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."
Gemologist colts shine at OBS August Select Yearling sale title=
Gemologist

Gemologist colts shine at OBS August Select Yearling sale

A pair of colts from the first crop of Gemologist brought bids of $280,000 and $240,000 during the select session of the OBS 2015 August Yearling sale...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile filly cruises by six in $100,000 Summer Colony S. title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile filly cruises by six in $100,000 Summer Colony S.

Catch My Drift put it all together in Monday’s $100,000 Summer Colony S. to win the 1 1/8-mile contest by a widening 6 ¼-lengths as much the best...

[read more]

Super Saver’s Embellish the Lace takes them all the way in G1 Alabama S. title=
Super Saver

Super Saver’s Embellish the Lace takes them all the way in G1 Alabama S.

Embellish the Lace turned back all her challengers to score an ultra-game victory in the historic Alabama S. (G1) Saturday at Saratoga...

[read more]

Fourth straight win for More Than Ready’s Shore Runner title=
More Than Ready

Fourth straight win for More Than Ready’s Shore Runner

Shore Runner gave his owner Brad Grady another thrilling win with a half-length victory in the $100,000 Troy S. Saturday afternoon at Saratoga...

[read more]

Congrats filly sparkles in $75,000 Gold Mover S. title=
Congrats

Congrats filly sparkles in $75,000 Gold Mover S.

Flutterby turned in another stellar performance in Saturday’s $75,000 Gold Mover S. at Gulfstream Park...

[read more]

Tiznow filly tops F-T NY Selected sale title=
Tiznow

Tiznow filly tops F-T NY Selected sale

Tiznow had the top-priced lot during the first session of the Aug. 15-16 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York Bred Preferred Yearlings auction...

[read more]

More Than Ready filly rolls by seven in Niagara S. title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready filly rolls by seven in Niagara S.

Hard to Stay Notgo dominated the $50,000 Niagara S. Friday at Finger Lakes, the second stakes win in the young career of the 3-year-old daughter of More Than Ready...

[read more]

Drosselmeyer notches another MdSpWt winner title=
Drosselmeyer

Drosselmeyer notches another MdSpWt winner

Copper Cajun rolled to an impressive 5 ½-length maiden special weight score Wednesday at Evangeline Downs to give freshman sire Drosselmeyer...

[read more]

Bodemeister yearling colt brings $500,000 at F-T Saratoga title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister yearling colt brings $500,000 at F-T Saratoga

A colt by Bodemeister brought $500,000 during the first session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings sale on Monday...

[read more]

Two Winners in Two Days at Saratoga for Bellamy Road Juveniles title=
Bellamy Road

Two Winners in Two Days at Saratoga for Bellamy Road Juveniles

Bellamy Road’s 2-year-olds have come out running at Saratoga Race Course...

[read more]