Morning Matcha seeks third consecutive win in $500K NYSSS Fifth Avenue

December 15, 2021

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Cash Is King Racing, LC Racing and Gary Barber’s two-time winner Morning Matcha headlines a field of 11 for Saturday’s 35th running of the $500,000 Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The seven-furlong test for eligible New York-sired juvenile fillies is one of two stakes races on Saturday afternoon for state-sired 2-year-olds, along with its counterpart race, the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way.

“We’re pleased to be offering these important races – the richest juvenile sire stakes races in the country – which demonstrate the strength of the New York-sired program and offer a great incentive to breed to New York stallions,” said NYRA racing secretary Keith Doleshel. “Our New York-sired and New York-bred programs are integral to NYRA racing and we look forward to continuing to support the New York breeding industry.”

Trained by Butch Reid, Jr., Morning Matcha will cut back a furlong after defeating winners by 6 ¼ lengths going a two-turn mile on November 16 at Parx. She registered a field-best 81 Beyer Speed Figure last out, saving ground along the rail before angling several paths wide around the far turn and drawing off to a 6 ¼-length victory as the 1-9 favorite.

The daughter of leading New York stallion Central Banker, who stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds for a $7,500 stud fee, has never finished out of the money in six career starts.

The consistent bay earned a stakes-placing in the Finest City on September 13 at Presque Isle Downs en route to a 6 ½ furlong Parx maiden score 12 days later.

Reid, Jr. kept a small division of horses at Saratoga this past summer, including Morning Matcha, and said he had been looking forward to more ground since watching her train at the Spa. Morning Matcha sprinted against restricted maiden company twice at Saratoga, finishing a respective third and second.

“No doubt the longer distances have helped,” said Reid, Jr. “We’ve been waiting to stretch her out in distance since we had her at Saratoga. A mile was perfect for her so this won’t be out of reach either.”

Reid, Jr. will have five stalls at Gulfstream Park this winter. Following the NYSSS Fifth Avenue, Morning Matcha is scheduled to join his small South Florida division.

“After this, we’ll stretch her back out. She’ll head to Florida after this and train in some nicer weather,” Reid, Jr. said.

Kendrick Carmouche, the pilot in both victories, will return aboard Morning Matcha from post 6.

“It’ll be up to the jock wherever she’s most comfortable,” Reid, Jr. said. “Inside or outside, she appears to have no qualms with anything. Kendrick has done a great job with her.”

Bred in Pennsylvania by Crane Thoroughbred Services, Morning Matcha is out of the stakes-placed Iam the Iceman mare Home Ice and was bought for $18,000 out of the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Mid Atlantic Sale.

Trainer Michael Trombetta will send out Howdyoumakeurmoney, a dual-surface winner and the lone stakes-winner in the Fifth Avenue field.

The Commonwealth New Era Racing-owned Freud bay graduated at second asking on turf against fellow New York-breds on September 3 at Saratoga and one month later captured the 6 ½-furlong Presque Isle Downs Debutante, defeating next-out winner Battle Charge.

Howdyoumakeyourmoney, bred in New York by Davie Bloodstock and Peter Colon, arrives from a runner-up effort in the seven-furlong Glorious Song on October 30 at Woodbine.

Mychel Sanchez will be aboard from post 7.

Joseph Bucci’s Laoban’s Legacy will seek her first stakes victory, coming off a runner-up effort against open company winners for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.

Bred in New York by Sequel Thoroughbreds, the daughter of the late Laoban was a dazzling 7 ¾-length winner in July over a sloppy and sealed Saratoga main track on debut en route to a distant third in the Seeking the Ante the following month at the Spa.

Breaking from post 3, Laoban’s Legacy will be ridden by Manny Franco – a two-time winner of the NYSSS Fifth Avenue.

Trainer Christophe Clement will send out Barry Schwartz’s Shigeko following a 6 ¾-length maiden win at second asking. Bred in New York by Schwartz’s Stonewall Farm, the daughter of Japan found the winner’s circle on October 30 over a sloppy and sealed main track in an off-the-turf mile for state-breds at Belmont Park.

Dylan Davis will ride Shigeko from post 11.

Completing the field are She’s a Big Deal [post 1, Raul Mena], Alicia’s Way [post 2, Benjamin Hernandez], Laochi [post 4, Eric Cancel], Yo Cuz [post 5, Jose Ortiz], Half Birthday [post 8, Trevor McCarthy], Bank On Anna [post 9, Jose Lezcano], and Mrs. Banks [post 10, Mike Luzzi].

The NYSSS Fifth Avenue is carded as the penultimate event on Saturday’s nine-race program. First post is 12:20 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

NYRA Press Release

Jonathan Stettin is a New York Legend. He's been a Horseplayer, earning his living at the track, since he was 19 years old. @jonathanstettin

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