ELMONT, N.Y. – Espresso Shot seeks a fifth stakes triumph in Saturday’s eighth running of the $100,000 Dancin Renee for older New York-bred fillies and mares going six furlongs over the Belmont Park main track.
The sprint is named in honor of Sandford Bacon’s seven-time stakes winner, who defeated New York-breds as well as posting open-company scores. She retired with nearly a half-million in earnings and produced multiple stakes-winner Risky Rachel as a broodmare.
Espresso Shot, owned by NY Final Furlong Racing Stable, Maspeth Stables and Parkland Thoroughbreds, registered victories in the East View and Busher in early 2019 at Aqueduct before a 10-race slump. But the Mission Impazible mare restored her winning ways, getting her picture taken in two of her last four starts. The 5-year-old took the NYSSS Staten Island on November 22 at Aqueduct and two starts later stretched out to a one-turn mile in the Biogio’s Rose for trainer Jorge Abreu. She won both starts by two lengths.
Espresso Shot arrives off under two week’s rest when a distant sixth in the Critical Eye on May 31 over a muddy and sealed Belmont track.
“She came out of her last race in good shape,” said Dan Zanatta, who manages NY Final Furlong Racing Stable with Vince Roth. “We thought she was going into her last race on a career best form and we were fully expecting her best race. I think she did not handle the slop. We saw this race come up, looked at the competition and decided to supplement into this spot.”
Espresso Shot, bred by Twin Creeks Farm and out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold, made her lone start going six furlongs during her juvenile season when second in the Key Cents at Aqueduct.
“It’s a little shorter than her ideal distance but she fits in here rather nicely,” Zanatta said. “She definitely breezes over it phenomenally. She trains lights out over Belmont. The cut back could suit her on the Belmont surface.”
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will ride from post 6.
Trainer Rob Atras will send out Dennis Narlinger’s frontrunning Sadie Lady, who arrives off graded stakes black type after finishing second in the Grade 3 Vagrancy on May 8 at Belmont.
Sadie Lady is the field’s winningest contender, racking up five wins of her seven career victories since joining Atras’ stable in late 2019, including a win two starts back in the open-company Correction on March 13 at Aqueduct. She is bred by JMJ Racing Stables.
Jockey Jose Ortiz will pilot Sadie Lady from post 5.
Nice Guys Stables and Steve Hornstock’s Fierce Lady attempts to go 2-for-2 this season after a state-bred optional-claiming victory on May 14 at Belmont.
The daughter of Competitive Edge tracked the early pace from third, moved into the clear in upper stretch and took command around the eighth pole to win by 2 ¼ lengths.
Fierce Lady made her first start for trainer Brittany Russell in her last-out victory, which was her first start since a distant third against state-bred allowance company on November 20. She seeks her first stakes victory since winning the Seeking the Ante at Saratoga in August 2019 during her 2-year-old season.
Bred by Sugar Maple Farm, Fierce Lady is out of the stakes-placed A.P. Jet mare Anjorie.
Jockey Luis Saez will climb aboard Fierce Lady from post 1.
Completing the field are Eloquent Speaker [post 2, Manny Franco], Good Credence [post 3, Junior Alvarado] and Ruvie’s in Time [post 4, Joel Rosario]
The Dancin Renee is carded as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race program at Belmont Park. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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NYRA Press Office
Photo: Espresso Shot wins the Biogios Rose March 7, 2021, at Aqueduct. (Chelsea Durand)