Easy to Bless captures the Xtra Heat March 26, 2022 (NYRA/Coglianese)
By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Amsterdam Two Stables’ Easy to Bless will look to pick up black type for the first time in Saturday’s $100,000 Correction, a six-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by James Ferraro, the 5-year-old Flat Out mare boasts a record of 24-10-5-1 and field-best earnings of $441,818, entering from a three-length score in a seven-furlong optional-claimer on February 10 here.
Jacqueline Davis, who has piloted Easy to Bless through her last eight starts, guided the dark bay from last-of-6 after a stumbled start before making a five-wide move through the turn and taking command in upper stretch.
Ferraro said he was pleased with the patient ride as Easy to Bless garnered her first victory since a prominent effort in a seven-furlong handicap in May at Belmont Park.
“I like the way Jackie rated her,” Ferraro said. “I thought she had been moving her too soon, but she finally got to rate her a little.”
Easy to Bless, who has won 4-of-10 starts at the Big A, breezed back five-eighths in 1:01.63 on March 1 over the Belmont dirt training track. She will travel shorter than seven furlongs for the first time since taking the 6 1/2-furlong Xtra Heat here last March as part of New York Claiming Championship Day.
“I like the turnback going three quarters. She’s training excellent,” Ferraro said. “She likes this track and she’s a trier.”
Bred in Kentucky by Haymarket Farm, Easy to Bless is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Arbeka, who is a half-sister to 2002 Grade 3 Temped-winner Chimichurri.
Davis retains the mount from post 5.
Robert Derr’s stakes-placed New York-bred Rossa Veloce [post 1, Manny Franco] has won 3-of-4 starts, all at Aqueduct, since being claimed by trainer Rob Atras for $32,000 out of a fourth-place finish in September at Saratoga Race Course.
The 5-year-old Girolamo mare bested state-breds in October ahead of earning a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure for a frontrunning score in November over graded-stakes placed Beguine in a 6 1/2-furlong open allowance sprint. She was part of a speed duel when second to graded-stakes placed Union Lake in an open optional-claiming sprint in December, but returned at the same level last out to post a 5 1/4-length score travelling six furlongs.
Bred by John Scott Rogers, Rossa Veloce, out of the Hard Spun mare Spuntastic, was purchased for $12,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale. She has banked $421,510 through a record of 24-8-4-2.
New Horizons Bloodstock’s stakes-placed Big Tentations [post 6, Eric Cancel] has found a new home on dirt for trainer Juan Carlos Avila, who captured Saturday’s Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap here with Little Vic.
The 4-year-old Practical Joke bay, who finished second in the Sanibel Island in April over the Gulfstream Park turf for conditioner Rafael Romero, made her first start for Avila in September when off-the-board in a turf route at Colonial Downs. She made two more turf starts before finishing a close second in a dirt sprint contested over a sloppy and sealed track on January 23 at Parx Racing.
Avila said Big Tentations should benefit from her last-out effort which came from a three-month layoff.
“I like her on dirt and going short. Her race at Parx was excellent,” Avila said. “I had her at 50 percent. Right now, she’s in good health and I really like her for this race.”
Big Tentations is out of the Artie Schiller mare Mississippi Queen – a half-sister to multiple graded-stakes winner Asi Siempre, who captured the 2006 Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.
HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing’s stakes-winner Prodigy Doll [post 3, Trevor McCarthy] makes her first start in New York for trainer Phil Schoenthal.
The 5-year-old Shanghai Bobby mare, who sports a ledger of 19-4-4-1 for purse earnings of $248,820, has competed mainly on the Maryland circuit over the past year. She captured a six-furlong optional-claimer two starts back on January 7 at Laurel Park, scoring by two-lengths over Response Time, who has since posted back-to-back wins.
Prodigy Doll, who won the 2021 Cheryl S. White Memorial at Mahoning Valley Race Course, enters from a troubled fifth in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie on February 18 at Laurel where she was steadied leaving the five-eighths and failed to fire when roused for a wide run.
Bred in Kentucky by Tolo Thoroughbreds and Michael A. Spirito, Prodigy Doll is out of the Silver Deputy mare Hi Lili, who is a half-sister to graded-stakes winner Blind Date and multiple stakes-winner Sales Tax.
Rounding out the field are New York-bred stakes winner Secret Love [post 7, Dylan Davis] for trainer John Kimmel; stakes-placed Fouette [post 4, Kendrick Carmouche] for conditioner Linda Rice; six-time winner Self Isolation [post 8, Jose Lezcano] for owner-trainer David Jacobson; and four-time winner I’m Buzzy [post 2, Katie Davis] for trainer Amira Chichakly.
The Correction is slated as Race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.