NO SUCH WORD DOMINATES GAZELLE
Despite taking the overland route in Saturday's $250,000 Gazelle S. (G1) at Aqueduct, Brereton Jones' homebred NO SUCH WORD (Canadian Frontier) had plenty in the tank to draw off in the stretch for a decisive 2 1/2-length triumph in the nine-furlong contest. For trainer Cindy Jones, it was the perfect send-off as she plans to turn the family run stable back over to her husband, Larry, who will return from a retirement that lasted all of one year.
Breaking from post 7, No Such Word was nearly destined for an extremely wide run into the first turn but at the last moment was able to move inside a bit around the bend. Splitting runners as she advanced in position, she ultimately settled into a four-wide position down the backside as Awesome Maria (Maria's Mon) set fractions of :24 3/5, :49 4/5 and 1:13 2/5. She was followed closely by the dueling pair of Belle of the Hall (Graeme Hall) and Quiet Temper (Quiet American), with No Such Word outside that trio.
Passing the three-eighths pole, jockey Terry Thompson asked No Such Word to go and she ranged up to get within a head of Awesome Maria while the pair in between them began to tire. In the stretch, No Such Word easily blew past the long-time leader and extended her margin to the wire. The final time was 1:51 over the fast track. Awesome Maria held second by 2 1/2 lengths over Seeking the Title (Seeking the Gold), who held off early trailer and 42-1 longest shot Joanie's Catch (First Tour) by a neck for third.
No Such Word returned $5.60, $3.10 and $2.30 as the 9-5 favorite. Awesome Maria gave back $3.70 and $2.80 at 5-2, while Seeking the Title paid $5 at 16-1. The exotics were worth $20.60 (exacta), $112 (trifecta) and $818 (8-1-7-6 superfecta). Quiet Temper, Dubai Dancer (A.P. Indy) and Belle of the Hall rounded out the order of finish, while Ms Vanenzza (Successful Appeal) was scratched.
A winner in two of her first five outings, No Such Word next made a successful stakes debut in the March 13 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn, drawing off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Third, beaten nine lengths, to Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision) in the Fantasy S. (G2) in her next start, No Such Word was a solid second in the Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2) before reaching the winner's circle again in the June 5 Go for Wand S. at Delaware Park. The bay ran a close fourth to Blind Luck in the Delaware Oaks (G2), but reeled off two straight after that taking the Monmouth Oaks (G3) by 1 1/2 lengths and the Remington Park Oaks by 6 1/2 lengths. Her line now reads 15-7-1-2, $653,213.
"She had been training so awesome into this race," Cindy Jones said. "The last race at Remington, Larry said she didn't get out of a fast gallop and came out of the race so good. It looked like she was galloping down the backside and when he asked her to go, it was all over. This filly has just gotten better and better all year."
The Kentucky-bred No Such Word is out of the winning Muskoka Ice (It's Freezing), who has since produced Nemorino, a juvenile full brother to the Monmouth Oaks winner. Muskoka Ice is herself a half-sister to Grade 1 runner-up and multiple stakes scorer Karmani (Run the Gantlet) as well as the granddam of this year's Ben Ali S. (G3) winner Dubious Miss (E Dubai). Another of note in this line is Grade 2 victress Moon Mist (Key to the Moon).
To Honor and Serve easily attains Remsen
Live Oak Plantation's TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini) will now head to Florida as one of next year's leading classic prospects following a comfortable score in Saturday's $196,000 Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct. Already highly thought of before entering the starting gate as the 3-5 favorite in the Remsen, the Bill Mott trainee enhanced his burgeoning reputation while showcasing his talents at nine furlongs.
Sent to the lead by John Velazquez, To Honor and Serve was able to avoid a heel-clipping incident that involved several of his rivals around the clubhouse turn. Chased by Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) and Mountain Town (Cape Town), To Honor and Serve maintained a one-length advantage through splits of :24 1/5, :47 3/5 and 1:11. Turning for home, the long-time leader opened up to lead by four lengths, a margin whittled down to two lengths at the wire as Velazquez just nudged him along under a hand ride. The time of 1:50 over a fast track was nearly three seconds faster than the Demoiselle S. (G2) for juvenile fillies one race earlier and one second faster than the Gazelle S. (G1) for three-year-old fillies one race later.
"I let him do whatever he wanted to do -- I didn't want to be on his mouth," Velazquez said. "He's a big baby, a late foal and he needs some time to mature. He gets to the lead, and he gets to looking around. He hasn't put it all together yet. It was a good effort."
To Honor and Serve paid $3.20, $2.50 and $2.10. Mucho Macho Man gave back $6.10 and $3.10 as the 15-1 longest shot. It was three lengths back to Mountain Town, who returned $2.60 at 4-1. Bandbox (Tapit) was 13 lengths back in fourth, with sharp debut winner Buffum (Bernardini) the disappointment of the field when trailing home two lengths farther back. Pants on Fire (Jump Start) and Economic Summit (Malibu Moon) were scratched. The exacta paid $20.60 and the 5-7-3 trifecta gave back $47.
"It would have been nice to see him have to pass somebody, but that's just the way the race turned out" said Mott, who imagined Buffum would show more speed. "As with any horse like him, we'll nominate him for everything in case there's a hiccup anywhere."
Second to subsequent Iroquois S. (G3) winner Astrology (A.P. Indy) in his September 4 debut at Saratoga, To Honor and Serve next rolled to an 8 3/4-length triumph in an off-the-turf maiden at Belmont Park on October 2. Last time, in the November 6 Nashua S. (G2) at the Big A, To Honor and Serve rolled to a four-length triumph in the one-mile test. His bankroll now stands at $264,640.
Bred in Kentucky by Twins Creeks Farm, Larry Byer and Rancho San Miguel, To Honor and Serve was a $575,000 Keeneland September yearling. The first starter from the stakes-winning Pilfer (Deputy Minister), To Honor and Serve has a yearling half-brother named Common Bond (Hard Spun) and a weanling half-brother by Street Sense. Pilfer herself is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner India (Hennessy).
This is the extended family of champion turf male Sunshine Forever (Roberto), champion turf female Ryafan (Lear Fan), Canadian champion Rahy's Attorney (Crown Attorney), Grade 1 winners Brian's Time (Roberto) and Memories of Silver (Silver Hawk), and noted sire Dynaformer (Roberto), among other luminaries.
Jersey shocker in Cigar Mile
JERSEY TOWN (Speightstown) parlayed a perfect trip into a massive upset in Saturday's $250,000 Cigar Mile H. (G1), winning as the 34-1 longest shot in the nine-horse field at Aqueduct. The Charles Fipke homebred broke on top under Cornelio Velasquez but quickly settled into a clear third behind front runners Vineyard Haven (Lido Palace [Chi]) and Haynesfield (Speightstown), and he rallied boldly when called upon at the head of the lane. Haynesfield battled back after being passed, but Jersey Town was able to prevail by head on the wire.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, the four-year-old colt recorded his first stakes victory and improved his career ledger to 12-5-5-1, $394,000. He left Tagg's barn last fall to conclude his sophomore campaign with a runner-up in the British Columbia Derby (Can-G3) at Hastings Park, and opened 2010 with a pair of starts at Emerald Downs, winning an allowance/optional-claiming event before posting a second in the Longacres Mile (G3), both under the care of conditioner Tim McCanna. Jersey Town was then transferred back to Tagg and entered the Cigar Mile off a third in the Kelso H. (G2) and a runner-up in the Bold Ruler H. (G3).
"It was a miracle," Tagg exclaimed. "What was he, 34-1? I liked him, I just didn't think the race would come up that tough. Mr. Fipke had him out west, and wanted to go to the Breeders' Cup. I talked him out of that, and said the Cigar Mile would be a lot easier, and it's still a Grade 1. Then the race came up so tough, and I thought we made a mistake. He was doing well, so we were happy with that. He's all business. He just goes out there with his game face on every day. No fooling around, just does everything the way you like a horse to do. I have no idea what's next; hopefully, we'll keep him around for a little bit."
The chestnut paid $71.50, $25.80 and $9.50.
Vineyard Haven established rapid splits of :22 3/5, :45 1/5 and 1:09 3/5 over the fast track before throwing in the towel in upper stretch. Haynesfield struck the front between calls at that point, but Jersey Town, who was never more than two lengths back during the early stages, had all the momentum on the outside and grabbed a short lead nearing the eighth-pole. He began to drift outward during the final furlong as Haynesfield determinedly fought back to reach equal terms, but Jersey Town regained his focus in the final yards for the narrow win.
The Kentucky-bred stopped the teletimer in 1:34 2/5.
"When I asked my horse, he passed the other horses. Today, he wanted to win," Velasquez said. "The other horse (Haynesfield), he ran a big one too."
Haynesfield completed a one-two finish for sire Speightstown in the prestigious event.
"I'm really happy with my horse," said Javier Castellano, rider of Haynesfield. "He didn't want to get beat today. I'm really so proud of him, and every time I asked him he responded so well and didn't want to give up."
Haynesfield returned $6.60 and $4.70 as the 4-1 fourth choice among eight betting interests. It was a half-length back to Girolamo (A.P. Indy), who was coupled with Vineyard Haven at 7-2 and paid $3.10 following his solid late rally for third-place honors. Bribon (Fr) (Mark of Esteem [Ire]), a slight favorite at nearly 7-2, closed ground to reach a menacing position in upper stretch but lacked the needed finishing kick, checking in another 1 3/4 lengths back in fourth. Friend or Foe (Friends Lake), Soaring Empire (Empire Maker), Vineyard Haven, Musket Man (Yonaguska) and Half Metal Jacket (Yes It's True) came next under the finish line.
The exacta totaled $461.50 and the 5-4-1 trifecta was good for $2,298.
Jersey Town hails from a regal female family. His dam, Jersey Girl (Belong to Me), captured the Mother Goose (G1), Test S. (G1) and Acorn (G1) in 1998. Third dam Bid Gal (Bold Bidder) is responsible Grade 2 winner and sire Valid Wager (Valid Wager) and stakes victress Copelan's Bid Gal (Copelan), who produced 2005 Cigar Mile winner and sire Purge (Pulpit). Grade 3 hero and sire Valid Expectations (Valid Appeal) is another notable relative. Jersey Town has a yearling half-sister and a weanling half-brother, both by Perfect Soul (Ire).
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