Daddy Knows will look to continue his winning ways in his second start off the claim in Race 10, the $60,000 More to Tell for older horses traveling one mile.

Daddy Knows, who was claimed for $25,000 on January 19, made an impressive first outing for Handal on February 26, setting the pace in a one-mile $16,000 claiming tilt and opening up to a 5 1/2-length victory under returning rider Katie Davis.

Bred in the Empire State by Chester and Mary Broman, Daddy Knows is in search of his seventh career victory from post 1.

The in-form Winter Pool has crossed the finish line first in his last two races and will look to notch his second victory for owner Ronald Stewart and trainer Linda Rice. A son of Curlin, Winter Pool arrives from a strong effort in a January 7 claimer traveling nine furlongs here when he crossed the wire 5 1/4 lengths the best but was later disqualified from purse money and placed seventh.

Winter Pool was a 1 3/4-length winner of a one-mile claimer on December 29 at the Big A in his first start for Rice after being haltered for $32,000 in November. He will emerge from post 4 with Eric Cancel in the irons.

Barrera, III sends out No Burn [post 10, Dylan Davis], who garnered a career-best 96 Beyer two starts back in taking a nine-furlong optional-claimer over a muddy and sealed track on January 20 here. He finished a distant seventh last out when cut back to one-mile in an optional-claimer won by Bourbon Calling on February 20.

“We came back a little short from a big 96 Beyer winning the mile and an eighth race. It was a good field and Bourbon Calling came back to win again to prove that was a legitimate field,” Barrera, III said. “We’re getting class relief and he’s been training well. We’re happy to get Dylan Davis back on him. If he gets a clean break, he’ll be competitive in this spot.”

Rounding out the field are Lord Gatling [post 2, Romero Ramsay Maragh], Mount Travers [post 3, Jamie Torres], Hammerin Aamer [post 5, Trevor McCarthy], Lost in Rome [post 6, Heman Harkie], Dust Devil [post 7, Manny Franco], Alcools [post 8, Jorge Panaijo], Optic Way [post 9, Kendrick Carmouche], and Black Belt [post 11, Jason Huayas].

First post for Saturday’s 10-card is 1:20 p.m. Eastern. 

@jonathanstettin another excellent day for the man who does it best. Thx Jon &@Tracking_Trips. Hoping you have some thoughts for tomorrow!

Kevin West @KFWest003 View testimonials