Impressive Debut Winner Ziaerati Targets $200K Busher Invitational

January 19, 2023

Ziaerati after her debut romp.

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Ziaerati, trained and co-owned by Robert Falcone, Jr. with John Grossi’s Racing Corp., registered an 83 Beyer Speed Figure for her gate-to-wire 8 1/4-length debut score in a seven-furlong maiden special weight on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The sophomore daughter of Into Mischief, bred in Kentucky by Whitehorse Stable, battled for the lead with My Betsy through a half-mile in 48.80 before kicking clear in upper stretch and drawing off under a hand ride from Dylan Davis. She covered the distance in 1:26.72 over the fast main track.

“You never know it until you bring them over and they show it in the afternoon, but she gave us a very early indication when we started working her that she was a runner,” Falcone, Jr. said. “She did everything perfectly. I’ve been waiting for her to run for a very long time and I’d been talking her up to John Grossi. She’s been very professional the whole time.

“She couldn’t blow out a candle in the winner’s circle,” Falcone, Jr. added. “I think she wants to go long, so we skipped the three-quarters race and waited for seven-eighths and that’s usually tough to get first time out.”

Falcone, Jr. said Ziaerati had worked well into her debut, including against older company.

“Dylan worked her for me a couple times and it doesn’t matter how fast she goes or how far you make her gallop out, she always comes back to the barn not blowing,” Falcone, Jr. said. “As a trainer, that can make you wonder. It’s a sign of her being really fit but at the same time, is she not doing enough to go seven-eighths first time? You don’t want them to get tired in the afternoon for the first time.”

Ziaerati exited the maiden score in good order and will now look to stretch out another furlong in the $200,000 Busher Invitational on March 4 at the Big A, which offers 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

“We’ll take a shot there. I like that it’s a flat mile and I like the spacing of it,” Falcone, Jr. said.

Ziaerati, out of the stakes-placed Munnings mare Zia, was purchased for $145,000 at the OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. The bay filly was given the nickname of “Fancy Face” as a foal at Mill Ridge Farm due to her distinctively large white blaze which garnered Ziaerati plenty of admirers on social media during the farm’s virtual tours in 2020.

“Yeah, me too,” said Falcone, Jr. of being part of the filly’s burgeoning fan club. “She definitely has some unique features.”

Falcone, Jr. and John Grossi’s Racing Corp. also campaign another promising sophomore filly in Lady Shylock, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Collected, who graduated on debut here on November 27 in a maiden claiming tilt.

The $50,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase won by 5 1/4-lengths in gate-to-wire fashion under Romero Ramsay Maragh, sprinting six furlongs in 1:14.38 over a sloppy and sealed main track. The in-hand score garnered a 66 Beyer.

Lady Shylock has breezed back three times over the Belmont dirt training track, including a half-mile in 52 flat on January 14. She is under consideration for the $100,000 Ruthless, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies on February 4.

Falcone, Jr. will hope for a similarly successful debut when he sends out New York-bred Daddyslilbosslady for his father’s Beast Mode Racing [Robert Falcone, Sr.] in Race 1 on Sunday at Gulfstream Park, a five-furlong turf sprint for sophomore fillies.

The dark bay daughter of Mendelssohn is out of the multiple stakes-placed Street Boss mare Rumble Doll, who provided Falcone, Jr. with three of his four wins in his first year of training in 2014.

Falcone, Jr. and his father haltered the New York-bred Rumble Doll for $25,000 in March 2014 at the Big A and she won first out for her new connections just one month later at double the claiming price in a six-furlong sprint on the Aqueduct main track. She won twice more that year for the Falcones, closing from deep to capture a 5 1/2-furlong claiming turf sprint at Saratoga in August 2014 along with a seven-furlong state-bred allowance in similar fashion that September at Belmont.

“We claimed her off Eddie Kenneally for $25,000 my first year of training and put her on the grass,” Falcone, Jr. “She’d come from a different area code every time. She ended up winning six times for us.”

Rumble Doll, bred in New York by Lawrence Goichman, stayed with the Falcones until October 2018 when she was claimed for $62,500 out of an off-the-board effort on the Belmont turf and retired just two starts later.

“That filly was very good to me and my dad,” said Falcone, Jr. “She gave her attitude to the foal. This one may even be more spicy than Rumble Doll was. She doesn’t look like her, but attitude wise, I see a lot of Rumble Doll in Daddyslilbosslady.”

Rumble Doll was purchased for $145,000 in foal to Mendelssohn at the 2019 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Daddyslilbosslady subsequently was an RNA at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearling Sale, but sold for $37,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale to Beast Mode Racing.

Daddyslilbosslady, the first foal out of Rumble Doll, trained in New York at Belmont and Saratoga last summer. She remained at Belmont until mid-December before shipping to Florida where she has breezed three times over the Palm Meadows Training Center turf, including a half-mile in 51.60 on January 13.

Falcone, Jr. said he expects the debutante won’t be as far back in the early going as her dam.

“She’s training good,” Falcone, Jr. said. “ She’s more forward from the gate in the morning. I’d expect her to be more forwardly placed, especially going five-eighths.”

Daddyslilbosslady, bred by Spruce Lane, Hidden Brook, Bartolotta, Becker, Conley and Copper Beech et al., will exit post 5 under Paco Lopez.

Spirit And Glory takes the Virginia Oaks (Coady Photography)

Spirit And Glory, winner of the Virginia Oaks in September at Colonial Downs, is under consideration for a trio of graded stakes in Florida. She was last seen finishing fourth under jockey Isaac Castillo in an off-the-turf renewal of the Tropical Park Oaks on December 26 at Gulfstream.

Falcone, Jr. said he was expecting a better result over the Gulfstream Tapeta as Spirit And Glory had launched her career in Ireland over the Dundalk synthetic in the care of her former trainer Michael Mulvany.

“The jock said she didn’t handle the synthetic too well, but she came out of the race good,” Falcone, Jr. said. “She’s won on it overseas so we thought she might be able to handle it over here, but I’m sure their tracks are different than the ones here.”

Trained and co-owned by Falcone, Jr. with Michael Nentwig, Michael Dubb, Beast Mode Racing and John Rochfort, the 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Cotai Glory made a memorable North American debut under Davis with a last-to-first optional-claiming score traveling 1 1/16-miles in June at Belmont.

Spirit And Glory finished seventh in the one-mile Grade 2 Lake George in July at the Spa and a closing fifth in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Sands Point in October at Belmont at the Big A ahead of a fourth in the Winter Memories here in November.

But her best effort last season came with a 12th-to-first charge in the nine-furlong Virginia Oaks under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Falcone, Jr. said he will look to reunite the pair next out in a Florida turf tilt.

Spirit And Glory is invited to the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3, $500,000 Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf Invitational on January 28 at Gulfstream, but the filly is also under consideration for the 12-furlong Grade 3, $150,000 La Prevoyante on the Pegasus undercard as well as the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3, $175,000 Endeavour on February 4 at Tampa Bay Downs.

Falcone, Jr. said Spirit And Glory seems to have overcome an issue with being rank in the early stages of her races and that stretching out to 1 1/2-miles could benefit.

“Dylan rode her perfect first time out and Irad rode her perfect after that. You just have to put your hands down and let her be where she wants to be,” Falcone, Jr. said. “If you put her to the rail, she gets aggressive behind horses early and you want to take a hold of her and her head goes up in the air.

“If we go in the mile and a half race, we might end up with Irad and he knows her well,” continued Falcone, Jr. “He left her alone in the Virginia Oaks and let her go around on a loose rein and when he asked her, she responded. If he does that, the mile and a half will suit her well. She can gallop all day.”

Bred by Dr. Noel Cogan and Patrick Williams, Spirit And Glory, out of the Invincible Spirit mare Supreme Spirit, boasts a ledger of 10-3-1-1 for purse earnings of $206,720.

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