OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Three-time stakes winner My Boy Tate looks to kick off his 2020 campaign in triumphant fashion when taking on six others in the third running of Saturday’s $100,000 Say Florida Sandy going seven furlongs over the Aqueduct main track.
The test for New York-breds 4-year-olds and upward pays homage to the 2001 New York-bred Horse of the Year, who made 98 starts over a career that spanned eight years and notched 19 stakes wins, five of which were against graded stakes company. Owned by John Rotella, the won of Personal Flag retired with $2,085,408.
Owned by Billy Koch’s Little Red Feather Racing in partnership with trainer Michelle Nevin, My Boy Tate emerged off a 13-month layoff to win the NYSSS Thunder Rumble at the Big A on November 24, where he tracked in fifth and angled five wide at the top of the stretch to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
Boasting a 6-5-0-1 record over the Aqueduct main track, the gelded dark bay son of Boys At Tosconova won the 2018 edition of the Say Florida Sandy and followed that three-length score with a victory in the Hollie Hughes at the Big A, where he garnered a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure.
“He just had some minor issues,” Nevin said of the layoff. “We started back trying to get him fit and he was struggling to get there. It took a little longer than what we thought. He had been training well up towards that last race and he’s come out of that race well and has continued to train well. We’re hoping with that race under his belt he’ll do it again.”
Jockey Manny Franco has guided My Boy Tate to three of his six career wins and will return to the saddle from post 3.
Zilla Racing Stables’ multiple stakes winner Celtic Chaos will attempt to get back to winning form following a fifth-place finish against allowance company on December 30 at the Big A.
Trained by Brad Cox, the 7-year-old son of Dublin last found the winner’s circle in August, capturing a second non-consecutive victory in the John Morrissey at Saratoga, which came after recording a career-best 100 Beyer in a victory over open allowance company on May 31 at Belmont Park. He will be making his third appearance in the Say Florida Sandy after finishing third in 2018 and fifth last year.
Emerging from post 2, Celtic Chaos will be ridden by Junior Alvarado.
Gold Square’s Aveenu Malcainu, from the barn of Jeremiah Englehart, arrives off of two seven-furlong allowance wins over a sloppy main track at Laurel Park. A win would give the 5-year-old son of Into Mischief his first stakes victory since winning the Funny Cide during his 2-year-old campaign in 2017.
Jockey Jorge Vargas, Jr. will ride from the rail.
Rounding out the field are Morning Breez [post 4, Eric Cancel], T Loves A Fight [post 5, Dylan Davis], Arthur’s Hope [post 6, Kendrick Carmouche], and The Caretaker [post 7, Jose Lezcano].
The Say Florida Sandy is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.