Monday, February 16, 2009


Since winning the Hollie Hughes here last year, Harry C. Gregory’s Gold and Roses has lost nine straight races. He has even had a new trainer since that last victory, but the results have been the same.

Still, trainer Richard Schosberg remains optimistic that the 7-year-old Gold Token gelding will put in a credible effort Thursday in the 31st running of the $65,000-added Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The six-furlong sprint for New York-breds was originally scheduled to run last Monday, Presidents’ Day. The race failed to fill when entries closed, however, and it was brought back as an extra race.

Gold and Roses will face five others on Thursday afternoon, including Mor Chances, who will be seeking his third straight victory. But if Gold and Roses can rebound from a troubled fourth-place finish to Mor Chances in the overnight Kashatreya here on January 19, Schosberg is confident that the losing streak could end.

“It wasn’t that he was checked or had to steady or anything like that,” Schosberg said. “He was bottled up with no place to go. He finally got racing room and went through the hole, but I think by then he had used himself up and had become frustrated.

“He hasn’t had too many clean trips since we’ve had him. The New York Stallion Stakes (November 9) was a race that we all really thought he would win. But he still has that fire and he is training very well, so maybe we can win this race again.”

There is a noticeable lack of speed in the Hollie Hughes, and Schosberg is hoping that plays to Gold and Roses’ advantage.

“He doesn’t have the same speed as he did before, but a race like this could wake him up,” Schosberg said. “Winding up on the lead can sometimes make a young horse out of an old horse.”

Also exiting the Kashatreya is Herbert and Carol Schwartz’ Be Bullish, who finished third. Jockey C.C. Lopez has the return mount on the 4-year-old Pure Prize gelding.

“His last race in December (a fourth-place finish at a mile and seventy yards on December 13), was also his first start at two turns,” said trainer Scott Schwartz. “He can do different things – we’ve tried him on turf before -- but I wanted to see how he handled two turns.

“In his last race, I thought he ran well. He chased the pace, and (Mor Chances) came up and got the win. We’re running back here against the same horses, and I think he has a good chance. But I think he really wants those seven-furlong races later on, so after this race, we’ll probably give him a little break and wait for spring.”

The Kashatreya is a common race among Hollie Hughes combatants, but also entered is Tri County Stable’s Citifest. Trained by John Hertler, who trained Kashatreya to back-to-back Hollie Hughes wins in 1999 and 2000, Citifest is a 5-year-old Citidancer gelding who is also a stalker. Rosie Napravnik has the mount.

Good Card also likes to sit off the pace, and the 5-year-old Good and Tough horse comes here after finishing a respectable third behind two very tough horses in Fabulous Strike and True Quality in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap on December 27.

Jockey Jose Espinoza will have the mount Thursday for Good Card’s seasonal debut.

Executive Search was a neck winner in a restricted claiming race here on February 13, and apparently, trainer David Jacobson feels the comeback in six days won’t be a problem.

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