Sticksstatelydude Wires the Field in the Discovery

November 16, 2016 12:02pm
Sticksstatelydude Wires the Field in the Discovery
Photo: NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Sticksstatelydude surprised a field of nine in the $150,000 Discovery (G3) at Aqueduct when he was allowed to lead the nine-furlong stake for three-year-olds every step of the way.

The Discovery field had four horses that were part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby or participated in a Triple Crown race with Gift Box, My Man Sam, Governor Malibu, and Sunny Ridge. Those four, however, would not be a significant factor in the running of the race.

With the scratch of the speedy Hot Seat, Sticksstatelydude appeared on paper to be the most likely frontrunner in the field. Right out of the gate jockey Joel Rosario hustled Sticksstatelydude to get to the front while running close to the rail. Eventual second place finisher, Neolithic settled in about a length behind the leader, running in the two-path. Rosario and Sticksstatelydude were able to get into stride and set easy fractions of 24.29, 49.21, and 1:13.87.

As the field turned for home Jose Lezcano asked Neolithic to make his move and that one would get even with Sticksstatelydude and the duo would battle to the wire.  The soft fractions allowed Rosario to ask Sticksstatelydude for more and he responded repelling the challenge of Neolithic to draw away to a 1 ¼-length victory. Final time for the mile and an eighth was 1:50.58.

"We thought he was going to be 1-2 and I got out of there and he was in the lead,” said Rosario. “He was going pretty easy and I just let him do his thing. It's exactly how he likes to go. We stayed up front and it looked like easy fractions and it left him with something in the end."

The Discovery is named for the Alfred Vanderbilt runner of the same name who was the Horse of the Year in 1935. Discovery was known for his ability to win races while carrying weights unheard of in thoroughbred racing today. That year Discovery strung together eight victories while carrying weights from 126 to 139 pounds. The following year at Saratoga, Discovery was assigned 143 pounds, a handicap that even he could not overcome. He was named the first recipient of the championship title awarded to the Outstanding Handicap Horse in 1936. With a career record of 63: 27-10-10, Discovery was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1969.

Today, Sticksstatelydude was running for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin who got his first win in the Discovery. Throughout his career this Virginia-bred son of First Dude has been shuttling back and forth between New York and Kentucky. When in Kentucky, he has been trained by Greg Burchell. His most recent start was for Burchell when he ran second in the Oklahoma Derby (G2) to Texas Chrome.

The win at Aqueduct was the first stakes victory for Sticksstatelydude and it boosted his career record to 8: 3-3-0 with earnings of $328,400. Sent off as the 6.20-1 fourth betting choice, Sticksstatelydude paid $14.40, 6.80, and 4.80. Neolithic, who was 22-1, paid $17.20 and 10.80. The $2 exacta paid $210. The $2 daily double with the Red Smith (G3) from the previous race paid $209.50 and was given out by Brian Zipse in his daily double analysis. My Man Sam finished third, Gift Box was fifth, Sunny Ridge sixth, and Governor Malibu ended up seventh.

McLaughlin summed up the win, "It was a great race. The fractions weren't too fast and everything went well, and this was a nice group of horses. We're proud of him. Where we go from here, we don't know yet. He'll stay here [in New York] for a while but we'll wait and see."


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Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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