Saratoga Snacks, owned by Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells, took the lead coming into the stretch and held on tenaciously to capture the $250,000 Empire Classic Handicap Oct. 19 at Belmont Park.
Defending champion Saginaw squares off against the up-and-coming Saratoga Snacks Aug. 1 at Saratoga Race Course in a contentious renewal of the $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds, 3 years old and up.
A fresh Saratoga Snacks denied Saginaw his 11th win of 2012 with a powerful victory in the $73,500 Alex M. Robb Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack Dec. 26.
A field of nine, including the 3-year-old filly Haldane, will contest the 1 1/8-mile event in which 5-year-old Lunar Victory is the 8-5 favorite to pick up his fifth win in six 2012 starts for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Gary Sciacca was permitted to begin training horses in New York March 18 after serving a 120-day suspension under the trainer-responsibility rule.
New York-based trainer Gary Sciacca was suspended 120 days by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, effective Nov. 19, for his connection to the administration of a prohibited substance on race day to one of his horses in 2003.
Bill Place and Wollaston Bay, who have traded stakes victories in New York both times they ran against each other, meet again in Saturday's $150,000 Bay Shore (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.
- By Tom Precious
Thoroughbred trainer Gary Sciacca was suspended for four months and two of his employees and a Belmont Park veterinarian were handed stringent penalties Wednesday by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board over milkshaking charges stemming from last year.
Spring has officially sprung as the first New York turf stakes of the season will be run Saturday, April 24 at the Big A.
Darley Stable's Lunar Sovereign, guided by Richard Migliore, unleashed an explosive move while wide on the final turn and rolled on to a 2 3/4-length win in the $500,000 Man o'War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Saturday.
Trainer Gary Sciacca, assistant Paul Barone and groom Oscar DeLeon on Monday all appealed suspensions for an alleged milkshake incident at Belmont Park.
Rich Meadow Farm's Dawn of the Condor came up the rail under jockey Jorge Chavez on Saturday to win the 1 1/8-mile $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on Aqueduct's yielding turf course before a crowd of 5,755.
- By Mike Kane
Three trainers have been suspended and fined in New York for drug positives, two for lidocaine, a topical anesthetic that produced two positives in Kentucky earlier this year.
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