“Circle Marks the Spot” used to be the catch phrase when local breeders tried to get the New York-bred noticed.
There are many examples of horses that put New York-breds on the map, like the day Fio Rito shook Saratoga’s Whitney rafters, or as late as yesterday when Pat On the Back took Belmont’s G2 Kelso.
Of course, it was the day Funny Cide was draped in Kentucky Derby roses that the program had arrived to stay.
No one’s going to compare for state-bred four year old filly Carrera Cat to any of her more famous Empire-bred relations but she is 8-1 in today’s Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, heady company, and she’s worth a flyer.
On paper, she has no chance against the big mare, the 1-5 Come Dancing, winner of the Grade 1 Ballerina last out. But this is a bridge race to the Breeders’ Cup F & M Sprint, lugging 125 pounds and giving ‘Carrera’ nine pounds, 125 to 116.
Further, the NYB is 2-for-2 at the hybrid 6-1/2 furlong trip and is 2-for-3 over Big Sandy and enters this with a bullet in her holster. She can settle a few lengths off the pace, save ground, and maybe trip out. So, why not?
We’ll bet her to win, thinking 6-1 would be fair, and box the exacta with the very classy favorite.
YESTERDAY: War of Will chased the pace throughout the PA Derby, was trying hard in midstretch, loomed for perhaps one stride, then stayed one paced, driving hard and hanging on gamely for third.