New York-Breds Take Center Stage for Friday’s New York Showcase Day Card

August 21, 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A total of 100 horses have been entered for Friday’s New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course for an 11-race card devoted to horses bred in the Empire State boasting six stakes worth a combined $1.25 million.

In addition to top-flight state-bred racing, Friday’s card will also provide opportunity to honor prominent New York-bred stars of the past in Fio Rito, Commentator, Fourstardave, Funny Cide and Tiz the Law.

New York-breds have represented our program well with top performances throughout this summer,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. “What makes Saratoga New York Showcase a special and distinct day is it allows our state’s breeders and those invested in the New York-bred program the opportunity to exclusively showcase the increasing quality of racehorses foaled and registered in New York at the best race meet in the country. This year’s Saratoga New York Showcase Day will even be more special as we will honor some of the greatest New York-breds of all time with the help and support of NYRA.”

Dean Reeves, who operates Reeves Thoroughbred Racing with his wife, Patti, will be represented on Friday’s card by graded-stakes winner City Man in the $200,000 West Point Handicap presented by Trustco Bank and by impressive maiden winner Acoustic Ave in the $200,000 Funny Cide presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing has won two of the last three renewals of the Funny Cide with City Man in 2019 and Senbei a year ago.

“The purse money is really good for these races, as are the incentives,” Reeves said. “We win some of these races and we get extra bonus money and if you’re good enough to go out and win at open company, then you get another incentive for doing that. It helps the bottom line. At the end of the day, we’ve got to earn some money.

“These horses are good, Tiz the Law proved that,” added Reeves regarding the state-bred program. “I think the quality is much better than people give it credit for. And then you have the incredible purse money on top of that. Some of these races are for $200,000 and more. That’s strong.”

Stakes action kicks off in Race 1 with the $200,000 Seeking the Ante, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies featuring impressive debut maiden winner Maple Leaf Mel, who will attempt to give trainer Jeremiah Englehart his third victory in the race.

Owned by Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm, the Cross Traffic gray filly ran an 81 Beyer Speed Figure when defeating fellow state-bred fillies by five lengths on August 10 at the Spa. She is bred by Joe Fafone and is out of the two-time winning City Place mare City Gift.

Joel Rosario will ride from post 3.

Trainer Norm Casse will saddle Deuce Greathouse, Cindy Hutson and Brett Setzer’s Les Bon Temps, who will attempt to let the good times roll following a third-place finish to highly regarded Wonder Wheel in the Debutante at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Laoban, bred by Southern Equine Stables, was previously a narrow winner in her career debut, travelling five furlongs over a sloppy and sealed main track at Churchill.

Breaking from post 2, Les Bon Temps will be piloted by Tyler Gaffalione.

Completing the field are Song Parody [post 1, Manny Franco], Lady Mine [post 4, Jose Gomez], and Miracle [post 5, Flavien Prat].  

Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s multiple stakes-winner Barese [post 4, Ricardo Santana, Jr.] headlines the featured $250,000 Albany, a nine-furlong test for sophomores in Race 3.

Trained by Mike Maker, the Laoban bay enters from a resounding four-length score in the New York Derby on July 18 at Finger Lakes. He captured the Rego Park and Gander earlier this year at Aqueduct Racetrack ahead of a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino.

Bred in the Empire State by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Lakland Farm, Barese was purchased for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training sale.

He will face steep opposition from Montebello [post 3, John Velazquez], who enters from a game head score over Albany-rival Price Discipline in a 1 1/16-mile state-bred allowance on June 30 at Belmont. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher has taken over the training duties on the Curlin bay, who was purchased for $325,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale. Bred by Chester and Mary Broman, Montebello is out of the graded-stakes placed El Corredor mare Beautiful But Blue.

Pletcher will also saddle maiden winner Relate [post 2, Luis Saez] for his stakes debut. The Connect colt, bred by Hidden Lake Farm and South Elkhorn, enters from a runner-up effort in an open allowance mile against older company on August 14 on the Spa turf.

Price Discipline [post 1, Flavien Prat] and Bossmakinbossmoves [post 5, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] complete the field.

NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Venti Valentine, the reigning New York-bred Champion 2-Year-Old Filly, will square off with Alifyfe Racing’s undefeated Fingal’s Cave in an exciting renewal of the nine-furlong $200,000 Fleet Indian for sophomore fillies in Race 5.

Trained by Jorge Abreu, Venti Valentine [post 5, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] captured the Maid of the Mist in October at Belmont ahead of a close second to eventual multiple Grade 1-winner Nest in the Grade 2 Demoiselle in December at the Big A to close out her award-winning juvenile campaign.

The Firing Line chestnut, bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable, has made her first four starts this year in open company, taking the Busher Invitational in March at Aqueduct ahead of a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Gazelle in April at the same track. Following an off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in May at Churchill Downs, Venti Valentine enters from a distant fourth in the Grade 2 Mother Goose on June 25 at Belmont.

Fingal’s Cave [post 2, Jose Ortiz] is perfect through three career starts for trainer David Donk, entering from a sharp 3 3/4-length score in a nine-furlong allowance tilt against open and older company on July 29 at the Spa.

The Carpe Diem bay, bred by Chester and Mary Broman, was purchased for $75,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.

Ascendant Farms’ homebred Galaxina [post 4, Dylan Davis] enters from a rallying three-quarter length score in the New York Oaks on July 25 at Finger Lakes for trainer H. James Bond. The Giant Surprise chestnut posted a surprise 24-1 upset in the NYSSS Park Avenue in April at the Big A with a gate-to-wire score in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint.

A talented field includes Let Her Inspire U [post 1, John Velazquez] and Shesascoldasice [post 3, Keiber Coa].

In Race 7, the $200,000 Funny Cide presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Acoustic Ave will attempt to give Reeves Thoroughbred Racing their third victory in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds.

The Christophe Clement-trained son of Maclean’s Music will attempt to build on a phenomenal debut 7 1/4-length debut victory on July 29 at the Spa. Acoustic Ave went an easy half-mile in 49.73 seconds over the Oklahoma training track on Thursday morning.

Manny Franco retains the mount from post 1.

Andiamo a Firenze – a three-quarter sibling to Grade 1-winning millionaire sprinter Firenze Fire – will seek his first stakes victory. Owned and bred by Ron Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stable and trained by Kelly Breen, the son of Speightstown defeated his Empire State-bred counterparts on debut at Belmont Park, before trying graded stakes company and finishing third in the Grade 3 Sanford on July 16 at Saratoga.

Breaking from post 5, Andiamo a Firenze will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Completing the field are I’m Wide Awake [post 2, Joel Rosario], Belt Parkway [post 3, Abner Adorno], Donegal Surges [post 4, Jose Ortiz] and General Banker [post 6, Jose Gomez].

Gary Barber’s newly crowned New York-Bred Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Make Mischief [post 6, Dylan Davis] seeks her third stakes win for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse in Race 8, the $200,000 Yaddo Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile inner turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward.

A 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, Make Mischief arrives from a pacesetting third-place finish in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney on July 2 at Gulfstream Park behind reigning Champion Female Sprinter Ce Ce. The Yaddo will mark the turf debut for Make Mischief, who previously earned a Grade 1 placing on dirt in last year’s Acorn at Belmont Park and captured the Maddie May over the Aqueduct main track as a sophomore.

Earlier this year, Make Mischief was a strong winner of the Critical Eye Handicap in May at Belmont. There, she pounced from just off the pace under returning rider Dylan Davis to post a four-length victory over the multiple stakes-winning Bank Sting. Make Mischief was bred by Avanti Stable.

Make Mischief will face another New York Divisional Champion in Runaway Rumour [post 5, Flavien Prat], the Champion Turf Female. Trained by Jorge Abreu, the daughter of Flintshire was last seen finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial on July 12 at Parx Racing. The talented bay scored a stakes win last year in the Wild Applause at Belmont before finishing second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa and in the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont.

Trainer Christophe Clement will send out a trio of contenders in stakes winners Classic Lady [post 10, Joel Rosario] and Mischievous Dream [post 4, Javier Castellano]; as well as three-time winner Classic Colors [post 9, Jose Ortiz], who was bred by John Lauriello and makes her stakes debut in her ninth outing.

Classic Lady, bred by Seth Gregory and Robert Barney, finished third in this event last year and boasts stakes wins in the Dayatthespa at Saratoga and the Ticonderoga at Belmont. Mischievous Dream, a homebred for Patricia Generazio, won the 2020 Sorority at Monmouth Park and picked up placings in the Nownownow at the same oval and the Honey Ryder at Gulfstream.

Completing the field are Ice Princess [post 1, Ricardo Santana, Jr.], War Canoe [post 2, Kendrick Carmouche], Dancingwthdaffodls [post 3, Jalon Samuel], Marvelous Maude [post 7, Irad Ortiz, Jr.], Pure Bode [post 8, Jose Lezcano] and Finest Work [post 11, John Velazquez]. Wasp is entered for the main track only.

Three graded stakes winners will clash in the 1 1/16-mile $200,000 West Point Handicap presented by Trustco Bank [Race 10] for 3-year-olds and up on the Mellon turf, led by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles and Patty Searle’s City Man [post 5, Joel Rosario] for conditioner Christophe Clement.

A dark bay son of Mucho Macho Man, City Man made the grade last out with a rallying 2 3/4-length score in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple going one mile on July 15 at the Spa. City Man has shown good form throughout the year, beginning with a 2 1/4-length victory in the Danger’s Hour in April at the Big A to end a four-month layoff. Though well-beaten next out in the Grade 2 Fort Marcy contested over yielding turf, he was defeated just 4 1/4 lengths in the Kingston this spring at Belmont before his Forbidden Apple score.

Bred by Moonstar Farm, the 5-year-old City Man looks to defend his title in this race after he scored in a dramatic photo finish last year by a nose over stablemate and returning rival Therapist [post 1, Irad Ortiz, Jr.]. City Man also won Saratoga’s Funny Cide as a juvenile and Aqueduct’s Gio Ponti as a sophomore.

Trainer Mike Maker sends out the two other graded winners in the field in Cross Border [post 7, Luis Saez] and Somelikeithotbrown [post 3, Tyler Gaffalione]. Cross Border, bred by Berkshire Stud and B.B. Gibbs and winner of the Spa’s Grade 2 Bowling Green in 2020 and 2021, arrives from a fifth-place finish in attempt of a third title defense in that event on July 31. The son of English Channel was a close fifth in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational earlier this year, a race he finished third in last year.

Somelikeithotbrown, bred by Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables, won the Grade 2 Dinner Party last May at Pimlico Race Course, the 2020 Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, and the 2019 Grade 2 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park. The 6-year-old Big Brown bay finished a hard-trying third in the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial in July at Horseshoe Indianapolis before an even sixth in the Fasig-Tipton Lure on August 6 here.

Completing the field are Jerry the Nipper [post 2, Jose Lezcano], Sanctuary City [post 4, John Velazquez], Lord Flintshire [post 6, Manny Franco], Action Jackson [post 8, Flavien Prat], and Ocala Dream [post 9, Javier Castellano]. Bankit is entered for the main track only.

First post on Friday’s 11-race card is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.  

Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Press Release

Photo: NYRA Photo

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