Sunday Is Stallion Stakes Day at the Big A

Sunday's New York Stallion Series, featuring the Great White Way, Fifth Avenue, Perfect Arc, and Cormorant divisions, will showcase some of the state-bred program's top 2-year-olds and turf horses. All of the New York Stallion Series races are for progeny of stallions standing in New York.

Post time for the $125,000 Fifth Avenue, the first stakes on the card, is 2:25 p.m. EST. Eight 2-year-old fillies were entered in the six-furlong event.

Jane Freed's So Sweet a Cat is one of the most experienced fillies in the line-up and figures to be a short price for Finger Lakes-based trainer Ralph D'Alessandro. A daughter of Tomorrow's Cat, she broke her maiden Sept. 25 at Belmont, about three weeks after facing colts in Finger Lakes' New York Breeders' Futurity where she finished second.

"We've run her against colts because there aren't too many opportunities here," D'Alessandro said. "She's put together a nice record, but I think there's more there. She hasn't been finishing as strong as I'd like."

D'Alessandro is making a couple of changes for the Fifth Avenue. Gone are the blinkers So Sweet a Cat has worn in her last two starts. So, too, is jockey Robert Messina, who has been aboard So Sweet a Cat in all five of her starts. Jockey Jose Santos has the mount on Sunday.

"She's a big, leggy filly and I think she'll finish much stronger if she can come with one, late run," D'Alessandro said. "She looked good breaking her maiden at Belmont, but I wasn't impressed with the time."

So Sweet a Cat, who faced colts in her last start, a neck defeat in the Finger Lakes Juvenile, drew post 2.

French Dish was off slow, gained ground at every call and broke her maiden first time out on Oct. 8 at Belmont Park. French Dish, the likely second choice, goes out for trainer Mark Hennig with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey.

Ten Fillies and Mares Entered in the Perfect Arc

The defection of the multiple stakes-winning Wake Up Kiss from the $100,000 Perfect Arc has made the one-mile turf race a much more appealing wagering venture.

Natalie and Justin Marcus' Multiple Wins has gone winless in six starts since winning an optional claimer at Monmouth Park in June, but the filly has been facing tougher company of late. Trained by Linda Rice, Multiple Wins owns one win from five turf starts. She's gotten close in a few stakes, finishing fourth in Belmont's Auntie Mame and third in Monmouth's Incredible Revenge.

Pa Pa Da, West Virginia Standout in the Great White Way

Pa Pa Da, second to Friends Lake in the Oct. 18 Sleepy Hollow and West Virginia, an 11-length maiden winner the same afternoon, are the major players in the $125,000 Great White Way at six furlongs. Overall, nine 2-year-olds colts were entered.

Pa Pa Da, by Incurable Optimist, is 1-2-0 from three starts. Both of his losses were second-place finishes behind Friends Lake, a colt by A.P. Indy out of the multiple Grade 1winning mare, Antespend.

Pa Pa Da is cutting back in distance, having raced at a mile last time. He didn't have the best of trips that day, racing on the pace while inside of horses. "It wasn't a real soft spot of New York-breds," Donk said. "He was stuck down on the inside and was close to the pace. I've got no problems with him turning back. He'll run his race."

Pa Pa Da drew post 9 under jockey John Velazquez, who is getting off the Todd Pletcher-trained West Virginia. West Virginia essentially led from start to finish when taking a Belmont Park maiden special-weight by more than 11 lengths on Oct. 18. Like So Sweet a Cat, West Virginia is by Tomorrow's Cat. Pletcher won this race in 1997 with Mellow Roll.

Quantum Merit Can Rebound in the Cormorant

Very Un Stable's Quantum Merit finished 27 lengths behind Quiet Ruler at 5-2 in the Oct. 18 Mohawk Handicap, but will be tough to handle if able to rebound to the form he had earlier in the fall.

In an eight-day span, Quantum Merit took a second-level allowance race by more than eight lengths and the Sept. 20 Ashley T. Cole at Belmont Park by almost four lengths. He looked poised to become the top New York-bred turf horse in training in the Mohawk, but faded after contesting the pace for six furlongs. Trainer Del Carroll said it wasn't the soft conditions at Belmont that day that tripped up Quantum Merit, rather the "chewed up" condition of the turf course.

"(Jockey Richard Migliore) said he slipped a few times behind and had trouble getting over it," Carroll said. "The horse came back super and I've been happy with his training. It was disappointing getting beat so far, but on the other hand, it was a non-race. Richie snugged up on him when he knew he wasn't handling the course."

Quantum Merit, who drew post 4, finished a fast-closing fourth in this race last year. Quantum Merit, who has run well on the Big A turf and over courses with give to them, is the 124-pound highweight.

Haggs Castle has gone winless in eight starts since taking the 2002 Cormorant over a yielding turf course, but has done some of his best work at the Big A. A closer who is dependent upon a swift pace up front, he is trained by Jimmy Jerkens.

New York Stallion Series (Park Ave. Division), $125,000, 2-year-old fillies, six furlongs
PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey
1, Polish Crown, Stanley Hough, Edgar Prado
2, So Sweet a Cat, Ralph D'Alessandro Jose Santos
3, Delia's Gone, Steve Young, Richard Migliore
4, French Dish, Mark Hennig, Jerry Bailey
5, Cavista, Anthony Ferraro John Grabowski
6, A Bag on Top, Sharon Huston Ariel Smith
7, Coconut, Martini Jen Pedersen, Tim Thornton
8, Cat's Roar Mike Hernandez, Pablo Fragoso

New York Stallion Series (Perfect Arc Division), $100,000, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up,one mile, turf
PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey
1, Ma Femme, John Hertler, Julio Pezua
2, Bound on Bi, John Hertler, Richard Migliore
3, Queen's Triomphe, Tom Bush, Jose Espinoza
4, Golden Damsel, Gary Contessa, Jerry Bailey
5, Irish Glory, Leo O'Brien, Jose Santos
6, Multiple Wins, Linda Rice, Mike Luzzi
7, Mischievously, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez
8, Board Elligible, James Ferraro, Pablo Fragoso
ae9, Blue Hills, James Murphy, No Rider
ae10, Raffie's Dream, Dominic Galluscio, No Rider

New York Stallion Series (Great White Way Division), $125,000, 2-year-olds colts/geldings, six furlongs
PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey
1, Kitty Connection, Tom Skiffington, Javier Castellano
2a, Kiss An Optimist, David Donk, Norberto Arroyo Jr.
3, Chowder's First, Phil Serpe, Edgar Prado
4, West Virginia, Todd Pletcher, Jerry Bailey
5, Eyeofthehunter, Mike Hernandez, Shaun Bridgmohan
6, Shhh Please, Mike Hernandez, Pablo Fragoso
7, Theconfidenceman, Leo O'Brien, Jose Espinoza
8, Belle's Beast, Jen Pedersen, Tim Thornton
9a, Pa Pa Da, David Donk, John Velazquez

New York Stallion Series (Cormorant Division), $100,000, 3-year-olds and up, one mile, turf
PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey
1, Haggs Castle, Jimmy Jerkens, Mike Luzzi
2, Winloc's Nelson, Mike Miceli, Javier Castelllano
3, No White Flags, Richard Destasio, Jose Espinoza
4, Quantum Merit, Del Carroll, Richard Migliore
5, Ryan is Flying, Leo O' Brien, John Velazquez
6, Polish Jewel, Stanley Hough, Edgar Prado
7, Pogolotti Hill, Mike Hushion, Aaron Gryder
8, Luz Lane, Keith O'Brien, Pablo Fragoso
ae9, Trial Prep, Steve Klesaris, No Rider
ae10, Beau Tie, David Donk, John Velazquez
ae11, Levendis, Del Carroll, Luis Castillo
ae12, Thanasi, Del Carroll, Pedro Cotto Jr.