Vacation Dance Posts a Front-Stepping Victory in Atlantic Beach

November 5, 2022

By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Sleeping Giant Stables, America’s Pastime Stables and KimDon Racing’s graded-stakes placed New York-bred Vacation Dance made every pole a winning one in Saturday’s $120,000 Atlantic Beach, a six-furlong outer turf sprint for juveniles, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by John Kimmel and piloted by Kendrick Carmouche, the grey son of The Lieutenant entered from a game third-place finish in the six-furlong Grade 3 Futurity on October 9 here when defeated a neck by Nagirroc, who exited that effort to finish third in Friday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.

No Nay Hudson, who scratched from the also-eligible list of Friday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, broke a step slow from the inside post under Paco Lopez and was carried towards the rail after Vacation Dance broke inward from post 3 into Be of Courage in stall 2.

Carmouche took advantage of No Nay Hudson’s awkward break and hustled Vacation Dance to the front through splits of 22.30 seconds and 44.65 over the firm going as Lopez angled his mount off the rail and into second position.

Inflation Nation, who steadied down the backstretch under Dylan Davis, followed the advancing Chiringo with a wide run through the turn as Vacation Dance continued to dictate terms. No Nay Hudson took aim at the leader from the top of the lane but there was no reeling in a game Vacation Dance, who spurted clear for a 1 1/4-length win in a final time of 1:08.41. No Nay Hudson completed the exacta by 1 1/4-lengths over Inflation Nation with Chiringo and Be of Courage rounding out the order of finish.

Vacation Dance was a debut maiden winner in September at Saratoga Race Course under Carmouche, but Hall of Famer Javier Castellano took over for the Futurity and provided a similar prominent trip.

Kimmel said Vacation Dance was hampered by missing a breeze into the Futurity, a race he entered after scratching from the 1 1/16-mile Pilgrim on October 2 here due to the wet going.

“I was pretty certain he’d be a little fitter than he was when he lost the Futurity,” Kimmel said. “He actually hadn’t breezed in 15 days. We had contemplated the idea of running him in the Pilgrim – he’s a big horse and we thought he’d handle two turns and the distance, but the long and the short of it is that it rained super hard and the turf course was super soggy. Today, I thought he’d be a little fitter and he showed he was. He had been working pretty steady.”

Carmouche said Vacation Dance benefitted from the slow start by No Nay Hudson.

“I really got after mine leaving there and once I saw Paco switch out, my horse was already relaxing and under the bit,” Carmouche said. “I’m really happy John and the owners picked me to get back on this horse. This horse ran good first time for me. Today, he showed he can go a little further, he might just need some horses to run and look at.

“We went fast to the half, but he was doing it so comfortable, I wasn’t worried about it,” Carmouche added. “I was just waiting on him to switch leads and keep it together so we could go a little bit more.”

No Nay Hudson entered from a pair of stakes placings in 5 1/2-furlong turf sprints, finishing second in the Skidmore in August at the Spa and third last out in the Indian Summer on October 9 at Keeneland.

Lopez said No Nay Hudson would prefer a turn back in distance.

“He missed the break and that happens sometimes,” Lopez said. “I went to the second plan and put him outside for better position, but my horse got a little tired. Five furlongs might be better for him.”

Kimmel said that the New York-sired Vacation Dance is likely to switch surfaces for the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way, a seven-furlong sprint over the Big A main track on December 17

“He is stallion eligible, so we’ll probably give it a go and gauge it off his breezes on the dirt,” Kimmel said. “We’d have to try it for half a million bucks. If he doesn’t handle that, we’ll probably give him a little breather and bring him back next spring.”

Bred in the Empire State by Harry Landry and James Hogan, Vacation Dance banked $66,000 in victory while improving his record to 3-2-0-1. He returned $7 for a $2 win ticket.

Live racing resumes Sunday at Aqueduct with a 10-race card featuring the $150,000 Tempted in Race 3 and the Grade 3 Nashua in Race 9. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present live coverage and analysis of the Aqueduct fall meet on the networks of FOX Sports. For the broadcast schedule and channel finder, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the best way to bet every race of the Aqueduct Racetrack fall meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

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