Archive for March 2016

Stonetastic Speeds to Inside Information Win

StonetasticInsideInformation2016_3AC298Stoneway Farm’s Stonetastic took charge soon after the start and never relinquished her lead en route to a commanding victory in the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (gr. II) March 19 at Gulfstream Park.

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With a three-length advantage into the stretch, the 5-year daughter of Mizzen Mast went on to finish seven furlongs in 1:23.22 on a fast track. With four previous tries at the distance, all without success, she broke through Saturday in a tour de force performance.

Ridden by Paco Lopez for Kelly Breen, Stonetastic paid $4.40, $3.20, and $3. Second-place finisher Tiger Ride returned $9.60 and $6.60, and Engaginglee paid $9.60 to show.

Vying with Flutterby from the gate, Stonestastic soon had control by a half-length down the backstretch.

“I knew (Flutterby) wanted to make the lead, too, so I used her a little bit coming out of the gate to make the lead,” Lopez said. “I made the lead and she held it. I know she hadn’t won at seven furlongs, but she did it very well. She’s a very nice filly. When she makes the lead like that, she’s tough to beat. She’s a really nice filly.”

Stonetastic came in off a five-length triumph in the 6 1/2-furlong Miami Shores Stakes Feb. 14 and had no problem stretching her speed after a quick half in :44 and change.

“Who knows if she goes that fast, if she can go a mile or a one-turn mile, but I think she proved herself (at seven furlongs) against a lot of nice horses today,” Breen said. “She rates in the morning. To slow her down, we’ll start her behind another horse, so she won’t go too fast. We’ll see what she’s going to do.

“Paco knows her. Paco likes her and he’s confident with her. He’s confident with her on the front end. You go a half in (:44 1/5) and keep on going, you’re a nice horse.”

Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden, and Craig Brogden, Stonetastic is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Special Me. Her record improved to 6-3-3 from 16 career starts that include a victory in the 2014 Prioress Stakes (gr. II) going six furlongs Saratoga Race Course. Stoneway Farm bought her for $77,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale, where her breeders consigned under their Select Sales agency.

You Bought Her finished fourth, followed by Best Behavior, Bar of Gold, Miss Melinda, Kiss to Remember,
Dogwood Trail, and Flutterby to complete the order of finish.

Upstart Wins Razorback in 2016 Debut

UpstartRazorbackHandicap2016_2CP298 Upstart opened his 4-year-old season the same way he opened his 3-year-old year, by winning a graded stakes.

Battling four or five wide in the lane, the dark bay runner completed a long drive to edge away from Domain’s Rap Domain’s Rap and others for a one-length win in the $350,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) March 19 at Oaklawn Park. Watch Video With the win, Ralph Evans and WinStar Farm’s Upstart snapped a six-race skid that dated back to that 3-year-old debut win in the 2015 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.

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After that 2015 season-opening effort, Upstart finished first in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) but was placed second for interference. He then finished second in the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I), but only placed once in his remaining three four starts of the season, a third in the William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) behind Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and eventual Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Keen Ice.

On Saturday Upstart and jockey Joe Bravo settled seventh early as Shotgun Kowboy led the field through a quarter mile in :23.15 and a half mile in :47.5. The son of Flatter began his wide rally early in the far turn and maintained momentum to the wire.

Trained by Rick Violette Jr., Upstart completed the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:44.12 on a fast track to secure the third stakes win of his career. After that sustained move in Upstart’s first race since September, Bravo gave all credit to Violette.

“I’m going to give full credit to the whole Rick Violette team for bringing this horse together. When you’re off that long, it’s tough to get a horse ready to run,” Bravo said. “He left there really nicely, relaxed really good the first turn. Probably a little farther back than Rick wanted. But, he was so comfortable and relaxed. I was really happy the way he was going.

“You saw the move he made around the turn. He’s back. He’s a pretty nice horse. He proved it to everybody. I’m just glad he’s a big, happy horse for the rest of the season.”

Upstart, the 5-2 favorite. returned $7.20, $4.80, and $4.40 across the board while former claimer Domain’s Rap finished second, paying $8.20 and $5.80 for the minor awards. Idolo Porteno, a grade I winner in Argentina, finished third in his U.S. debut, paying $9.40 to show.

Bred in New York by Mrs. Gerald Nielsen, Upstart is out of the unraced Touch Gold mare Party Silks. He was a $130,000 purchase from the Fasig-Tipton New York preferred yearling sale when consigned by Summerfield, agent for Sunnyfield Farm.

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