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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

JEROME, QUEENS COUNTY SAT

Edited NYRA Staff Release – Chester and Mary Broman’s New York homebred Arctic Arrogance will vie for his first open company stakes score in Saturday’s $150,000 Jerome, a one-turn mile for sophomores, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Jerome, a prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby that will award 10-4-3-2-1 qualifying points to the top-five finishers, is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card, which co-features the re-scheduled $150,000 Queens County in Race 9. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.

Arctic Arrogance arrives from a close runner-up finish behind Dubyuhnell in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Remsen over a sloppy and sealed Big A main track on December 3 for trainer Linda Rice. The son of Frosted raced on the inside and held a short advantage over a pressing Dubyuhnell until the stretch call, but could not fend off his foe down the lane and was defeated a half-length in a final time of 1:50.88. It was a further 11 1/4-lengths back to graded-stakes placed Tuskegee Airmen in third. The effort awarded Arctic Arrogance a field-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I thought he was at a bit of a disadvantage because he was pinned on the rail in a pool of water, but it was a great effort,” said Rice, who was the leading trainer and owner at the recently concluded Aqueduct fall meet. “He didn’t get beat far and it was a long way back to third.”

Arctic Arrogance made his open company debut on the heels of a dominant victory in the Sleepy Hollow on October 30 at Belmont at the Big A, leading at evert point of call before easily drawing away under returning pilot Jose Lezcano to post a 4 1/2-length victory. His other two starts were a debut maiden score in September at Saratoga Race Course and a runner-up effort in the Bertram F. Bongard later that month at the Big A.

Arctic Arrogance, who has been assigned post 6, is out of the unraced Uncle Mo mare Modest Maven, a $1 million purchase by Chester Broman at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Modest Maven is out of the Tale of the Cat mare Dream Street, a half-sister to dual champion and Hall of Famer Housebuster.

Rice will also send out Valenzan Day [post 3, Jose Gomez] for his first start since he was claimed for $50,000 out of a strong optional claiming victory on December 4 for previous conditioner Rudy Rodriguez. The Florida-bred son of Khozan made eight starts as a juvenile, earning two wins and a stakes placing when third in the Tremont in June at Belmont.

Klaravich Stables’ Neural Network will make his first start against winners after an impressive debut state-bred maiden score on November 13 sprinting seven furlongs over a muddy Big A main track. Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, the New York-bred son of Cloud Computing pounced from 2 1/2 lengths off the pace to take charge at the top of the lane and cruise home to a five-length victory.

Brown said it is special to train a son of Cloud Computing, who he conditioned to on-the-board efforts in the Grade 3 Gotham and Grade 2 Wood Memorial at the Big A en route to a victory in the 2017 Grade 1 Preakness.

“This horse is training quite well and he’s a horse we really thought a lot of,” said Brown, who recently earned his eighth consecutive year-end training title at NYRA and was also the nation’s leading trainer by earnings in 2022. “He’s a New York-bred, but he trains like he can handle open company and it looks like the longer the better. He’s got some extra sentimental value being by Cloud Computing, who was a really special horse for us. We’re hoping he can do his dad proud and try and develop onto the Triple Crown trail through New York like his dad did.”

Neural Network’s final preparations for the Jerome included a five-furlong breeze in 1:02.90 over the Belmont Park dirt training track Friday. Bred in the Empire State by Milfer Farm, the dark bay colt was a $120,000 purchase at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale from the Legacy Bloodstock consignment. Out of the winning Street Cry mare Lapinski, Neural Network’s third dam is Grade 1-winner Cara Rafaela, who produced 2006 Preakness winner and influential sire Bernardini.

Manny Franco will ride from the inside post.

Trainer Jimmy Ferraro will saddle New York-bred General Banker as he looks to double up on stakes scores after graduating in style last out in the $500,000 NYSSS Great White Way sprinting seven furlongs over a muddy and sealed Big A main track on December 17. Owned and bred by John Forma’s Seacoast Thoroughbreds of New England, the son of leading New York sire Central Banker was a dominant winner of the Great White Way under Eric Cancel, closing from fourth-of-11 to post an 8 1/2-length victory that garnered an 83 Beyer.

“It was shocking,” said Ferraro. “I thought we had a good chance, but until you do it, you don’t really know.”

The dark bay colt, who will make his open-company debut, was previously on-the-board in three of his first seven outings and showed improvement when adding blinkers for the first time three starts back. His latest work was a half-mile breeze in 50.20 seconds on New Year’s Eve, and Ferraro said he is hopeful for a swift tempo for General Banker to close into on Saturday.

“He’s training good and we just did a leisurely half-mile,” said Ferraro. “There’s a lot of speed in this race, so it might set up good for him. He seems like he’s got some ability. He’s more focused mentally because of maturity and the blinkers. He’s been having massages, too, and everybody likes a massage.”

Cancel has the call again from post 7.

Mr. Amore Stable’s graded stakes-placed New York homebred Andiamo a Firenze will make his first outing since a narrow defeat to Acoustic Ave in the New York Breeders’ Futurity on October 16 at Finger Lakes Racetrack. Trained by Kelly Breen, the son of Speightstown battled furiously with his foe throughout the six-furlong sprint and engaged in a thrilling stretch battle, but came up a nose short of victory and finished one length ahead of filly Stonewall Star, who exited that race to win the Key Cents in November at the Big A.

Andiamo a Firenze earned his lone graded placing when finishing a game third in the Grade 3 Sanford in July at Saratoga Race Course. He notched his first stakes victory in his next start with a pacesetting 5 1/2-length victory in the state-bred Funny Cide presented by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on August 26 at the Spa. He is a three-quarter sibling to the Breen-trained Firenze Fire, who won nine graded stakes and over $2.7 million in earnings, highlighted by a Grade 1 triumph in the Champagne as a juvenile at Belmont.

Kendrick Carmouche will look to engineer a winning ride from post 5.

Completing the field are Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds’ Maryland homebred Circling the Drain [post 2, Jevian Toledo], who graduated at second asking on December 9 at Laurel Park for trainer Brittany Russell; BG Stables’ Kentucky homebred Lugan Knight [post 4, Dylan Davis], a two-time winner for trainer Michael McCarthy that hails from the family of dual Canadian Champion and multiple graded stakes-winner Roxy Gap; and owner/trainer Amira Chichakly’s Narciso Dali [post 8, Katie Davis], an open-lengths winner last out in a December 1 maiden claimer at the Big A.

Law Professor looks to rebound in rescheduled $150K Queens County

Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ graded stakes-winning homebred Law Professor headlines the re-scheduled $150,000 Queens County, a nine-furlong route for 4-year-olds and up.

Originally carded with 11 horses on a December 31 card which was canceled due to heavy fog, the Queens County, which again boasts an 11-horse field, is brought back with nine returning horses and two new additions in Eloquist [post 8, Eric Cancel] and Plot the Dots [post 6, Andrew Wolfsont]. Defectors include Ridin With Biden, who captured the Kris Kringle today at Parx, and Southern District.

Trained by Rob Atras, Law Professor [post 7, Manny Franco] enters from a pair of difficult Grade 1 engagements when second to Life Is Good in the nine-furlong Woodward in October over a sloppy and sealed Big A main track and an even fifth last out in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on November 5 at Keeneland.

While Atras had initially considered the Grade 1 Cigar Mile presented by NYRA Bets on December 3 as a possible return for the 5-year-old Constitution gelding, he elected to wait for added distance and the prospect of easier company.

“We gave him a couple weeks of downtime, but never really took him out of training,” Atras said. “We gave him a couple breezes and this seemed like a good spot. He’s already run at Aqueduct and run the mile and an eighth well.”

Law Professor tracked from sixth position through the final turn in the Dirt Mile and angled six-wide for the stretch run to finish 7 1/2-lengths back of the victorious Cody’s Wish.

In the Woodward, the dark bay tracked the pacesetting multiple Grade 1-winner Life Is Good throughout, looming large at the top of the lane and staying on strong to the wire, finishing just 1 1/4-lengths in arrears of his talented foe.

Atras said the added distance Saturday should benefit Law Professor after chasing rapid splits at the Breeders’ Cup.

“I think he handled two turns well before and the mile and an eighth allows him to get a little better position,” Atras said. “He can sit a little closer and be more forwardly placed than he was in his last race.”

Atras sent out Law Professor to breeze a half-mile in 51.84 seconds on Sunday and said the easy work went well.

“I gave him a real light half. He’s good,” Atras said. “Hopefully, he’s on his game.”

Law Professor started his career on the West Coast with conditioner Michael McCarthy, taking an off-the-turf edition of the Grade 2 Mathis Mile last December at Santa Anita. The versatile fellow has made three starts for Atras, winning the Tapit over firm turf at Kentucky Downs in September ahead of his recent graded efforts.

Also entered are Forewarned [post 1, Jose Gomez], Unbridled Bomber [post 2, Dylan Davis], Sea Foam [post 3, Jorge Vargas, Jr.], Shooger Ray Too [post 4, Abner Adorno], Naval Aviator [post 5, Jeremy Laprida], Bourbonic [post 9, Kendrick Carmouche], Thomas Shelby [post 10, Jose Lezcano], and Double Crown [post 11, J.D. Acosta]

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