(Pipeline / Photos by Coady Photography)

From the NYRA Media Team:

  • DeVaux hoping to celebrate her birthday in style in G2 Cigar Mile
  • Vino Rouge adds blinkers for G2 Demoiselle
  • Know It All Audrey first graded stakes starter for Barrera, III in G3 Go for Wand
  • Castle Chaos steps up in class for G2 Cigar Mile

Trainer Cherie DeVaux, in the midst of a banner year with career highs in wins and purse earnings, will look to fete her 42nd birthday in style when she saddles Pipeline in Saturday’s Grade 2 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets.

“It’s my birthday so hopefully it will be a celebration,” said DeVaux.

DeVaux has banked in excess of $5.2 million this year through a record of 280-50-34-31 heading into Thursday’s racing action, led by graded wins with She Feels Pretty [Grade 1 Natalma], Vavha [Grade 2 Raven Run, Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks], More Than Looks [Grade 3 Manila], Shotgun Hottie [Grade 3 Molly Pitcher] and Star Fortress [Grade 3 Cardinal].

She will look to add to those totals Saturday with the Grade 1-placed Pipeline, who made his first 13 starts for trainer Chad Brown before being transferred to DeVaux by owners John D. Gunther and breeder Eurowest Bloodstock Services.

“It’s something different for him. He came to us in great shape and in good form,” DeVaux said. “He’s been training really well. All things considered, he’s coming into the race in good order.”

Pipeline, a 5-year-old Speightstown bay out of the multiple graded stakes-placed Empire Maker mare Vivo Per Lei, has breezed five times at Keeneland dating to October 22. He posted a bullet half-mile breeze in 47.60 seconds Friday in his final serious piece of work.

DeVaux said Pipeline accomplished the string of sharp works of his own accord.

“Not being asked and he’s had plenty of horse in those works,” DeVaux said. “He’s a really big horse. He’s big and imposing. A big, handsome colt and strong.”

Pipeline graduated in September 2021 at Saratoga Race Course and completed his sophomore season with a last-of-8 effort in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap here. He returned in April 2022 and romped to a frontrunning nine-length score in a one-turn mile allowance here that garnered a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

Two starts later, following a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup, Pipeline registered a career-best 105 Beyer when a pace-pressing third in the seven-furlong Grade 1 Forego last August at the Spa.

Pipeline failed to hit the board in three starts this year, including a distant fourth in the Forego in August ahead of a last-of-8 effort last out in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Woodward on October 1 here.

He has drawn the outermost post 12 Saturday with Jose Lezcano slated to ride for the first time.

“He’s easily rateable in his works. He has a lot of speed so wherever he breaks, he just needs to be able to stay out of trouble,” DeVaux said. “Anytime you get a horse in from a different trainer, you just have to regroup and get to know them. That’s what we did with him and he’s been straight forward. He looks fantastic and he’s training well.”

DeVaux could look to add to her impressive season with West Point Thoroughbreds and David Ingordo’s Northern Invader, who is being pointed to the Grade 2 Mathis Mile on December 26 over the Santa Anita Park turf.

The 3-year-old Collected chestnut, bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. and Peter A. Berglar Racing Interests, made his first two starts on dirt at Churchill Downs and finished second on both occasions, including to G2 Cigar Mile contender Everso Mischievous in May.

He shipped up to Belmont in July and graduated by eight lengths traveling one-mile over the Belmont turf and was subsequently a close fifth in the Grade 2 Secretariat on August 12 at Colonial Downs when defeated 2 3/4-lengths by the victorious Gigante.

Norther Invader returned to winning form in October at Belmont at the Big A with a prominent one-length score over firm turf in the Gio Ponti. On Sunday, he broke a step slow in the 1 1/16-mile off-the-turf Commonwealth Turf but closed from last-of-8 to finish second to familiar foe Gigante.

“Bad luck with his break – it put him far behind, but he ran a respectable race on the dirt going two turns,” DeVaux said.

DeVaux said the talented chestnut is a barn favorite.

“He’s cool. He’s a really nice horse to have,” DeVaux said. “Whenever you have a horse that can run on the dirt and the turf it’s always good to have because when turf races rain off it gives you the option to stay in.”

The well-bred $310,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase is out of the winning Arch mare Androeah, who is a full-sister to Grade 1-winner Archarcharch.


Know It All Audrey first graded stakes starter for Barrera, III in G3 Go for Wand

On October 29, the New York-bred filly Know It All Audrey provided her trainer, Oscar Barrera, III, with his first stakes victory when taking the $200,000 Empire Distaff at Belmont at the Big A by 2 3/4 lengths with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano at the helm.

This Saturday, the daughter of Shackleford is set to become her conditioner’s first starter in a graded event when taking on six rivals in the Grade 3, $200,000 Go for Wand, a one-turn mile route for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

“It’s amazing. It’s tough in the claiming game to get a nice horse like her, and you go through a lot of claims to get one like her,” said Barrera, III. “We’re just very blessed.”

Know It All Audrey has become the top horse Barrera, III has trained since starting his first horse in 2011. The 4-year-old bay, co-owned by Barrera, III with Three Player’s Stable, was haltered for $16,000 out of a win last September at Belmont at the Big A, and has since banked over $400,000. In addition to her Empire Distaff triumph, Know It All Audrey also finished second in the Bay Ridge last December and the Biogio’s Rose in March, both at Aqueduct.

“She’s improved since Day One and she’s been able to handle the ranks moving up and up,” said Barrera, III. “She’s just a really honest filly and shows up every time we run her. We always knew that she would be OK, and I always kept trying in the winter to get her a stakes win. Turned out, it came in the perfect spot – the Empire Distaff has one of the biggest purses for New York-bred fillies.”

In the nine-furlong Empire Distaff, Know It All Audrey stalked in second 1 1/2 lengths off the pace set Ichiban, who marked splits of 24.42 seconds, 49.41 and 1:13.84 over the muddy and sealed going. Know It All Audrey gave chase in the two path down the backstretch before angling four-wide into the stretch and taking dead aim at the pacesetter, edging clear down the lane to complete the course in 1:51.57.

“That was a great ride by Javier Castellano,” said Barrera, III. “It was great and she loves a wet track. Javier had an option to get up close or get on the lead, and he just laid back and he played it by ear. When he asked her, she was able to get it done.”

Know It All Audrey appears to have plenty of pace to run at on Saturday with the stakes-placed Todd Pletcher trainee Tizzy in the Sky and the Chad Brown-trained graded stakes-winner Gerrymander likely to be involved early.

“It’s a very competitive Grade 3 and all those fillies in there are proven, so it’s just an honor to be in there with them,” said Barrera, III. “There’s a lot of speed and I think they’re going to go pretty fast. We’ll be stalking five or six lengths off of it and hopefully they come back to us and we can pick up the pieces.”

Bred by Geraldine Mazza, Know It All Audrey is one of two New York-breds flying the flag for the Empire State in the Go for Wand, along with the multiple graded stakes-placed Venti Valentine. Barrera, III said the lucrative program produces quality horses that can perform at the top level.

“It’s amazing and it’s good to see the New York-bred horses be able to step up to the open company and be able to compete,” said Barrera, III. “We have one of the best award programs for owners and breeders in the country.”

Know It All Audrey, who holds a record of 24-7-5-3, will emerge from post 4 in rein to Castellano on Saturday.


Vino Rouge adds blinkers for G2 Demoiselle

Harold Lerner and Team D’s Vino Rouge will add blinkers as she looks to turn the tables on familiar foe Shimmering Allure in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle, at Aqueduct Racetrack. The nine-furlong route for juvenile fillies offers 10-5-3-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

Trained by Tony Dutrow, the Vino Rosso dark bay exited post 7-of-8 last out under Dylan Davis in the one-turn mile Tempted and traveled three wide from third position through the turn. She responded well when straightened away to take command with an eighth of a mile to run but was collared by the late-running Shimmering Allure, who bested Vino Rouge by three lengths.

“I’m very happy with her. I thought after the Tempted that would probably be enough for a 2-year-old, but she’s just led us to believe that she’s better than ever and needs an opportunity in this race,” said Dutrow, who won this event in 2010 with Dixie City.

Vino Rouge has worked back twice, including a five-eighths effort in 1:01.87 in blinkers on Sunday over Big Sandy with Davis aboard.

“I thought she was a bit green and I thought that was more of an excuse than the trip she had,” Dutrow said of the Tempted effort. “We’re very happy with her with blinkers and we think that’s the move. We couldn’t feel better about her going into the Demoiselle.

“When you look at her pedigree and see two-turns going a mile and an eighth that – on paper – should be to her liking, for sure,” he added.

Vino Rouge, out of the Arch mare Seeking the Blue, closed to finish fourth in her August debut over the Saratoga Race Course turf with Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the irons. She returned on October 1 at Belmont at the Big to post a half-length score in an off-the-turf one-turn mile with Velazquez at the helm.

“Johnny came back after the first race and said, ‘Tony, she ran really good. She’ll win next time,’” Dutrow recalled. “And when I asked him if it should be on the turf or dirt, he said, ‘It don’t matter.’ We had her on the turf that day, but the race came off and she broke her maiden going a mile.”

The $180,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-placed Janis Joplin.

The veteran conditioner’s most recent win came with Niall Brennan’s New York-homebred Slapintheface, who edged clear to a 2 1/4-length score at fifth asking in a 1 1/16-mile turf tilt on November 19 here.

“He’s a hard-charger. He tries and was deserving to get there that day,” Dutrow said. “He’s in Ocala and will be back in April. We thought all along he’s one that will get better. He’s a lanky 3-year-old and needs to fill out and grow out some. I think we’ll see a better Slapintheface as a 4-year-old.

The chestnut Oscar Performance sophomore has competed exclusively in turf routes, boasting a record of 5-1-2-1. He is out of the Lookin At Lucky mare Lost Innocence, who is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Quality Rocks.

Dutrow will look to start his weekend in style when he sends out Team Spoor’s well-regarded Curlin’s Girl, a $360,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase selected by Brennan, in Race 5 on Friday, a seven-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies.

The Curlin dark bay, out of the aforementioned Quality Rocks, closed from last-of-7 to finish second on debut traveling six furlongs over firm turf on November 5 here.

“She had a race on the turf to get her started, but she’s a dirt horse,” Dutrow said. “We got her out there for experience and we come back seven-eighths on the dirt. We’re very excited. God willing we have a lot to look forward to there.”

She has breezed back twice, including a bullet five-eighths in 59.55 over Big Sandy on Saturday.

“I didn’t want her going that fast last time – horses don’t need to do that, but she seems very good coming into the race and we’re very happy with her,” Dutrow said. “We all feel she’s a very good one.”

Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the call from post 2.


Castle Chaos steps up in class for G2 Cigar Mile

Trainer Robert Falcone, Jr. operates a bustling operation with 28 horses stabled in New York at Belmont Park and another 15 head each at Fair Grounds Race Course in Louisiana and Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.

The busy conditioner will be hoping that his Castle Chaos, listed at 30-1 on the morning line, will be able to wreak a little havoc in Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets before he hops a southbound plane.

“I’ll be watching the Cigar Mile and then straight to JFK and getting on a plane at 5:30 to Florida. I’ve got one in at Gulfstream the next day,” Falcone, Jr. said. “I’ll stay at Palm Meadows for a few days and then fly to the Fair Grounds to watch those horses train for a few days and then back to New York.”

Falcone, Jr. haltered Castle Chaos, a 5-year-old Palace Malice bay, for $75,000 out of a runner-up effort on debut in September 2021 at Saratoga Race Course on behalf of owners Sanford J. Goldfarb, Nice Guys Stables and Beast Mode Racing.

Castle Chaos would graduate two starts later in December 2021 at the Big A in a seven-furlong maiden special weight. He continued to race through that winter and finished third in a first level one-turn mile allowance here last February, but ended his 4-year-old campaign with a trio of off-the-board efforts.

“He had a couple bad races and then we tried the grass and it didn’t work out. We gave him some time off and found a little issue with him and then brought him back,” Falcone, Jr. said. “It wasn’t anything serious. He had a little bone bruising. He’s been good since he came back.”

Castle Chaos returned victorious in June, a full calendar year later, to post a 1 1/2-length score in a six-furlong optional-claimer on June 3 at Monmouth Park and was a prominent third when stretched out to a two-turn mile next out in July at the New Jersey oval.

“We brought him back at Monmouth sprinting and he ran a big race that day,” Falcone, Jr. said. “He was probably too sharp to go the two turns back at Monmouth. He went a little quick around there and burned himself out early.”

Falcone, Jr. has since decided the gelding is more effective around one turn and was pleased to see Castle Chaos close from last-of-8 to finish second, defeated a neck at 36-1 odds, traveling seven-furlongs in August at Saratoga. He subsequently landed a troubled-trip third in September sprinting here.

“We always thought he was going to be a one-turn horse – one-turn mile, to be exact,” Falcone, Jr. said. “He just couldn’t get up in time at Saratoga.”

Castle Chaos found an ideal local one-turn mile last out and edged clear to a 1 1/4-length score that garnered a career-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure. The runner-up in that event, Winit, is entered back on Saturday’s undercard at the Big A.

“We finally got chance to run him a one-turn mile again last time and he ran a big race,” Falcone, Jr. said. “Obviously, this is a big step up but I’m taking a shot with him – he’s doing good.”

Castle Chaos, out of the winning Flatter mare Queen Victoria, has breezed back twice, including a half-mile in 48.66 Saturday over the Belmont dirt training track. He will exit post 9-of-12 Saturday with Dylan Davis aboard.

“We’ll let Dylan do his thing. He’s a horse that sits and comes from right off them. It turns out pretty good when there’s a lot of speed in the race, so drawn outside is fine,” Falcone, Jr. said. “In a one-turn mile, you have a long way to the turn so hopefully they can work out a trip. There should be some pace to close in to.

“He’s doing really good and really coming into himself,” Falcone, Jr. continued. “He’s acting like he’s ready to go again. Hopefully, he can duplicate his effort from last time or better.”

And even though the workload may be heavy for the multiple graded stakes-winning trainer, the anticipation of a big race helps to keep him motivated.

“The excitement of having that many horses and always being active and running different places, it keeps you on your toes,” Falcone, Jr. said. “Any tiredness or exhaustion you get, the excitement helps push you through it.”