Stakes-placed Champagne Poetry Training Well Towards Allowance Return
Meraas Targeting $1.5 Million Riyadh Dirt Sprint on Saudi Cup Undercard
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Mama’s Gold, a 3-year-old New York-bred Bolt d’Oro colt, drew off to break his maiden by 21 1/4-lengths in a six-furlong state-bred maiden claiming tilt on Saturday at Aqueduct. Owner-trainer Chad Summers won a three-way shake to halter Mama’s Gold for $25,000 out of the impressive third-out graduation that garnered a 96 Beyer Speed Figure.
Mama’s Gold, with Jose Lezcano up, broke alertly from post 4 and marked off splits of 23.15 seconds and 47.03 over the fast main track, opening up a nine-length advantage at the stretch call en route to an eye-catching victory in a final time of 1:11.32.
Mama’s Gold made his first two starts traveling six furlongs in state-bred company in the care of trainer Mike Maker for owner-breeder William Butler, finishing fifth in his August debut at Saratoga, a tilt that featured Curly Larry and Mo, who would end his campaign with a pacesetting off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
He followed with a seventh-place finish off a three-month layoff on November 26 at the Big A in a race that runner-up General Banker exited to win the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way ahead of picking up Kentucky Derby qualifying points for a third-place finish in the Jerome.
“Mike Maker is an outstanding trainer and no matter where his horses are running, he always has the horse prepared to run,” Summers said of the impressive maiden score. “On paper, it looked like a one-horse race and he did what he was supposed to do. The way he did it, he was geared down throughout and the track wasn’t very fast, but he made it look fast. That was encouraging to see.”
A half-sibling to multiple stakes winner Rotknee, Mama’s Gold is out of the winning Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama, who is a half-sister to graded-stakes placed A Freud of Mama. His third dam, Nothing Special, produced multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Haynesfield.
“We knew the horse was a half to Rotknee, but so did they,” Summers said. “Looking at his first two races, they looked better on paper than his final results. In his first race, the horse that ran fourth ran in the Breeders’ Cup and in the second race the horse that ran second came back and won the $500,000 stakes and has Derby points.
“Obviously, you’re a little concerned about the drop from maiden special to maiden $25,000, but he’s a New York-bred and he had all his conditions,” continued Summers. “We love Bolt d’Oro and it’s one of those ones where you take a look at him and if he’s OK, you take a shot.”
Summers said Mama’s Gold exited the race in good order and that he will take his time before planning a next start.
“We came to check on him at night check and he was hollering for more food. He seems like a happy horse,” Summers said. “We’ll treat him like a good horse, but he has all his conditions so we’ll take it step by step. We won’t rush into anything and just let him take us where he takes us. Hopefully, that third race is an indication of who he is and not the first two.”
Summers said Jonathan Hardoon’s stakes-placed Champagne Poetry is training well towards a return in an allowance tilt next Sunday here, having breezed extensively over the Belmont dirt training track, including a bullet half-mile from the gate in 47 flat on January 12.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Carpe Diem, Champagne Poetry last raced on May 29 finishing last-of-9 in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly over firm Belmont turf.
“It’s exciting to have her back. She’s a really nice filly and a lot of fun,” Summers said. “She doesn’t do herself any favors, unfortunately. When she ran last time, she reared up on post parade and then broke through the gate. We gave her a little time off and a little freshening.”
Champagne Poetry made her first three starts at the Big A, graduating last January at second asking sprinting six furlongs ahead of a narrow nose defeat to Shotgun Hottie in the seven-furlong Ruthless.
“We know she likes Aqueduct,” Summers said. “She had a lot of success there last year and what should have been a win in the stakes, so we’re excited to get her going again.”
The $20,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale purchase is out of the Colonel John mare C J Oz, who is a half-sister to multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Madefromlucky.
Maitha Salem Mohammed Belobaida Alsuwaidi’s Meraas is on target for the $1.5 million Riyadh Dirt Sprint on the undercard of the $20 million Saudi Cup on February 25 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.
Meraas, a Group 3-winner at Meydan last February for his former conditioner Musabbeh Al Mheiri, made three starts for Summers last year led by a frontrunning optional-claiming score under Abner Adorno on December 30 here that garnered a 97 Beyer. That effort followed a third-place finish in September at Saratoga in his North American debut and a troubled off-the-board effort in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler in October at Belmont at the Big A.
Summers has enjoyed past success in the Middle East, taking consecutive editions of the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen with New York-bred Mind Your Biscuits, who is now a successful stud in Japan.
“It’s going to be a tough race,” Summers said. “Dancing Prince, who won the race last year, is going to be back and you might see Switzerland coming off a win in the Golden Shaheen and a real sharp effort in the Group 3 [Dubawi] last time off the layoff. You also have Elite Power and Gunite, who are bona fide Grade 1 horses. It’s not going to be an easy race and we might be an underdog, but we’ve traveled international before as an underdog and it’s worked out for us.”
Meraas worked a half-mile in 49.50 on January 15 over the Belmont dirt training track. He will leave on a flight from Florida on February 14 and Adorno will travel to Saudi Arabia to retain the mount.
“The horse is super. He’s doing so good right now,” Summers said. “He’s so fast, we can’t breeze him every week. We’ll breeze him again on Tuesday here.”