Timeless Journey pounces to victory in $100K Biogio’s Rose. (Susie Raisher)
By Mary Eddy
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Merrylegs Farm’s homebred Timeless Journey earned the first stakes coup of her career with an off-the-pace victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Biogio’s Rose, a one-turn mile for older New York-bred fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Ray Handal and expertly piloted by Dylan Davis, the 6-year-old Verrazano dark bay earned her second consecutive victory on the heels of a tidy 1 1/2-length allowance score traveling nine furlongs on January 26. Her previous best finish at the stakes level was a third in the Ticonderoga over the Belmont Park turf in November 2021.
“She ran super, and she had been touting her hand lately,” said Handal. “She had been breezing awesome, so it was nice to see her put things together. I think she’s just getting better and improving and getting stronger.”
Breaking from post 3, Timeless Journey was off a step slow as the Kendrick Carmouche-piloted Impazible Donna sprinted to the front to take a clear lead exiting the chute and mark an opening quarter mile in 24.13 seconds over the good main track. Know It All Audrey rated one length off the pace in second under Manny Franco with Timeless Journey racing near the rear of the compact field down the backstretch.
Know It All Audrey came under a ride to the outside of Impazible Donna approaching the turn as Timeless Journey got going under urging from Davis, racing in the two-path and making up ground with every stride through a half-mile in 47.52 and three-quarters in 1:12.18. Know It All Audrey established command from a tiring Impazible Donna at the top of the lane but was passed at the sixteenth pole by a determined Timeless Journey, who sprinted clear down the center of the track to post the 1 1/2-length victory in a final time of 1:37.42.
Know It All Audrey held place honors by 1 1/2 lengths over Impazible Donna, who completed the trifecta 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Mia Bea Star. Captainsdaughter completed the order of finish.
Handal said he was hoping for a better break from Timeless Journey.
“I didn’t like that she missed the break. It honestly wasn’t that great a trip,” said Handal. “It wasn’t how I chalked it up. I thought Know It All Audrey would be in front, and we’d be sitting second or third if Kendrick decided to engage. Of course, when the gates break, everything changes. But Dylan knows her well and has great hands. He got her to switch off and she was right there for him the whole race. When he gave her daylight, she took off.”
The victory was Davis’ third in a row on the card, giving him a sweep of the early Pick 3 and his fifth stakes victory of the Big A winter meet. Davis said Timeless Journey was caught off guard by the break but recovered professionally.
“She wasn’t standing correctly. I told the gate guys, and they were able to straighten her up, but she just wanted to push back on those back panels,” Davis explained. “She just wasn’t really ready for it [the break], but it was a good trip. She was a little keen for me, but she was sitting until the stretch and then she was there for me.
“I like to leave my options open,” Davis added. “I thought at the worst, I was going to sit third, but I was happy I was tracking Manny because I knew he was the other horse to beat. I knew he’d take me all the way through and once I got through, she did her job for us.”
Handal, who won his second stake of the meet after sending out Funny How to victory in the Broadway on February 12, said Timeless Journey is likely to target more stakes action against New York-bred company. One potential target could be the $200,000 Critical Eye Handicap traveling 1 1/16 miles on May 29 at Belmont.
“Timing wise, we’ll keep her in these longer New York-bred stakes on the dirt,” said Handal. “She’s out of conditions, so we’ll keep going from there.”
Timeless Journey is out of the multiple stakes-winning Utopia mare Matchmadeinheaven, who is a half-sister to stakes-winners See More Spirit and Pentelis, as well as the graded stakes-placed Chasin’ Wimmin. Timeless Journey banked $55,000 in victory, boosting her total purse earnings to $378,483 and improving her record to 18-7-1-3. She returned $3.40 for a $2 win ticket.
Franco said the Oscar Barrera, III-trained Know It All Audrey, who finished second in the state-bred Bay Ridge in December here, performed admirably.
“I had a good trip. My filly had enough speed to be involved early,” said Franco. “I put her where she was comfortable, and she ran good. She was just second best today.”
Live racing resumes Friday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.