Mill House’s Trappe Shot will work this weekend for an expected start in
the Grade 3, $150,000 Withers on Saturday, April 24, the final graded stakes
race at Aqueduct this spring. Racing returns to beautiful Belmont Park
on Friday, April 30, with the Grade 3, $100,000 Westchester
carded for opening day.
“He’ll work a half-mile, probably on Sunday, but
we’ll see about the weather,” McLaughlin said.
Trappe Shot had his first tour of the Belmont Park
training track on April 11, covering a half-mile in 47.91. The 3-year-old son
of Tapit enters the Withers off of two impressive wins at Gulfstream Park,
breaking his maiden in Florida-bred company by 10 ¼ lengths on February 21,
then coming back to soundly defeat statebred allowance horses a month later.
According to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York Racing
Association, Inc. (NYRA), also likely for the one-mile Withers are multiple
graded stakes winner D’ Funnybone
and Remand, third in the Grade 3
Bay Shore in his most recent start, with Fred “Cappy” Capossela
winner Castaneda possible.
McLaughlin added that Darley Stable’s Justenuffhumor arrived back at Belmont
Park on Wednesday following a winter
in Dubai, where
he ran for Godolphin and was most recently 15th in the Grade 1 Dubai
Duty Free over the Meydan grass course on March 27.
After winning turf allowances at both Aqueduct and Belmont
last spring, Justenuffhumor captured a pair of Grade 2 turf contests at Saratoga in the
Fourstardave and Bernard Baruch.
Asked about potential plans for the 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor
this year, McLaughlin joked:
“The Bernard Baruch? It’s our favorite race.”
McLaughlin – with Shakis in 2007 and 2008 and Justenuffhumor in
2009 - has trained the last three winners of the Bernard Baruch. He also
trained 2003 winner Trademark.
“We would like to win it again, but for now, he’s arrived
in good shape and we’re happy to have him back,” McLaughlin said.
* * *
Multiple graded stakes winner D’
Funnybone worked six furlongs in 1:13.70 with Hall of Fame jockey
Edgar Prado aboard Friday morning at Aqueduct Racetrack in preparation for next
Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Withers at a mile.
The chestnut son of D’Wildcat is 5-1-0 in six starts around one
turn, including victories in the Grade 2 Swale and the Grade 2 Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park this year.
“He’ll stay at one turn,” said trainer Rick Dutrow,
Jr., Friday morning from Florida.
“The plan is the Withers, the seven-eighths race on Belmont Stakes Day
[Grade 2 Woody Stephens] and the one at Saratoga
[Grade 1 King’s Bishop, August 28]. That would be an unbelievable
D’ Funnybone, who was purchased privately by Paul Pompa, Jr.
following a runner-up finish behind Jackson Bend in the Frank Gomez Memorial
Stakes at Calder last July, took his first two races in New York, the Grade 2
Saratoga Special and the Grade 2 Futurity, by a combined winning margin of 15 ¼
lengths. After finishing last in the 1 1/16th mile Breeders’
Cup Juvenile on synthetics to close out his 2-year-old campaign, he launched
his sophomore campaign with a one-length victory over A Little Warm in the
Hutcheson on February 20 and a 1 ¼ length victory over Ibboyee in the Swale on
* * *
Trainer Tim Ice, who went 4-for-4 in New York
last year (including Summer Bird’s victories in the Belmont Stakes,
Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup) arrived at Belmont Park
Thursday morning with a string of seven horses, including one he is hoping will
make the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on
A son of Rock Hard Ten out of Down to Earth, New Madrid
finished sixth after running greenly through the stretch and ducking away from
the whip in his first stakes effort, the Arkansas Derby. Ice plans an equipment
change and is looking for a big effort in an upcoming allowance.
“Hopefully the addition of blinkers will get him to run
straight,” said Ice, who trains New Madrid (pronounced MAD-rid) for John
Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable. “Obviously, he’ll run all day,
and if he runs to our expectations in his next start, we’ll look at the Belmont.”
New Madrid, incidentally, is not named
after a city but after the mid-continent seismic zone located in Missouri.
Among the others in the barn are Mr.
Hadif, who has four seconds, two thirds and a fourth in seven starts
for Ice; Flag Indy, another maiden
that Ice recently claimed for $40,000; Two
Perfect, whom Ice trains for Dr. Leonard Blach, one of Mine That
Bird’s owners, and Luna Pegasus,
an unraced 3-year-old son of Fusaichi Pegasus.
Either New Madrid or Mr. Hadif, said Ice, will be the first to start in
“I’m excited about being back, and I’m looking
forward to running,” said Ice.
* * *
The Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes is just six weeks away and the
New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is hiring for admission cashiers,
parking attendants, cleaning staff, white caps and ushers to work the day of
the race, Saturday, June 5.
Interviews for positions will be conducted on April 26 and 27 at
Aqueduct Racetrack on the first floor of the Clubhouse from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30
p.m., and on May 8 in the Marquee Tent at Belmont Park
from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
All applicants must bring two valid forms of identification (I-9) appropriate
and must be at least 16 years of age with valid working papers. For more
information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Human Resources at 718-659-3500.