The NY- Grade 1 ($750.000 Purse)
BEL- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Inner Turf
June 10, 2022
It’s going to be a great weekend at BEL, but all of the excitement is not on Saturday! On Friday, we still have several exciting races, and they are highlighted by a first-time Grade 1 event, the running of the NY. Until this year, the race has been a Grade 2, but now it gets the top classification out there. In its early days the purses were not anywhere near what we see them at now, as it debuted at $250.000, but would sink to $150.000 before it started to go up. In 2020, of all years, the purse was at its peak, running for $1,000.000 before dropping to its still excellent $750.000 purse. In that 2020 running of the race, a five year old mare named Maggie Greene pulled off the victory, and she’ll be back in the gate for this race as well. She did run last year, too, and finished sixth, to Smokey Stover’s Forbidden Blush. That one has since been retired. Maggie Greene also ran in 2019, and finished second then. We’ll have a BC winner, and also a runner in the 2021 race, Number Nine, as part of this field and six other highly capable horses who can claim the headline of the recap for themselves. Let’s meet them now!
#1- Always Condottieri (Maletto, ridden by S Elliott)- After her first two races, this four year old filly has never failed to pick up a check for her trainer and in that time, she has seven victories. She would run very well in ungraded stakes, and continued to answer the call when Maletto picked up her level of competition, winning her graded debut, and two starts after that, she’d win the Grade 1 Wiley. That came two starts ago in mid-April. After that, she had to deal with yielding turf, but was up for it, placing second in the Grade 2 Sheepheads Bay, to Maggie Greene. She’s not as well known as others in this field, but that time may be coming, and if she wins two grade 1’s in three starts, it needs to.
#2- Perfectly Pink (The Freskshow, ridden by M Franco)- The early portion of this five year old mare’s career was spent with Allinthegate, and she ran very well but unlike Always Condottieri, she was never given more challenging tasks while she was performing. The Freakshow would pick her up in the September 2021 auction for $16.030, and she won the first six starts of her career in Freakshow silks. Started modestly, but she would now be given the chance to run in stakes, then graded stakes, culminating in the Grade 1 Wiley. Each of them answered the bell, but Perfectly Pink had to settle for finishing second, but a quarter of length to Always Condottieri. Perhaps, it would have been fitting for them to have been in a dead heat, but each looked good there and should run well here.
#3- Wbf No Regrets (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J Lezcano)- This seven year old has used to run on the turf a lot, but has not done so since the beginning of March 2020. Which, when you think about that date, seems like it’s been an eternity. While on the main track, she would sprint for a while, and ran in the BC Fillies & Mares Sprint, placing fourth in it. Then, she increased her distance and did good enough to run in the BC Distaff in 2021. Earned a check there, too, by running third. This year, she still seemed to be doing well, winning the Grade 2 Azeri. TwinTowersRacing could have kept on that path and no one would have thought it was the wrong call, but he’s opting to give her a return to the turf, and certainly he has No Regrets.
#4- Zalinda (Threshold, ridden by J Bravo)- Here’s another horse that has climbed the ladder from small placement, to much bigger and better. Around this time last year, Threshold saw the success that Zalinda was having in overnights and ran her in the Grade 3 Intercontinental, and she placed second. She would stay hot over the summer, winning the Yellow Ribbon Handicap just prior to her biggest career score, the Grade 1 Flower Bowl. This got her to the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, but she struggled there as well as the race after. Her placement began to then drop, so seeing her back in a Grade 1 is promising. Maybe she likes summertime racing.
#5- Number Nine (Smokey Stover, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- This is one of those horses where you don’t really need to get into her past. Number Nine is a well known commodity in this game, and everyone knows she has accomplished a lot. She’s been with Smokey Stover for about a full year now, and for as good as Spankys Barn did with her, Smokey has found an even different level for her as the mare has hit the board in all her starts since the sale. That’s highlighted by winning the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, but that’s not all she has done, by any stretch. She has nine wins and nine places in her career, so as perfect as that would be for Number Nine, she’s clearly got plenty of racing left and not just to finish third seven more times.
#6- Maggie Greene (The Sidley Stud, ridden by L Saez)- Here is another one of the greats of this division, and we have spent a lot of time talking about her already. She has made 53 starts in her career, and this will be the fourth time that she runs in the NY. As mentioned, she’s both won and finished second in this race so far, and would become the first one to win the race twice. She’s also a former BC Fillies and Mares Turf winner, as she took the 2020 edition. Last year, she did not have the great result here, but still got back to the BC. While she ran better than Zalinda there, it was not one of her better races. But if anyone was worried about her slowing down, that concern can end as she has won two of three, each graded stakes in 2022.
#7- Shining Moments (RNP Stables, ridden by M J Sanchez)- While she is not a BC winner like the previous two, this Creepy Time filly will not be outshined by them. She’s also just getting started, compared to them, so plenty of time to get there. Has made nineteen starts in her career thus far, and has eight wins. Among them are several graded stakes, including the Grade 2 Mother Goose right here last year. Later, she would win the $700.000 JC Oaks here, proving that she loves the turf course as well. Shining Moments is undefeated at BEL, winning all three races, and they’ve been good ones. You have to like a horse for the course, though this field is simply loaded. If she wins, it will be her biggest shining moment.
#8- Maya Caribe (First Flight Stable, ridden by E Jaramillo)- This one comes here out of the Grade 3 Santa Barbara at SA last month, and picked up the win. After covering the Regret last week, I know that was a loaded field, but Maya Caribe had bigger visions after that win. It was her first race for First Flight, who picked her up in a $25.000 claimer from First Street Stables, although she ran in several graded stakes with that trainer. Now, Maya Caribe will see the likes of some of the top turf horses in the game in the gate with her and the trainer will see how she stacks up. Won’t be one of my picks, but I could see her getting it done.
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES