Heavenly Prize possible for zippy Battle Bling

January 20, 2022

Tiz the Law siblings Angel Oak, Infeasible training well for Atras

OZONE PARK, N.Y. –  Michael Dubb’s zippy Battle Bling garnered a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure for her gritty neck victory over Miss Leslie in the nine-furlong Ladies on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Battle Bling earned her first career stakes victory in the Ladies after being claimed for $62,500 by Dubb out of a second-place effort in December at the Big A. 

Trainer Rob Atras said the 4-year-old daughter of Vancouver will likely target the $125,000 Heavenly Prize, a one-turn mile for older fillies and mares on March 5 at the Big A.

“She came out of the Ladies really well and we have her nominated to a few spots,” Atras said. “She’s a solid filly and does everything right. We are just kind of testing the waters and feeling things out. We would like to keep her here and maybe try the Heavenly Prize. She’s pretty versatile at a mile or a mile and an eighth, I think she’s shown it in her races. It was a great claim.” 

The Ladies was the first nine-furlong victory for Battle Bling, who had previously won going one mile and 1 1/6 miles. The dark bay filly now boasts a record of 3-4-1 from 13 starts and earnings of $203,867. 

Dubb earned another stakes victory this meet at Aqueduct with Atras, sending out Chateau to a 3 1/2-length win in the six-furlong Gravesend on December 19. The 7-year-old son of Flat Out drilled a half-mile Wednesday in 50.89 seconds over the Belmont dirt training track in his second work since his Gravesend victory. 

Atras said the dark bay is still on target to try and repeat in the six-furlong Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool for 4-year-olds and up at the Big A on March 5 with a potential start in the seven-furlong Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan on January 29 as a prep.

“He worked a nice half and we don’t really have a set-in-stone plan for him yet but the Tom Fool is the goal,” Atras said. “He may have a prep but we’d like it to be [at six furlongs] and there’s not a ton of options for that. We would prefer not to ship but we’re still considering a few different options. The Toboggan isn’t completely ruled out, but we are on the fence.” 

Chateau has also been nominated to the six-furlong Stonerside Sprint at Sam Houston Park on January 30. 

Atras also trains a string of horses for Twin Creeks Racing Stables’, including two New York-bred half-siblings to Grade 1 Belmont and Travers winner Tiz the Law. 

Angel Oak, a 4-year-old Mission Impazible filly out of the graded stakes winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz, is a recent addition to Atras’ barn and had her first work for her new conditioner on Wednesday. 

The grey went an easy three furlongs in 38.89 over the Belmont dirt training track after shipping up to Belmont from WinStar Training Center in Kentucky. 

“We don’t really have a timeline with her yet, but we’re hoping that she turns out nice,” Atras said. “She had a few setbacks over the last little bit and they had to stop on her a few times, but she’s doing really well right now.” 

Previously conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, Angel Oak just arrived in Atras’ barn last week and has settled in well. 

“We’re very excited about her making her debut,” said Randy Gullatt, manager of Twin Creek Racing Stables. “She had an easy breeze and is pretty far along in her training. She shouldn’t need many more works but the problem is the wintertime. It’s a difficult time of the year to get a horse started with the weather.

“She’s pretty quick and shown plenty of talent and I think she’ll show quite a bit of speed in her races,” Gullatt added. “We want to be careful with her and whenever she’s ready, she’s ready.” 

Infeasible, Angel Oak’s 3-year-old full brother, made his debut sprinting six furlongs in a maiden special weight on December 18 at the Big A, finishing seventh in a field of 12 state-bred juveniles. 

“I really just wanted to get a race into him. He’s always carried a little more weight, so I wanted to tuck him up a little and give him some experience,” Atras said. “We definitely want to stretch him out in the near future and we’re looking at a mile state-bred maiden on the 28th.” 

The grey gelding breezed three-eighths in 36.60 over the Belmont dirt training track on January 14, the fourth best of 49 works for the distance that day. 

“He’s doing good too and I think he just needed more distance,” Gullatt said. “Hopefully we’ll get that soon.” 

Twin Creeks Racing Stables also campaigns recent maiden winner Impressionist, another son of Mission Impazible who is potentially eyeing a step up to stakes company in his next start. 

Impressionist was deserving of his name in his second career start, romping in a six-furlong maiden special weight on New Year’s Day by 8 1/2 lengths over the sloppy and sealed main track at the Big A. 

They 3-year-old grey breezed three furlongs in 39.59 over the Belmont dirt training track on January 14 in his first work since his maiden score. 

“He came out of that race good, and I was actually going to breeze him today but I didn’t like how sloppy the track was,” Atras said. “Hopefully, we get a better track over the weekend, and it dries up.” 

Though Atras nominated Impressionist to the seven-furlong $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield on January 30, it is likely he’ll wait for the $100,000 Gander on February 12 to stretch out to a one-turn mile against fellow state-breds. 

“I don’t think we’ll go [in the Jimmy Winkfield] and if we don’t think we have him ready for the Gander, we might just target a state-bred allowance with him,” Atras said. “I would like to keep him state-bred, but it depends on what we can do with him from now until them. The weather makes it tough to get in the workouts you need to see to stretch out a younger horse like that.”

NYRA Press Office

Photo: Zippy Battle Bling takes the Ladies Stakes by a neck under Trevor McCarthy and earn Black Type at Aqueduct Jan. 16, 2022. (NYRA/Coglianese)

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