OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Glen Hill Farm, Madaket Stables and Cheyenne Stables’ Bubbles On Ice was victorious in her U.S. debut, edging Fluffy Socks by a head in Sunday’s $100,000 Memories of Silver, a 1 1/16-mile inner turf test for sophomore fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Christophe Clement and expertly piloted by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, the Irish-bred Starspangledbanner chestnut was exiting back-to-back Group 1 sprints at the Curragh where she finished sixth in the Phoenix in August and fourth in the Moyglare Stud in September.
Kendrick Carmouche sent 21-1 Frost Me to the lead through an opening quarter-mile in 25.17 seconds under moderate pressure from 59-1 Bravo Regina as Castellano angled Bubbles On Ice to the rail from the outermost post 7, saving ground from last on the heels of rail-riding 2-1 favorite Fluffy Socks.
Frost Me continued to lead the parade down the backstretch with Bravo Regina to her outside in second. Ingrassia and Sleek Lynx tracked in tandem behind the longshot leaders, while Castellano waited patiently at the back of the pack aboard Bubbles On Ice as the half-mile was clocked in 51.09.
Oyster Box rallied outside of Bravo Regina into the final turn as Bubbles On Ice followed suit with an outside move to get the jump on Fluffy Socks, who was still saving ground on the rail through three-quarters in 1:15.33.
Bubbles On Ice quickly picked off her rivals to emerge with the lead at the stretch call, but a game Fluffy Socks was angled to the center of the course by Irad Ortiz, Jr. and loomed a serious threat. Bubbles On Ice and Fluffy Socks, with very little between them, battled gamely through the final strides with Bubbles On Ice prevailing in a final time of 1:45.14 over the firm course.
It was three lengths back to Sleek Lynx in third, who won a show photo by a nose over Oyster Box. Ingrassia, Bravo Regina and Frost Me rounded out the order of finish. Main-track only entrant Song of Innocence was scratched.
Clement, who won the 2019 edition with Feel Glorious, said a ground-saving trip was key.
“The first time out, I thought it was better that she was covered up,” said Clement. “She got a great ride and saved ground. She had a great-turn-of-foot. There was a small question mark on the distance, but she showed her form this afternoon.”
Bubbles On Ice prepared for her U.S. debut at Payson Park in Florida where she recorded nine works dating back to January 4.
“When she first came here, I didn’t think she was handling the turns very well in her breezes,” said Clement. “Her past two works were good at Payson Park, so I was happy with that. She answered the question about the distance this afternoon. I’m delighted.”
Castellano captured the $100,000 Woodhaven with Hard Love on Saturday’s Big A card and completed a sweep of the weekend turf stakes with a masterful ride.
The Hall of Fame rider said he was impressed with how Bubbles On Ice negotiated the tighter turns of the Aqueduct inner turf.
“What really impressed me the most was the way she did it off a slow pace and tight corners,” said Castellano. “She should stretch out pretty well. It’s hard for horses to come off the pace when they go as slow as they did up front, and she did it well. I really like this filly. I think she has a bright future ahead of her.”
Bred in Ireland by Michael Begley, Bubbles On Ice banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to two wins from five starts. She returned $9.80 for a $2 win ticket.
Memories of Silver Replay
Live racing shifts to Belmont Park for the 48-day spring/summer meet which begins Thursday, April 22 and runs through Sunday, July 11. First post on Thursday’s eight-race Opening Day card is 1 p.m.
By Keith McCalmont
Photo: Bubbles On Ice (inside #8) winning the Memories of Silver. (NYRA/Coglianese)