Aqueduct Racetrack Notes
Aqueduct Racetrack Notes
- Integration registers 98BSF from G2 Hill Prince score, possible for G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf
- Motion is in a Florida state of mind with $120K Tepin victress Memorialize
- Lady Milagro posts 91BSF in $150K Autumn Days win
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – While many of the heavy hitters in the North American turf division are receiving a winter freshening, undefeated dual graded stakes-winner Integration is just starting to announce his presence following a superb five-length conquest in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Hill Prince for sophomores at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Integration registered a career-high 98 Beyer Speed Figure for the performance, where he equaled the Aqueduct track record for one mile on the turf when stopping the clock in 1:46.06. The time is on par with that of Slew the Dragon’s 1:46 in the 1985 Lashkari. But setting track records is nothing new for the gifted son of Quality Road, who broke the nine-furlong record over the Colonial Downs lawn in the Grade 3 Virginia Derby on September 9, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.41.
Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing and trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Integration has won all three of his lifetime starts by a combined 12 3/4 lengths.
Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds expressed a strong level of excitement for his rising star heading into his 4-year-old campaign. He mentioned the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf on January 27 at Gulfstream Park as a possibility.
“That certainly is something that will be on our radar,” Finley said. “It would be two and a half months and he’s run well with those kind of gaps between races. Shug put some space between the Virginia Derby and the Hill Prince, so that’s very reassuring. The partners are over the moon and there are a lot of good vibes around this colt. He has an amazing turn of foot and he has the ability that very few seem to have just to continue that surge and that run. Seemingly, that’s what separates the really good ones from the great ones, the ability to carry that run further and further. He looks like he could be that kind of horse. He certainly has put himself in the position. We’re excited about him.”
Finley spoke high volumes of Kendrick Carmouche, who piloted Integration in both of his graded coups.
“Kendrick is overall as good a person as there is in this industry,” Finley said. “He has a great attitude and is positive every single day. You always know that you’ll get a 100 percent effort from him. We’re just tickled pink that we’re able to share this ride with a guy who people are realizing is elevating himself to the top echelon of jocks in North America.”
In his career debut, Integration defeated elders going 1 1/16 miles on August 12 at Colonial Downs under Tyler Gaffalione, who Finley said was very impressed with his debut effort.
“Tyler rode the next day at Saratoga and he came up to me and his eyes got as wide as they could get,” Finley said. “He just said ‘Integration, wow’ and was very deliberate with each syllable. For him to make such a mark on a top rider like Tyler, that’s when we started thinking this horse could be an upper echelon type of horse.”
Finley spoke of his high level of respect for McGaughey.
“For a long time, my relationship with him has just been saying ‘hello’ to him at the races. It’s been really cool to get more involved personally and have more horses in his barn. He’s a fascinating guy,” Finley said. “We’re one of the few games where you have Hall of Famers in their 70s still doing what got them there to begin with. What other sport do you have that? I’ve vowed to really take advantage of those type of relationships and Shug is a prime example of that. It really is a blessing to have so many people in our game that are still working hard every day that you can learn from and engage with.”
Finley also reported that the McGaughey-trained Signator – co-owned by West Point with Woodford Racing, Gainesway Stable, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone, Edward Hudson, Jr. and Lane’s End Racing – could target the $150,000 Queens County on December 31 at the Big A.
The three-time winning 3-year-old son of Tapit ran a career-high 94 Beyer Speed Figure when capturing a local allowance optional claimer going nine furlongs on November 12, which came following a first-level allowance score on October 21 going a one-turn mile over the main track.
“We’re looking forward to seeing him take the next step. He had a little issue in January and we thought we had a shot to get onto the Triple Crown trail, but it wasn’t to be,” Finely said. “Now he’s put everything together. Those Tapits can force you to take your time with them, but he’s very exciting. His reach and stride were always good but as he’s gotten bigger and stronger, I think it’s better than good. He’s carrying himself with a lot of confidence. Shug is thinking about the Queens County. If he can take another step forward in his next start, I think the Pegasus is something Shug would entertain.”
Motion is in a Florida state of mind with $120K Tepin victress Memorialize
Trainer Graham Motion reported that newly-minted stakes-winner Memorialize emerged from her victory in Friday’s $120,000 Tepin at one-mile on the inner turf for juvenile fillies in good order and will target stakes action in Florida this winter.
The Gainesway Stable Kentucky homebred daughter of Karakontie stalked the pace from third down the backstretch and launched a sharp turn of foot in the final sixteenth to win by a neck, producing a career-best 74 Beyer Speed Figure.
Motion admitted to having some anxious moments during Friday’s race and mentioned the Grade 3 Florida Oaks on March 9 at Tampa Bay Downs as a possible long term target.
“Initially I was a little worried that she wasn’t going to get there, but after watching the replay several times it was a pretty impressive performance,” Motion said. “Once she got going, she did it pretty nicely. She came back well. I would imagine we would get her down to Florida in the next few weeks and we may point for a race like the Florida Oaks.”
Prior to the Tepin, Memorialize was a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo following a second-out graduation in her two-turn debut on August 20 at Saratoga Race Course. On debut, she was a late-closing second going 5 1/2 furlongs on July 20 at Colonial Downs.
“I wasn’t super impressed with her early on,” Motion said. “I was a little surprised with the way she ran at Colonial that day first time out. I would say she’s been a bit of a pleasant surprise, but since she started running, she improved more in the morning and has been more impressive.”
Memorialize is the first foal produced from the stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Smart Emma. She boasts a 4-2-1-0 record with $143,750 in earnings.
Lady Milagro posts 91BSF in $150K Autumn Days win
Amanda Laderer and Dianette Rivas’ Kentucky homebred Lady Milagro earned a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure for her gate-to-wire score in Friday’s $150,000 Autumn Days, a six-furlong outer turf sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Carlos Martin, the 4-year-old First Dude bay sped through splits of 21.69 seconds and 43.84 over the firm footing, opening up by five lengths at the stretch call and staying on strong to the wire to score by 1 1/2-lengths in a final time of 1:07.55 to secure apprentice jockey Luis Rivera, Jr. his first career stakes win.
It was also the first stakes win for Lady Milagro, whose best previous try at this level came with a third-place finish in last year’s Ruthless here over the main track. Despite her early success on dirt, Friday’s score improved Lady Milagro’s turf record to 7-3-1-1.
Martin said the stakes win was a memorable one for him as well as for the Laderer and Rivas families.
“They were over the moon. To win in New York at the highest level when you breed one or two horses a year, it’s exciting,” Martin said. “You realize how tough the competition is any time you run in stakes in here – that race had Hall of Famer Billy Mott and Christophe Clement – and a little homebred is running against some of the best connections in the world. It means a lot for the underdog.”
Friday’s victory was the first for Lady Milagro since an allowance score in April here over the same course and distance, besting graded stakes-placed Gal in a Rush by a nose. Gal in a Rush turned the tables on Lady Milagro in August over good turf at Saratoga Race Course and Martin had to run his filly twice on dirt here before landing in stakes company on Friday.
“She’s always run pretty well on the grass and she’d run 1:07 and change on this course in April when she beat a nice filly in Gal in a Rush,” Martin said. “I think her last two races on the dirt muddied her form up a little bit and I guess when people see a trainer put a bug up in a stakes they maybe lose a little confidence. You don’t see too many apprentices riding in stakes in New York, but he had put the time in and I thought it was worth the chance. It worked out well.
“She gets brave,” Martin added. “When she won in April she got brave and held on in a really fast time and in Saratoga, it wasn’t a rock hard turf course when Gal in a Rush beat her. Since then, we just haven’t been able to get her back on the turf.”
Martin said there’s a small chance that Lady Milagro could point to the $100,000 Abundantia, a five-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up on December 31 at Gulfstream Park.
“The Rivas family have a small farm there in Ocala, so that might work out. We’ll see how she’s acting in a couple of weeks, but right now she came out of it like a ball of fire so I’m inclined to keep an open mind,” Martin said.
Lady Milagro, out of the winning Saint Liam mare Tribecky, banked $82,500 in victory to take her purse earnings to $329,852 while improving her record to 24-4-4-4.