New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has introduced the “New York Watch”
series, which will shine the spotlight on promising colts and fillies that have
recently cleared the maiden and allowance ranks at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park,
or Saratoga Racecourse.
of the industry’s brightest stars embarked upon their careers at the NYRA
tracks, including a number of recent Triple Crown race winners. Big Brown,
Jazil, Birdstone, Funny Cide, and Empire Maker are all among the Derby, Preakness, and
Belmont Stakes victors that kick-started their careers at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, or Saratoga.
list also includes a brilliant triumvirate of fillies that broke their maidens
at Aqueduct. Flashing, Little Belle, and Music Note all registered their first
victories at the Big A before going on to win major Grade 1 races within the
last two years.
Monday’s special Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday card at Aqueduct, Gainesway
Stable’s Tempted to Tapit ran off to an 11½-length maiden victory in the
day’s second race, definitively stamping himself as one to watch.
for $18,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September Sale, the gelded 3-year-old son of
Tapit is out of Tempting Note by Editor’s Note, winner of the 1996 Belmont
to Tapit made three starts as a juvenile including a pair of second-place
finishes in his most recent outings at Philadelphia
on November 21 and December 11. In the seven-furlong December 11 race, he
was collared late by Laus Deo, who led from gate to wire in the $65,000 Count
Fleet Stakes in his next start on January 2 at Aqueduct.
run well in all of his races, but where he appeared to be a winner in the last
two he seemed to lose focus and got to loafing around,” said trainer Steve
Klesaris, who added blinkers for Monday’s race. “In a race or two I’d
like to see if he can learn to come out of the bridle a little bit and harness
some of that energy.”
Cohen, who had helped get the gelding ready for the races at Fair
this summer had the call Monday afternoon and said keeping the horse focused
was his first priority.
was my first time riding him in the afternoon, but I worked with him before he
ever ran, so I knew him very well,” Cohen said. “I just really wanted to get
into his mind and let him know that he had to go on and do it regardless of
whether we were two lengths or ten lengths in front. He’s going to have
to face a lot tougher, but I think he stepped his game up today.”
said he had no firm plans for Tempted to Tapit, but planned to nominate him
where he is eligible and “see what fits his schedule best.”