“We try,” Tonja said. “Hopefully, it’s working out.”
This weekend, there will be plenty of opportunity for the Terranovas to shine as they send out Successful Sarah in Sunday’s 34th running of the $65,000-added Affectionately for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track. On Saturday, they will send out Broadway Producer in the Evening Attire Stakes.
While Successful Sarah, a recent purchase by IEAH Stable, is not quite with those horses yet, the 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly has caught Tonja’s attention. She has won three of her last four starts at Calder Race Course in Florida and has made herself at home at the Terranova’s barn at Belmont Park.
“She came up here in December, right after she won at Calder on December 10,” Tonja said. “Sometimes, horses that have been running in Florida and dealing with the heat all summer really pick it up when they get cold weather.”
There is plenty of that around. An Arctic front moved into the area on Thursday, and NYRA has already announced it will cancel Friday’s live racing card because of the severe drop in temperature. It is expected to be a bit warmer on Saturday.
“Since she’s gotten here, she has really impressed me,” Tonja said. “Successful Sarah is very kind and she has done excellent in her training. We’ve breezed here a few times on the training track. She has won on the lead and from off the pace before, and the other day, we worked her behind another horse and she rated easily. She is a very kind horse. I think we have a nice little filly and I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Jockey Eddie Castro has the mount on Successful Sarah, who will break from post 5 in the six-horse field.
In a race loaded with speed, Seahorse Stable’s Yet Again will merit consideration.
Trained by Karl Grusmark, the 4-year-old Catiemus filly won at a mile and seventy yards here on December 10, then ran fourth at the same distance on January 2 in the Restored Hope.
She figures to appreciate the stretch out to a mile and a sixteenth, for at that distance, she sports a 4-5-3 record from 13 starts. Yet Again has only been worse than third once in her last 10 starts, and that seventh-place finish came at nine furlongs on the sloppy main track here on November 30.
“She is vey consistent; she’s a very hard-trying filly,” Grusmark said. “She always gives her best effort. She is going into this race extremely strong, and we look forward to her being a factor on Sunday.”
All will carry 119 pounds here except Are We Dreamin, who is the highweight at 121 pounds. The Yes It’s True filly has been running mainly in sprints since last summer, but she got a nose in front of Weathered here on December 12 to win an overnight stakes at a mile and seventy yards.
Sprightly, a speedster from trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn, ran second to Awesome I Am in the Restored Hope here on January 2nd and sports a 3-2-2 record from eight lifetime starts.
New York-bred Point Me to It is hoping to end a two-race string of runner-up finishes, while Virginia-bred Rap Tale turns back after a fourth-place finish as the pacesetter in the Ladies Handicap on December 14.
The field for Sunday’s 34th running of the Affectionately:
PP. HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WGT.
1 Point Me to It Gary Contessa Pablo Morales 119
2. Yet Again Karl Grusmark Orlando Bocachica 119
3. Rap Tale Bruce Brown Mike Luzzi 119
4. Are We Dreamin Randi Persaud Rajiv Maragh 121
5. Successful Sarah John Terranova II Eddie Castro 119
6. Spritely Todd Pletcher Ramon Dominguez 119