Big Apple Showcase Special

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Monday’s Big Apple Showcase Day, which features a five-pack of stakes worth $900,000 and 10 races overall for New York-breds, takes center stage on Memorial Day at Belmont Park. Reprinted with permission from the New York Thoroughbred Breeders website nytbreeders.org.

One of the most anticipated days for the Empire State’s breeding and racing program always delivers dramatic moments and competitive action and 2022’s edition figures to follow that trend. The high-dollar event attracted plenty of interest and everything gets underway at 1 p.m. The first stakes – the Mount Vernon for fillies and mares on the grass – goes as the second race at 1:32. The team at The Saratoga Special and This Is Horse Racing wanted to preview all the action and present the Big Apple Showcase Special to set the stage.

We’ll be back with more editions for the other two Showcase Day cards this year – the Saratoga Showcase during the much-anticipated Spa meeting and Empire Showcase card this fall at Belmont Park.

Here’s wishing everyone in the New York Thoroughbred industry a safe Memorial Day and prosperous rest of the year.

By the Numbers
2: Millionaires – Cross Border and Somelikeithotbrown – entered in Monday’s $125,000 Kingston Stakes on the grass. They’re both trained by Mike Maker and Somelikeithotbrown holds the narrow bankroll edge over his stablemate with $1,189,338. Cross Border comes in with $1,123,979 earned.

3: Runners by leading New York sire Central Banker entered Monday – Bank Sting in the Critical Eye and second-time starter Silken Dollar in the maiden special weight finale, with Dream Central as a main track only entrant in the latter.

5: Runners bred or co-bred by Sequel Stallions NY on Monday’s card – Major Spin (third), Alicia’s Way (fifth), Secret Love (Critical Eye), Kisses for Emily (Bouwerie) and Mo Nighean Donn (10th). That number leads all breeders.

7: Offspring of the late and former leading New York-based freshman sire Laoban on the day – Bossmakinbossmoves (third) Urgano (fourth), Alicia’s Way (fifth) Yo Cuz (Bouwerie), Laobanonaprayer (Critical Eye), Mo Nighean Donn and Celebrity News (10th). No other New York sire has more.

9: Entries for trainer Christophe Clement on Monday’s card, tops among all conditioners. He is also the only trainer represented as a breeder on the card. Multiple stakes winner Therapist, running in the Kingston, was co-bred with Oak Bluff Stable.

88: New York-breds entered for Monday’s Big Apple Showcase Day card.

100: Breeders represented by those 88 New York-breds.

124: Pounds assigned by Bank Sting in Monday’s $200,000 Critical Eye. The 5-year-old daughter of Central Banker won last year’s edition carrying 119.

1,898,796: Dollars in progeny earnings for Central Banker through May 28, tops in the state. He stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs.

738,411: Dollars in progeny earnings for New York’s second leading sire War Dancer through May 28. The son of War Front, who stands at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions in Schuylerville, is represented by Pop the Bubbly in Monday’s $125,000 Mount Vernon, second-time Front Line Dancer in the fourth race on the turf and multiple stakes winner Step Dancer in the $125,000 Kingston.

723,333: Dollars in progeny earnings for Mission Impazible, good for third in New York through May 28. Standing at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, Mission Impazible has third-time starting filly Missing Fortune in Monday’s first race for maidens going 1 mile on the main track.

Worth Repeating
“Big Apple Showcase Day on the Memorial Day holiday at Belmont Park shows the strength and value New York’s breeding industry has on racing in our state and beyond. Working in partnership with NYRA, we have created a tradition featuring marquee New York-bred days, showing why it’s lucrative to breed, own and race state-breds in New York.”
New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Executive Director Najja Thompson

“We took a shot in there; she belonged in there I thought. It was a tough group of fillies and I think given the track, she’s won on an off track before, but it’s not her best surface. She’d excel better on a drier track. Maybe, if we had one last time, we might have got a piece of it, but it was still a tough race regardless. She came out of it well, and we’re looking forward to Monday. The weather looks great.”
Trainer John Terranova, who sends out Bank Sting in Monday’s Critical Eye

Names of the Day
Thrill of It. Third Race. The reason why we play this crazy game.

Nikostratos. Fourth Race. The 3-year-old is by Declaration of War.

Media Sensation. Fourth Race. The 3-year-old is by Exaggerator out of Media Bias.

Salute to America. Eighth Race. Seems appropriate this weekend.

Cross Border. Ninth Race. An oldie but a goodie, the millionaire is by English Channel.

Plays of the Day
Fourth Race. Whistler’s Honor closed ground in his debut going short, he makes his 3-year-old debut going two turns and attracts Jose Ortiz.

Ninth Race. Step Dancer takes on heavy hitters in the Kingston but could fire fresh in his 4-year-old debut.

Handicapper’s Corner
The Saratoga Special’s handicappers are gearing up for the 2022 summer meeting at the Spa but we asked them to work up some selections for Saturday’s Big Apple Showcase. Check out the picks from our team of five. Good luck and enjoy.

John Shapazian (47/201):
1-Royal Currency, Bern Rosie Bern, Secret Hideout.
2-Runway Rumor, Classic Lady, Giacosa.
3-Aggregation, Major Spin, Pineapple Man.
4-Biondi, Mr. Connecticut, Bernardino.
5-Rheaume, Waterville, Kannon Fire.
6-Bank Sting, Make Mischief, Maiden Beauty.
7-Yo Cuz, November Rain, Adversity.
8-Best Idea, Hot Rod Rumble, Who Hoo Thats Me.
9-City Man, Somelikeithotbrown, Therapist.
10-Queen of Lies, Smokin’ Hot Kitty, Crosstalk.

Tom Law (54/201):
1-Missing Fortune, Royal Currency, Bern Rosey Bern.
2-Runaway Rumour, She’s the One, Classic Lady.
3-Aggregation, Pineapple Man, Umbria.
4-Nikostratos, Front Line Dancer, Mr. Connecticut.
5-Waterville, Kannon Fire, Out of Sight.
6-Bank Sting, Make Mischief, Love and Love.
7-Yo Cuz, Adversity, Sterling Silver.
8-Rotknee, Tin Pan Alley, Hot Rod Rumble.
9-Somelikeithotbrown, Cross Border, Therapist.
10-Ard Macha, Crosstalk, Queen of Lies.

Charles Bedard (43/201):
1-Royal Currency, Missing Fortune, Secret Hideout.
2-Giacosa, Pop The Bubbly, She’s The One.
3-Aggregation, Umbria, Full Moon Fever.
4-Mr. Connecticut, Bernardino, Nikostratos.
5-New Ginya, Out Of Sight, Freedom Machine.
6-Make Mischief, Maiden Beauty, Mashnee Girl.
7-Yo Cuz, Liberty Flame, Sterling Silver.
8-Tin Pan Alley, Rotknee, Kazmike.
9-Somelikeithotbrown, Sanctuary City, Ocala Dream.
10-Queen Of Lies, Bavarian Crème, Sinfully Sweet.

Rob Whitlock (47/201):
1-Royal Currency, Sister Linda, Bern Rosy Bern.
2-She’s The One, Giacosa, Runaway Rumour.
3-Pineapple Man, Aggregation, Major Spin.
4-Biondi, Front Line Dancer, Bernardino.
5-Waterville, Rheaume, Out of Sight.
6-Bank Sting, Make Mischief, Mashnee Girl.
7-Yo Cuz, November Rein, True Empress.
8-Best Idea, Tin Pan Alley, Rotknee.
9-Somelikeithotbrown, City Man, Cross Border.
10-Celebrity News, Bavarian Queen, Queen of Lies.

Jessica Paquette (48/201):
1-Bern Rosey Bern, Royal Currency, Sweet Maeve.
2-She’s the One, Giacosa, Classic Lady.
3-Bossmakinbossmoves, Aggregation, Pineapple Man.
4-Nikostratos, Lookin Grand, Mr. Connecticut.
5-Rheaume, Out of Sight, Waterville.
6-Secret Love, Mashnee Girl, Make Mischief.
7-True Empress, Yo Cuz, Adversity.
8-Best Idea, Hot Rod Rumble, Tin Pan Alley.
9-Cross Border, Step Dancer, Somelikeithotbrown.
10-Bavarian Cream, Latest Edition, Celebrity News.

As for the races …
Race 1. 1:00 p.m. Kick off the day with a 1-mile maiden special weight. Francis Paolangeli’s homebred Royal Currency is a short price on the morning line with four seconds in five starts for Charlton Baker.

Race 2. 1:32. Early stakes on the card and a good one. The $125,000 Mount Vernon for fillies and mares at 1 mile on the grass features Runaway Rumour, back with New York-breds for the first time since last June; 2020 Yaddo winner Giacosa; last year’s runner-up and multiple stakes winner Classic Lady; and potential rising star in She’s the One.

Race 3. 2:03. Back to the main track for 1-mile allowance. Chad Brown and Seth Klarman win classics and wins with New York-breds, too. They run Aggregation here off a 6 1/2-length maiden win in mid-April at Aqueduct. He’ll need a top effort against the likes of Pineapple Man, G Munning, Umbria, Major Spin and Full Moon Fever.

Race 4. 2:34. Nikostratos, second in two turf tries last year, tries again in 2021 debut going 1 1/16 miles on the grass for Jonathan Thomas. Jim Bond runs Biondi off a good prep while Christophe Clement tries to get Mr. Connecticut’s maiden win in his fifth start.

Race 5. 3:03. Waterville made a nice return when second last month in similar turf allowance at Aqueduct. Waterville Lake Stables homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy takes on debut winners Rheaume and New Ginya, and last-out maiden winner Out of Sight in this spot.

Race 6. 3:34. Back to stakes action and the $200,000 Critical Eye Handicap. Bank Sting went on a tear last year into the start of 2022, winning three straight including the Heavenly Prize against open company. She’s back with New York-breds here and will face a good test from Make Mischief, Maiden Beauty and Love and Love.

Race 7. 4:06. Yo Cuz stumbled and lost all chance last time in a division of the New York Stallion Series. A clean break here in the $125,000 Bouwerie against fellow sophomore fillies and she could be back to the form that saw her take three straight stakes. It’s no layup though with stakes winner November Rein, Sterling Silver and Adversity in the field of eight.

Race 8. 4:40. Solid group of nine entered for the $125,000 Mike Lee, including Damon Runyon winner Rotknee, beaten Damon Runyon favorite Best Idea, last-out maiden winner Tin Pan Alley, Damon Runyon runner-up Agility and Hot Rod Rumble and Who Hoo Thats Me, 1-2 in an Aqueduct allowance last time out for top connections.

Race 9. 5:12. The $125,000 Kingston closes to stakes portion of the card and what a lineup. City Man, Therapist, Cross Border and others take on multiple graded stakes winner Somelikeithotbrown. Off since winning last year’s Mohawk, son of New York-based sire Big Brown owns two wins on the Belmont grass, a seven-figure bankroll and reunites with jockey Jose Ortiz.

Race 10. 5:44. Overflow field for the finale, a 7-furlong maiden on the grass. Michael Stidham ships Queen of Lies north from Fair Hill while George Weaver tries the turf with the Laoban filly Celebrity News off a fifth on the dirt in division of the NYSS last month.

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Joe Clancy

Joe Clancy writes about horses for thisishorseracing.com, The Saratoga Special and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine (mainly). He and his brother Sean started all this in 1994.
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