Virginia-bred horses Joe Tess and Tough Weather scored their respective seventh and third lifetime wins last Friday (December 18) at Laurel, both at the six furlong distance and both as mild surprise upset victors.
Joe Tess collects his 7th career win and 3rd of 2015 in a sprint race at Laurel December 18th. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.
Joe Tess, a 5 year old Macho Uno gelding bred by Edward Evans, competed against eight others in a claiming sprint with a purse of $23,000. The winner closed the pace outside of the leader, Roman Roulette, was three deep entering the stretch then sprinted clear by mid-stretch. Jockey Angel Rodriguez guided Joe Tess to a surging one length victory over Charleston Pier, who was disqualified, in 1:11.83. Sent off at 6-1, the Hugh McMahon trainee paid $15.40 and was entered for the claiming price of $15,000. Joe Tess, who earned his third win of the 2015 campaign, was making his 22nd career start. He broke his maiden Christmas week in 2013 then went on to “top three’ finishes in his nest six starts after. He was third in the 2014 Punch Line Stakes and competed in a pair of Grade III’s that year as well. Joe Tess is owned by Pop’s Racing Stable and is out of the Gold Fever mare Forty Moves.
Tough Weather wins her 3rd career race from 16 starts December 18 at Laurel. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.
Tough Weather is a daughter of Wiseman’s Ferry and is a Robert Bailes trainee. In her $15,000 filly and mare claiming sprint, she hugged the rail around the turn in fifth, moved to third at the top of the stretch, then drew clear and won by 2 1/2 lengths over Cowtown Brown, who ended up being claimed from the race. Tough Weather crossed in 1:12.64 and like Joe Tess, was sent off at 6-1. She returned $14.20 to her backers and captured her third career win from 16 outings. Her previous wins came April 2nd at Pimlico and last December at Charles Town. Owned and bred by Sam English II and ridden by Caitlyn Stoddard, she is out of the Montreal Red mare Soft Weather. Tough Weather was entered for a $5,000 claiming price.
Virginia-bred horses collected a three-pack of wins at Laurel Park on December 11, two via big come from behind efforts while the other came in coast-to-coast fashion.
Celtic Lord and Minor Crisis both made things interesting and challenging, trailing at the halfway point of their races by 14 1/2 and 11 1/2 lengths respectively. Both were sent off as the betting choice, both circled five wide in the final turn to begin their rallies, and both had to pass eight rivals to reach the winner’s circle.
Celtic Lord, who trailed by 14 1/2 lengths, comes back to win December 11 at Laurel.
Celtic Lord, bred by Phil Cassidy, competed in a $16,000 one mile maiden claimer and was in for a claiming price of $7,000. The 3 year old Sahara Heat gelding was buried through the half but surged at three-quarters to trail by only two, took the lead at the top of the stretch and won by 3 1/2 over Slews Love in 1:41.88. Trained by Benjamin Perkins, Jr. and ridden by Trevor McCarthy, Celtic Lord is out of the Unbridled mare, Bridle Wave. His prior best outing was a runner-up at Monmouth in late August. He also competed at the September 20th Virginia Downs event at Great Meadow where he placed fifth in a maiden starter allowance.
Minor Crisis scores a one-half length win over Bob’s My Uncle December 11 at Laurel.
Minor Crisis, out of trainer Ferris Allen’s stable, caught the leaders in his 1 1/16 miles claiming race with a furlong to go. The 5 year old Lemon Drop Kid gelding reached the front by himself with a 1/16th left and beat Bob’s My Uncle by a half length at the wire in 1:47.84. Bred by Edward Evans, Minor Crisis is out of Tigi by Dixieland Band. Jevian Toledo guided the effort up top for owners, the Warwick Stables. The winner paid $4.80.
Secret Or Not earned her second straight win by capturing a $41,000 allowance race at Laurel December 11.
Secret Or Not thrived in a $42,000 allowance test for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, winning her second straight. The 3 year old daughter of Orientate never trailed at any point among a field of 12. Under the direction of jockey Xavier Perez, the winner maintained a two length cushion through most of the fractions, opened up by 3 1/2 at the top of the stretch then held off fast closing favored Cavort at the finish by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.24. Secret or Not was bred by Charles Wilson, who also owns the horse, and is trained Ollie Figgins, III. Out of the Secret Hello mare Leed Me Home, Secret Or Not got a maiden special weight win at Laurel November 15th and took third in the $60,000 Brookemeade Stakes September 26th in her most recent starts. Unlike the other two Virginia-bred victors on Friday’s card who were sent off as heavy favorites, Secret Or Not returned $15.80 to her backers.
True Cost and Simmstown, a pair of Virginia-breds, won sprint races at Penn National last week on back-to-back nights.
True Cost, bred by Anne Tucker, wins her third straight race December 3rd at Penn National.
True Cost, a 5 year old Aisle mare bred by Anne Tucker, scored a 4 1/2 length gate to wire victory over six others in a 5 1/2 furlong, $29,000 allowance on December 2nd. Trained by Flint Stites for owner John Tucker, the winner crossed in 1:05.98 over a sloppy track and paid $13.00 to win. It was his third straight win and fourth in five starts, all of which have been at Penn National. Out of the Is It True mare, Truly Elegant, the durable True Cost has made 15 starts this year and has 11 “in-the-money” finishes.
Simmstown, bred by the Audley Farms, Inc., came from behind to win a $19,000 claiming race December 2nd at Penn National
Simmstown, a 7 year old Limehouse gelding bred by the Audley Farm, Inc., came outside from third in the final furlong, passed two frontrunners and crossed 1 3/4 lengths ahead of VaBanque in his 6 furlong, $19,000 claiming race December 3rd. Racing in a field of seven, the winner crossed in 1:12.18 and paid $12.80 to his backers. He is trained by Mark Salvaggio and was guided to victory by jockey Andrew Wolfsont. Out of the Cape Town mare, Ruler’s Charm, Simmstown began his career with a win at Colonial Downs in the Jamestown Stakes in 2010 and followed that with a third in the 2011 Brookemeade Stakes, also at New Kent. In summer/fall 2013, Simmstown collected three wins in four outings at Gulfstream and Calder.
Photos courtesy of B & D Photography.
A trio of Virginia-bred horses pocketed their first lifetime victories on back-to-back-to-back days this past weekend at different tracks on both coasts. Louise’s Legacy, Power Generation and Popsracer all prevailed in maiden company respectively at Laurel, Parx and Los Alamitos.
Louis’s Legacy scored a dominant 4 1/2 length win over Rose Essence in a $40,000 maiden special weight clash Sunday at Laurel Park. The 4 year old daughter of Medalist took control at the quarter mark and never looked back, finishing the 5 1/2 furlong sprint in 1:05.76. She started her career with back to back seconds in fall, 2014 and reached the winner’s circle for the first time in six starts Sunday. Louise’s Legacy, who was bred by Louise McLean, is out of Sweetgeorgiabrown by Mazel Trick. Photo is courtesy of Jim McCue.
Louise’s Legacy was dominant in a $40,000 maiden special weight score December 6th at Laurel.
Power Generation, a 4 year old Pulpit gelding, earned his first win in a dozen career outs in an $18,000 maiden claiming sprint Saturday at Parx. Facing eight others at the six furlong distance, the winner started slowly from the gate, moved out and fell back a bit in the turn, then split three frontrunners early in the stretch en route to a two length triumph over Awesome Bond in 1:15.02. Bred by the Estate of Edward P. Evans, Power Generation has picked up his game of late with three runner-up finishes and a win in his last five starts. Owned by the L Stable, he is out of Spritely by Touch Gold.
Popsracer, whose five starts have all been on the west coast, beat eight others Friday in a one mile, maiden claiming contest at Los Alamitos. Bred by Blue Lotus Breeding & Racing, LLC and trained by David Hofmans, the 3 year old Scat Daddy gelding came from way behind to score a 2 1/2 length win over Travel Bound. The upset victor sat last through the half, moved to sixth at three-quarters then went four wide in the turn to rally. He crossed in 1:38.32 and paid $32.80 for a $2 win bet. Popsracer, out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare, Sugar Plum Girl, was ridden by Martin Garcia.
Handicappers have been known to lay a few dollars on a “horse for the course” but last weekend, Virginia-bred Chas’s Legacy solidified his position as not just a “horse for the course”, but a “horse for the month”. The 4 year old Bernardini gelding scored a big upset win in a $40,000 claiming race Sunday afternoon during his favorite month — November — and at his favorite track — Churchill Downs. All four of Chas’s Legacy’s career wins now have come at Churchill in the month of November. Horse playing bargain hunters found a gem sandwiched right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a whopping $53.40 payout (for a $2 win bet). His other wins were on November 14th and 23rd last year, and on November 7th, 2013.
Trainer Patrick Byrne has led Chas’s Legacy to 4 career wins, all in November and all at Churchill Downs
Bred by the Estate of Edward P. Evans, Chas’s Legacy faced nine other competitors in the one mile showdown. Sent off at 25-1, the winner came from behind after Ruble threatened to wire the field. Jockey Joe Rocco Jr. led the comeback up top, going three wide with his charge in the final turn before catching the frontrunner in the closing strides. Out of the Kingmambo mare Our Legacy, Chas’s Legacy crossed in 1:36.71 for three time Breeders’ Cup winning trainer Patrick Byrne.
Blue Mountain Cat was also victorious at Charles Town in a $10,500 holiday weekend claiming event at 4 1/2 furlongs Friday night. Bred by Grace Ritzenberg, the 6 year old Discreet Cat gelding connected in gate to wire fashion among a field of ten in which he was never threatened. The winner set an early pace along the rail, held a 4 1/2 cushion at the top of the stretch, then crossed 3 1/2 lengths over the rest in :53.09. Out of Silent Lea by Cherokee Run, Blue Mountain Cat was led by jockey Kevin Roman for owner/trainer Lee Couchenour.
2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, bred by Lauren & Rene Woolcott and raised at their Woodslane Farm in The Plains, collected his 4th Grade I stakes victory this past Saturday in the $670,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.
Tonalist holds off fast closing Red Vine in the 2015 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. Photo by Joe Labozzetta.
The 4 year old son of Tapit, sent off as the second choice in a six horse field, beat stable mate Red Vine by a neck in a thrilling photo finish in 1:37.14. Private Zone, last year’s Cigar Mile winner, set an early sluggish pace as Tonalist sat last under rider John Velazquez. At the three-quarters mark though, the eventual winner swung five wide, took the lead at the head of the stretch, then held off Red Vine by running the last quarter in :24.10.
Tonalist earns his 4th Grade I stakes victory November 28th at Aqueduct in the Cigar Mile. Photo courtesy of Adam Mooshian
Tonalist, who was coming off a disappointing fifth place finish in the October 31st Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland, earned his first stakes win away from Belmont. Besides Saturday’s Cigar Mile, his other Grade I triumphs have been in the ’14 Belmont and the ’14 and ’15 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes.
Tonalist, a 4 year old son of Tapit, moves to the front of the 2015 Cigar Mile field. Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese.
With 16 career starts, the Christophe Clement trainee now has amassed earnings of $3,647,000 from 7 wins, 4 seconds and 2 third place finishes. Clement also trains the runner-up, who is a 5 year old son of Candy Ride. Tonalist is of the Pleasant Colony mare Settling Mist.
By winning the ’15 Cigar Mile, Tonalist raised his career bankroll to $3,647,000. Photo by Chelsea Durand
A pair of Virginia-breds competed at Laurel on Sunday (Nov. 29), went off as respective betting favorites in their 8 and 11 horse fields, raced for identical $22,000 purses, and both won handily to cap off a long holiday weekend.
Nancy’s Gone Wild, bred by Quest Realty & trained by Susan Cooney, wins a starter optional claiming race at Laurel November 29th by 2 3/4 lengths.
Nancy’s Gone Wild, bred by Quest Realty and trained by Susan Cooney, won a 1 1/16 miles starter optional claiming race by 2 3/4 lengths over Phoenix Park while Lostinthestars, bred by William Backer Revocable Trust and conditioned by Ham Smith, went gate to wire and crossed 6 lengths ahead of Grand Notion in a maiden claiming sprint.
Lostinthestars, a 3 year old Henrythenavigator gelding, went gate to wire in a 6 furlong sprint November 29th at Laurel.
Nancy’s Gone Wild, a 3 year old filly, is by Oflee Wild out of Nancy Z by Soto while Lostinthestars, a 3 year old gelding, is by Henrythenavigator out of Knock Off by Fit To Fight.