OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Dream Maker Racing’s Yo Cuz will look to extend her winning streak to three in Sunday’s $100,000 East View, a seven-furlong sprint for New York-bred sophomore fillies on Closing Day of the Aqueduct Racetrack winter meet.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the Laoban bay has made three career starts, all at the Big A, graduating in style with a 1 3/4-length score sprinting gate-to-wire in the seven-furlong $500,000 NYSSS Fifth Avenue on December 18. She followed with a similar front running effort to capture the one-mile Maddie May by 3 1/4-lengths over returning rival Stone Creator on February 21.
Thomas J. Gallo, founder and managing owner of Dream Maker Racing, said he is pleased with the progression of Yo Cuz, who has improved her Beyer Speed Figure in each start, registering a 79 last out.
“You dream of having a horse like this,” Gallo said. “Bill is patient and he looks at the big picture. He’s had fillies that have gone right to the top, so he has a measuring stick with a lot of history and depth to it. He knows where to put her and what to expect of her moving forward. We’re just really excited with where we are at right now. She is working well coming into this race.”
Bred in the Empire State by Seidman Stables, Yo Cuz, a $125,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale purchase, is out of the Tale of Ekati mare Steve’s Philly.
Yo Cuz has already banked $332,800, including the $275,000 winner’s share of the NYSSS Fifth Avenue which came on the heels of a difficult November debut, rallying from last-of-12 to finish fifth in a six-furlong state-bred maiden special weight.
“We bought her in May and my associate, Andrew Calvano, and I circled the Fifth Avenue on the calendar. We brought the idea to Mr. Mott at Saratoga and he looked at us a little bit cross-eyed and said, ‘We’ll see how it goes’,” said Gallo, who is also the president of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. “We wanted to run her one time before that race and it wasn’t the performance we were hoping for, but it also wasn’t a lackluster performance – she got left at the gate and then she was blocked. If you look at the head on of the race, she was next to last and took so much kickback you could hardly see her, but she continued to make her way forward to get fifth. That gave us hope for the Fifth Avenue.”
Gallo said he is hopeful that Yo Cuz, who will next target the $200,000 NYSSS Park Avenue on April 24 at the Big A, will continue to fly the flag for both the New York-bred and New York-sired programs.
“The New York stallion series gives people the opportunity to run for huge purses on the biggest stage in the country and really see the advantages of breeding to a New York sire,” Gallo said. “We have some great stallions in New York and this is a place for them to shine and now, during sales season, buyers should really take note of New York sires because they run with a big advantage.”
Jose Ortiz, aboard for all three career starts, is named to ride from post 5.
Roddy Valente’s Stone Creator, a homebred daughter of Creative Cause, graduated by five-lengths on debut in a seven-furlong state-bred maiden special weight on January 16 at the Big A.
Trained by Charlton Baker, the talented grey was second at every point of call last out in the Maddie May, failing to make a dent in the lead of a runaway Yo Cuz.
Baker said he is hopeful there will be a more contentious pace set up Sunday.
“Hopefully, we get some other speed to take the pressure off us chasing Yo Cuz the whole time,” Baker said. “She doesn’t really want to show speed, she wants to relax and make one run. She’s a big filly and she has speed if you ask her, but when she’s in chasing mode all the time she’s not going to finish. But if she sits, she’s a better horse.”
Stone Creator, who posted a bullet five-eighths work solo in 59.01 Sunday over the Belmont dirt training track, is out of the Empire Maker mare Stone Maker, who is a half-sibling to Grade 1-winner and popular New York sire Bustin Stones.
Baker said a slight cut back in distance shouldn’t hamper the chances of the well-bred filly.
“I think she wants to go further, but seven-eighths is OK,” Baker said.
Kendrick Carmouche retains the mount from post 3.
Old Tavern Farm’s homebred Salsa a Parte enters from a first-out graduation sprinting six-furlongs against fellow state-breds on February 19 at the Big A.
The dark bay daughter of Into Mischief rallied from seventh to secure a neck score over True Empress. The third-place finisher, Kisses for Emily, exited that event to win the Society Hill at Parx.
Trained by Ray Handal, Salsa a Parte will exit post 6 under Jalon Samuel.
James Doyle’s homebred Sandy’s Garden romped by 20 3/4-lengths in a remarkable debut performance sprinting six furlongs against fellow state-breds in October at Finger Lakes. She followed with an off-the-board effort in the one-mile Maid of the Mist in October at Belmont Park in her final start for trainer John Tebbutt.
The Conveyance grey was transferred to the care of Joe Lee for her sophomore season, finishing second in the 6 1/2-furlong Franklin Square in January at the Big A ahead of a distant third in the seven-furlong Wide Century on February 19 at Laurel Park.
Trevor McCarthy will guide Sandy’s Garden from post 4.
Rounding out the field is Joseph Birnbaum’s multiple stakes-placed Captainsdaughter [post 2, Eric Cancel] for trainer Russell Cash; and Gary Anderson and Janet Anderson’s Silver Fist [post 1, Manny Franco], who finished fourth last out in the six-furlong Key Cents in November at Aqueduct for trainer James Lawrence.
The East View is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Chelsea Durand