G1 winner Maracuja targets a spring/summer return; Sea Foam on target for Empire Classic
ELMONT, N.Y. – When Horologist vies to defend her title in Sunday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Beldame at Belmont Park, owner Cameron Beatty of There’s A Chance Stable is reminded that everything happens for a reason.
A native of Nashville now living in New Jersey, Beatty was indirectly introduced to horseracing through unfavorable circumstances. Beatty was the starting quarterback of Freehold Township High School and was slated to take his athletic talents to Farleigh Dickinson via academic scholarship when a motorcycle accident nearly cost him his life.
Beatty would eventually sign up to play semi-professional football for the New Jersey Bulldogs where he met coach Don Goold, a racing enthusiast and friend to the late thoroughbred trainer John Mazza.
“After practice one day, he asked me if I wanted to go to the track. He took me to Monmouth Park and just from the frontside I fell in love,” Beatty said. “I just loved the atmosphere. As if that wasn’t good enough, he asked me if I’d ever been to the backside. And I said, ‘The backside of what?’”
A visit to the Monmouth stable area allowed Beatty to develop a strong friendship with Mazza.
“It was a match made in heaven,” Beatty said. “You never would think an 80-year-old guy could be such a good friend with a guy in his mid-20s.”
Mazza, who passed away last May, took Beatty under his wing and taught him all the ins and outs of the business. When Mazza’s longtime clients Holly Crest Farm began dispersing some of their stock, it gave Beatty the opportunity to step into thoroughbred ownership.
“He said the right way to do it is to get into breeding first to experience it on a different level, starting with one horse and see where it takes you from there,” Beatty said. “So, I took over a horse that couldn’t race anymore.”
Beatty acquired Cinderella Time, a Stephen Got Even mare with one win in eight starts, and bred her to Gemologist and the end result of the mating was Horologist.
“Me and John literally pulled her right out of her mom and watched her be born,” Beatty said. “I watched her come right out and take her first steps about 20 minutes after she was born.”
Mazza trained Horologist through her first 11 starts, including 2019 stakes victories in Monmouth’s Smart N Classy Handicap and Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks.
Following a third in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx that year, Beatty sold shares of Horologist to Medallion Racing, Abbondanza Racing and Parkland Thoroughbreds, and the mare was transferred to West Coast-based conditioner Richard Baltas. Later on, Paradise Farms Corp and David Staudacher also bought in on Horologist.
“I couldn’t have asked for better partners. They have taken things to a different level,” Beatty said.
After five starts with Baltas, Horologist found a new home with Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who saddled the mare to graded stakes victories in last year’s Beldame as well as the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher last July at Monmouth. Between those two starts, she earned Grade 1 black type when finishing third in the La Troienne last September at Churchill Downs.
“The good part about it is I had good people around me. John Mazza showed me everything I really know,” Beatty said. “One good thing that John did before he passed away was introduce me to people like [bloodstock agent] David Ingordo, and [trainer] Cherie DeVaux and that’s something I have to thank him for.
“Some owners never get this opportunity. I’ve been extremely lucky in this business so far,” Beatty continued. “Bing Bush [Abbondanza Racing] is probably one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Steve and Debbie West with Parkland Thoroughbreds are just extremely genuine people. They invite me to their house in Saratoga. There are so many great people to be involved with, and if it weren’t for Horologist I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Horologist arrives at the Beldame off a gate-to-wire win in the restricted Summer Colony on August 22, contested at nine furlongs over a good and sealed main track at Saratoga.
A victory in the Beldame would likely result in another start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff on November 6 at Del Mar. Horologist was a distant ninth last year when the event was held at Keeneland. A victory would also provide Beatty, who turns 30 on October 16, an additional reason to celebrate.
“A win would be an amazing early birthday present,” Beatty said.
G1 winner Maracuja targets a spring/summer return
Maracuja winning the 2021 Coaching Club American Oaks at the Spa. (NYRA/Coglianese)
Trainer Rob Atras reported that Maracuja, winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks in July at Saratoga Race Course, will get about 60 days of rest and relaxation at Jim and Susan Hill’s Margaux Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
Atras said he is targeting a spring-to-summer return for the sophomore daughter of Honor Code, who handed leading 3-year-old filly Malathaat her only loss in the CCA Oaks three starts back. Maracuja was previously seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks following a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Gazelle at Aqueduct.
“She’ll get roughly 60 days and start some light training before coming back,” Atras said. “She hasn’t had a break since late in her 2-year-old year, so we decided to give her one.”
Owned by Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds and Barry Fowler, Maracuja was a troubled fourth last out in the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 25 at Parx Racing, finishing 3 ¼ lengths behind Clairiere.
“Things just didn’t work out her way,” Atras said. “Unfortunately, she got bumped at the break forcing her down to the rail and she doesn’t like to be there. She ran a good race, but she just didn’t quite have it.”
Sea Foam on target for Empire Classic
Sea Foam gamely gallops to victory in the Evan Shipman Handicap. (NYRA/Coglianese)
Ten Strike Racing and Four Corners Racing Stable’s Sea Foam provided trainer Michelle Giangiulio a memorable first career win by capturing the nine-furlong $100,000 Evan Shipman Handicap, a nine-furlong test for New York-breds 3-years-old and up in August at Saratoga Race Course.
Last out, Sea Foam finished a distant eighth after setting the pace under Joel Rosario in the 12-furlong Grade 3 Greenwood Cup on September 25 at Parx.
The 6-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro breezed a half-mile in 50.09 Friday over Big Sandy in preparation for a start in the $300,000 Empire Classic, a nine-furlong test for state-breds 3-years-old and up on October 30.
“He had a good work. He came out of his last race really well,” Giangiulio said. “He set a perfect pace and I think he handled the distance fine, but Joel told me the 7-horse [Sheer Flattery] moved so early that he really had to ride him for quite a bit. It messed up the race for us. Going a mile and a half, you can’t move early but he really didn’t have a choice. We’ll put a line through that race and head for the Empire Classic.”
Giangiulio, who took out her license late last year, had previously worked with a number of trainers including Tom Morley, Horacio DePaz, Joe Sharp and her uncle, Carlos Guerrero.
The up-and-coming conditioner sent out her first starter, Parade Field, to a third-place finish in February at Aqueduct Racetrack and the gelding was claimed for $25,000. Her second [Easy Shot] and fourth [Wagon Boss] starters were also claimed.
Giangiulio went to the claim box in order to restock her barn but said she initially struggled to halter new talent before landing Sea Foam for $45,000 out of a winning effort in a nine-furlong state-bred optional-claiming route on July 30 at the Spa
“Before we got Sea Foam, I was losing a lot of shakes up at Saratoga. I must have lost at least 12 shakes in a row,” Giangiulio said. “And then one day, I won a two-way shake to claim a filly off of Bruce Brown and the following day I dropped on Sea Foam and won a two-way shake. It’s funny how it worked out because if I’d won some of those shakes at the beginning of the meet, I probably wouldn’t have ended up with Sea Foam.”
Bred in the Empire State by Waterville Lake Stables, Sea Foam is out of the graded-stakes winning Unbridled’s Song mare Strike It Rich.
Sea Foam boasts significant back class having captured the 2017 Notebook at Aqueduct and a year later won the New York Derby at Finger Lakes and the Albany at Saratoga.
On August 5, Joey Loose Lips, claimed by Giangiulio for $25,000, ran a game second in a Saratoga allowance route as a live longshot. The dark bay Effinex gelding opened up a three-length lead at the top of the stretch but was nailed at the wire by Bingo John, who had been a regular workmate of Grade 1 Belmont Stakes-winner Essential Quality.
Six days later, Sea Foam was sent to the lead in the Evan Shipman and extended a two-length lead at the stretch call to an impressive five-length score providing Giangiulio her first win in just her sixth career start.
“It’s like a story you read about. It’s not something you expect to experience yourself and it was amazing to have that as my first career win,” Giangiulio said. “I had almost won an allowance race the week before with a horse I had claimed, and he ran a super race but we just got nicked at the wire. I thought that was going to be my first win, but the following week we went and won the stake. It was just meant to be.”
Giangiulio, who currently oversees five horses at Belmont, said she will look to add to her stable as she prepares for a fall/winter campaign at the Big A.
“Hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling,” Giangiulio said.
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Belmont Notes/NYRA Press Office
Top Photo: Horologist rolls to a win in the Beldame. (Susie Raisher)