Balpool makes her stakes debut a winning one (NYRA/Coglianese)
By Brian Bohl – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Madaket Stables’ Balpool made her stakes debut a winning effort, overtaking pacesetter Unified Alliance out of the turn and cruising for a 3 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Memories of Silver for 3-year-old fillies in a one-mile race moved off the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Heavy rain forced the ninth running of the Memories of Silver to be moved onto a sloppy and sealed main track. With six horses scratched and three main-track-only entrants joining Unified Alliance to comprise the four-horse field, the Rob Atras-trained Balpool notched her second straight victory, building on a win against allowance optional claimers earlier this month at the Big A.
Unified Alliance led the quartet through an opening quarter-mile in 23.12 seconds and the half in 46.22 with 4-5 favorite Downtown Mischief in close pursuit, followed by Balpool and Crypto Mama. Jockey Manny Franco urged Balpool up from the outside in the turn, gaining ground into the stretch. When straightened for home, Balpool, off at 9-5, overtook Downtown Mischief and kicked on to the wire, completing the course in 1:36.76.
“She has been improving a lot since her last race and today I got a great draw,” said Franco, the current leading rider at the Big A spring meet. “I just wanted to make sure she broke good and wasn’t too far off the speed. I knew today horses weren’t going to close so much. It was a good pace in front and I was right there behind them. My filly responded well.”
Lady Sheila Stable’s New York homebred Downtown Mischief bested Crypto Mama for second by one length, with Unified Alliance completing the order of finish. Lady Beth, Hang the Moon, Bulsara, Queen Picasso, Juniper’s Moon and Royalty Interest were scratched.
Balpool, bred in Florida by A. Francis Vanlangendonck and Barbara Vanlangendonck, returned $5.80 on a $2 win wager. The dark bay daughter of Uncaptured improved her career earnings to $151,900 and won for the third time in four starts this year.
“At the top of the stretch, I thought we had a pretty good shot,” Atras said. “It looked like we had a lot of steam and momentum. On the backstretch, it looked like they were moving pretty good, but Manny stayed after them [Unified Alliance and Downtown Mischief]. We were confident going in and Manny rode her that way, so that was good.”
Downtown Mischief, trained by Linda Rice and ridden by Jose Ortiz, was coming off a win in the six-furlong Cicada on March 18 at Aqueduct before drawing in following the steady downpour that put the race on the dirt.
“She proved she can run the distance and she was tracking the pace nicely. My filly ran a great race,” Ortiz said. “I was just second-best.”
Live racing resumes Sunday with a nine-race program to close out the Aqueduct spring meet, highlighted by the $100,000 Affirmed Success at six furlongs for New York-bred older horses in Race 8. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.