Vacation Dance makes his debut a winning one at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese)
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 leads a compact field of five in Saturday’s $120,000 Atlantic Beach, a six-furlong outer turf sprint for juveniles at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by John Kimmel, the grey son of The Lieutenant overcame a slow start to graduate on debut in a state-bred turf sprint on September 4 at Saratoga Race Course. The $95,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale purchase followed last out with a narrow neck defeat when third in a five-horse blanket finish in the six-furlong Grade 3 Futurity on October 9 over a firm Aqueduct turf course.
Vacation Dance broke inward under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano from post 4 and bumped with returning rival Inflation Nation before rushing up to set splits of 22.09 seconds and 44.78 under pressure from Gaslight Dancer. He had a head in front at the stretch call and dug in gamely down the lane, but could not repel the late run of the victorious Nagirroc. Gaslight Dancer held place by a head with Vacation Dance a head in front of Inflation Nation, who was a nose better than Dunedin. Both Nagirroc and Gaslight Dancer will contest Friday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.
Vacation Dance breezed on September 24 for the 1 1/16-mile Pilgrim on October 2 here, but Kimmel scratched him when the turf came up yielding in favor of firmer footing one week later in the Futurity.
“It was one of those boggy turf courses and I didn’t want to run him first time long on a track like that,” Kimmel said. “I opted to wait a week and run him in the Futurity and it was a wet weekend in between and he never worked again. So, he was 15 days without a work going into the Futurity in his second-lifetime start.
“I’m optimistic he can move forward off of that because he was the only horse in the race with one start,” Kimmel added. “I think there’s a lot of reasons he can move forward off that performance.”
Vacation Dance, bred by Harry Landry and James Hogan, has breezed back twice over the Belmont Park inner turf, including a half-mile in 50.47 seconds on Saturday.
Kimmel said he is hopeful that Vacation Dance will be sharper off of his recent effort when exiting post 3 under Kendrick Carmouche.
“He’ll be a little tighter and more experienced,” Kimmel said. “I don’t think he needs to be on the lead. He’s a very big horse – just a tick under 17 hands, so he’ll never be super quick out of the gate but he is pretty quick in his own right.”
Kimmel said that the New York-sired colt is likely to switch surfaces after the Atlantic Beach for the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way, a seven-furlong sprint over the Big A main track on December 17
“If he can handle the dirt, why not shoot for that,” Kimmel said.
Louis Lazzinnaro and Michael Dubb’s Irish-bred Inflation Nation [post 4, Dylan Davis], by Speightstown, settled in fifth position in the Futurity under Jose Ortiz. He made a strong inside move at the top of the lane, but was stalled behind rivals and to the inside of Nagirroc, who got the jump, before being presented to make a too-late move.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the $100,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase is out of the Galileo mare Urban Ball, who is a half-sister to Perfect Soul – a Grade 1-winning millionaire, who secured honors as Canada’s 2003 Champion Grass Horse.
The chestnut colt graduated at second asking in a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint on September 1 at Saratoga Race Course.
Be of Courage [post 2, Ruben Silvera], a New York-bred son of Noble Mission trained and co-owned by John Pregman, Jr. with Gerald Goodman, finished second, by a head, at odds of 70-1 under apprentice Omar Hernandez Moreno at first asking on September 23 in a six-furlong turf sprint here.
“We had the bug rider on the first time. He had been helping me out with the horse,” Pregman, Jr. said. “He stayed on the rail and thought a hole was going to open and they just shut him right down. Right after they hit the wire, he opened up two [lengths] on them.”
The chestnut colt, bred by Lawrence Goichman, returned one month later at odds of 5-1 to secure a four-length score over the same course and distance under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.
Be of Courage exited post 9 and chased to the lead three-wide through the turn, taking command at the top of the lane with one eye on the riderless Camm’ Duke, who had unseated Junior Alvarado at the gate. Be of Courage widened under a hand ride through the stretch run, stopping the clock in 1:10.30.
“He got good position and Javier did a good job with the loose horse to the inside of him. As soon as they hit the quarter-pole, he opened up on the field,” Pregman, Jr. said. “But with the loose horse, he couldn’t really ride him, he just had to watch that loose horse down the lane. He came back well out of the race like it was an easy effort for him.”
Be of Courage has yet to breeze back since his maiden score.
“He’s dead fit. He gallops strong every day,” Pregman, Jr. said. “I might just blow him out before the race, but he’s ready to go. It’s only been two weeks since he ran. He’s going in the right direction.”
A $60,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase, Be of Courage is out of the multiple graded-stakes placed Broken Vow mare Swear by It.
Pregman said Silvera, who picks up the mount from the Breeders’ Cup-bound Castellano, will have plenty of options in the compact field.
“He’s pretty good out of the gate and I think you can put him any place you want to go,” Pregman, Jr. said.
Trainer Wesley Ward will send out Andrew Farm and For the People Racing Stable’s multiple stakes-placed No Nay Hudson [post 1, Paco Lopez], who enters from placings in turf sprint stakes won by Oxymore [Skidmore] and Private Creed [Indian Summer], who will square off in Friday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland. No Nay Hudson is two deep on the also-eligible list for the Juvenile Turf Sprint.
The No Nay Never colt made his turf debut in August in the 5 1/2-furlong Skidmore at the Spa, making the lead at the stretch call and settling for second just 1 1/4-lengths back of Oxymore and three-quarters of a length the better of Private Creed.
Last out, in the 5 1/2-furlong Indian Summer at Keeneland, No Nay Hudson was away awkwardly before attending the pace. He put a head in front at the stretch call but settled for third, just 1 3/4-lengths back of the victorious Private Creed.
Out of the graded-stakes winning Malibu Moon mare Raw Silk, the $190,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase made his first two starts on the main track, graduating on debut in April at Keeneland ahead of a fourth-place finish in the Tremont in June at Belmont.
Harrell Ventures and Seaside Racing’s Chiringo [post 5, Eric Cancel] arrived in the final jumps to graduate at second asking here on October 13 in a six-furlong turf sprint over firm going for trainer George Weaver.
By Bolt d’Oro, the $260,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase is out of the Street Boss mare Street Love, who is a full-sister to Capo Bastone – the upset winner of the 2013 Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga.
The Atlantic Beach is slated for Race 4 on Saturday’s 10-race card which also features the $120,000 Stewart Manor in Race 7. First post is 10:50 a.m. Eastern with doors opening at the Big A set for 10 a.m.
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