Ghostzapper's Unbeaten Dak Attack Scores Big in Ellis Park Juvenile

8/20/2017

Touchdown, Dak Attack!

Albaugh Family Stables' 2-year-old colt Dak Attack poured it on down the stretch for a three-length victory over Northern Trail, with Churchill Downs' Grade 3 Bashford Manor winner Ten City another 1 3/4 lengths back in third in Sunday's $75,000 Ellis Park Juvenile at Ellis Park.

“He went down there and did what he was supposed to do,” trainer Dale Romans said by phone from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. “That was a good field of horses he beat, and I think his future is bright.”

Dak Attack is a son of the Adena Springs stallion Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year and Breeders' Cup Classic winner, and out Indian Spell, a daughter of Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell. The $625,000 Keeneland yearling purchase was bred by Brereton Jones' Airdrie Stud, with the Jones family staying in for a piece of the colt.

Like his namesake, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, the 2-year-old colt Dak Attack performed error-free in running his record to 2 for 2. He was a golden boy in the paddock when other youngsters were boisterous, handled post 11 in a field of 11 with aplomb, swooping up from seventh to take charge in the final eighth-mile while covering seven-eighths of a mile in 1:22.96. He paid $6.20 to win as the second choice.

“I had a great trip,” said jockey Robby Albarado. “Historically you wouldn't prefer the outside post, but circumstances with 2-year-olds, the second start, I was able to let the race unfold in front of me and I wasn't committed to any spot on the track. I got my sights on Ten City. I got to draft next to him, pulling with him around there, matching strides and turning for home I tried to pull away from him. And he did.”

It all came after Dak Attack won his debut at Churchill Downs against only three rivals, albeit the runner-up, Sporting Chance, won his next start at Saratoga and will go in the Grade 1 Hopeful.

“He had to go wide, he got some dirt in his face. He did everything he's supposed to do,” Romans said. “And he also ran fast, which is good. He's doing everything his namesake did. He's a rookie like Dak was last year, yet he's the star of our show.”

Romans and Jason Loutsch, the co-owner and racing manager for the Albaugh stable, said Dak Attack probably will train up to Keeneland's Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity. The barn also has Saratoga's Grade 3 Sanford runner-up Free Drop Billy going in Churchill Downs' Grade 3 Iroquois and Saratoga Special runner-up Hollywood Star for Saratoga's Grade 1 Hopeful.

“As soon as we got in the starting gate, boy, immediately the gates opened up,” said Dennis Albaugh, the stable patriarch and Loutsch's father in law. “He wasn't quite ready, so we didn't get out perfect. But still not bad. Robby rode an unbelievable race. He just hung in there and poured it on. Man, we knew that horse was bred right, and he did the right things in the race. We were very happy with him. He's a strong one coming into this next season.”

“We're very proud of him; he ran hard,” Loutsch said. “All along we thought he was the most talented. We just took a little easier approach with him and brought him to Ellis. We had it in the plan book all along, and the plan came together and it's working great. We're coming off back to back second-place finishes at Saratoga, so I'm not taking anything away from our other two horses. But that was professional today. Breaking from the (11), sitting back there and eating dirt. And Robby asked him to go, he went.”

Albarado had ridden the Kenny McPeek-trained Ten City to victory in a maiden win and the Bashford Manor. While he rides extensively for both Romans and McPeek, he was committed to Dak Attack in this race by the time McPeek decided to run. Jack Gilligan picked up the mount on Ten City, who went off the odds-on favorite at 7-10. While Ten City was a handful in the paddock, Gilligan said he was calm in the post parade.

“Ten City is a very nice horse,” Albarado said. “He won the stakes last time out. I'm not going to take anything away from Dak Attack. He's royally bred and was well prepared for today, as he was for his first start. “There are some talented babies in Kentucky. I'm excited for the fall. His talent is striking. But his demeanor, going to the track, coming off the track, walking to the winner's circle. Nothing fazes the horse. He settles. He's fast enough to be forwardly placed if they go too slow. He's been perfect to this point.” 

Dak Attack is the 10th 2017 Stakes winner for Ghostzapper and his second stakes winner on the weekend after Proctor's Ledge collected the Lake Placid S. (G2) on the Saturday program at Saratoga.

-by Jennie Rees (edited)

Ghostzapper's Proctor's Ledge Sails to 2nd Graded Score at Saratoga

8/19/2017

Thriving on the Saratoga Race Course lawn, Proctor's Ledge circled her rivals and unleashed a brilliant turn of foot to win the $300,000 Lake Placid Stakes (G2T) by three-quarters of a length. 

Watch the Lake Placid Stakes

The win was the second consecutive graded stakes win for Patricia Moseley's homebred Ghostzapper  filly at the Spa, as she also took last month's Lake George Stakes (G3T), her first graded stakes victory. 

"She's something else, to beat fillies like that so impressively," said winning trainer Brendan Walsh. "She's been threatening all the time to do this and getting better and better. It's just fantastic and great for everybody involved—super owners, my guys working with her. It's just brilliant."

In Saturday's 1 1/8-mile turf test, Coasted out-hustled the field of five 3-year-old fillies to take the lead going into the first turn. Party Boat remained a close second, as La Coronel raced in third and Proctor's Ledge, with Javier Castellano up, galloped along easily in fourth, with the post-time favorite Uni at the rear. 

Coasted led the field through easy fractions of :24.39, :50.03, and 1:14.11 through six furlongs. Around the far turn, La Coronel and Proctor's Ledge both attempted to circle the frontrunners, a move that pushed Proctor's Ledge five wide. The field was fanned out five wide at the head of the stretch in a charge to the wire.

Finding another gear, Proctor's Ledge streaked past her competition and completed the race in a final time of 1:47.74 over a turf course rated good. Uni, also sent wide coming out of the turn, closed for second and Party Boat was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. La Coronel finished fourth, followed by Coasted. 

"She's a come-from-behind horse. The way she did it was very impressive," Castellano said. "She was nice, easy, and relaxed. 
"I love the way she runs. No matter where you put her, she'll always show up."

As for what is next for the filly, Walsh said he is unsure about a Breeders' Cup try. 
"I don't know about the Breeders' Cup, but you have to think about a race like the (Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End (G1T) at Keeneland Oct. 14) next for her," the trainer said. 

The winner returned $6.40, $3.30, and $2.50 across the board as the second betting choice. 

Proctor's Ledge made a similar move in the 1 1/16-mile Lake George, when she raced in fifth early before she edged away to win by 1 3/4 lengths. She started out 2017 with two wins and then jumped into graded stakes company in April, when she finished third, 3 1/4 lengths behind Lake Placid challenger La Coronel, in the Appalachian Stakes presented by Japan Racing Association (G3T). 

She again finished behind La Coronel when she came in fourth in the Edgewood Stakes Presented by Forcht Bank (G3T) in May at Churchill Downs after fanning out wide, and then finished second in the Regret Stakes (G3T) at Churchill Downs before her Lake George run. 

Bred in Kentucky by her owner out of the stakes-placed Arch mare Archstone, Proctor's Ledge has four wins from eight starts with earnings of $361,083. She is among Ghostzapper's nine stakes winners in 2017.

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com


Macho Uno's Picco Uno The One in Union Avenue S. at Saratoga

8/17/2017

Picco Uno posted an authoritative first stakes victory Thursday afternoon at Saratoga, drawing off to win by 2 1/2 lengths over the 3-2 favorite Quezon in the $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Watch the Union Avenue Stakes

Given time off leading up to Thursday’s $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes, at her favored distance of 6½ furlongs, Picco Uno looked like the same horse who had put together a four-race streak win streak from late December to mid-May. Tracking pacesetter She’s All Ready into upper stretch, the four-year-old daughter of Macho Uno surged to the front, holding off all comers in winning by 2½ lengths.

Picco Uno covered 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.57 and paid $9.70.

“It’s very exciting,” said winning trainer Jason Servis. “The owners flew up from Georgia, so I’m glad it all worked out. She definitely benefited from the time off since her last start. She had a terrific breeze the other day. She ran like we were hoping she would. She’s an average-looking filly, but she gets over the ground pretty good.”

Picco Uno broke alertly from her no. 9 post and had no trouble settling into a comfortable spot behind She’s All Ready. And there was plenty of room to operate when Picco Uno made her move swinging into the stretch. The lead was a length and a half at the eighth pole, but there was no serious threat as Irad Ortiz Jr. worked on Picco Uno through the final sixteenth.

“I always give her an aggressive warm-up because she’s the type of filly who doesn’t show much in the morning, and she’s so quiet,” said Ortiz. “But when it’s time to run, she can run. I tried to make sure she was on her game today because she had to run.”

Servis said Ortiz used good judgement taking Picco Uno off the early leaders.  

“It looked like he was going to try and go,” said Servis. “He’s riding well. (This filly) gets over the ground real good and doesn’t work hard to do it.”

Picco Uno, who competes for Kennesaw Mountain Racing LLC, won for the sixth time in a dozen starts and has now earned $299,667. She also has three seconds and a third. Picco Uno was bred in New York by Topsmeade LLC and Adena Springs Farm.

-edited from www.drf.com & www.saratogian.com

Stronach Stables Involuntary Best in Flaming Page Stakes

8/12/2017

Involuntary and jockey Gary Boulanger prevailed in a photo finish over Happyness to win the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes for fillies and mares three years old and up on Friday at Woodbine Racetrack.

Watch the Flaming Page Stakes

Involuntary and Happyness (Alan Garcia) tracked leader Belle de Nuit (Patrick Husbands), who galloped out to a commanding lead early in the 1-1/2 mile turf event. As the pacesetter began to tire and back through the field heading to the final turn, Involuntary took command with Happyness looming to her outside and ready for a stretch duel. Those two fillies duked it out in front of the grandstand with Involuntary ultimately holding off Happyness for the game victory in 2:29.38. Moonlight Sky (Rafael Hernandez) finished third. 

“She just glided by [Belle de Nuit] on her own,” said Boulanger after the race. “When I called on her at the head of the lane when Alan came to her, she just cut a couple of gears and we were running down the lane pretty hard today.”

Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Catherine Wills and owned by Stronach Stables, the headstrong chestnut filly by City Zip out of Invariable earned the first win of her four-year-old campaign following top three finishes in the Dance Smartly and Nassau (Gr. 2) Stakes under the care of trainer Josie Carroll.

“She’s been a very, very game filly this whole season and showing a lot of character in developing,” said Boulanger. “We’re trying to teach her to relax and Josie’s team has done a great job with her, and her and I kind of get along and she’s pretty easy to handle now. She got a little hot today, but when you call on her, she gives you everything she has.”

“I’m delighted and thankful that the Stronach Group sent this filly to me, and between Gary and her exercise rider Billy O’Connor, they’ve done a tremendous job with this filly,” acknowledged Carroll. “She goes out late every morning when there’s nothing for her to chase because if there’s something for her to chase, she’s going to catch it. So they’ve really, really worked with getting this filly to relax, come off the bridle, and I think it was their accomplishment to get her to go a mile and a half.”

Involuntary earned her fourth career win in 10 starts and boosted her bankroll over the $200,000 mark. She is the 176th blacktype winner owned by Frank Stronach.

-edited from www.woodbineentertainment.com, photo by Michael Burns
Summer Sunday Caps Huge Weekend for Silent Name

8/7/2017

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Summer Sunday to pick up her first stakes victory. A beautiful summer Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack was the scene of her $125,000 Nandi Stakes conquest in which she defeated a field of two-year-old Ontario-sired fillies.

Watch the Nandi Stakes

Jockey Jesse Campbell rode the undefeated Silent Name-Dancing Allstar filly to victory for trainer Simon Stuart and owners Anne and William Scott. Bred by Trinity West Stables, Summer Sunday was the co-sales topper at last year's CTHS Canadian Preferred Yearling sale.

She is the second Silent Name juvenile stakes winner on the weekend. Be Vewy Vewy Quiet, also unbeaten, conquered the Clarendon S. on Woodbine's Saturday card.

Summer Sunday left from post six and fought with Shady Well Stakes starter Miss Danielle (Emma-Jayne Wilson) for the lead through fractions of :22.36 and :45.50 before taking charge down the stretch to score in 1:04.49 over five and a half furlongs on the Tapeta. The Mark Casse-trained Rosemere (Patrick Husbands) made a run for Summer Sunday late and finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner in her career debut while Miss Danielle held on for third in a photo finish with Belmont shipper She’s the Berries (David Moran).

“She won handily her first time out [on July 15]. I worked her once before she ran and I loved her,” said Campbell, who picked off a couple of other fillies in the Nandi to ride Summer Sunday. “She’s got a great head on her and talent to boot so that can go a long ways. It’s always nice to win stakes, but when you get to win for your good friends – Stuart’s a good friend of mine – it’s extra special.”

Sent postward as the 2-1 favourite following her winning career debut last month, Summer Sunday paid $6, $3.60 and $2.70 across the board.

“I think she’s continuing to advance forward,” said Simon. “Every week she seems like a little bit better filly. She really is just a dream horse to train and she’s got such a good head on her and she does what you ask of her so we haven’t been very hard on her. We were trying to look at the big picture of the full career so I think she’s got a lot of good things in front of her still.”

Simon indicated that the filly’s next assignment is expected to be the Muskoka Stakes on August 30.

-edited from www.woodbineentertainment.com, photo by Michael Burns

Silent Name Son Remains Unbeaten in Clarendon Stakes

8/6/2017

Even-money favourite Be Vewy Vewy Quiet and jockey Sheena Ryan were victorious in the $125,000 Clarendon Stakes for Ontario-bred two-year-olds on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Watch the Clarendon Stakes
 
Be Vewy Vewy Quiet dueled inside of Water Polo (Omar Moreno) for the top spot through fractions of :22.33 and :45.63 before kicking clear down the stretch to score by two lengths in 1:03.90 over five and a half furlongs on the Tapeta track. Eskiminzin (Patrick Husbands) swept three-high turning for home and came on for second-place while Aheadbyacentury (Jesse Campbell) edged out Sent From Heaven (Eurico Rosa Da Silva) to show.  Water Polo finished fifth and Differential (Gary Boulanger) completed the field.

The homebred Silent Name-Advanced Green gelding is now undefeated in two career starts for trainer Robert Tiller and owners Frank Di Giulio Jr., Anthony D’Onofrio and J. Peri. He kicked off an impressive weekend for Silent Name, also the sire of unbeaten Nandi S. winner Summer Sunday the following afternoon.
 
“He breaks well, Bob’s done a great job teaching him from the gate and I decided to sit with that one just so we’d have a clean trip,” said Ryan, noting that the winner finished strong. “He was just getting warmed up, he didn’t even want to pull up.”
 
Be Vewy Vewy Quiet's Clarendon win marked the second stakes victory for the Ryan-Tiller combination following a win last year in the Bull Page Stakes for two-year-olds with Dragon’s Cry.
 
“She’s a good horsewoman and she works very hard,” said Tiller of his winning rider. “She has a very positive attitude and that’s very important to me. Even when you’re going bad, keep going, don’t let them take you alive. You’ve got to get up the next morning and you’ve got to have that positive attitude and she just gets around the stable area and works for everybody. She helped me out this spring when times were tough, you know, we had a little shortage of exercise riders so I felt I owed her a horse that could maybe run a little bit.
 
“He’s turned out better than I even thought he would,” continued Tiller. “I really liked this race today because he really had all the worst of it. He was under strain all the way and showed me something from the eighth pole home so we’re thrilled. And it’s a homebred for Frankie and his partners, and he’s a good horse, I think he looks like he’s a runner.”

Silent Name is the leading two-year-old sire in Canada again in 2017 and is now the sire of four juvenile stakes winners in the past year.

-edited from www.woodbineentertainment.com, photo Michael Burns

  

 

'Paula' Adds to Championship Resume with Honorable Miss S. (G2) Score

7/26/2017

Paulassilverlining earned her third straight graded stakes victory when she out-battled a stubborn Finley'sluckycharm to win the G2 Honorable Miss Stakes by a neck at Saratoga.

Watch the Honorable Miss Stakes

The 5-year-old mare by Ghostzapper remains undefeated in 2017 for trainer Chad Brown and owner Juddmonte Farms and burnished her credentials for an Eclipse Award as North America's top female sprinter. Paulassilverlining started her year with a victory in the G1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland, and followed that up with a win in the G1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

“Jose [Ortiz] knows her so well, I really didn't give him any instructions," said trainer Chad Brown. "He timed it just right. She has a lot of heart. [Since] arriving in our barn, she's done nothing wrong. She's been a real pleasant addition to our stable: so competitive, a lot of heart, a lot of talent."

A field of five went to the post in the Honorable Miss, with the Bret Calhoun-trained Finley'sluckycharm sent off as the even money favorite. As per her style, Finley'sluckycharm took the lead right out of the starting gate. She was soon joined by outsider Disco Chick, as Paulasilverlining sat just off of them in third.

Paulasilverlining began to close on the leaders entering the far turn, and soon rolled up to challenge Finley'sluckycharm as they hit the top of the stretch. The talented distaffers dueled the length of the stretch, with it appearing that Finley'sluckycharm would come out on top. However, with one final surge nearing the wire, Paulasilverlining overhauled her rival to claim victory by a long neck. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.10.

She is Ghostzapper's second graded winner during the first week of the 2017 Saratoga meeting after Proctor's Ledge took the Lake George S. (G2) on opening day.

Bred in Kentucky by Vince Scuderi, Paulassilverlining began her career racing for him under the care of trainer Michelle Nevin. For those connections, she compiled four graded stakes wins and finished third in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita. Following that performance, Prince Khalid Abdullah purchased her as a future broodmare for his international superstar Arrogate.

-edited from www.paulickreport.com

First Stakes Winner for Point of Entry

7/23/2017

Glamanation broke her maiden in style, taking Sunday's $125,000 Shady Well Stakes, at Woodbine.

Watch the Shady Well Stakes

Bred by Adena Springs, Glamanation banked $75,000 in victory while providing Point of Entry with his first stakes winner and third winner in five days.

Owned and trained by Mike Doyle, the daughter of Point of Entry-Golden Scarf by Orientate came into the 5 ½-furlong Tapeta sprint for Ontario-bred juvenile fillies off a fourth-place effort to the unbeaten Dream It Is in the My Dear Stakes on June 24. The bay finished second to that same rival in her career bow on May 27, Dream It Is is the early leader of the North American juvenile fillies after an sensational performance in the Schuylerville S. (G3) on the July 21 opening day card at Saratoga.

With Davy Moran aboard, Glamanation was settled in fifth of six as Miss Danielle and Jamaica Me Home duked it out through opening splits of :23.34 and :47.67, with favourite Moka Latte keeping close tabs on the duo. Moran moved Glamanation to the outside for the stretch drive and the pair soon picked off the leaders, before fending off the Silent Name filly Mega Monster by one length.

Glamanation covered 5 1/2-furlongs in 1:05.94.

An equipment change, adding the blinkers for the Shady Well, proved to be a winning move. 

"She ran second to Barb Minshall’s good filly (Dream It Is) the first time out and personally, I think she probably could have won that day,” said Moran. “When she went to go by, she started laying in on horses, so today, I tried to swing her out a little bit and she even tried it for a couple of strides. She’s only learning and she’s improving every race. I think there’s better for her to come still.”

Doyle is also hopeful of more pleasing results ahead, including the opportunity for his young pupil to test out the Woodbine green scene.

“Richard Hogan bought the horse in September (from Adena Springs),” said Doyle. “He called me and I bought her off him. She had a couple of vet issues you had to forgive her for and I just like the stallion and I kind of liked the way she looked. 

“I always keep thinking I should be running her on the grass,” he continued. “The way the races keep coming up – I thought she would have won maybe already by now and I could have just gone to turf – but now she’s won a nice race and her next start will hopefully be something headed towards the (Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In”) Natalma (September 17, at Woodbine).”  

-edited from www.woodbineentertainment.com, photo by Michael Burns


A Huge Week for Point of Entry

7/22/2017

Point of Entry was represented by his first three winners, including his first Stakes winner, during the third week of July.

The Adena Springs-bred and sold Glamanation is that Stakes winner after surging to win the $125,000 Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine on July 23.

Watch the Shady Well Stakes

The prior afternoon in a grassy six furlong Maiden Special contest at Woodbine, the filly Moonlight Rain (pictured) unleashed a furious stretch rally to capture her debut over the over a field of males.

Watch Moonlight Rain's debut win 

Moonlight Rain rated somewhat greenly behind fractions of :24.06 and :47.03 and gathered steam as the field spun into the stretch. Left with significant work to do, she kicked it into high gear late, splitting horses to get up and score. The final time was 1:11 flat.

Bred and owned by Gabe Grossberg and trained by Mark Casse, the winner’s dam is Sweet Sugaree, a stakes-placed daughter of Tiznow.

Four days earlier, the Adena Springs-bred and sold Point of Entry son Happy King scored in his debut at Hipódromo de las Américas in Mexico City.

By the late, great Dynaformer, Point of Entry was a five-time Grade 1 winner of nearly $2.5 million.

- photo by Michael Burns

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