(Angel Oak / Photo by Susie Raisher & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Randy Gullatt of Twin Creeks Farm, breeder of New York-bred four-time Grade 1-winner Tiz the Law, said he is looking forward to campaigning the popular colt’s 2-year-old half-sister Angel Oak with trainer Todd Pletcher for their Twin Creeks Racing division.
While Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law dazzled with dominant efforts in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Grade 1 Runhappy Travers at Saratoga over the summer for conditioner Barclay Tagg, Angel Oak has trained alongside Pletcher’s Belmont Park-based contingent since the beginning of October after arriving from the WinStar Farm Training Center.
Angel Oak, a gray or roan daughter of Mission Impazible out of the graded stakes-winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz, logged a bullet half-mile breeze from the gate over the Belmont training track in 48.05 seconds on Monday, the fastest of 42 recorded works at the distance.
“She’s got a little bit of a ways to go, but she had a nice gate work just the other day, so she’s been making some progress,” Pletcher said. “She’s always been a nice training filly, pretty forward and very professional. She looks like she’s got some talent.”
Pletcher said Angel Oak will likely not be ready to race for another month.
“She will probably be ready at the end of the next condition book, I would expect,” Pletcher said.
The current Aqueduct condition book runs through November 29.
Gullatt spoke high volumes of Angel Oak and said she shares some of the same positive characteristics as her accomplished half-brother.
“We always have liked her,” said Gullatt who manages Twin Creeks Racing with director Steve Davison. “She has a very similar personality to her mother. She’s just very classy and very easy to train, which are some of the same things the brother has. So far, we like what we see so we’re expecting good things out of her.”
Foaled in New York, Tiz the Law spent his first 90 days in the Empire State before shipping to Gullatt’s care at Twin Creeks Farm in Versailles, Kentucky where he was raised through his yearling year. Tiz the Law was purchased for $110,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling Sale.
Gullatt said both Tiz the Law and Angel Oak were classy and manageable as young horses.
“They were very classy and easy to work with,” Gullatt said. “That trait is strong with what we’ve seen out of that mare as well as Mission Impazible. It’s just something that we try to find. Classiness, desire and being easy to manage are all good characteristics and she has them all.”
While Tiz the Law, by Constitution, has thrived at a route of ground, Gullatt said he believes Angel Oak may be better running at shorter distances due to her natural speed that she has displayed in morning training.
“If I had to guess, I would say she’s probably more of a sprinter, middle distance horse but we haven’t seen anything to say she couldn’t go further,” Gullatt said. “She does have some quickness and she could use that to her advantage going shorter distances. It’s hard to gauge a horse before it has started.”
Mr. Buff could muscle his way into Cigar Mile (G1)
Chester and Mary Broman’s New York-bred Mr. Buff breezed a sharp half-mile in 48.47 on November 8 on the Belmont main track and is under consideration for the Grade 1, $250,000 Cigar Mile Handicap for 3-year-olds and up slated for December 5 at Aqueduct.
Trainer John Kimmel said the 6-year-old Friend Or Foe chestnut, who garnered a 94 Beyer for his frontrunning Empire Classic score last out on October 24 at Belmont, is training well.
“It was a good work. He came out of his last race well and seems to be holding his form,” said Kimmel.
Mr. Buff, who boasts a record of 40-15-7-4 with purse earnings in excess of $1.2 million, enjoyed a profitable winter at Aqueduct winning the Alex M. Robb against state-breds in December and the open Jazil in January before romping to a 20-length score over state-breds in the Haynesfield at one mile on the Big A main.
Following the Empire Classic score, Kimmel said he would consider pointing Mr. Buff to the nine-furlong Grade 1 Clark on November 27 at Churchill Downs but is now focused on either the Cigar Mile or defending his title in the nine-furlong $100,000 Alex M. Robb for New York-breds 3-years old and up on December 12.
“We won’t go out of town to the Clark. We’ll look at either the Cigar Mile or the Alex M. Robb,” said Kimmel. “His one-turn mile race at Aqueduct last year [the Haynesfield] before he went to the shelf was excellent when he won by 20 lengths. The Cigar Mile is a possibility depending on who shows up. If it looks too deep, we could wait until the next week and go in the easier spot, but the Cigar Mile is something we’ll nominate for and take a look at.”
Top contenders for the Cigar Mile currently include Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby-winner King Guillermo and 2019 Grade 3 Discovery-winner Performer. The Cigar Mile Day card also includes a pair of Grade 2, $150,000 nine-furlong events for juveniles in the Remsen and its filly counterpart, the Demoiselle, as well as the Grade 3, $100,000 Go for Wand Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile.
Nedlaw Stable and Tobey L. Morton’s promising juvenile filly Secret Love, a $270,000 purchase at the OBS July Two-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, flourished on debut with a 6 ¼-length romp in a six-furlong maiden sprint against fellow Empire State breds at Belmont Park.
The Not This Time chestnut, out of the A.P. Indy mare Exotic Design, garnered a 62 Beyer Speed Figure for her winning debut. She has breezed twice following her maiden voyage, including a November 1 effort in 50.45 on the Belmont dirt training track.
Kimmel said he had hoped to enter Secret Love in Sunday’s Key Cents, but will have to wait for another option for the talented filly.
“Unfortunately, when she broke her maiden she grabbed her quarter and pulled her right front shoe off at the start of the race,” said Kimmel. “So, she ran that race with only three shoes and it took me about three weeks to get it so I could put a quarter patch on it. She missed too much training for me to put her in that race.”
Kimmel will be represented by a strong set of maidens this weekend at the Big A, including a trio on Saturday with Sonic Speed [Race 1], Please the Pharoah [Race 3], and The Reds [Race 5].
Flanagan Racing’s Please the Pharoah, a $320,000 OBS March Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training purchase out of the stakes winning Doc’s Leader mare Please Sign In, will debut in a 1 1/16-mile turf maiden under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
The Reds, also owned by Flanagan Racing, finished fourth on debut in a 6 ½-furlong maiden sprint after being bumped at the start on September 27. The Kentucky-bred son of Tonalist will have the services of Jose Ortiz on Saturday.
“I’m very excited about the group,” said Kimmel. “I think Please the Pharoah is like most of the “Pharoahs,” it looks like he’s a little better on the grass and he’s been work company for The Reds a number of different times. I also think The Reds is sitting on a very good performance.”
Anthony and Stephen Mitola’s Sonic Speed will look to graduate at third asking in a state-bred outer turf sprint following a close second last out at the same condition under returning rider Velazquez.
Kimmel said he is also excited about the debut of Flanagan Racing’s Soupster, a gray daughter of Speightster out of the stakes-winning Alphabet Soup mare Souper Miss.
Purchased for $185,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training, Soupster has breezed extensively at Belmont, including a half-mile effort in 48.84 on November 8 on the dirt training track.
“She’s a Speightster filly that I think is very nice,” said Kimmel. “She’s shown me that she has some talent. She’s breezed well, looks good and I’m excited to watch her run.”
The Virginia-bred Soupster, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, will travel six furlongs on the Big A main track in Sunday’s fourth race.
Carmouche enjoys hot start to Big A fall meet
The first weekend of the Aqueduct Racetrack fall meet saw veteran rider Kendrick Carmouche surge to the top of the standings, posting nine wins, a pair of runner-up efforts and a third-place finish in 27 mounts, registering five more wins than the next-closest rider in Pablo Morales with one-sixth of the 18-day meet concluded.
The long-time New York stalwart made a name for himself on the Parx circuit, winning seven riding titles there from 2008-11 and earning induction into its Hall of Fame in 2015. But racing in the highly competitive NYRA circuit has still seen the 36-year-old earn trips to the winner’s circle, including aboard Malathaat in the $100,000 Tempted on Friday. That marked a memorable day that also saw him pilot Microsecond to victory in the day’s seventh race, earning trainer Todd Pletcher his 5,000th career win.
“Coming from Parx, I could win three, four, sometimes five races a day there, and to come to New York, I’ve been here for five years and I think the work I’ve been putting in, you can see it now,” Carmouche said. “I’ve had a lot of support from my family and the fans and the owners and trainers, they’ve been great and it means a lot.
“No matter who I’m on, I’m trying to put the horse in the best position for my horse to win,” he added. “I’m putting my horse in the best position. Once I get that, I’m going to try and win it from there. If I don’t get the job done, that’s the way it is. But it’s tough riding with the best riders in New York. I feel like I’m doing good for my situation, I just need to work a little bit harder and do things a little bit different. The hard work is paying off.”
Entering Thursday, Carmouche had posted a winning percentage of 33.33 percent and has finished in the money in more than 44 percent of his starts this meet, compiling earnings of $432,503.
For his career, which started with his first victory in 2000, Carmouche has amassed 3,300 wins in more than 20,000 starts, notching earnings in excess of $112 million and six career Grade 2 wins, including this year aboard Fire At Will in the Pilgrim.
Known Agenda, Malathaat eye graded stakes action
Following two solid efforts over the weekend at Aqueduct, trainer Todd Pletcher is pointing two of his rising stars toward graded stakes engagements at the Big A on Saturday, December 5.
Shadwell Stables’ Malathaat, who was an emphatic 7 ¾-length winner of the Tempted on Friday afternoon, will point towards the Grade 2, $150,000 Demoiselle going 1 1/8 miles for juvenile fillies.
Known Agenda, a second-out winner on Sunday afternoon for Vinny Viola’s St. Elias Stable, will target the Grade 2, $150,000 Remsen on the same day.
Malathaat, a juvenile daughter of multiple champion producing sire Curlin is out of dual graded stakes-winner Dreaming of Julia, who Pletcher also trained.
Pletcher will attempt a sixth Demoiselle victory having saddled Smok’n Frolic (2001), Ashado (2003), Disposablepleasure (2011), Unlimited Budget (2012) and Stopchargingmaria (2013) to victories in the event.
“She’s got a high cruising speed that she can carry over a distance of ground,” Pletcher said. “She’s off to a great start and hopefully she continues to develop.”
Known Agenda will attempt to give Pletcher his third Remsen triumph, adding to Bluegrass Cat (2005) and Overanalyze (2012). The homebred son of Curlin out of Grade 1 winner Byrama was second to subsequent stakes winner Highly Motivated on debut, and held off a late rally from third-time starter Greatest Honour to notch a maiden win going the Remsen’s nine-furlong distance.
“They both came out of their races in good order, so that’s what we had in mind for them going into those races and they didn’t disappoint,” Pletcher said.
Pletcher expressed positive sentiments regarding Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up Valiance, who finished a late-closing second to Monomoy Girl in the prestigious event at Keeneland and said that she will race next year.
Owned by Aron Wellman’s Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Martin Schwartz and China Horse Club, the daughter of Tapit arrived at the Distaff off three straight victories, including a win in the Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster at the Lexington oval.
“We were proud of her,” Pletcher said. “She ran her race and was second best on the day. She likes Keeneland. We look forward to her coming back next year.”
In Saturday’s fifth race at the Big A, Pletcher will send out first-time starter Unbridled Honor in a seven-furlong maiden special weight for juveniles over the main track.
Owned by Many Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm, the son of second crop sire Honor Code is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Silvery Starlet, who is a half-sister to Grade 1-winners El Corredor and Roman Ruler.
“He’s trained pretty well,” Pletcher said of the Kentucky homebred. “He gives me the impression that he’ll be one that will probably show some improvement after having a race.”
Cross Country Pick 5 wager with Churchill Downs continues throughout November
The popular Cross Country Pick 5 wager, hosted by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), continues throughout November when there is thoroughbred racing from both Aqueduct Racetrack and Churchill Downs.
The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Every day will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.
November will feature 12 Cross Country Pick 5 wagers from the fall meets at Aqueduct Racetrack and Churchill Downs though to Sunday, November 29, which is closing day of Churchill’s fall meet. The wagers will take place on days when both tracks are racing. Those Cross Country Pick 5 days will be:
- Thursday, Nov.12 – Sunday, Nov. 15 (four days);
- Thursday, Nov. 19 – Sunday, Nov. 22 (four days); and
- Friday, Nov. 27 – Sunday, Nov. 29 (three days).
Live coverage will be available with America’s Day at the Races on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. Free Equibase past performances for all Cross Country Pick 5 sequences will be available for download at https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/cross-country-wagers.
The 2020 fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack will begin on Friday, November 6 and continue through Sunday, December 6. Highlighted by the 32nd renewal of the Grade 1, $250,000 Cigar Mile on Saturday, December 5, the 18-day fall meet at Aqueduct features 29 stakes, including 11 graded events, worth $3.41 in purses.