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Kelly Misses Naughty New Yorker

The stall where the recently retired Naughty New Yorker lived remains empty for the time being at trainer Pat Kelly’s barn at Saratoga, a large hole to fill trying to replace one of the most popular New York-bred handicap horses in the past decade.


After a seventh-place finish August 3 in the John Morrissey Stakes at the track, Kelly discovered Naughty New Yorker had stressed a suspensory ligament in his right front leg, and decided it wouldn’t make sense to lay him off and try to mount yet another campaign when the horse turns 10 next year.


For now, Naughty New Yorker is relaxing on a farm in Pine Plains , N.Y. , healing up.


“We’re hoping to get him a gig as a daddy,” Kelly said Friday morning. “We want to find a place for him to stand in New York because that’s where he was popular. He’s got good bloodlines. There is a lot of speed out there, but he’s got stamina. If he gets a few good babies, he’ll be off and running.”


On the track, Naughty New Yorker was an irresistible combination of a great name and workmanlike talent. His final win came in the Master Digby Stakes at Aqueduct in 2008, but he continued to compete in stakes races and a few high-priced optional claimers, running 26 more times before being retired.


He finished his career having gone to the gate 67 times, with 12 wins, 10 seconds and 10 thirds and earnings of $1,089,884. Eleven of the wins came in stakes races. In all, he competed in 58 stakes races, 14 of them graded.


“It was cool. He was a neat horse,” Kelly said. “This was his first actual injury in his whole life. If we give him a year, he comes back at 10 ½.”


The injury that ended Naughty New Yorker’s career is virtually the same one that stopped Kelly’s other beloved old warhorse, Evening Attire, who retired in 2008 with earnings of $2,977,130.


“He and Evening Attire carried us through the 2000s,” Kelly said a little wistfully. “We have to find replacements.”


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