The OTB Big Apple Triple bonus has gone unpaid in nine years. Will No. 10 be the magic number for 3-year-old gelding Tin Cup Chalice and his connections?
Tin Cup Chalice, owned by Scott Vanlaer and trainer Michael Lecesse, remained eligible for the $250,000 bonus with his victory July 12 in the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack. On June 22, Tin Cup Chalice won the first leg of the OTB Big Apple Triple, the $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park.
All three races are for New York-bred 3-year-olds. The final leg is the $150,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 20.
Tin Cup Chalice, by Crusader Sword out of the Spectacular Bid mare Twice Forgotten, is undefeated in six career starts. As a 2-year-old, he won twice in open company, including the Finger Lakes Juvenile Stakes. This year, he won two allowance races versus open company at Finger Lakes before trying state-bred stakes.
Tin Cup Chalice’s dam has had six foals, three of them winners. Interestingly, Twice Forbidden has produced two New York Derby winners: Tin Cup Chalice and Don Corleone in 2004.
Tin Cup Chalice, based at Finger Lakes with Lecesse, has banked $225,720 thus far. His regular rider is Pedro Rodriguez, who is based at Finger Lakes.
“Triples” are tough to win, and the OTB Big Apple Triple is no different. Three horses have won the first two legs and lost the Albany: Chief’s Lake in 2007, Ferocious Won in 2006, and Image Maker in 2000. In 2005, Naughty New Yorker won the first and third legs, and in 2003, Traffic Chief won the last two legs.
The New York Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, marked the first distance test for Tin Cup Chalice. He wired the field. The Albany is at 1 1/8 miles.