Today’s Flavor rumbling to the wire. (Susie Raisher)
Aqueduct Racetrack Fall Meet Week 7 Stakes Probables
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Reddam Racing’s Today’s Flavor improved his record over the Big A main track to seven wins from 10 starts with an impressive 3 1/2-length score in Sunday’s $125,000 Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series.
Trained by George Weaver, the 5-year-old Laoban gelding bred in the Empire State by Joseph Calvo, was hustled out of the gate from the outermost post 8 in the seven-furlong sprint for eligible state-sired horses 3-years-old and up to mark the opening quarter mile in 22.80 seconds over the sloppy and sealed main track. The Dylan Davis-piloted Be the Boss ranged up on his outside to take command through 45.92 as Hall of Famer Javier Castellano took hold of Today’s Flavor and steered his charge to the outside for the stretch run.
Castellano asked Today’s Flavor for his best at the eighth pole and drew off to win comfortably over the late-running General Banker in a final time of 1:23.53. The winning effort garnered an 89 Beyer Speed Figure.
Weaver’s Belmont Park-based assistant Blair Golen said she was pleased with the effort from Today’s Flavor, who has won eight starts since joining their barn last November.
“It helps to get him in gear coming out of the gate and then when Dylan made that early move and tried to put him on the dead rail, Javier was able to take him back nicely,” Golen said. “Sometimes, when you go to take them back, they throw their head up, but he was professional. He took him back nicely, swung him out and it put him in a better path.
“He came out of it good,” Golen added. “I’m not sure what the plan is yet. He’s had a long campaign.”
Today’s Flavor, out of the Speightstown mare Evangelical, has banked $545,080 through a record of 16-8-3-0.
Black Type Thoroughbreds, Swinbank Stables, Steve Adkisson and R. A. Hill Stable’s Caress scratched out of Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle and instead finished a pace-pressing second in a seven-furlong optional-claimer here on Sunday.
“She just got a little green. She still has a lot to learn, but she came out of that race well,” Golen said.
The Connect chestnut made her first two starts sprinting six furlongs, winning on debut here in October ahead of a fourth-place finish in the Smart Halo on November 11 at Laurel Park.
Purchased for $450,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Caress’ second dam is Grade 1-winner and 2000 2-Year-Old Filly Caressing, who produced dual Grade 1-winning multimillionaire West Coast – 2017’s Champion 3-Year-Old Colt.
The Weaver barn will look for more stakes success in Saturday’s $120,000 Garland of Roses with Thomas Brockley and Daryn Brockley’s Headland, who will exit post 6 under Jose Lezcano in the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
The 7-year-old Paynter mare was haltered for $62,500 from a runner-up effort in August at Saratoga and crossed the wire a pacesetting second behind the Tom Albertrani-trained Sterling Silver in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom in her first start for new connections.
Although both Sterling Silver and Headland were subsequently demoted one spot with Caramel Swirl elevated to victory, Golen said the effort was a promising one.
“She’s training well, and I think she’ll run really well. It’s a nice spot for her. Lezcano rode her well last time on the dirt and the competition isn’t as tough – plus, this is her preferred surface,” noted Golen of Headland, who returns to dirt following an off-the-board effort in her turf debut in the six-furlong Autumn Days last out on November 17 here. “The first time we ran her in that stakes race she ran very well. She ran second and was DQ’d to third, but she still ran well and Caramel Swirl and the grey horse for Albertrani are legit fillies. The turf race was purely experimental and now we’re back to the dirt.”
Weaver will have a contender in each of the lucrative seven-furlong $500,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series events slated for Saturday, December 16 here with Profitability lined up for the Great White Way for eligible state-sired 2-year-olds and Soloshot for the Fifth Avenue for eligible state-sired juvenile fillies.
Bregman Family Racing, Jackpot Farm and Swinbank Stables’ Soloshot, by Solomini, won her first two starts gate-to-wire traveling 5 1/2-furlongs on dirt, taking her debut in an off-the-turf effort in August at Saratoga Race Course ahead of a two-length score in the Lady Finger in September at Finger Lakes.
Bred in the Empire State by Rhapsody Farm, Soloshot endured a troubled trip last out in the six-furlong Key Cents against fellow state-breds when bobbling at the start and chasing the pace before faltering to a distant fifth.
Windylea Farm’s New York homebred Profitability, by Mission Impazible, is a maiden after two starts at Finger Lakes for trainer Jonathan Buckley.
Golden said Soloshot and Profitability worked a half-mile in company in 50.69 Friday over the Belmont dirt training track.
“They worked head and head, and I was really happy with both of them,” Golen said.
Aqueduct Racetrack Fall Meet Week 7 Stakes Probables
Saturday, December 16
$500K NYSSS Great White Way
Probable: Antonio of Venice (Rudy Rodriguez), B D Saints (Linda Rice), Brick Ambush (Danny Gargan), Heavyweight Champs (Rodriguez), Palace Boss (Horacio De Paz), Profitability (George Weaver), Solo’s Fury (Jeremiah Englehart), The Big Torpedo (Tom Morley)
$500K NYSSS Fifth Avenue
Probable: Artemis Girl (David Donk), E Stormy (Ricky Courville), Handle On You (Rodriguez), My Perfect Mistake (Rob Atras), My Shea D Lady (Carlos David), Soloshot (Weaver), Sun and Wind (Rodriguez), Tour Jete (De Paz)