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BELMONT BARN NOTES

By NYRA Press Staff – Trainer Jorge Abreu will head to the Breeders’ Cup for the second time in his career with graded stakes-placed juveniles Lachaise and Alluring Angel after their respective efforts in “Win And You’re In” qualifying races at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

Abreu, a 48-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, is in search of his first Breeders’ Cup victory after finishing third with his lone starter, Stellar Agent, in the 2018 Grade 1 Juveniles Fillies Turf behind runaway winner Newspaperofrecord.

Lachaise, owned and bred in New York by Lawrence Goichman, was a game third in the Grade 3 Pilgrim over a yielding Aqueduct outer turf course on October 2. The dark bay Oscar Performance ridgling closed from 10th-of-11 in the 1 1/16-mile route after going very wide throughout and showing an impressive turn of foot down the lane under Jose Ortiz. Seven-wide at the quarter-pole, Lachaise was able to secure show honors 2 1/2 lengths back of the victorious Major Dude and convince Abreu to send him on to the Grade 1 Juvenile Turf on November 4 at Keeneland.

“He’s doing very well,” said Abreu. “I thought he ran a really good race considering we had so much rain and he was so far behind. I wish I would have seen him a bit more forwardly placed, but that’s the way the race played out. I don’t think Jose did anything wrong.”

Abreu said he is not concerned about a cutback to one mile for Lachaise, who broke his maiden by 1 1/4 lengths on debut going 1 1/16 miles in an August 4 state-bred maiden at Saratoga Race Course.

“I think he’s got some good tactical speed where he doesn’t have to be way out of it back there,” Abreu said. “Now I know that if the turf is a little soft [at Keeneland], it won’t worry me.”

Out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Rumour, Lachaise is a half-brother to stakes winners and fellow Abreu trainees Runaway Rumour and Myhartblongstodady, who were both bred and campaigned by Goichman.

Goichman also owns the British-bred Alluring Angel, who he purchased for just over $67,000 at the 2020 Tattersalls December Foal Sale. The bay Fastnet Rock filly was a closing fourth in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo on October 1 at the Big A, rallying from last-of-6 to be bested out of show honors by just three-quarters of a length in the race won by Pleasant Passage. She will now look to the Grade 1 Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 4.

The Miss Grillo effort came on the heels of a hard-fought runner-up effort in the 6 1/2-furlong Untapable on September 13 at Kentucky Downs where she battled down the stretch with Danse Macabre and lost the photo by a nose. Her other start was a half-length debut maiden score sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the same card as Lachaise’s maiden win at the Spa.

“I think the Miss Grillo was a lot for her,” said Abreu. “She was stretching out but ran a good race to be fourth. I’m not looking for an excuse because the horse that won went wire-to-wire, but on [18] days’ rest for a baby to make their third start after a 14-hour van ride, I think I threw too much at her. But she handled it pretty well.”

Like Lachaise, Alluring Angel will cut back to one mile in her Breeders’ Cup outing, something Abreu said should suit her after starting her career off sprinting.

“I think she’ll be OK because they’ll probably have more speed and the fractions will be better,” said Abreu. “She needs something to run at because that’s her type of running.”

Abreu added that both horses will stay at Belmont Park to make their final preparations for the Breeders’ Cup, and will likely ship to Keeneland about a week before their races.

Abreu’s other runner in the Miss Grillo, Georgees Spirit, tracked along the inside 1 1/2 lengths off the pace through the first three-quarters before angling two-wide at the quarter-pole and fading to last under coaxing from Manny Franco.

Abreu, who co-owns the filly with Robert Photos and Sportsmen Stable, said the daughter of Mor Spirit will skip the Breeders’ Cup.

“I think I should have let her run a little more free. She was on the worst part of the track with all the water sitting on the inside,” said Abreu. “I don’t think she ran a bad race, but she’s not one I will take over there [to the Breeders’ Cup].”

Aside from his Breeders’ Cup hopefuls, Abreu recently sent out Runaway Rumour to a third-place effort in the nine-furlong John Hettinger on September 30 at Belmont at the Big A. There, she stalked the pace in seventh-of-nine under Flavien Prat before swinging seven-wide in the final turn to miss the victory by just three-quarters of a length.

Abreu said the 4-year-old daughter of Flintshire will likely target the 1 1/16-mile $200,000 Ticonderoga on the October 30 Empire Showcase Day at Belmont at the Big A.

“She came out of the race in good shape and I’ll point her to the race on the New York-bred day,” said Abreu. “Hopefully, we’ll get it done there. She’s been knocking on the door.”

Though Runaway Rumour is still in search of her first win since last June’s Wild Applause at Belmont Park, she has consistently given good efforts in stakes company, posting on-the-board finishes last year in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa and Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont. This year, her best finishes have come in her last two outings with a close second in the Violet on September 3 at Monmouth Park and in the Hettinger.

“She’s my favorite horse because she always gives you her ‘A’ game,” said Abreu. “She always comes up with a great race. Always.”

Runaway Rumour had her first work back from the Hettinger yesterday, breezing five-eighths in 1:00.67 over Belmont’s dirt training track.

“It went a little quicker than I wanted, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Abreu. “The track had been a little fast and she came back in great shape. She ate up and she looks good.”

***

G2 Sands Point contender Hail To looks to add more legacy to Dynaire’s rising stardom as a broodmare

Woodslane Farm’s homebred Hail To will pursue her first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point for sophomore fillies going nine furlongs at Belmont at the Big A.

Trained by Tom Albertrani, the twice-winning Hail To enters off her first triumph against winners when travelling 1 3/16 miles over Saratoga’s Mellon turf on September 2. But if she is anything like her family, Hail To will do her best running going well past the Sands Point distance.

Hail To, by Kitten’s Joy, comes from a family rich in stamina with her full-brother being Grade 1-winning multimillionaire Sadler’s Joy. Both horses are out of the unraced Dynaformer mare Dynaire, who was bought by Woodslane Farm’s Rene and Lauren Woolcott at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $360,000. Dynaire’s dam Binya was a graded stakes winner at 11 furlongs when capturing the Grade 3 The Very One in 2004, and her half-sister was Grade 1-winning turf staying mare Sabin.

“She was bought with the idea of being a runner,” said Lauren Woolcott. “I wouldn’t say we were knowledgeable enough at that time to know distance. But clearly, Dynaformer was a key influence in her pedigree. She went to a pre-trainer in Florida and came up with a soft tissue issue that at that time, the procedures for dealing with it were not 100 percent, so we simply decided to leave her unraced and have her as a broodmare.”

Dynaire has made up for her absence on the racetrack with a highly prosperous broodmare career. In addition to Hail To and Sadler’s Joy, she has produced the graded stakes-placed Lemon Drop Kid mare Dyna Passer and stakes-winner Wolfie’s Dynaghost.

“We’re so fortunate to have Dynaire,” Woolcott said. “She’s had Sadler’s Joy, Hail To, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, and now she has a weanling on the farm by Ghostzapper, which is exciting because he’s a broodmare sire so we’re all excited to have her join the farm. She also had a 2-year-old colt by Ghostzapper who we put through the Keeneland sale. He sold and the buyer asked if we would retain a share, just to test how much we liked the horse. So, we said, ‘Sure we’d be happy to stay in.’”

The aforementioned Dyna Passer, who ran third in the Jockey Club Oaks in 2019, finished fifth in the 2019 Sands Point and became the Woolcott’s newest addition to their small broodmare band when retiring the following year. In addition to Dynaire and Dyna Passer, the Woolcotts also own mares Cat Myth – a half-sister to Grade 1-winner and producer Johannesberg – as well as Prospector’s Moon.

“Dyna Passer is a beautiful, beautiful mare,” Woolcott said. “She is currently in foal to Munnings, as is Dynaire, which is sort of cool. Dyna Passer also has a lovely Speightstown weanling filly, her first progeny.”

Woolcott said the one major difference between Hail To and Sadler’s Joy is the fact that the former was campaigned for a juvenile season. Sadler’s Joy did not make his first lifetime start until spring of his 3-year-old season. 

“It was fun to have her run as a 2-year-old. We’ve had a lot of time to watch her, and her preference clearly is for more distance,” Woolcott said. “She ran a beautiful race in that allowance at Saratoga this summer going 1 3/16 miles. Now, we’re cutting back a little bit for the Sands Point, but we wanted to run here to give her that chance to run against straight 3-year-olds. The allowance at Saratoga was against 3-year-olds and up, which was exciting. We have longer distances in mind, but you take what you can get.”

Hail To will have her work cut out for her, facing talented fillies like Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Pizza Bianca and stakes-winners Eminent Victor and Vergara.

“She will need to step up and run a nice race like she did last time. She’ll have to do even better being up against the likes of her competition, but it’s exciting,” Woolcott said. “It’s one step at a time and we’ll see how she does Saturday. We’re hopeful and a little nervous because she’s up against some nice ones. It’s a nice set up for next year and some longer distance races.”

Although Woolcott’s broodmare band is modest in size, she expressed hope for the future and even said she is getting a small glimpse of what generational breeding programs have been able to experience.

“It just makes you excited and proud of the family. It’ll be so cool to see,” Woolcott said. “Some of these farms like Claiborne have been around forever and have been able to see brilliant minds on these horses and foal out these babies generation after generation. There’s a majesty about knowing a family so well because you’ve been involved with their product for so many years and generations. That, to me, is so exciting and our little piece of it is to be excited about having our great mare Dynaire produce such a lovely foal that she did in Dyna Passer and then have her in our broodmare band.”

Albertrani, who has trained Hail To’s other prominent siblings, said he is excited for his owners.

“The mare has produced a few nice horses and I think they look forward to seeing another good horse, especially being that she’s a full sister to Sadler. I think they’re really excited to get another win,” Albertrani said. “She’s a lot like her brother, where the further the better. We’re cutting back a little bit this time but we’re with 3-year-old fillies so that might help us a little bit. She’ll definitely get better later on with more distance under her belt.”

Looking ahead to next year, Hail To could be a candidate for long distance turf races like the Grade 1 New York at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Glens Falls at Saratoga.

“Hopefully that will be the plan for next year. We’ll see how we get on this weekend and go from there,” Albertrani said.

***

Spun Glass looks for open company prosperity in $100K Floral Park

R. Larry Johnson’s Spun Glass will make her first start going six furlongs since her maiden victory two years ago in Sunday’s $150,000 Floral Park, a six-furlong outer turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Belmont at the Big A.

The 5-year-old Maryland-bred Hard Spun mare has enjoyed her best season yet, making three trips to the winner’s circle in five starts this year. She enters Sunday’s test off two victories at restricted stakes level, capturing the Jameela on July 30 at Laurel Park and the Camptown on September 7 at Colonial Downs.

The well-travelled Spun Glass has won over four different racetracks. A maiden winner over the all-weather surface at Presque Isle Downs in August 2020, she has also won over the turf at Woodbine as well as Colonial Downs and Laurel Park.

“She’s had a good season,” said Trombetta. “She’s run very well, and this will probably be the best group of horses she’s had to run against. We’re getting late in the season and there’s only so many chances to run these kinds of horses before it’s time to go to Florida or go home for the winter. This is certainly one we’ve figured that we hopefully would be able to run in.”

Spun Glass boasts a record of 18-6-0-3 and earnings of $261,099. Trombetta said it is likely she will race in 2023.

“I’m guessing that’s something the owner will look at in the end of the season. But as long as she’s in good form and in good health I think he’d like to run her next year,” Trombetta said.

Feargal Lynch, who is 4-for-5 when piloting Spun Glass, will ship to the Big A to ride from post 7.

Trombetta will also be represented by R. Larry Johnson’s Can’t Buy Love, who makes her first start at the Big A since springing a 31-1 upset in an April optional claimer. The stalk-and-pounce victory, won by a head over Athwaaq, was her fourth lifetime win in 21 career starts, which also includes a triumph in last June’s Star Shoot over the all-weather surface at Woodbine.

“She’s familiar with the surface and figured we’d bring her up too and give her a try,” Trombetta said. “We were in the same position as we are now. We were searching for a place to run her and we knew that it would be tough, but it was the only thing we could do. She gave us a heck of a surprise that day. She tries very hard and I like the distance for her. It looks like she’s a closing sprinter. Hopefully, she gets a good pace in front of her.”

Flavien Prat will pick up the mount from post 5.

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