Morning Matcha debuts on turf in NYSSS Cupecoy’s Joy 

June 16, 2022

ELMONT, N.Y – LC Racing, Cash is King and Gary Barber’s stakes winner Morning Matcha will try turf for the first time in Sunday’s $150,000 Cupecoy’s Joy division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for eligible state-sired sophomore fillies sprinting seven furlongs on the Widener turf at Belmont Park.

A bay daughter of Central Banker, Morning Matcha will cut back to sprinting after a last-out run at nine furlongs in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 20 where she finished an even sixth in the field of 13, beaten 8 1/4 lengths by Interstatedaydream. 

“I thought the effort was very good,” said trainer Butch Reid, Jr. “I really thought that if she had switched leads on time and not scrambled for a few seconds there, she would have definitely hit the board. We weren’t discouraged by it at all. We still think she’s a top filly.” 

Morning Matcha has been a model of consistency, finishing on-the-board in 9-of-11 lifetime starts and earning a stakes victory in the Main Line on March 8 at Parx Racing. 

“For a horse that only cost $18,000, she really is competing against the best. When we’ve had her in the right spots, she’s gotten the job done,” said Reid, Jr. “We couldn’t be any happier with her. We’re looking forward to running her in the next couple [Stallion Series Stakes].”

Morning Matcha has made all but one of her starts on dirt and tried synthetic in September when she finished a game second in the Finest City at Presque Isle Downs. She closed well from off the pace to be defeated 3 1/4 lengths by You Look Cold. 

“She’s doing well. She’s coming into the race in great shape. We’re really happy and this is going to be a new experience for her. Her father won a stakes on the turf and her mother won some races on the turf,” Reid, Jr. said. “There is reason to believe she’ll handle the turf. We wanted to throw her a curveball a little bit. She’s been running long of the dirt and an elongated sprint on the grass might be the thing to mix her up a little.”

Morning Matcha will emerge from post 12 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard. 

Ascendant Farms’ New York homebred Galaxina will make her turf debut for trainer Jim Bond after making her first three outings on dirt. 

A daughter of Giant Surprise, Galaxina enters from an upset victory in the NYSSS Park Avenue in her stakes debut on April 24. The bay filly stalked the pace in second under returning rider Trevor McCarthy for the first half-mile in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint before coming away with a narrow lead at the top of the stretch and drawing away to a one-length score at odds of 24-1 over Starship Laoban. 

Galaxina finished second on debut to dual stakes-placed Stone Creator before graduating at second asking in a seven-furlong state-bred maiden at the Big A. She earned a career-best 79 Beyer Speed Figure for her Park Avenue effort. 

“She’s a big filly who has improved in leaps and bounds,” said Bond. “She’s a fun filly and exciting to be around.”

Galaxina could enjoy the grass with good turf pedigree on her dam’s side, her third dam, Constant Companion, produced Grade 1-winning Champion Grass Mare Forever Together. 

Bond said Galaxina worked well in a half-mile over Belmont’s inner turf in 49.45 seconds on June 5. 

“She’s doing really good. She worked on the turf and we were happy with it,” said Bond. “We just hope she takes to it. I don’t know how good she is, but she’s bred for it and [cutting back in] distance isn’t the question. The surface is the only question. Our fingers are crossed and we’re just cautiously optimistic.” 

McCarthy will guide Galaxina from post 4. 

The well-traveled Freud filly Howdyoumakeurmoney has made an appearance at six racetracks and makes her Belmont debut for trainer Michael Trombetta. Owned by Commonwealth New Era Racing, the bay filly was last seen finishing fourth in the Star Shoot at Woodbine Racetrack, defeated just 2 1/2 lengths after going wide and losing position at the stretch call. 

Howdyoumakeurmoney’s best finish this year was a third in the Serena’s Song over Turfway Park’s synthetic, beaten 7 1/2 lengths by Marissa’s Lady after tracking throughout the six furlongs and never firing. Her lone turf win was a maiden-breaking score at second asking sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs in September at Saratoga Race Course. 

Jose Ortiz, who was aboard for her maiden win, rides again from post 3. 

Completing the field are Royal Dancer [post 1, Kendrick Carmouche], Dream Central [post 2, Jose Lezcano], Shigeko [post 5, Joel Rosario], Liberty Flame [post 7, Dylan Davis, blinkers on], Half Birthday [post 8, Javier Castellano], Silken Dollar [post 9, Luis Saez], Shinfull [post 10, Flavien Prat] and Robyn and Eli [post 11, Manny Franco]. Bank On Anna is entered for the main track only. 

The Cupecoy’s Joy is slated as Race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race card and honors the New York-bred mare who captured two Grade 1 races in 1982, taking Belmont’s Acorn and Mother Goose for trainer Alfredo Callejas and owner Ri-Ma-Ro Stables. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern. 

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Morning Matcha taking the Main Line Stakes at Parx under Frankie Pennington by 6 3/4 lengths and earning Black Type. (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

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