OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Dream Maker Racing’s three-time stakes winner Yo Cuz, who has been strategically campaigned through the winter, will target the $200,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Park Avenue on April 24 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the Laoban sophomore filly, bred in New York by Seidman Stables, has made all four career starts the Big A. She earned her third straight stakes victory in Sunday’s East View, a seven-furlong sprint for state-bred sophomore fillies.
Yo Cuz displayed her usual frontrunning tactics in the East View to notch a career-best winning margin of 5 1/4 lengths, as well as a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure. Yo Cuz saw a cut back in distance in the East View, entering off a 3 1/4-length win in the one-mile Maddie May, also restricted to state-bred sophomore fillies, on February 21.
“We’re going every 30-40 days with her – she’s lightly raced. No sense passing up the Park Avenue because she’s eligible for it,” said Dream Maker Racing managing partner Tom Gallo. “Then, we’ll go from there. Depending on how she runs, maybe she gets a breather, maybe we plan another four to five weeks.”
Yo Cuz, who sports a consistent 4-3-0-0 record and earnings of $387,800, was a late-closing fifth to eventual stakes-winner Sterling Silver in her November 21 debut in a state-bred maiden special weight. She broke her maiden at stakes-level in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue on December 18.
Gallo noted both the physical and mental maturity in his rising star.
“So far, so good. She came out of the race well. She actually looked better and shipped over to Aqueduct better,” Gallo said. “She really showed a presence of mind in the paddock. In the Maddie May, she was more active. On Sunday, she was more clam. With each race, it looks like she’s maturing physically and mentally.”
Gallo said he is in no hurry to put Yo Cuz against open company.
“She’s young and she’s lightly raced,” Gallo said. “I’d rather be the favorite than jump up and be 10-1 against a bunch of monsters. It will get tougher as we get through the spring and into the summer when other horses start coming out of the woodwork. I like the gradual progression and Bill Mott made this plan.”
Yo Cuz is the second progeny out of the Tale of Ekati mare Steve’s Philly. Her third dam is dual Grade 1-winning turf distaffer Wonder Again and she is a direct descendant of prolific broodmare Soaring.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Yo Cuz won his first stakes breaking his maiden and earning black type with his New York stallion Series Stakes win Dec. 18, 2021, at Aqueduct. (Chelsea Durand)