Sunday, June 19, 2022

Belmont Park Notes

* Masen bound for G1 Fourstardave following Poker score

* McGaughey runs one-two in G3 Eatontown with Stolen Holiday and
Vigilantes Way; Limited Liability works for G1 Caesars Belmont Derby

* Homebred Mind Control a testament to Red Oak Stable’s breeding program

* G1 winner Maracuja breezes in prep for Lady Jacqueline at

* Belmont Park Week 9 stakes probables

ELMONT, N.Y. –Juddmonte homebred Masen garnered a 96 Beyer Speed
Figure for his one-length score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Poker,
a one-mile turf test for older horses at Belmont Park.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown said Masen is now
probable for the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave on August 13 at Saratoga
Race Course.

The British homebred son of Kingman was headstrong from the gate, but
settled down along the backstretch under Flavien Prat. He collared
pacesetter Wolfie’s Dynaghost in upper stretch and was hand ridden in
the final strides to the wire.

“The early portion of the race was a little slow. He had a tricky rail
draw so we were trying to get him out in the clear and back in control
of the race, and Flavien was able to do that effectively,” Brown said.
“If the pace is slow, he’s going to tug on the bridle a bit, but we
were just trying to reposition the horse.”

Masen entered the Poker off an easy score in the Seek Again on May 22
over the same surface and distance. He made his North American debut
when a close second to Shirl’s Speight in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark
Mile in April at Keeneland.

Masen added to the list of graded stakes winning progeny by Kingman that
have been trained by Brown, including Grade 1-winner Domestic Spending
as well as Serve the King, Technical Analysis and Public Sector, who was
third to Masen in the Poker.

“Most of them seem to be very willing training horses,” Brown said.
“They have good turn of foot and they’re very athletic type of
horses. Although I’ve had them run on all types of ground here, they
seem to appreciate firmer ground. All around, he’s a fantastic

Masen is out of the Smart Strike mare Continental Drift, an unraced
daughter of 2005 Champion Turf Mare Intercontinental. Brown had hands-on
experience with Intercontinental during his tenure as an assistant to
her late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.

“She was a headstrong horse,” Brown said. “She was a tough,
light-mouthed horse, but she was a brilliant racehorse.”

The Fourstardave, a Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” qualifier
for the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland, also is
likely to attract Peter Brant’s multiple Grade 1-winner Regal Glory,
who most recently captured the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game for Brown on
Belmont Stakes Day.

Brown secured another graded stakes win on Saturday when Sacred Life
won the Grade 3 Monmouth at its New Jersey namesake oval.

The 7-year-old Siyouni ridgling bested 2021 Queen’s Plate winner Safe
Conduct by 1 1/4 lengths in the nine-furlong test, registering a 94
Beyer. A Group 3 winner in his native France, Sacred Life won last
year’s Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont.

Brown said Sacred Life’s next start will likely take place at

“He’ll come back up to Saratoga where he was training and point
towards the meet, but I’m not sure which race we’ll go to,” Brown

Brown had many of his top performers on Belmont’s Sunday morning work
tab, including Grade 1 Preakness winner Early Voting, who went five
furlongs in company with fellow Klaravich Stables color-bearer
Efficiency. The pair completed their move in 1:00.62 over the fast main

Early Voting, a son of second crop sire and 2017 Horse of the Year Gun
Runner, earned a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his Preakness

Brown indicated that the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 30 at
Saratoga and the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 23 at
Monmouth are both under consideration for his next start.

Jeff Drown’s Zandon, who is targeting the Jim Dandy, went a half-mile
solo in 48.62 seconds at Belmont on Sunday. The son of New York-bred
Upstart was third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby in his most recent

John D. Gunther and Eurowest Bloodstock’s Pipeline went a half-mile
in 48.46 seconds over the main track. The stakes-placed son of
Speightstown defeated winners for the first time last out in a one mile
first level allowance in April at Aqueduct, garnering a 104 Beyer for
the effort.

“He had been training well so we were cautiously optimistic he would
show up, and he did,” said Brown, who added that Pipeline would likely
target a second-level allowance.

Following a fourth-out graduation at seven furlongs last September at
Saratoga, Pipeline was a close third in the Perryville the following
month at Keeneland.

Brown will saddle Peter Brant’s Napoleonic War for the Grade 1, $1
million Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational as well as Haughty, McKulick
and Consumer Spending for the Grade 1, $700,000 Belmont Oaks

Napoleonic War registered a half-mile move in 48.26 seconds over the
inner turf Sunday in company with Highest Honors.

A homebred son of War Front, Napoleonic War was second to Emmanuel in
the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge on June 4 last out. He is the first progeny
out of the Street Cry mare Naples Parade, whose dam Treasure Trail is a
half to multiple champion and Hall of Famer Zenyatta as well as
three-time Grade 1-winner Balance.

Haughty and McKulick went a half-mile in company in 49.25 over the inner

Haughty, by Empire Maker, won the listed Penn Oaks on June 3 at Penn
National last out in her first start of the season. Never off the board
in four starts, she rounded out the trifecta in the Grade 1 Breeders’
Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November at Del Mar in her previous race.
She is owned by Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding,
Cambron Equine and Team Hanley.

Klaravich Stables’ McKulick was previously second in both the Grade 2
Edgewood and Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs this year. The daughter
of Frankel defeated Consumer Spending in her victorious career debut
last August at Saratoga.

Brown said Juddmonte’s Artorius is possible to make his next start in
the restricted $135,000 Curlin on July 29 at Saratoga. The homebred son
of Arrogate and first progeny out of Grade 1-winner Paulassilverlining
won at second asking on June 10 at Belmont.

On Friday, Brown saddled Contemporary Art to a second-out maiden
victory for celebrity chef Bobby Flay, the owner and breeder of the
Dubawi filly.

“She ran super. She had always trained well and she’s a well-bred,
good looking horse, so it was nice to see her advance in her second
start,” Brown said. “She seems to be a stakes-caliber horse.”

Contemporary Art is out of the graded stakes winning Fastnet Rock mare
Cover Song, whose dam Misty For Me was a multiple Group 1-winner for the
Coolmore partners in Ireland.
McGaughey runs one-two in G3 Eatontown with Stolen Holiday and
Vigilantes Way; Limited Liability works for G1 Caesars Belmont Derby

Hall of Fame Trainer Shug McGaughey enjoyed a graded-stakes exacta as
Annette Allen’s Stolen Holiday bested Phipps Stable’s Vigilantes Way by
one length in Saturday’s Grade 3 Eatontown, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for
fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Monmouth Park.

The 5-year-old War Front mare posted a gate-to-wire score under Jose
Lezcano keeping Vigilante’s Way, the 2021 Eatontown winner under Paco
Lopez, at bay. Stolen Holiday’s journey was assisted by the scratch of
speed presence Por Que No as Lezcano guided the bay through splits of
50.61 and 1:14.22 over the firm going, stopping the clock in 1:43.30.

Stolen Holiday showed speed in an optional-claiming win in February at
Tampa before off-the-pace efforts when second in the Sand Springs in
April at Gulfstream and sixth in the Grade 3 Beaugay in May at Belmont.

“The speed scratched but she has speed, so I wasn’t surprised she was on
the lead,” McGaughey said. “She was in front at Tampa. In the race here
[at Belmont] she didn’t pick up her feet on the soft turf, and down at
Gulfstream she was sort of jumbled up back in there. I think her best
race is when she’s on the lead, but she can be behind.”

Vigilantes Way enjoyed a ground-saving trip from third position under
Lopez, but couldn’t make up the necessary ground.

“She ran great. There was no pace and she just didn’t get there,”
McGaughey said.

McGaughey said both mares would be outside chances to try the Grade 1,
$500,000 Diana going nine furlongs over the Saratoga turf on July 16.

West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing’s
multiple graded-stakes winner First Captain will target the Grade 2,
$400,000 Suburban Handicap, a 10-furlong test for older horses on July 9
at Belmont.

McGaughey said the long-term goal for the 4-year-old Curlin chestnut is
the Grade 1, $1.25 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, a 1 1/4-mile test for
3-year-olds and up on September 3 at Saratoga that offers a “Win and
You’re In” berth to the Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at

Out of the graded-stakes winning A.P. Indy mare America, First Captain
captured the Grade 3 Dwyer in July at Belmont to complete a hat trick of
victories to launch his career. He made a winning seasonal debut in
February at Gulfstream sprinting seven furlongs before fading to
last-of-7 in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in April at the Big A.

First Captain added blinkers last out and with jockey Luis Saez aboard
for the first time, he closed from sixth to capture the 1 3/16-mile
Grade 3 Pimlico Special by a head on May 20.

“He’s doing really well,” McGaughey said. “He was bred to run long on
the dirt and with the Carter we got in the position of, ‘where are we
going to run him’. That was a mistake and I felt like he maybe laid up a
little close that day, which he probably doesn’t want. He got back in
the Pimlico race and I think that’s what his running style is going to

McGaughey said the addition of blinkers helped the talented chestnut.

“I galloped him in them at Saratoga last year and I liked what I saw
then. We put them on after the Carter and it made a big difference,”
McGaughey said.

McGaughey said Joseph Allen’s Radio Days, who was a closing third last
out in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 20 at Pimlico, could target
Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Mother Goose for sophomore fillies
traveling 1 1/16-miles over Big Sandy.

McGaughey, who won the 2005 Mother Goose with subsequent Champion
3-Year-old Filly Smuggler, said Radio Days is likely to breeze Monday at

“I’ll see how she works and make a decision,” McGaughey said.

Andrew Rosen’s Skims, a multiple graded-stakes placed sophomore
daughter of Frankel, has completed the trifecta in her last two outings,
closing from seventh in the Grade 2 Appalachian in April at Keeneland
and stalking from second in the Grade 2 Wonder Again on June 9 over
yielding going at Belmont.

“She’s pretty tough. She comes out of her races pretty good,” McGaughey

The veteran conditioner said Skims could return in Saturday’s $100,000
Wild Applause at one-mile on the Belmont turf or wait for the Grade 3,
$175,000 Lake George going the same distance on July 22 at the Spa.

McGaughey sent 11 horses to breeze over the Belmont inner turf Sunday,
including Stuart S. Janney homebred Limited Liability, who worked in
company with Courtlandt Farms’ Never Explain through a half-mile in

“They both worked really well and I thought Limited Liability was
exceptional,” McGaughey said.

Limited Liability is targeting the Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Belmont
Derby Invitational, opening leg of the Caesars Turf Triple series on
July 9 at Belmont.

The Kitten’s Joy grey has finished third in a trio of graded races,
including the Grade 3 With Anticipation in September at Saratoga; the
Grade 2 Pilgrim in October at Belmont; and the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge
last out on June 4 at Belmont that was won gate-to-wire by Emmanuel.

McGaughey said Limited Liability will appreciate the stretch out to 10
furlongs in the Belmont Derby.

“He ran great last time to close into that kind of pace,” McGaughey
said. “He’ll run as far as you want to run, I think.”

Never Explain, a 4-year-old Street Sense colt, will be pointed to an
allowance event.

Allen Stable’s Stony Point covered a half-mile in 49 flat, closing
behind stablemates Trending [49.65] and Flanigan’s Cove [49.65].

“She’d been trying to bear out a little bit by herself and that’s why I
gave her a target, and she was perfect today,” McGaughey said of Stony
Point. “She worked really well.”

Phipps Stable homebred Bakers Bay worked five-eighths in 1:02.02 in
company with Joseph Allen’s homebred Celestial City.

Baker’s Bay, a 6-year-old More Than Ready gelding out of the multiple
graded-stakes winning Giant’s Causeway mare Abaco, posted his last score
in a 1 3/16-mile turf allowance in April 2021 at Keeneland. He made his
last two starts traveling 12 furlongs over the Gulfstream turf,
finishing sixth in the Grade 3 William L. McKnight in January, and fifth
in the Grade 2 Pan American in April.

McGaughey said Bakers Bay could try the $150,000 Grand Couturier at 12
furlongs on July 4, while maiden winner Celestial City, who finished
second last out in the Jersey Derby on May 29 at Monmouth, will point to
an allowance race.

Allen Stable and Peter Brant’s Fort Washington breezed a half-mile in
49.40 in company with DATTT Stable’s Smokin’ T.

Fort Washington, a multiple stakes-placed sophomore son of War Front,
finished fifth last out in the Grade 2 Penn Mile over soft turf at Penn

McGaughey said the dark bay may come back in an allowance, while keeping
an eye on the Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame,
a one-mile turf test for sophomores on August 5 at the Spa.

“He caught a real soft turf at Penn National and didn’t like at all,”
McGaughey said. “He came back and had a good work today.”

McGaughey said Smokin’ T, a 3-year-old War Front bay who finished second
last out in the Audubon on June 4 at Churchill, also worked well.

Others on the turf work tab for McGaughey included multiple
graded-stakes placed In a Hurry [48.80], who breezed a half-mile in
company with allowance winner Champagne Lady [48.85].

McGaughey said Winngate Stables’ multiple graded-stakes winner
Kathleen O. is expected to return to Belmont next week. The sophomore
daughter of Upstart graduated on debut in November at Aqueduct before
winning three consecutive stakes at Gulfstream, including the Cash Run
in January, the Grade 2 Davona Dale in March and the Grade 2 Gulfstream
Park Oaks in April.

Kathleen O. closed to finish fifth last out in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks
on May 6 at Churchill.

“She is turned out and she’ll be back here in a week or so,” McGaughey
said. “Being turned out, she probably doesn’t lose much condition, but
there’s no hurry. There’s a lot of good races out there.”

Homebred Mind Control a testament to Red Oak Stable’s breeding program

Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s Mind Control was a determined
winner of Saturday’s Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park for Hall
of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The 6-year-old Stay Thirsty bay found
another gear along the rail after setting the pace and held off a late
charge from multiple graded stakes winner Hot Rod Charlie to earn the

“We’re just pleased and proud of the horse. He’s a competitor,”
said Rick Sacco, racing manager for Red Oak Stable. “He’s a homebred
and we own the whole family. He’s been such a fun horse to be around.
It’s an incredible feeling. It was a big win yesterday. It was a lot
of fun and we really enjoyed it.”

Mind Control broke sharply from post 1 under Hall of Fame rider John
Velazquez and quickly established the lead in the one-mile affair for
horses 3-years-old and upward. Velazquez asked him for more down the
backstretch as Hot Rod Charlie pressed to his outside before briefly
taking the advantage at the stretch call. But Mind Control would not be
denied and dug in valiantly to retake the lead and fend off his foe by a
head in a final time of 1:35.79.

“We knew he would show speed and we knew from the one hole that we had
to go,” said Sacco. “He broke clean and going into the first turn,
we had a comfortable lead. Down the backside, Johnny asked him for a
little more just for a little separation of a couple lengths. At the
half-mile pole, we knew it was our race to lose because when he gets
engaged, he’s going to fight back. He’s not an easy horse to go

Mind Control is the fourth foal out of the Lightnin N Thunder mare Feel
That Fire, a half-sister to Red Oak’s homebred graded stakes-placed
and New York sire King for a Day. Both King for a Day and Feel That Fire
are out of the unraced French Deputy mare Ubetwereven, who has been a
foundational broodmare for Red Oak and also produced stakes-winner Ima
Jersey Girl.

Mind Control, initially trained by Gregg Sacco, has won graded events in
each year of racing, including the Grade 1 Hopeful as a juvenile at
Saratoga. He captured the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct and Grade 1 H.
Allen Jerkens at the Spa as a sophomore; and at 4-years-old at the Big
A, he won the Grade 3 Toboggan and Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap.

Last year, after shifting to Pletcher’s barn, Mind Control added the
Grade 2 John A. Nerud to his ledger at Belmont. Six of Mind Control’s
10 career wins have come by a winning margin of less than one length.

“This is a great line of mares that we’re proud of and we’re
building this family with a bunch of runners,” Sacco said. “To see
Mind Control win graded stakes every year; he’s a hickory horse who
doesn’t lose these dog fights. I’m proud of the whole operation –
the farm team, the breeding team, our trainers. Everyone involved.”

Sacco said it is likely Mind Control to make his next start at The Spa.

“We’re enjoying this win and we thought this was a good comeback
win,” Sacco said. “We’ll send him up to Saratoga and we haven’t
really decided on which race is next, but it will be something at

Feel That Fire has also produced a Mineshaft half-sister to Mind Control
named Goddess of Fire, who was a close runner-up in the Grade 2 Rachel
Alexandra at Fair Grounds and the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks this
spring for Pletcher before finishing a distant 11th in the Kentucky

“We went to the Fair Grounds and lost a heartbreaker,” Sacco said.
“The Oaks just wasn’t our day. She’ll run next in the [Grade 3]
Monmouth Oaks [on July 31] and she’s up at Saratoga getting a

With Feel That Fire now producing two graded stakes performers, Sacco
said Mind Control and Goddess of Fire are the kinds of horses any
breeding operation would dream of owning.

“It’s just gratifying. All of our horses, especially Mind Control,
are special because we own the mares, we breed them, we break them,”
said Sacco. “This horse has his own paddock and padded stall at Red
Oak Farm in Ocala. Every year when he’s done racing, we let him tell
us when he’s ready to go back to the track. He’s a very sound and
honest horse. It’s really a testament to our breeding program.”

Feel That Fire delivered an Uncle Mo filly this year and was bred back
to Uncle Mo for 2023.

G1 winner Maracuja breezes in prep for Lady Jacqueline at Thistledown

Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds and
Barry Fowler’s Grade 1 winner Maracuja will be pointed to the
nine-furlong $250,000 Lady Jacqueline on June 25 at Thistledown Racino
after an off-the-board finish in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap last
out on April 23 at Oaklawn Park.

Maracuja breezed a half-mile in 48.98 seconds Sunday over the Belmont
main track in company with unraced 2-year-old War Prince, posting an
easier work than her half-mile drill in 48.72 last week.

“She breezed well,” said trainer Rob Atras. “It was kind of just a
maintenance breeze this weekend. She put in a pretty serious work last
week, so we were just going easy today. We’re on target for the Lady
Jacqueline. We missed a few spots we were targeting and this race came
up – the timing is good. We thought we’d take a shot and try to get
her back in form.”

Maracuja provided a stunning upset in last year’s Grade 1 Coaching
Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course, defeating eventual Champion
3-Year-Old Filly Malathaat by a head at odds of 14-1 to give Atras his
first career Grade 1 triumph.

The daughter of Honor Code finished her sophomore campaign with a pair
of off-the-board finishes in Grade 1 company, finishing seventh the
Alabama at the Spa and an even fourth in the Cotillion at Parx. She
returned to winning ways in her 4-year-old debut with a two-length
optional claiming score on April 1 at Oaklawn Park and followed with a
distant fourth-place finish behind Champion Older Mare Letruska in the
Apple Blossom.

“She was real flat that day and it was a pretty tough race. Those
fillies all showed up,” Atras said. “She ran kind of unusually flat
that day, so we gave her a little time after that to get straightened
out and then brought her back to Belmont. She seems like with every work
she’s gotten better and stronger. She’s coming around and is back to
her old self again.”

Michael Dubb and Gandharvi Racing Stables’ Battle Bling finished a
close second in the Obeah on June 8 at Delaware Park, the local prep for
the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap for fillies and mares 3-year-old and up on
July 9 at the Wilmington oval.

Battle Bling was claimed for $62,500 out of a close second-place effort
on December 19 at Aqueduct Racetrack and has hit the board in all but
one of her five starts since, including a win in the Ladies facing open
company in January at Aqueduct and three close runner-up efforts in the
Heavenly Prize Invitational, the Top Flight Invitational and the Obeah.

“She tries every time and has had some heartbreaking losses, but you
can’t fault her. She runs good every time and we’re very happy with
her,” Atras said. “[Dubb] has picked out some good ones and this is
another one.”

The Obeah was a tough loss for the Vancouver filly, who stalked in
fourth-of-6 before briefly taking command in the stretch and
subsequently losing the lead to Claudio Gonzalez trainee Miss Leslie to
be defeated a half-length. Miss Leslie had previously been defeated by
Battle Bling by a neck in the Ladies.

“It was tough. I thought we had it turning for home, and that horse of
Claudio’s came running down the lane and got us late at Aqueduct. We
beat her by a neck, and this time she got us, so they’ve got a little
rivalry going,” Atras said, with a laugh.

Atras said he’ll take his time in deciding if Battle Bling will try
the Delaware Handicap.

“We’ll nominate her and kind of see how she comes along in the next
couple weeks,” Atras said. “We like to keep our options open.”

Grade 3 winner Chateau finished a close third in a six-furlong optional
claimer on Friday at Belmont after setting the pace and being collared
by Happy Farm with a sixteenth to the finish.

The 7-year-old Flat Out gelding won the Gravesend in December at
Aqueduct, where he also won the 2021 Grade 3 Tom Fool. He has finished
in-the-money in his three starts this year, which include runner-up
efforts in the Grade 3 Tom Fool at the Big A and Grade 3 Runhappy at

“Chateau is good. He’s solid and shows up every time. He’s a nice
horse to have,” said Atras. “He doesn’t always win, but he tries
hard every time. We missed a little training with him through the
winter, but he’s been on a regular schedule going into that last race.
He ran tough.”

Atras said Chateau’s next race will likely come at Saratoga.

“As of right now, we don’t have a spot. Once the Saratoga book comes
out, we’ll probably pick out a spot and point him towards that,”
said Atras.

The Atras barn welcomed back Grade 3 winner American Power in May after
the 7-year-old son of Power Broker enjoyed a winter vacation. Owned by
Michael Dubb, Sanford J. Goldfarb and Michael J. Caruso, American Power
won the Grade 3 Toboggan last year before finishing third to Firenze
Fire in the Grade 2 True North. His season ended in September with a
well-beaten fifth-place finish in an optional claimer at Saratoga that
was won by subsequent Breeders’ Cup Sprint victor Aloha West.

“He had some time off and he’s back now. We’ll be looking for a
race for him at Saratoga,” Atras said. “He had been going for a
while and ran so hard, so we just decided to give him a little break to
target the summer. The time off did him good, so
Belmont Park Week 9 stakes probables

Saturday, June 25

G2 Mother Goose
Probable: Favor (Todd Pletcher), Gerrymander (Chad Brown), Juju’s Map
(Brad Cox), Nostalgic (Bill Mott), Shahama (Pletcher), Venti Valentine
(Jorge Abreu)
Possible: Radio Days (Shug McGaughey), Republique (Saffie Joseph, Jr.)

$100K Wild Applause
Probable: Breeze Easy (Chirstophe Clement), Eminent Victor (Chad
Brown), Lakota Spirit (Brown), Oakhurst (Brown), Sail By (Gyarmati)
Possible: Mac the Pee H Dee (Jorge Duarte), Skims (McGaughey)

Sunday, June 26

$100K Dancin Renee (NYB)
Probable: Bank Sting (John Terranova), Breakfastatbonnies (Danny
Gargan), Byhubbyhellomoney (Bob Dunham), Letmetakethiscall (Keith
O’Brien), Secret Love (John Kimmel), Snicket (David Duggan), Time
Limit (Mike Maker)
Possible: Eloquent Speaker (Natalia Lynch), (Kept Waiting (Robert
Falcone, Jr.)