The NY (Grade 2)- $600.000 Purse
BEL- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Inner Turf
June 8, 2018
BEL weekend is upon us, and there is plenty of good races to lead into the BEL itself, and they will take part on both Friday and Saturday. As a part of Friday’s card, we will have the 14th running of The NY, which is a Grade 2, but offers a nice $600.000 purse. This is the highest that the race has ever been worth, seeing an increase of $100.000 from its $500.000 level last year. Not bad for a race that as recently as 2011 only went for a $150.000 purse. Last year, five year old Condottieris Fox won the race for Hawaiian Shirt Guy, part of a strong year for her that saw her take part in the BC Fillies and Mares Turf. She was retired at the end of the year. In this race, we will have a field of nine. Let’s take a look!
#1- Bonkers (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by C J Lanerie)- She has looked sharp this year with a win and two thirds in three starts, following a three year old campaign that saw her attempt a couple of high quality Grade 1’s. Her run six weeks ago at the Bewitch (Grade 3) at KEE was a valiant effort to come from behind, resulting in a career best SRF. While she has a $100.000 Grade 3 win in her career, she’s lacking the true signature victory for her career that this would potentially be. There’s plenty of top level talent here for her to take on, so let’ see how she fares against it.
#2- Hide N Seek Pup (Gdp Inc, ridden by R Bejarano)- Did not like the soft going last month at the CD Distaff Turf Mile, though she continued her impressive streak of being able to get a check for the trainer, as she held on for fourth. Her career was on a strong upward swing before that race, and that can be expected to continue here. The one time she went longer then this, she closed well and just missed by a nose. Though the competition level in that $75.000 stake is nothing compared to this field. This is a great test for her to see how she stacks up against the truly elite horses in the division.
#3- Eastern Sky (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by E Maldonado)- One of two that Maxmillion will have in this race, and she has had the more accomplished career between the two of them. She has won multiple graded stakes over the course of her career, and that is highlighted by the Grade 1 Beverly D at AP last summer. More recently, Eastern Sky has continued to perform at a high level, and won the Grade 3 Very One at GP in March, and did so by three lengths. She is at her best when running at or near the front early, and will look to atone for a flat finish here in the Sheepshead Bay here last month. Going one less furlong may be all it takes. She is a threat here.
#4- Musical Treat (Mb Stables, ridden by L H Colon)- I’d like to start by congratulate Mb Stables on winning his 500th career graded stake in the PEN Mile on Saturday with Name Drop. It’s a shame it went by with not much notice, as it is a remarkable accomplishment. Musical Treat, meanwhile, has had a great career, which includes winning the Grade 1 Alabama at SAR last summer. Her last start, the Sheepshead Bay, marked the return of Musical Treat to the turf since her two year old days, and she certainly made sweet music in getting the win. She seems to like going more then nine furlongs, so this is right up her alley. Expect her to be a top threat.
#5- Eye Of A Cobra (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- The amazing F Pennington is called up to ride one of the newer additions to the trainer’s barn, as he acquired her from Pristine Stables in mid-May for a reasonable $75.000. She had not done much racing this year with Pristine, and this race will be the first off a four month layoff. Against this competition, that is concerning to me. D J C Racing Stables made a nice purchase, but I’ll feel better about her in her next start.
#6- Sassy One (Smokey Stover, ridden by R J Albarado)- This filly by Jail Bait looks to win her fourth consecutive race, and she is a perfect 2-for-2 when running in the Smokey Stover silks, following a $300.000 private sales transaction from D J C Racing Stables. Sassy One simply knows how to win, doing so in eleven of 18 career starts. Last year, in March, she had a six-race winning streak that saw two graded wins at SAR. This current streak started in February, with the most recent triumph being almost two months ago at the Grade 1 Wiley att KEE. This is not one I can bet against right now, and will make her my pick.
#7- Mo Ki Missy (Keikowin Racing, ridden by J R Velazquez)- She became a very well known filly during her three year old season, with two Grade 1 wins going into the BC Fillies and Mares Turf that made her the post time favorite for that race. She wouldn’t win, and started last year a little slow. However, it would ultimately lead to two more Graded stake wins. So perhaps that is what Keikowin Racing is hoping for as she makes her debut with him after a $50.000 private sales transaction. There’s no reason to rule her out.
#8- Gift Of Rain (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by J K Court)- Perhaps this is the next one in line to be known as a great turf horse out of this barn. Gift Of Rain made her graded debut in her last start, the Grade 3 Bewitched, and after leading early, fell tired late. This makes her pretty similar to her stablemate in that aspect, as she could be better running a little less then the mile and a half she attempted there. Her last two races at 1 1/4, though not against the quality of opposition she sees here, resulted in wins. Alternates wins and non-wins recently, so with that pattern, she is due for a win here.
#9- Volare (Axeman, ridden by I Oritz Jr)- Finally, we come to the great Volare, who at eight years old is a rarity in the game, as a female, to have such an extended career that has had a great level of success. She has made 53 starts over the course of her career, and has won nineteen. One of those wins, was this very race…. back in 2015. She also ran third in the 2016 edition of this race, but attempted a longer race here on the same weekend last year. In all four of her starts this year, she has been in the money, so she is still getting results. I also think that the make up of this field could suit her racing style quite well. Probably not a winner, but she’ll remind everyone of her greatness.