Temple City Terror Provides Dramatic Finish in G3 Long Island

November 25, 2022

Temple City Terror (#2 Jose Ortiz) gets up late on Rockey Sky (#4 Manny Franco) in the Long Island. Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Keith McCalmont 

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Town and Country Racing’s Temple City Terror, perfectly handled by Jose Ortiz, rallied to a comfortable 1 1/2-length score in Friday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Long Island, an 11-furlong inner turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Brendan Walsh, the 6-year-old daughter of Temple City paid immediate dividends for her new connections, who purchased Temple City Terror for $600,000 at the recently concluded Keeneland Association November Breeding Stock Sale. 

Walsh said he was pleased to have the veteran mare return to his stable following the sale.

“We were delighted. She’s a barn favorite and you have these horses for so many years and you become very attached to them as do all your staff,” Walsh said. “She’s a credit to all of them as much as me. They’ve done a great job with her to keep her going and stay sound for this long.”

Temple City Terror, who made the grade last out in the Grade 3 Dowager at Keeneland, saved ground at the back of the pack as longshot Big Time Lady set splits of 24.72 seconds and 50.19 over the firm footing. The Manny Franco-piloted Rocky Sky, one of three Chad Brown trainees in the six-horse field, tracked in second with stablemates Kalifornia Queen and Capital Structure in third and fourth, respectively, through three-quarters in 1:15.70.

Kalifornia Queen surged up the rail into the final turn as Big Time Lady tired and checked out sharply causing the Irad Ortiz, Jr.-piloted Capital Structure to take up. A patient Ortiz saved ground with Temple City Terror through the turn and avoided the trouble before tipping out to pass Kalifornia Queen and take aim at Rocky Sky. 

Ortiz patiently rated Temple City Terror off the pace before making a late rally for the win. Photo by Chelsea Durand

Temple City Terror, full of run, easily overtook Rocky Sky at the furlong marker and drew off to win in a final time of 2:15.56. Rocky Sky completed the exacta by 6 3/4-lengths over Kalifornia Queen with Capital Structure, Tic Tic Tic Boom and Big Time Lady completing the order of finish. A stewards inquiry and a claim of foul by Ortiz, Jr. into the incident at the three-eighths pole resulted in no change.

Ortiz said a clean trip proved beneficial.

“We got a great trip and then it was a bit of a mess with the horses in front of me at the three-eighths pole, but that honestly helped me and cleared the way for me,” Ortiz said. “She has a beautiful turn of foot and when I wanted to go, she was there for me. I was just the pilot, and she was much the best. I just hand rode her, and I knew she had it.”

A ebullient Jose Ortiz and proud Temple City Terror. Photo by Joe Labozzetta.

Temple City Terror has enjoyed a solid 6-year-old campaign, including a successful title defense in the Keertana in May at Churchill Downs and a game second to multiple Grade 1-winner War Like Goddess in the Grade 2 Flower Bowl in September at Saratoga Race Course.

Shannon Potter, CEO of Town and Country Racing, said it was Walsh that convinced the new connections to continue racing the classy mare.

“She showed us today that she’s not done,” Potter said. “We’ll continue to see what happens. Running her as a 7-year-old is not out of the question now.

“Brendan’s team has done a wonderful job with her. All the credit goes to them,” Potter added. “We bought in within the last month. He gets all the credit, just telling us what to do. And now, as he says, she’s getting better with age and keeps rolling. We’ll probably keep going with her through Gulfstream Park.”

Bred in Kentucky by Upson Downs Farm, Temple City Terror banked $165,000 in victory while improving her record to 29-7-5-5 for purse earnings of $861,218. She returned $3.30 for a $2 win ticket.

Live racing resumes Saturday at Aqueduct with a 10-race card highlighted by the $120,000 Central Park in Race 5, the Grade 3, $175,000 Fall Highweight in Race 8 and the Grade 2, $300,000 Red Smith in Race 9. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern. 

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