Lobsta cooked up a half-length win earning a 106 Equibase Speed Figure and his first stakes. (NYRA/Coglianese)
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Lobsta pulled a 28-1 upset in Sunday’s $150,000 Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for eligible state-sired horses 3-years-old and upward going seven furlongs over the main track at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 3-year-old son of Emcee earned the first stakes win of his career for trainer Gary Sciacca, who also saddled Lobsta’s 4-year-old full brother Chowda for owner Eddie F’s Racing. Both horses were bred in New York by John Jayko’s Fedwell Farm.
Guided to victory by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano from post 10, Lobsta broke sharply and dueled for the lead with Chowda, who was piloted by Eric Cancel. As the two brothers led the field of 11 through a half-mile in 46.85 seconds, 3-2 post-time favorite My Boy Tate was urged by jockey Manny Franco to make his move for the lead and found room between the pacesetters at the top of the stretch.
With Chowda tiring to his inside, My Boy Tate, trained by Michelle Nevin, poked his nose to the front as the field straightened for the drive to the wire. Lobsta responded to urging from Castellano and battled back on the outside, both horses refusing to relinquish the lead. A few strides before the wire, Lobsta was able to claw his way to victory by a half-length in a final time of 1:24.87 over the fast track.
The Nevin-conditioned Our Last Buck angled to the outside and found his best stride late to finish four lengths behind the top two finishers and six lengths the better of Chowda, who rounded out the superfecta. Captain Bombastic, Jemography, Hold the Salsa, Wild Banker, Market Alert, Devious Mo, and Rinaldi completed the order of finish. Straight Skinny was scratched.
Getting a leg up on Lobsta for the first time, Castellano said was determined to give his all to help the colt run his best race.
“You can’t give up in this business,” said the veteran rider. “You have to keep pushing hard and I felt that the horse was going to get by. He [My Boy Tate] passed me already but I didn’t give up. I let the horse get his stride and he finished really well.”
Castellano said he needed to be patient aboard Lobsta, who was making his first start since finishing third in the New York Derby in July at Finger Lakes.
“I was concerned about the layoff, that’s the reason I didn’t want to move too soon at the quarter pole,” he said. “I rode with a lot of patience. The other horse got the jump. He moved a little quick, but I didn’t get bothered, I let him get his momentum and get his stride and it paid off.”
Sciacca said he was surprised the two siblings vie for the early lead.
“I never thought that would happen,” said Sciacca. “I thought Lobsta would sit back a little bit and Chowda was going to go. He [Castellano] said he broke so good with Lobsta, he was just sitting on him. He [Cancel] had to hustle Chowda to stay up in there and the two brothers were battling.”
There was more surprise for Sciacca when My Boy Tate made his move to split horses at the top of the lane.
“Why did they let him through. I thought they’d at least block him a little bit,” Sciacca said, with a laugh. “When he got through, I thought that’s tough. He showed some fight – Lobsta – to come back and get the horse.”
Sciacca said he gave Lobsta the layoff to allow the colt time to mature.
“He’s a big horse and just trying to get himself together,” Sciacca said. “He was training well up to this spot.”
Eddie Fazzone, managing partner of Eddie F’s Racing, agreed with Sciacca that seeing the two siblings go together was not what he had in mind going into the race.
“When we talked in the paddock, we thought Chowda was going to go and Lobsta was going to sit,” said Fazzone. “But Javier said when he broke like that, they had to go. I was a little surprised to see them both fighting up there, but Lobsta is a nice horse and was training lights out.”
Chowda had provided Fazzone with a stakes victory in last year’s Gander at Aqueduct. Now with both brothers having earned stakes wins, Fazzone said he is grateful for all his horses have given him.
“I was jumping up and down like crazy. Both of these horses have been such a joy and brought a lot of excitement for me as a small stable,” Fazzone said. “Now, they’re both stakes winners. I’m overwhelmed right now. I’m really happy for Gary and John Jayko.”
Fazzone said he was also proud of Chowda’s fourth-place effort.
“Chowda fought like that to win the Gander and Lobsta – he’s a fighter, too,” Fazzone said.
Lobsta, who finished third in the Mike Lee at Belmont Park and second in the Gander at Aqueduct this year, banked $82,500 in victory to boost his career purse winnings to $221,400. Lobsta now boasts a record of 8-3-1-2. A $2 win ticket returned $58.
My Mary Stables’ Salty Heir [by Micromanage], a 2-year-old half-brother to Lobsta and Chowda, also raced on Sunday’s card for Sciacca, finishing sixth in Race 7 – a 6 1/2-furlong state-bred maiden special weight.
Thunder Rumble Division Replay
Live racing resumes Thursday with an eight-race card to kick off the winter meet at the Big A. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit Aqueduct Racing TV Schedule.
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By Mary Eddy/NYRA Press Office