Know It All Audrey captures the Empire Distaff Oct. 29 at Aqueduct (NYRA/Coglianese)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— On October 29, the New York-bred filly Know It All Audrey provided her trainer, Oscar Barrera, III, with his first stakes victory when taking the $200,000 Empire Distaff at Belmont at the Big A by 2 3/4 lengths with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano at the helm.
This Saturday, the daughter of Shackleford is set to become her conditioner’s first starter in a graded event when taking on six rivals in the Grade 3, $200,000 Go for Wand, a one-turn mile route for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“It’s amazing. It’s tough in the claiming game to get a nice horse like her, and you go through a lot of claims to get one like her,” said Barrera, III. “We’re just very blessed.”
Know It All Audrey has become the top horse Barrera, III has trained since starting his first horse in 2011. The 4-year-old bay, co-owned by Barrera, III with Three Player’s Stable, was haltered for $16,000 out of a win last September at Belmont at the Big A, and has since banked over $400,000. In addition to her Empire Distaff triumph, Know It All Audrey also finished second in the Bay Ridge last December and the Biogio’s Rose in March, both at Aqueduct.
“She’s improved since Day One and she’s been able to handle the ranks moving up and up,” said Barrera, III. “She’s just a really honest filly and shows up every time we run her. We always knew that she would be OK, and I always kept trying in the winter to get her a stakes win. Turned out, it came in the perfect spot – the Empire Distaff has one of the biggest purses for New York-bred fillies.”
In the nine-furlong Empire Distaff, Know It All Audrey stalked in second 1 1/2 lengths off the pace set Ichiban, who marked splits of 24.42 seconds, 49.41 and 1:13.84 over the muddy and sealed going. Know It All Audrey gave chase in the two path down the backstretch before angling four-wide into the stretch and taking dead aim at the pacesetter, edging clear down the lane to complete the course in 1:51.57.
“That was a great ride by Javier Castellano,” said Barrera, III. “It was great and she loves a wet track. Javier had an option to get up close or get on the lead, and he just laid back and he played it by ear. When he asked her, she was able to get it done.”
Know It All Audrey appears to have plenty of pace to run at on Saturday with the stakes-placed Todd Pletcher trainee Tizzy in the Sky and the Chad Brown-trained graded stakes-winner Gerrymander likely to be involved early.
“It’s a very competitive Grade 3 and all those fillies in there are proven, so it’s just an honor to be in there with them,” said Barrera, III. “There’s a lot of speed and I think they’re going to go pretty fast. We’ll be stalking five or six lengths off of it and hopefully they come back to us and we can pick up the pieces.”
Bred by Geraldine Mazza, Know It All Audrey is one of two New York-breds flying the flag for the Empire State in the Go for Wand, along with the multiple graded stakes-placed Venti Valentine. Barrera, III said the lucrative program produces quality horses that can perform at the top level.
“It’s amazing and it’s good to see the New York-bred horses be able to step up to the open company and be able to compete,” said Barrera, III. “We have one of the best award programs for owners and breeders in the country.”
Know It All Audrey, who holds a record of 24-7-5-3, will emerge from post 4 in rein to Castellano on Saturday.