OHIO-BRED HEAVENHASMYNIKKI CAPTURES GRADE 3 $200.000 VAGRANCY HANDICAP AT BELMONT PARK
Leading every step of the way, Heavenhasmynikki outlasted a very talented field in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park on May 11. Breaking on top in the 6 ½ furlong test, she first repelled a challenge from the favored Separationofpowers – winner of $772,500 including the the Grade 1 Test and Frizette Stakes. She extended her lead to three lengths into the stretch and when challenged by three-time graded stakes-placed Pacific Gale “mustered up enough gameness to preserve the decision,” according to the Daily Racing Form.
The well-timed ride by Kendrick Carmouche pushed “Nikki’s” career record to 14-7-0-2 with $374,980 in earnings. Campaigned by Ron Paolucci Racing LLC the striking 4-year-old filly is currently under the care of Robert Hess, Jr. She was purchased at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton October Sale. The daughter of Majestic Warrior is out of Floral Park by Forest Wildcat and was bred by Langsem Farm.
The Vagrancy has been a springboard for numerous national champions in multiple divisions. Conniver won the first running under Hall of Fame rider Ted Atkinson in 1948 and went on to be crowned Champion Older Mare. Other champions that won the Vagrancy were Cicada (’59); My Juliet (’76); Sky Beauty (’90); Xtra Heat (’98) and La Verdad (2010). Good company to be in for a filly foaled in Loveland, Ohio.
CARMEL STICKS TO THE RAIL IN GOOEY $75,000 TOMBOY WIN
It is that time of the racing season where horses are asked to test their mettle around two turns. The $75,000 Tomboy Stakes at Belterra Park was also scheduled to give the 3-year-old fillies an opportunity to perform on the turf. The one and one-sixteenth mile test for Ohio Registered fillies was moved from the turf to the Cincinnati dirt after heavy rains in the area turned the track to a sea of mud earlier in the day on May 12.
H.F. Carmel was stepping up to stakes competition for the first time in her career. Trained by Mike Rone, he elected to make a rider switch and put Gerardo Corrales up. Corrales, breaking from the rail, made the decision to take the short way home. Patiently handled in seventh for most of the running, H.F. Carmel picked up her cue into the stretch and made a quick move while skimming the rail and seemed to relish the sloppy going to pull away by 4 ¼ lengths at the wire.
The daughter of Revolutionary out of Ohio-bred Flip Side by Devil His Due notched her second career victory and upped her earnings to $73,630 for owner Dr. Harold Fishman. The homebred left the gate at 7-1 odds and was timed in a leisurely 1:47.12. She now has two wins, one second and one third in five lifetime tries.
Gabriel Lagunes guided 25-1 longshot Market Success up for second, while T.D. Houghton was aboard third-place finisher, 6-1 Drillit. Totally Obsessed, at 7-2 odds, was fourth for Luis Quinones. Here Comes Jigs, another Rone-trainee was caught in tight after the start, stumbled and lost jockey Ricardo Feliciano shortly after the start. Both the horse and rider returned unscathed.
$75,000 MICHAEL F. ROWLAND MEMORIAL HANDICAP TO MOBIL SOLUTION
Mobil Solution was recently crowned Ohio’s leading 3-year-old male and Accredited 3-year-old male. In his second start of the season he returned to his winning ways and put forth a solid stretch run to capture the $75,000 Michael F. Rowland Memorial Handicap on Saturday, May 11 at JACK Thistledown.
The 4-year-old son of 2018 Ohio Stallion of the Year Mobil, with Luis Rivera in the irons, relaxed in third for the first half of the race and engaged 6-5 pace setting rival Midnight Mikey (Luis Quinones) into the stretch and prevailed by half a length at the wire in the test for Ohio Accredited foals, 3-year-olds and up. Mobil Solution, the 9-2 choice, was clocked in a respectable 1:11.02 for the six furlongs. Breezing home for a fast, hard-fought third-place finish was 2-1 Direct Deceit (John McKee).
Mobil Solution, a dark bay or brown gelding, is trained by Jeff Radosevich for owner Gerald Silver.
Bred by Mapleton Thoroughbreds, the gelded son of Mobil out of Perfect Solution by Seeking the Gold now has $274,020 in his career coffers, with five wins, five seconds and a trio of thirds in 16 lifetime starts. His other stake triumphs include the 2018 editions of the $75,000 Horizon Stakes and $75,000 Catlaunch Stakes, and the $75,000 Joshua Radosevich Memorial Stakes in 2017.
O.T.B.O. MEMBER DR. JOEL POLITI WINS KENTUCKY OAKS
Serengeti Empress became racing’s “Queen for a Day” when she made every pole a winning one in the $1,250,000 Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks. Owned by Dr. Joel Politi OF Columbus, Ohio, Serengeti Empress pushed her career earnings past the million-dollar mark in this historic race.
Dr. Politi didn’t just jump in the racing game when he signed the $70,000 ticket for the daughter of Alternation at the 2017 Keeneland September Sale on the advice of trainer Tom Amoss. “My dad my parents are both immigrants. I’m first generation. My dad grew up in Egypt, loved going to the track. They migrated through Europe to wind up getting over here, Politi recalled at the post-race press conference. He was a physician, and once he got settled, he went to the track, and we had some $1,500 claimers at Waterford Park and that’s how he got going. And I was at the track all the time. And we bred and he built a barn in the backyard, a 12 horse barn. And we got 25 cents a day to feed them in the morning, and we were out there all the time, and on the weekends, we went to the track. So, it was a passion of my dad’s that I loved, and so it was a joy, a treat for me to go to the track. I have been going since forever, and here we are.”
After winning the Grade 2 Rachael Alexandra in her front running fashion she was installed as the odds-on favorite in the key Kentucky Oaks prep – the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. She led the field for the first half of the race but stopped quickly after that by Jockey James Graham when she began to bleed and was vanned off. In the weeks ahead trainer Amoss had her treated and methodically brought her back to her form.
Amoss was not about to put her in the 1 1/8 mile Oaks unless he was 100% sure that she had responded to the treatments. He put her condition to the test, not once, but twice in two workouts at Churchill Downs and she recorded “bullet” efforts at 4 and then 5 furlongs. Both times she returned to the barn as fit as she could be, with no signs of bleeding and the green light was on for the Oaks.
Despite having to break from post 13, racing luck was with her at the break and she cleared the talent-laden field inside of her to secure position along the inside under the guidance of Jose Ortiz. She was challenged by Liora in mid-stretch, but repelled that effort to hit the wire 1 3/4 lengths in front at odds of 13-1.
Dr. Politi reflected on his decision to send his filly to the barn of Tom Ammos. “So, I’ve known for a long, long time I already said it I think Tom is you know, the best is a very subjective thing. Tom is amongst the elite in getting horses ready. And then he went to the sale and bought Mo Tom a few years ago. Anybody remember Mo Tom? He went to the sale and bought Lone Sailor a few years ago? Anybody remember Lone Sailor, right? I talk to Tom all the time. One of my favorite things to do is go to the barn and look at all of his horses for fun. You can see what he’s got, and he has got an eye and he has proven it repetitively. And she is the empress of proving it, right?
No timetable has been set since the Oaks for the rest of her season, but we wish Dr. Politi nothing but the best. While Serengeti Empress is a Kentucky-bred, look for Dr. Politi to be active here in Ohio soon as he purchased an Ohio-bred Take Charge Indy filly out of the 2018 O.T.B.O. Mixed Sale.
DERBY DAY DAILY DOUBLE FOR HAMM STABLE
Within one minute, Tim Hamm trained horses captured the two Ohio Stakes scheduled on May 4. At Belterra Park the gates flew open at 3:54 pm in the $75,000 Tall Stacks and Kenny McPeek-trained Sister’s Creed (a $70,000 Fasig-Tipton yearling purchase) showed early speed, just as she had in her debut at Keeneland. Jockey Luis Colon was intent on laying a clear second on Diamond Dust behind the leader until they came out of the turn in the 6 ½ furlong test for 3-year-olds.
Asked for more, last year’s Juvenile Champion swooped by the pacesetter and quickly gained a two-length lead. Colon gave Diamond Dust a hand ride to the wire outlasting 27-1 longshot I Wanna Win who caught Sister’s Creed in the final yards. They covered the distance in 1:18.15 over a muddy sealed track.
“He works harder than any horse I’ve had,” commented Hamm. “He went alongside Kenny’s filly and looked her in the eye and just took off.”
Diamond dust is owned and bred by WinStar Farm and Blazing Meadows Farm, He is by Paynter out of Radiant Sky by Awesome Again. The win in the Tall Stacks pushed his career record to 8-6-2-0 for earnings of $283,000.
At 3:55 they sprung the latch for the 6-furlong T.F. Classen Memorial at Thistledown. Multiple state champion Leona’s Reward was selected as the morning line favorite, but the betting public made Mike Rone’s talented sprinter True Cinder a heavy odds-on choice after having a race under her belt versus open allowance company. True Cinder had won half of her 10 sprint starts for $204,250. Leona’s Reward on the other hand, had won only one race at the distance in a 38-race career – that race was last year’s edition of the T.F. Classen Memorial. “The short route is not her game, but she is a tough mare,” Hamm admitted. “She had a good winter in Florida and it was time to get her going. She won this race off a layoff last year.”
Breaking from the inside on the fast track was Edge of Pleasure who took the early lead with True Cinder in pursuit and Leona’ Reward never far behind. The pace quickened as they rounded the turn and True Cinder took a short lead over Edge of Pleasure with Leona’s Reward only a head behind the top two. It made for an exciting final furlong while True Cinder drifted to the five path to lead by a length. Scott Speith astride Leona’s Reward went even wider while switching to a left-hand stick and got up in the final strides while True Cinder finished only ¾ of a length over Edge of Pleasure.
Put win number 15 in the books for the hard knocking 6-year-old mare and boost her bankroll to $723,606. Leona’s Reward is owned in partnership by Michael Friedman and Blazing Meadows Farm and was bred by Blazing Meadows Farm. She is a daughter of Ohio stallion Parent’s Reward out of Prime Time Dancer by Montbrook.
ALTISSIMO RETURNS A WINNER – JOIN THE PARTY – MAY 17
There is no better place to spend a late day in May, than on the grounds of Darby Dan Farm in Galloway, Ohio. Join your fellow owners and breeders at the OTBO Annual Awards Banquet on Friday, May 17. The party starts at 5:00 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres featuring a variety of specialty cheeses, shrimp cocktail and more. You can purchase beverages at the cash bar and take in the view of Darby Creek from the outdoor patio.
Sports lovers will be treated to historic displays of John Galbreath’s great runners through exhibits from the victories of Darby Dan greats winning the Kentucky Derby, English Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Baseball fan’s can take in memorabilia from Galbreath’s World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates and his favorite champion football teams from THE Ohio State University.
Dinner will begin at 6:30 followed by the announcement of Ohio’s Outstanding Champions of 2018 that will be featured in the film “Here’s to the Winners!” The divisional winner’s will be presented their trophies and be welcomed to address their fellow O.T.B.O. members and state dignitaries. It only happens once a year. Everyone is invited and the cost is only $50.00 per person. Seating is limited so reserve your spot (you may request to be seated with friends or partners) – we need to let the caterer know how much food to prepare – so reserve your spot now! Pull down an invitation online or contact the office via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or call (513) 574-5888.
ALTISSIMO COMES OUT RUNNING IN 2019
He won six of nine starts last season – five of them in Ohio Stakes for season’s earnings of $320,875. Now a 6-year-old, Altissimo is back to his winning ways with a strong win in the $75,000 Edward Babst/Albert Palacios Memorial at Belterra Park on April 27.
He came into the 6-furlong affair off a series of works, highlighted by a best of 37 four-furlong morning breeze. “Eventually we’ll move all of our horses to Thistledown,” said trainer Richard Zielinski. “Rather than change environments and then quickly ship to Cincinnati for the race, we elected to keep him stabled at Mahoning Valley where he had been training steadily.”
Only five runners elected to take on Altissimo and when the gates broke regular rider Christian Pilares let him roll, but they we not without company for most of the race. Brown Buckeye broke a tad slowly on the rail, but was immediately put into the race by Luis Rivera. The leaders matched strides through the first quarter of a mile and soon Mannford replaced Brown Buckeye going head to head with Altissimo around the turn and into the stretch. He had to work for it, but in mid-stretch Altissimo began to lengthen his advantage and held off a late rally by two-time Ohio Horse of the Year Mo Dont No, while Mannford settled for the third spot.
“That was a little more pressure than I expected,” Zielinski spoke in the stakes room while watching the replay. “I was a little nervous when they flashed the early fractions of :44 3/5 and :56 4/5.” The final time was 1:10.10. Bred by Nancy Lavrich and Niknar Farm LLC, the son of Noble Causeway out of Great Goin Rose by Albert the Great pushed his career earnings to $519,388. He is owned by Nancy Lavrich and Ronald Zielinski.
So, what does the future hold for Altissimo? “I guess we’ll take the same route as last year,” quoted Zielinski. “We won the Gendelman here last year going long, I hope it stays on the grass. The race isn’t until June and I wish there was something in between.”
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New rule for Broodmare Owners. The term “Enters” shall mean physical arrival in this state on or before August 15th of the year in which a foal is conceived. Annual renewal of Broodmares by Aug. 15. Contact: OSRC Greg Veit 614-466-2757