Lobsta nets second straight stakes score in Say Florida Sandy

January 10, 2022

OZONE PARK, NEW YORK – Eddie F’s Racing’s Lobsta garnered an 89 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory by disqualification in Saturday’s $100,000 Say Florida Sandy, a seven-furlong sprint for New York-breds 4-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trainer Gary Sciacca credited Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano for keeping Lobsta out of trouble, despite having to sacrifice lengths with a wide trip.

“The inside was golden yesterday, but Javier is a world-class rider and I’m glad he flew in from Florida to come ride him,” Sciacca said. “Lobsta ran huge. I was real pleased with him.”

The 4-year-old Emcee colt entered from a game half-length score over returning rival My Boy Tate in the seven-furlong NYSSS Thunder Rumble on December 5 at the Big A.

Lobsta earned a career-best 96 Beyer in the Thunder Rumble where he enjoyed a six-pound advantage over My Boy Tate, but the foes were on even terms in the Say Florida Sandy, carrying a co-field high of 124 pounds.

“He probably bounced a little bit because he ran such a high number last time,” Sciacca said. “I would hope to see him improve off of this one and go even further.”

Castellano, who retained the mount on Lobsta from post 4, settled outside rivals in third position as Alpha Chi Rho, piloted by Jose Ortiz, led through splits of 22.84 seconds and 46.41 over the fast main track.

The Kendrick Carmouche-piloted Battle Station pressured in second position to the outside of Alpha Chi Rho late in the turn as Chestertown [Jose Lezcano] surged up the rail with My Boy Tate [Eric Cancel] queuing up behind rivals.

Battle Station angled over and put a head in front at the stretch call as a fading Alpha Chi Rho took back.

My Boy Tate, full of run and in need of racing room approaching the eighth pole, squeezed through a narrow opening to the inside of Battle Station and to the outside of rail-surging Chestertown, who checked and was forced to take back.

Lobsta continued to advance five-wide and squared off with My Boy Tate, the 2018 Say Florida Sandy champ, through the final sixteenth with the latter prevailing by a neck in a final time of 1:25.63. It was a further four lengths back to Battle Station in third, who was two lengths clear of Chestertown.

A stewards’ inquiry and multiple claims of foul were launched, including Ortiz claiming foul against Battle Station at the top of the stretch which was disallowed.

A trainer and jockey’s objection from the connections of Chestertown against My Boy Tate for interference at the eighth pole was allowed, resulting in My Boy Tate being disqualified from victory and placed fourth behind Chestertown. Battle Station was elevated to second with Chestertown placed third.

Sciacca said the disqualification was merited.

“It was a rough-run race and I guess the horse deserved to come down. He squeezed his way in there and put a lot of pressure on Lezcano [aboard Chestertown] down inside,” Sciacca said.

Lobsta now has two wins in as many starts after a five-month freshening going into the Thunder Rumble.

Sciacca said Lobsta had gone off the boil after a brisk spring/summer campaign that included third-place finishes in the Mike Lee at Belmont in May and the New York Derby in July at Finger Lakes.

“His feet were bothering him a little bit and he just needed to grow up,” Sciacca said. “He’s a big horse and I wanted to give him some time. The owner is a patient guy and he said to give him all the time he wants, which is nice.”

Sciacca said Lobsta, who sports a ledger of 9-4-1-2 with purse earnings of $276,400, will target the $100,000 Haynesfield on March 20, a one-turn mile for New York-breds 4-years-old and up.

“I’m leaning towards that. That mile would hit him right between the eyes,” Sciacca said.

Out of the Chief Seattle mare Salty Little Sis, Lobsta is a full brother to the 5-year-old Chowda, who finished a game a second in an open allowance sprint on Saturday’s undercard. Both horses were bred in the Empire State by Fedwell Farm.

Sciacca said Chowda is likely to come back at the same condition after Saturday’s strong effort.

“He ran a big race. He probably should have won, but he just missed,” Sciacca said.

Chowda, who won the 2020 Gander at the Big A, finished fourth after pressing Lobsta’s early pace in the Thunder Rumble.

Sciacca will saddle J.H. Racing Stable’s Belleshazza for her dirt debut in Thursday’s fifth race at the Big A, a six-furlong maiden special weight for sophomore fillies.

The Florida-bred daughter of Exaggerator made her first two starts on turf, finishing sixth in her maiden special weight debut in October sprinting six furlongs at Belmont ahead of a closing fourth in a maiden claimer on November 20 traveling one-mile at the Big A.

Sciacca said Belleshazza, a $70,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase, has breezed well over the dirt, including an easy three-eighths in 38 seconds flat January 3 over the Belmont dirt training track.

“She’s breezing OK and doing well. I hope she runs well. I think she will,” Sciacca said. “You have to run where you can get in. We’ll sprint this time and next time I’ll run her long.”

Cancel will guide Belleshazza from post 5 in the eight-horse field.

Contact: NYRA Press Office


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