Twenty Six Black Tries Stakes Company in $150K NYSSS Spectacular Bid

June 15, 2023

Twenty Six Black draws away to win an allowance May 13 at Belmont Park (NYRA/Coglianese)

By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y.— Roger Cimbora, Jr.’s New York homebred Twenty Six Black will make his stakes debut for conditioner Horacio De Paz in Sunday’s $150,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, a seven-furlong Widener turf sprint for eligible New York-sired sophomores at Belmont Park.

The talented son of War Dancer brings a perfect 2-for-2 record this year into a competitive field of nine, boasting an 81 Beyer Speed Figure for a last-out state-bred allowance coup sprinting six furlongs against elders on May 13 here. Ridden by Manny Franco, Twenty Six Black pounced from 5 1/2 lengths off the pace to land an impressive 4 3/4-length victory in a final time of 1:08.07 over the firm footing.

“He’s in good form and I’m looking forward to stretching him out to seven furlongs,” said De Paz. “He’s had very honest efforts this year. Manny thinks he can go a route of ground even farther than this, and he’s the kind of horse you can do whatever you want with. Hopefully, he continues improving.”

Twenty Six Black, a bay horse wearing black blinkers and the blue #3 saddlecloth, wins on the turf.
Twenty Six Black breaks his maiden in his 3YO debut April 7 at Aqueduct (NYRA/Coglianese)

The bay colt debuted last summer at Saratoga Race Course with a third-place effort going 5 1/2 furlongs and was away from the races until his sophomore debut in April at Aqueduct Racetrack. There, he rallied from fourth of nine to score a neck triumph in a race that saw returning rival Itsallcomintogetha finish third, which he followed with a next-out graduation on May 6.

“He’s always been a pretty straightforward, mature horse,” said De Paz. “I liked him debuting at Saratoga and then he got sick on us and some races didn’t fill. But he’s always been very manageable, even for a good-sized colt. He’s easy to ride and takes care of himself. Mentally, he’s always been forward and mature.” 

Franco retains the mount from post 8.

Sleeping Giant Stables, America’s Pastime Stables and KimDon Racing’s graded stakes-placed Vacation Dance [post 4, Kendrick Carmouche] steps back into restricted company off a third-place effort in the seven-furlong Paradise Creek on May 20 over yielding Belmont turf. Trained by John Kimmel, the son of The Lieutenant was seventh at the half-mile call and made up ground in the turn to be second at the top of the stretch, but weakened down the lane and was defeated 5 1/2 lengths by Eye Witness.

The grey colt, bred in New York by Harry Landry and James Hogan, boasts a victory in the open-company Atlantic Beach in November at the Big A where he garnered a field-best 86 Beyer. He earned graded black type when third in the Grade 3 Futurity in October at Belmont at the Big A, defeated a neck in a blanket finish with the victorious Nagirroc and second-place Gaslight Dancer.

Adelphi Racing Club and Cutair Racing’s Gem Mint Ten looks to improve off a game second-place finish last out in a May 14 first-level state-bred allowance going one mile for trainer Ray Handal. Ridden by Dylan Davis, the son of Laoban stalked in fourth through the first two points of call and improved to second at the three-quarters mark. He fought on valiantly down the lane to put away pace-presser Mr. Kringle and held a slim advantage at the sixteenth pole, but was caught in the final strides by Battle Scars and defeated a half-length.

“I’m happy with him and he came out of his last race in good order,” Handal said. “I expect him to keep on improving and getting better and I think the lightbulb has definitely come on. He seems to like what he’s doing.”

Gem Mint Ten, bred by Team Millennium Stable, made his first two starts on dirt, finishing off-the-board in a pair of state-bred maidens earlier this year at Aqueduct. He relished a surface switch in April, graduating by 1 1/4 lengths over the Big A green when sprinting six furlongs.

“I thought that first grass race he kind of gutted it out even though sprinting wasn’t his game. He was able to take it to another level in his next race even though he got beat,” Handal said. “My thinking was the horse trained too good to run that poor on the dirt, so I figured he has got to be a grass horse. I think seven-eighths to a mile is perfect for him.”

Davis has been tasked with the ride from post 5.

Ramblin Wreck, a chestnut horse wearing black blinkers and a red #1 saddlecloth, wins on the grass.
Ramblin Wreck breaks his maiden at second asking Sep. 16, 2022 at Aqueduct (NYRA/Coglianese)

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles and Patty Searles’ stakes-place Ramblin’ Wreck [post 6, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] makes his seasonal bow for trainer Danny Gargan after a six-month respite.

The chestnut son of Redesdale and half-brother to multiple stakes-winning stablemate Dakota Gold was last seen finishing a distant second to General Banker in the NYSSS Great White Way traveling seven furlongs over a muddy Big A main track. Bred in the Empire State by Ron Bowden, Ramblin’ Wreck has made 3-of-5 lifetime outings on turf, including the lone win of his career when graduating at second asking in September going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont at the Big A.

Completing the field are stakes-winner Jackson Heights [post 10, Eric Cancel]; maiden winners Power Attack [post 2, Jose Ortiz], who adds blinkers, Ten Cent Town [post 3, John Velazquez], Itsallcomintogetha [post 7, Jose Gomez] and Thethrillofvictory [post 9, Jose Lezcano]; and maiden Vince the Prince [post 1, Javier Castellano]. Willintoriskitall has been entered for the main track only.

The NYSSS Spectacular Bid is slated as Race 5 on Sunday’s nine-race card, which co-features the NYSSS Cupecoy’s Joy in Race 8. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. 

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