West Virginia, Ihaveadate Win NY Stallion Divisions

(from Aqueduct report)
Tiring West Virginia, passed in the stretch by Pay Attention, responded to urging from jockey John Velazquez to rally for a nose victory in the one-mile New York Stallion Stakes Times Square Division at Aqueduct on Sunday.

"He was pretty game," Velazquez said. "I had to keep him busy and when Pay Attention came to me, I got closer to (Pay Attention) and my horse was so game. It was unbelievable."

West Virginia, who won the New York Stallion Stakes Great White Way Division as a juvenile, would get a $100,000 bonus if he can complete the New York Stallion Series with a victory in the $250,000 Cab Calloway at 1 1/8 miles in Saratoga on Aug. 4.

Even-money favorite West Virginia, who carried 122 pounds as the high weight for trainer Todd Pletcher, won in 1:39 over the fast track.

West Virginia earned $90,000 for breeder-owners Mary and Donald Zuckerman. The dark bay – by Tomorrows Cat out of Wild and Wonderful (by Kennedy Road) – improved his record to 4-0-1 from seven starts with earnings of $262,405.

Strider's Ormsby went to the lead and set fractions of :22 4/5 and :46 2/5. West Virginia stalked along the backstretch and took a premature lead around the turn to set the three-quarter fractions at 1:12. Pay Attention, under Javier Castellano, caught up in midstretch and battled West Virginia neck-and-neck for the final eighth of a mile.

West Virginia paid $4, $3 and $2.20. Pay Attention returned $4.80 and $3.50. Chowder's First, who rallied for third under Pablo Fragoso, was $6 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)

Ihaveadate Takes Park Avenue Division
Frontrunner Ihaveadate and Shaun Bridgmohan won the $150,000 New York Stallion Park Avenue on Sunday. She finished the flat-mile race in 1:39 4/5 over a fast track as the 3-2 favorite.

"She's doing very well and coming around better," said winning trainer Ramon Hernandez. "I hope she keeps going that way. She got away with an easy lead. I was never really worried at any point in the race because Shaun (Bridgmohan) knows her well."

Ihaveadate – a 3-year-old statebred bay filly by Take Me Out, out of Iron Bit (by Cormorant) – earned $90,000 for breeder-owners Mary and Chester Broman. She is now 3-2-0 from nine starts with earnings of $165,280.

The winner went to the lead from the outside No. 6 post and set fractions of :23 3/5, :47 1/5 and 1:13. Judy Soda, ridden by Javier Castellano, tracked in second and made a move around the turn, but Ihaveadate spurted away to win the race by 4 3/4 lengths.

"She broke sharply, relaxed real nicely out there and I basically pushed the button when I wanted," Bridgmohan said. "She responded nicely."

Ihaveadate paid $5, $2.80 and $2.10. Judy Soda returned $2.80 and $2.10. Priscilla's Flag, ridden by John Velazquez, was $2.10 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)