Saturday, March 31, 2012
NYRA NOTES: Friday, March 30, 2012
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Two contenders for next Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack took to the road today, with Grade 3 Withers winner Alpha jetting to New York from Florida and Grade 3 Gotham runner-up My Adonis traveling from Belmont Park to the Big A for a bullet half-mile breeze.
Alpha boarded a Tex Sutton flight to Farmingdale, Long Island, following his final serious Wood work at Palm Meadows, where he went a half-mile in 49.17.
Joining Alpha on today’s worktab, albeit over Belmont Park’s training track, were two of McLaughlin’s other Godolphin color-bearers: Emcee, whom NYRA clockers timed in 1:01.46 as he prepared for the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on Wood day, and It’s Tricky, who went four furlongs in a bullet 47.63, fastest of 67 at the distance. McLaughlin said It’s Tricky would make her next start either in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct on April 14 or the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 13.
My Adonis, who in his 3-year-old debut was third to Algorithms and Hansen in the Grade 3 Holy Bull, arrived at Aqueduct around 7:30 this morning after a short van ride. With jockey Cornelio Velasquez aboard, George and Lori Hall’s Pleasantly Perfect colt zipped four furlongs over the main track in 47.12, fastest of 17 at the distance.
“The horse worked great, and he came out of it great,” said trainer Kelly Breen by telephone from Florida. “He’ll tell us his story in the Wood. If he jumps up and runs a big race, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Along with Alpha and My Adonis, others targeting the Wood include Casual Trick, most recently seventh in Gulfstream’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth; the undefeated Gemologist, seven-length allowance winner at Gulfstream on March 16; Street Life, who has won his two most recent starts, including the Broad Brush at Aqueduct on March 17; The Lumber Guy, 2-for-2 including the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park on February 25, and Tiger Walk, third in the Withers and fourth in the Gotham in his two most recent starts. Possible starters, according to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, are Brimstone Island, Cozzetti, Prospective and Teeth of the Dog.
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Final works for Chad Brown’s trio of Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Day stakes runners are planned for this weekend, with a final decision on breezes dependent on the weather.
Brown has Street Life, winner of the March 17 Broad Brush overnight stakes at Aqueduct, for the Wood Memorial and is looking at the seven-furlong Bay Shore Stakes for both Hardened Wildcat and Beggarthyneighbor. The latter duo most recently finished 1-2 respectively in the $100,000 Fred “Cappy” Capossela at Aqueduct on March 10.
“Street Life is supposed to work tomorrow, weather pending,” said Brown’s assistant, Cherie DeVaux. “It’s supposed to rain a little bit tonight and all day tomorrow, so it depends on what they do with the racetrack. If they seal it, we won’t breeze, and we’ll wait until Sunday with all three of them.”
DeVaux said all three horses would work over the Belmont Park training track.
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Trainer Donnie Von Hemel issued an upbeat bulletin on Friday as Caleb’s Posse continues his preparations for the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter Handicap on April 7.
Caleb’s Posse, owned by McNeill Stables and Cheyenne Stables, breezed five furlongs in a bullet :59 4/5 at Oaklawn Park on Tuesday in what was his second workout since finishing a hard-charging second to Calibrachoa in the March 3 Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap on the inner track.
“It was a nice work,” said Von Hemel. “We’re happy and we’re looking forward to making the trip. It was standard for the way he’s been going over the track. It wasn’t unexpected.”
Von Hemel hasn’t determined whether Caleb’s Posse, winner of the 2011 Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, will have another breeze between now and the seven-furlong Carter.
“I always a have a plan in my head, but I try not to be too stiff about it,” said Von Hemel, who added that Caleb’s Posse on Tuesday will fly from Memphis to Newark before vanning to Aqueduct
The Carter is expected to attract a select field, with five-time graded stakes winner Calibrachoa, Tom Fool third-place finisher Emcee, Grade 1 Forego victor Jackson Bend, Grade 1 Preakness hero Shackleford, and Tahitian Warrior expected to face Caleb’s Posse.
“It’s a Grade 1 and has a big purse, so it’s supposed to be a tough race,” said Von Hemel. “We’re happy and ready to give them a whirl.”
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Fields are coming together for the two Grade 3 stakes for sophomores on next Saturday’s Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial undercard.
According to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, the seven-furlong, $250,000 Bay Shore is expected to draw Beggarthyneighbor, Hardened Wildcat, How Do I Win, and Maan, with Perfect Trippi, Phil Dancer and Trinniberg listed as possible.
The one-mile, $250,000 Comely for fillies is likely to attract Broadway’s Alibi, Millionreasonswhy, Nuffsaid Nuffsaid, Off Limits, Singlet, and Welcome Guest. Undefeated Agave Kiss, winner of the Grade 3 Cicada in her last trip to post, was listed as possible for the race.
“I’m going to check the horses who are going to enter the race,” said Rudy Rodriguez, who trains Agave Kiss for Flying Zee Racing Stables. “We really don’t know what we’re going to do yet. I’ll talk to the owners tomorrow and try to figure out a plan. This is a longer race, and it looks like she got a little tired last time.”
Agave Kiss breezed five furlongs in 1:01.11 on Friday at Aqueduct in what was her first workout since her victory in the Cicada on March 10.
“She breezed very, very nice,” said Rodriguez. “I was very, very pleased with how she did it. She did everything we asked.”
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