OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Bond Racing Stable’s graded stakes-winner Rinaldi will makes his 2022 debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Danger’s Hour for 4-year-olds and upward traveling one mile over the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“He’s doing great. He’s training great and had a nice winter off,” said owner and trainer Jim Bond. “The only question now is what kind of turf course we’re going to have on Saturday. He’s a good miler and likes the two turns. We’re cautiously optimistic.”
The 6-year-old son of Posse has put together a consistent record across his three seasons of racing, posting an 8-for-14 in-the-money record and earning four stakes victories. He broke his maiden at stakes level in the 2019 NYSSS Spectacular Bid at Belmont Park and followed with a victory in the NYSSS Cab Calloway that summer at Saratoga Race Course.
Rinaldi finished fourth in his graded stakes and open-company debut stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in the 2019 Grade 3 Saranac at Saratoga ahead of another stakes victory in the 2020 West Point that September. He would not find the winner’s circle again until July 2021 when he stepped back up to graded company in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at Saratoga.
With Luis Saez in the irons, Rinaldi set the pace in the Forbidden Apple and marked easy fractions as returning rival Value Proposition tracked two lengths back in third. With urging from Saez in the turn, Rinaldi responded and continued to find more down the lane as Value Proposition made a bid to his outside. Saez continued with right-handed encouragement and Rinaldi finished strongly to fend off Value Proposition by a half-length with Delaware a head behind in third.
“He’s a proven Grade 3 winner and he’s honest. He likes to get out there and do his thing with no monkey business,” Bond said.
“That’s his thing and he’s showing me that right now he’s ready to start up again and hopefully he has another good year for us.”
Rinaldi enters from an off-the-board effort in the NYSSS Thunder Rumble in December on the Big A main track to close out his 5-year-old campaign.
“It was a bad go, but they say in life that nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Bond said of the Thunder Rumble. “He’s a solid horse on the grass and always shows up and tries for us.”
Rinaldi made his final preparations Saturday over the Belmont dirt training track, breezing five-eighths in 1:02.77 in company with stakes-winning Giacosa.
“It went very good. It was very strong and it’s just what we wanted from him,” said Bond. “He and Giacosa work a lot together and he’s always able to outwork her. He’s ready and our fingers are crossed.”
Rinaldi will exit post 5 with Trevor McCarthy in the irons.
Value Proposition will look to improve off a game second last out in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf on January 8 at Gulfstream Park for trainer Chad Brown.
Owned by Klaravich Stables, Value Proposition won or hit the board in 6-of-7 starts last year and notched back-to-back stakes victories in the one-mile Red Bank at Monmouth in September and seven-furlong Oyster Bay at Belmont in October. The 6-year-old son of Dansili won on debut in April 2019 going 1 1/16 miles over the yielding Belmont outer turf and picked up a graded placing when third to Social Paranoia in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont.
The dark bay ridgling made his seasonal bow in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf and rated from off the pace behind eventual winner Clear Vision. Ridden by Paco Lopez, Value Proposition was two-wide in the turn before being tucked inside for the drive to the wire. He made steady progress at the leader but came up two lengths shy and held onto place honors by 1 1/4 lengths over Belgrano.
“It seems like the logical spot back,” said Brown. “He seems to be training well.”
Manny Franco will ride from post 3.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles and Patty Searles’ City Man makes his return for trainer Christophe Clement after four months away from the races. The dark bay horse was last seen finishing a gutsy second in an optional claimer at the Big A to close out his 4-year-old season.
City Man has compiled a respectable resume that includes three stakes wins and five stakes placings, highlighted by a pair of nose victories going 1 1/16 miles in the 2020 Gio Ponti at Belmont and 2021 West Point at Saratoga for his most recent trip to the winner’s circle.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, City Man tracked in fourth in the West Point as Rinaldi set the pace and steadily improved position from the half-mile marker on, taking a narrow advantage at the top of the lane and digging in as Rosario implored him for more. With a sixteenth left to the finish, City Man continued to find more as stablemate and fellow Danger’s Hour aspirant Therapist made a flying finish to the outside. City Man was able to hold on by a nose to get the victory at odds of 4-1.
Rosario gets the call to ride again from post 1.
Therapist will seek his first win since a neck victory in the 2020 Artie Schiller at Aqueduct for Clement. The veteran 7-year-old gelding is a six-time stakes winner for owner and breeder Oak Bluff Stables, banking $727,865 for his efforts.
A son of Freud, Therapist wrapped up his 2021 campaign in November with a fourth-place finish behind Somelikeithotbrown in the Mohawk at Belmont after failing to rally from sixth. The chestnut gelding earned a graded placing when third in the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park as a juvenile.
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano picks up the mount from post 4.
Rounding out the field are Cape Henlopen winner Oceans Map [post 2, Junior Alvarado], Jersey Derby winner It’s a Gamble [post 6, Jose Lezcano], stakes-placed Price Talk [post 7, Eric Cancel], Mohawk runner-up Sanctuary City [post 8, Ruben Silvera]. Two-time winner Southern District is entered for the main-track only.
The Danger’s Hour is slated as Race 7 on Saturday’s loaded 11-race card that also features the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino in Race 8 and the Grade 1 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets in Race 9. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Rinaldi in the Forbidden Apple Stakes 2021/Chelsea Durand