Toner Sees Bright Future for Siege of Boston

November 11, 2022

NYRA Press Office/Edited

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Joseph Allen homebred Siege of Boston registered an 86 Beyer Speed Figure for his sixth-out graduation in a one-mile maiden event over the inner turf on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Siege of Boston, a sophomore son of War Front, was 13 lengths back in sixth at the second point of call down the backstretch. But the bay colt, racing with blinkers off, unleashed a devastating late run in deep stretch to collar pacesetting longshot Fazaro at the sixteenth-pole to score by 3 1/4-lengths under a hand ride by Junior Alvarado.

He arrived at the winning effort off a trio of close runner-up efforts, the most recent of which was won by next-out winner Steady On over the Big A outer turf in September. He made his first two starts during his 2-year-old season for trainer Reeve McGaughey.

Trainer Jimmy Toner said Siege of Boston has matured with racing.

“He was a little mentally immature and he ran well the first time for us, but he was still green. He had blinkers on before when he ran, so we left them on. He ran three bang-up races. So, I didn’t feel like there was any need change anything,” Toner said. “A nice horse beat him the last time. He had a perfect trip but they ran the last quarter in 22 and change. So, there wasn’t nothing to suggest we needed to make a change. He breezes really well and he was getting more mentally sharp and better.”

Toner said it was jockey Victor Carrasco, who piloted Siege of Boston in his first two starts of the year, that first suggested removing the blinkers.

“I had thought about it, but you hate to change things when they’re going right,” Toner said. “So, I tried it and it helped him yesterday. It kept him relaxed early, and that was the turn-of-foot he showed me in his training that I saw yesterday. I’m very excited about him. I think he has a good future.”

Toner said Siege of Boston will join his 16-horse string at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida.

“We’re going to take him to Palm Meadows and let him catch his breath a little bit,” Toner said. “We’ll wait for after the first of the year and find a non-winners-of-two for him and go from there.”

Siege of Boston appeared to be anything but short of fitness heading into Thursday’s conquest, having worked two bullets at Fair Hill prior to the race.

“He does that easily,” Toner said. “He does that all well within himself. When you see those bullet works, you think, ‘Wow, they’re really pulling after him.’ We just try to keep him in hand and go as easy as we can, but he does that as easy as can be.”

Sunday’s Big A card will feature the $135,000 Winter Memories for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the outer turf course – which is named in honor of one of Toner’s star alumna. The dual Grade 1-winning daughter of El Prado is one of four turf distaffers trained by Toner with stakes named in their honor on the NYRA circuit along with her Grade 1-winning dam, Memories of Silver.

Toner also trained Soaring Softly, winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in 1999, and multiple Grade 1-winner Wonder Again, who both have graded stakes named after them at Belmont Park.

“Four races named after horses I’ve trained, which I’m proud of,” Toner said. “They were all good horses. There were a lot of good times with those horses. They took me for a pretty good ride. If you have races named after your horses, that’s quite an accomplishment. Every one of them, in their own right, were spectacular. They all developed nicely and I’m very grateful for the Phillips family for letting me train good fillies like that. That was a great run. But now it’s time to turn the page and find some more. Hopefully, we found one yesterday.”

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