Itsallcomintogetha Wires $150K NYSSS Cab Calloway for First Stakes Win

July 20, 2023

Itsallcomintogetha (inside) holds off Ramblin’ Wreck in the NYSSS Cab Calloway (NYRA/Coglianese)

By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Hilly Fields Stable’s New York homebred Itsallcomintogetha went wire-to-wire to win Thursday’s $150,000 Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Phil Serpe and guided to victory by Jose Gomez, the bay son of Weekend Hideaway improved from a third-place effort to Ramblin’ Wreck last out in the seven-furlong NYSSS Spectacular Bid to defeat his familiar foe by a neck in Thursday’s one-mile inner turf test for eligible New York-sired sophomores.

“Last time, we went a little shorter and he rode competitive. He likes to fight,” said Gomez, who won last year’s Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at the Spa. “But when he’s out there on his own, he relaxes a little more and me and Phil thought the mile would be perfect for him. He broke his maiden going a mile. It just worked out. He was able to break sharp and he had a lot left.”

Away cleanly from the inside post in the field of six, Itsallcomintogetha coasted to the front under confident handling by Gomez to mark opening splits of 24.18 seconds and 49.25 over the firm footing. Vacation Dance tracked in second with Willintoriskitall holding third position over the patient 1-2 post-time favorite Ramblin’ Wreck, who broke from post 5 and was quickly taken in along the rail in the early stages by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Willintoriskitall came under a ride approaching the turn after three-quarters in 1:13.59 while Itsallcomintogetha maintained his advantage over a stubborn Vacation Dance. Ortiz, Jr. got to work aboard Ramblin’ Wreck along the rail, making up ground with every stride as Willintoriskitall backpedaled after his brief bid at the top of the lane.

Itsallcomintogetha straightened for home with a 3 1/2-length lead over the advancing Ramblin’ Wreck, who raced in tandem with Vacation Dance to the eighth pole before drawing off to become the lone challenger to the pacesetter. Itsallcomintogetha found more under urging from Gomez in deep stretch and dug in bravely to turn back the challenge from Ramblin’ Wreck, crossing the wire first in a final time of 1:36.62.

Vacation Dance finished 4 1/2 lengths behind the Danny Gargan-trained Ramblin’ Wreck for show honors with Willintoriskitall, Twenty Six Black and Mama Banned Me completing the order of finish. Gem Mint Ten, Laurel Valley and main track-only entrant Jackson Heights were scratched.

Serpe said he had expected the Luis Saez-piloted Willintoriskitall to take the early lead after showing speed in a seven-furlong maiden claiming win in 1:21.95 last out at Belmont.

“I was surprised,” Serpe said. “I thought Luis Saez was going to be out there on his horse that went 44 and change in his last race. Danny’s horse never seemed to get untracked – I was watching Irad and I think it set up good. I think the two turns is more important than anything because he’s quick and he can get through the turns pretty quickly.”

Itsallcomintogetha and a beaming Jose Gomez after their Cab Calloway score (Susie Raisher)

Serpe added it is likely Itsallcomintogetha will now target the 1 1/16-mile $125,000 Rick Violette for New York-bred sophomores on August 17 at the Spa.

“It would be great to win that because Rick was an incredible guy and we all miss him here,” Serpe said of the late multiple Grade 1-winning trainer. “Like everything else, let’s see how he is, but that would actually be a target.”

Itsallcomintogetha, out of the winning Powerscourt mare Ladywell Court, is a half-sibling to the Serpe-trained stakes-winning Hilly Fields Stable homebreds Goodbye Brockley and Lady Joan. He banked $82,500 in victory and returned $20 for a $2 win ticket. Itsallcomintogetha now boasts a lifetime record of 7-2-0-3, adding to a three-quarter-length graduation at fifth asking two starts back.

Irad Ortiz, Jr. said Ramblin’ Wreck, who won Belmont Park’s NYSSS Spectacular Bid by one length, would have benefitted from a swifter pace.

“It looked like a little more speed on paper,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “I was in a good spot when I cut the corner. It was hard to catch up after that. The turf was a little soft and had a little kickback. My horse runs better on firmer ground like he had last time at Belmont. I had a beautiful trip, I just got beat.”

Live racing resumes Friday at Saratoga with a 10-race card, featuring the $135,000 Curlin in Race 4 and the Grade 3, $175,000 Lake George in Race 9. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

An amazing article on an amazing horse who broke the heart of horse racing…

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