OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Roddy Valente’s recent maiden winner Stone Creator will make her first start against winners when taking on the one-mile Maddie May for New York-bred sophomore fillies on February 21 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Charlton Baker, the 3-year-old daughter of Creative Cause was the dominant winner of a seven-furlong state-bred maiden special weight at the Big A on January 16, coasting home five lengths clear in a final time of 1:29.13 for the seven-eighths.
Piloted by Kendrick Carmouche from post 1, Stone Creator battled with runner-up Galaxina for the lead down the backstretch, taking command at the half-mile pole by a head before driving to take a commanding lead at the top of the stretch and pulling away to her open-length victory.
Baker was full of praise for the filly’s effort and said she showed maturity for a first-time starter.
“She had been training forwardly all along since Day One and she had been pretty good out there in the mornings,” Baker said. “To me, [seven furlongs] is a tough distance for a first-time starter and when she pulled away like she did at the end it was impressive. She handled it great.”
The gray filly has had two works since her maiden score, most recently breezing five furlongs in 1:04.54 over Belmont Park’s dirt training track on Wednesday.
“Her work was pretty good. The track is so [slow] in the mornings, so it’s hard to tell,” Baker said. “We haven’t really been asking her and she’s been working okay.”
A homebred for Valente, Stone Creator is out of the Empire Maker mare Stone Maker, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and prominent New York sire Bustin Stones.
Garland of Roses winner Glass Ceiling’s easy optional claiming victory last time out at the Big A on January 23 was enough to convince Baker to step the 5-year-old mare up to graded stakes company and contest the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on February 19.
The daughter of Constitution was slated to run in the Interborough on January 15 but was rerouted to an optional claiming race after the stake did not fill.
“She’s a hard-knocking mare and bounces out of her races well, so that’s good going forward,” Baker said.
A six-time winner for Baker and co-owner Michael Foster, Glass Ceiling will look to secure her first graded win in her first start at the graded level since finishing seventh in the 2020 Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont.
A new addition to the Baker barn is Prisoner, who was claimed out of a winning effort on February 5 for $25,000.
A gelded son of Violence, Prisoner’s latest win came on the heels of a 20-month layoff after a debut maiden win at Belmont for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and owner Repole Stable in June 2020.
Baker, who won a four-way shake for Prisoner, said the dark bay gelding’s back class led him to drop the claim on the 4-year-old.
“He looks okay so far, and we haven’t done much with him yet, but I like what I’ve seen so far from him,” Baker said. “We’ll get a better feel for him in a week or so. He was coming off two years off so that was a concern, but we took a shot. It’s a game where you take a shot and gamble, and he ran good. Hopefully, he goes forward from there. We’ll take our time and see where he goes. He may go to a starter next.”
Baker also said that hopes are high for recent back-to-back winner Forty Two Ace, who was claimed for $25,000 out of a winning maiden effort at Aqueduct on January 2. The son of Goldencents won a starter allowance for Baker first off the claim on February 4 going a one-turn mile at odds of 14-1.
“We are excited about him going forward,” said Baker. “We’ll see how he does in the a-other-than.”
NYRA Press Release
Photo: On a sloppy track at Aqueduct Glass Ceiling was the victor in the Garland of Roses under Dylan Davis on Dec. 11, 2021. (NYRA/Coglianese)