In the first of the day’s seven stakes for state-breds, Risky
Rachel came from just off the pace to overtake favored Lovely Lil in midstretch
and go on to a 2 ¼-length victory in the $125,000 Friendly Island Iroquois for fillies and mares.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, the homebred 4-year-old daughter of
Limehouse completed the seven furlongs in 1:23.14 as she notched her third
victory in four starts this year and earned $75,000 for owner Sanford Bacon.
“I think the weight advantage, 124 to 117 pounds, might have
helped,” said winning trainer H. James Bond of Risky Rachel, who returned
$7.50 for a $2 win bet as the second choice in the field of eight. “She
just sat there, and when Javier asked her, she finished on. Mr. [Sanford] Bacon
is a new client in the barn this year; he had always told me he’d give me
a horse one day. He gave me a pretty nice horse.”
Night Manuever, one of four Flying Zee Stables color-bearers in the
$100,000 Bertram F. Bongard, kept
his record unblemished with a front-running effort in the seven-furlong race
Trained by Carlos Martin and ridden by Ryan Curatolo, the gelded son of
Orientate shadowed stablemate The Prize Fighter through an opening quarter-mile
in 23.47 seconds. Taking over as the half went in 47.44, Night Manuever drew
clear to a 1 ½-length victory over Jaw Crusher, with The Prize Fighter and
Flying Zee’s Western Tryst finishing third and fourth.
As part of the favored Flying Zee entry, Night Manuever returned $4.60 for
a $2 win bet as he stretched his record to three wins in as many starts.
“Today, he broke running and the kid let him get out there and
didn’t fight him,” said Martin of Night Manuever, whose winning
time was 1:23.56. “It seems like he’s push-button. We’ll take
him to Aqueduct and look at some better races, as long as he keeps improving. I
don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t stretch out.”
General Maximus wore down Dr Disco to win the $125,000 Posse Hudson for a second straight year.
After settling in third as Dr Disco ran the opening quarter-mile in
22.26 seconds, General Maximus moved up to engage the pacesetter through a half
in 44.96 and gradually gained the upper hand in the stretch to prevail by one
length under Corey Nakatani.
It was General Maximus’ first victory since last year’s Hudson. The 4-year-old
ridgling had entered this year’s race off three starts in optional
claimers, having finished fourth at in February at Gulfstream
Park, second to eventual Grade 1
winner Giant Ryan in May at Belmont Park, and fourth in June at Monmouth Park.
“It took him a while to get back to form,” said winning
trainer John Terranova. “He’s had some little mishaps, thankfully
nothing serious. We have great owners behind him. That’s the key. They
had the patience to wait it out until we had him back at 100 percent.
We’re hoping we have a nice, fresh horse for the winter.”
General Maximus – owned by Goldmark Farm, Michael Imperio, and
Elizabeth Loftus – was clocked in 1:09.58 for six furlongs and returned
$10.40 as the third choice.
In the $100,000 Joseph A. Gimma in
Memory of Fleet Indian, Bellacourt upset 10 other juvenile fillies
to earn her first stakes victory. Sitting just off the early speed, she
overtook the pacesetters in the stretch and held off a late charge from
Wildcat’s Smile to win by a half-length with a final time of 1:24.44 for
A daughter of Lion Heart, Bellacourt broke her maiden at Saratoga Race
Course on July 31, and finished third in the Grade 2 Adirondack two weeks
later. Brought back against statebreds in the Ann Clare Stakes on September 1,
Bellacourt finished fifth and was given several weeks freshening after that
“We ran her back too soon at Saratoga, got the inside draw, and that
killed us,” said Jim Lawrence, who trains Bellacourt for George and
Stephanie Autry. “She was really on the muscle her last race and never
got a break. We took her home to Fair Hill and turned her out for three weeks.
We got her back and jogged a week, and I had time to get a couple breezes in
her. I was concerned because I waited so long to start her back after that
race, but she responded well. We’ll take a deep breath and enjoy this
one. We may run her once more and then put her away for next year. She’s
a really nice filly and we want to do what’s right for her.”
A 9-1 outsider ridden by Corey Nakatani, who won two stakes on the
Showcase Day card, Bellacourt returned $20 and boosted her own earnings to
$101,550. Lender’s Way completed the trifecta, followed by Cute Cadet,
Motion Lounge, Undaunted Ella, Harbor Mist, Shot Gun Pennie, Victory Island,
Color Blind, and Newbie.
With a sixteenth of a mile to go, the late-running Hessonite rolled
past favored Gitchee Goomie and on to a 1 ¼-length victory in the $125,000 Justenuffhumor Ticonderoga, stopping the
clock at 1:45.87 for 1 1/16 miles.
“She is a very cool filly,” said winning jockey Ramon
Dominguez. “Regardless of how [fast or slow] the pace is, she is capable
of relaxing off any fractions. She’s got a great, quick turn of foot when
you need her. Looking at the race, both [trainer David Donk] and I agreed that
there was not really much pace on paper. And sure enough, they went very
comfortably. She happened to be laying a little closer than she has been with
me in the past. But still, turning for home, they were staying together. I was
already on the outside, and I chose to go after them on the turn where I was
extremely wide. The filly that ran second was picking it up pretty good at that
point. But my filly just took off the last part. I don’t know how fast
she came home but the last sixteenth was pretty fast.”
Hessonite entered the Ticonderoga just
12 days after a runner-up finish in the open-company Pebbles Stakes, where she
was re-routed when the John Hettinger for New York-breds came off the grass on
September 25. With Saturday’s victory, her third in a stakes, she is now
5-1-1 from 10 starts with $272,310 in career earnings for William Punk, Jr. and
Frivolous Buck edged Rogue’s Jewel for third, and Mystic City,
Akilina, Exclusive Scheme, Risk a Chance, Mineralogist and Centrina completed
the order of finish.
Donk said that the Ticonderoga would
likely be Hessonite’s last race for the season and revealed that he
planned to turn her out for several months and then prepare the Freud filly for
a 4-year-old campaign.
“Really, really good race,” said Donk. “They finished
really fast and beating a really good older filly like Gitchee Goomie bodes
well for the future.
LaMarca Stable’s Compliance Officer remained unbeaten in five
starts for trainer Bruce Brown with a five-length score over longshot Lubash in
the $125,000 Bluegrass Cat Mohawk
at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Content to race behind horses in fourth through six furlongs in
1:13.97, Compliance Officer was taken outside by jockey Alex Solis to unleash
his stretch run, which saw him power clear under a hand ride.
It was the third stakes win for Compliance Officer, who won the West
Point on August 18 at Saratoga and the Ashley T.
Cole on September 11 at Belmont.
He was claimed by his current collections for $25,000 in May.
Compliance Officer, who completed the distance over yielding turf in
1:43.93 and paid $3.70 as the 4-5 favorite, will now be pointed toward a start
in the Claiming Crown Emerald on December 3 at the Fair Grounds, Brown said.
“The way this horse keeps running,
it’s not only that he’s been winning but he keeps doing it so
impressively,” said Brown. “Usually with these horses, they kind of
come in and out, but he’s just been bringing his ‘A’ game
every time. It’s mainly him. He trains himself, pretty much.”
Earlier on the card, Brown had been narrowly denied victories when Dr
Disco and Green Monster respectively finished second in the Posse Hudson and McMahon
Adena Empire Classic.