Speightstown Colt wins Empire Classic
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday was billed as New York Showcase Day. It turned into Ramon Dominguez Showcase Day.

Dominguez, the dominant rider on this circuit all year long, turned in another brilliant performance, winning four stakes, capped by a front-running, three-quarter-length score aboard Haynesfield in the $250,000 Empire Classic before a crowd of 4,180 at dreary Belmont Park.

Dominguez won four of the five stakes on the New York Showcase Card. He won the Sleepy Hollow aboard Fenway Faithful ($21.40), the Iroquois on Rightly So ($12.20), and the Hudson on Driven by Success ($3.70). In the other stakes, Dominguez finished third in the Maid of the Mist aboard Stellaluce.

"It doesn't get any better - I'm very excited," Dominguez said about the four stakes wins.

The four wins also should help Dominguez cop the Belmont fall riding title. Entering the day, he was just one victory in front of John Velazquez. He will enter Sunday's closing-day card four in front of Rajiv Maragh.

After briefly flirting with the Triple Crown trail during the winter, Haynesfield was sent to the sidelines for the spring and summer after an eighth-place finish in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in March. He did not return to the races until Oct. 2, when he finished second in an overnight stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs here. Earlier in the week, Toby Sheets, the assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen, indicated that Haynesfield would likely skip the Empire Classic and the Hudson, for which he was also nominated.

But when considering it further, Sheets and owner Harvey Weinstein couldn't pass up the opportunity to run against New York-breds for $250,000.

"We actually decided not to then we decided he's just training really good, if we're going to try, why [wait] to run against those horses for $65,000 when we can run against them for $250,000," said Sheets, referring to the pots of the stakes he would be eligible for in the winter. "He's doing well."

Breaking from post 5 under Dominguez, Haynesfield broke alertly and found himself pressing Love Abroad through fractions of 23.70 seconds and 45.96 for the opening half-mile. Approaching the three-furlong marker, Haynesfield began to pull away after running three-quarters in 1:10.87. He opened up a healthy margin in midstretch and despite getting leg-weary late, he was able to hold off Ruffino late. It was three lengths back to Undocumented in third.

Haynesfield, a son of Speightstown, covered the 1 1-8 miles in the slop - and dark - in 1:50.76 and returned $11.

"He's a big horse that has a very high cruising speed, it's really hard to tell how fast you were going when you are on his back, but I knew we were setting pretty quick fractions," Dominguez said. "As soon as he cleared [Love Abroad] into the turn, I felt pretty good because right away he came back to me and got a little bit of a breather. I knew the fractions were steep enough where he was going to have to work the last part. But when I went and gathered him up and asked him, he gave me a little bit of a run. Toby has done a great job with this horse, and he was all horse today."

The biggest disappointment was Future Prospect, the 8-5 favorite, who finished 10th of 11. Maragh blamed the off going for the off effort.

"Usually he's very competitive, dragging me into the race," Maragh said. "It must have been the going."
Expensive Tiznow colt graduates in style title=
Tiznow

Expensive Tiznow colt graduates in style

Tour de Force was just that on the Fair Grounds turf in his maiden special weight win on Jan. 15, winning comfortably by 2 3/4-lengths...

[read more]

Gemologist colt scores at first asking at Santa Anita title=
Gemologist

Gemologist colt scores at first asking at Santa Anita

Following a solid series of workouts over the past two months, Gemologist's Aquamarine came away a two-length maiden special weight debut winner Friday at Santa Anita Park...

[read more]

$1.3 million More Than Ready colts tops Magic Millions sale title=
More Than Ready

$1.3 million More Than Ready colts tops Magic Millions sale

A yearling More Than Ready colt and full brother to Grade 1 winner Sebring (AUS) topped the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale with a winning bid of A$1.3 million...

[read more]

Reynaldothewizard works magic once again in Dubawi S. title=
Speightstown

Reynaldothewizard works magic once again in Dubawi S.

Making his first start since last March, the incomparable 11-year-old son of Speightstown Reynaldothewizard captured the third straight running of the $175,000 Dubawi S. Thursday at Meydan...

[read more]

Bodemeister colt realizes $195K Tuesday at Keeneland title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister colt realizes $195K Tuesday at Keeneland

Bodemeister had one of the top-selling yearlings during Tuesday's session of the Jan. 9-13 Keeneland Horses of All Ages sale when a colt brought a winning bid of $195,000...

[read more]

First foal is a filly for G1 winner Daredevil

First foal is a filly for G1 winner Daredevil

WinStar Farm’s Daredevil, More Than Ready’s winner of the Champagne S. (G1) at two, sired his first reported foal on Tuesday when a filly was born at Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag, NY...

[read more]

Multiple G1 winner Constitution sires first foal

Multiple G1 winner Constitution sires first foal

WinStar Farm’s Constitution, the multiple Grade 1-winning son of Tapit, sired his first reported foal Monday night when a filly was born at Crestwood Farm in Lexington, KY...

[read more]

First foal is a filly for Commissioner

First foal is a filly for Commissioner

WinStar Farm’s Commissioner, A.P. Indy’s last Classic-placed son to retire to stud, sired his first reported foal on Jan. 5th when a bay filly was born at Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, KY...

[read more]

Congrats filly earns Eclipse Award nomination title=
Congrats

Congrats filly earns Eclipse Award nomination

Congrats' multiple Graded stakes-winning filly Haveyougoneaway was named as a finalist for the 2016 Eclipse Award as Champion Female Sprinter...

[read more]

Classic Empire finalist for 2YO Eclipse Award title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Classic Empire finalist for 2YO Eclipse Award

For the second time from his first four crops Pioneerof the Nile has the favorite to earn an Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old male category...

[read more]