NY Stallion Series- Great White Way ($500.000 Purse)
AQU- For Two Year Olds Foaled in NY
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
December 18, 2021
Over the last couple weeks, much of the bigger races to talk about have been statebred stakes. That trend continues this weekend with the Great White Way, which is part of the NY Stallion Series. Weather may be an issue for it, with a high chance of rain for Saturday. The purse here is something that we didn’t see in those other statebred races, showing why NY is such a popular place to breed. It is a purse that has been all over the place since the race’s inception, and was only $500.000 one time before, that being in 2019. That was also the first year that the race was a seven furlong event, having been just six prior to that. In 2020, the purse was still strong, at $375.000, and the race’s winner, Oleg made quite an impression that day. He would win the race as a maiden, doing so for Arindel, and currently has won three races. Oleg appeared in the PRK, but he was not at his best in the Spring. Arindel will have three horses in this race, but none of them are maidens. Let’s take a look at the field!
#1- Evgenii (Arindel, ridden by T J Pereira)- This would be a logical name to come after Oleg on the winnerboard for the stake, but this Soviet Warrior colt must be at his best to get it done here. In his last race, which was the third of his career, he ran right here at a mile last month to break his maiden. So, he is in a better spot entering the race than his comrade was. Working well, especially on the 7th. That said, if I was going to rank the three Arindel horses in this race, he’d be third.
#2- Mr Pancake (Arindel, ridden by J R Velazquez)- One start, one win for Mr Pancake thus far, and his jockey, J R Velazquez, will have plenty of added motivation here in the Great White Way, since he had been the regular rider of Hilarity. Mr Pancake’s debut effort was impressive, and he worked exceptionally well on the 7th, turning out a bullet on the same day that Evgenii worked. This is a great opportunity to see what kind of horse he can become. Another win, or even a top three here, and this becomes a big name to watch going into 2022.
#3- Fionas Miracle (La Canada Racehorses, ridden by T Gaffalione)- This colt by Puzzle got off to a great start with his career, breaking his maiden at SAR, and then a month later at the same race track, he was victorious in the $200.000 Funny Cide. He continued trending in the right direction by running second in the Grade 1 Pharoah in October, and with that he earned a spot in the BC Juvenile. That did not go as well but now he has a chance to put that behind him. Fionas Miracle is a perfect 2-for-2 with the NY-bred tag.
#4- Wrestler (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- He would be decent at LAD in his debut, but did not do enough to stand out, and three months later he would be entered at SAR with a $25.000 maiden claiming tag. No one picked him up, and D J C is grateful that was the case. Wrestler pinned the competition that day, and then won his follow up match, the $100.000 Aspirant, for NY-breds, at FL. For his last race, he ran in the Grade 3 Nashua, and was second best. Plenty to like with this one, and he will be looking to make a statement here against strong, well known, competition.
#5- Starship Shadow (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by S Ryan)- Here is the most experienced runner in the field, with seven starts, but he is not the most experienced winner. He’s won just one of those races, his maiden at LAD. He hasn’t been on the brink of victory much, either, though did run second in the $100.000 Awad, a turf race, to give some hope for a big run here. Was fifth at a GG allowance two weeks ago.
#6- Knockout (Mb Stables, ridden by Ru Gonzalez)- One of two horses in the field from Mb Stables, and he’s coming off a very big win. After being gelded in September, he went to BEL, and took to the mud very well in the $250.000 Sleepy Hollow, for NY breds. That bodes well for him here, because at present, there is a 79% chance of rain, and that trend is only going up right now. None of the horses starting to his inside of any experience on off tracks. I’d like him if it was dry, too, but he’s quite appealing here if we’re dealing with the elements.
#7- Storm Cat (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- With this name, you’d be hoping that he would turn out to be real good, and of course, he can never be gelded now. In six starts, he has won once, needing five races to break his maiden. Once he did, he ran here in the $100.000 Notebook, and ran decently but did not get anything to show for his sixth place finish. That can give confidence for a good run here, and he did run second in the mud in an ELP maiden in July.
#8- The Greek (Arindel, ridden by Mar Garcia)- Speaking of The Notebook, we once again see an example where two horses that come out of the same race start next to one another in their next start. The Greek did get something to show for his efforts, though, to the turn of the winners portion of the $100.000 purse. It was his third start, and so far he has won two out of three. Like his stablemate, Mr Pancake, he is also credited with running a bullet work on the 7th, and sure enough, they were the same time. The Greek is extra appealing if it rains, having won in the mud at BEL in October.
#9- Hilarity (Mb Stables, ridden by E Jaramillo)- This Fire N Fury colt got off to a fantastic start, winning his first four career starts. Those weren’t any old races either, as after his maiden, he would win the Bashford Manor, then the SAR Special, and then one of my favorite two year old stakes, the Grade 1 Hopeful at SAR. Following that, the road to the BC Juvenile continued, and he would head downstate to run in the Grade 1 Champagne. It was not a win, but that’s not a race you hang your head over when you finish fourth by a length. It’d the last time J R Velazquez was aboard, however, as T Gaffalione got the mount for the BC Juvenile, and Hilarity could do no better than 11th. Velazquez isn’t back, but maybe Hilarity can be. We’ll all be watching closely to see how he can rebound.
Prediction (fast): 9-2-6-4
Prediction (wet): 6-8-9-4