Sunday's four-race New York Stallion Series will showcase some of the state-bred program's top 2-year-olds and turf horses. Post time for the Great White Way Division, the first stakes race of the afternoon, is 2:20 p.m. Eastern. Eleven 2-year-old colts were entered in the Great White Way, a six-furlong sprint carrying a purse of $125,000. Star Track Farm's Grey Comet, one of trainer Gary Contessa's three winners on the Oct. 12 card at Belmont Park, makes his second career start in the Great White Way. By Distinctive Pro, Grey Comet showed good speed from the outset of his debut and scampered home a two-length winner in the slop. Polish Jewel, the second-place finisher, returned a next-out winner and was also entered in the Great White Way.
"Grey Comet is right on par with my other top New York-bred 2-year-olds Unswept and Storm Cadet," Contessa said. "I think he's a special horse." Chester Broman's Beautiful America is undoubtedly the leading New York-bred juvenile filly in training after stakes wins in the Joseph Gimma and Maid of the Mist at Belmont this fall. She figures a prohibitive favorite against seven others in the $125,000 Fifth Avenue at six furlongs.
Beautiful America, a daughter of Dixie Brass, enters the Fifth Avenue off a game win over Combanchera in the one-mile Maid of the Mist on Oct. 19. Beautiful America broke awkwardly in the Maid of the Mist, recovered quickly and launched a four-wide bid that eventually carried her to the lead inside the last eighth of a mile. It looks like Beautiful America beat a quality rival in Combanchera, who returned a next-out winner at odds of 2-5 on Thursday.
"I was very happy to see Combanchera win yesterday," said trainer Ramon Hernandez, who won the 1987 Fifth Avenue with Mithrandir. "I think this could be the easiest spot (Beautiful America's) been in since her first race. The easier the better."
Beautiful America is the only stakes winner in the cast and 122-pound highweight.Jockey Jose Santos has the ride.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who won Tuesday's Election Day feature, the Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) with Snake Mountain, is a major player in both one-mile turf races, the Perfect Arc and Cormorant.
In the $100,000 Perfect Arc, Jerkens goes with Cynthia Knight's Dat You Miz Blue, who is easily the most accomplished horse in the race. Dat You Miz Blue, a 5-year-old mare, takes on 10 rivals. Two fillies were also entered as main track only.
Since her 2-year-old campaign in 1999, Dat You Miz Blue has been considered a top New York-bred of either sex. But just as she is capable of knockout performances, she's been a horse that can be difficult to trust.
But Dat You Miz Blue was consistent this summer. She enters the Perfect Arc off a convincing open-length win in the Oct. 19 Iroquois. Apparently, switching to the turf has helped give Dat You Miz Blue a new attitude on both training and racing.
"It's strange, but the turf has made her a little more of a trooper," Jerkens said. "She's not as nervous and this is the most consistent she's ever been."
In August and September, Dat You Miz Blue ran two exceptional races at a mile on the turf and either one would be sufficient enough to win the Perfect Arc. On August 19th, Dat You Miz Blue was a determined winner in a Saratoga money allowance over the multiple stakes winning Mystic Lady. Four weeks later, she finished a good third behind the multiple stakes winning Tates Creek in the Noble Damsel (gr. III) at Belmont.
Santos will ride Dat You Miz Blue.
John Confort's Haggs Castle faced the top New York-bred turf horses this fall at Belmont and was beaten a combined 2-¼ lengths in the Ashley T. Cole and Mohawk Handicaps. He will be the favorite versus 11 others in the $100,000 Cormorant.
Haggs Castle, a deep closer, enters the Cormorant off a fourth-place finish to Thursday allowance winner Quiet Ruler in the Oct. 19 Mohawk. Though he raced extremely
wide behind a ridiculously slow pace of :53 1/5 and 1:18 3/5, Haggs Castle still mustered up a strong rally. Prior to the Mohawk, Haggs Castle finished a neck behind I'm All Yours, the New York-bred Turf Champion in 2001, in the Ashley T. Cole.
"The pace really hurt us," said trainer Jimmy Jerkens of the Mohawk. "I thought his race was excellent. Maybe a mile is a little short for him, but once he gets some momentum, he really starts rolling."
Haggs Castle, a 4-year-old Husband gelding, has only started three times this year and did not make his 2002 debut until late July. Jerkens said it was not by design.
"I wanted to have him back way before that, but he just wouldn't come around," Jerkens said. "I didn't think he was doing that good the day he won, (July 21) but he's got some ability and got through it."
Owner Seymour Cohn, trainer John Hertler and Chasin' Wimmin won the inaugural running of the Cormorant two years ago. That was the last time Chasin' Wimmin visited the winners' circle.
"It's been a while, but he's on a good roll right now" Hertler said of Chasin' Wimmin, a 7-year-old making the 40th start of his career on Sunday. "He's had little trouble closing the deal, but this is the easiest spot he's been in in a while."
The Fields for Sunday's New York Stallion Series:$125,000 Great White Way Stakes, 6 furlongs, 2-year-old colts & geldings
PP HORSE, JOCKEY, WGT.
1 Cold Gold, Heberto Castillo Jr., 116
2a Chief Cat, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 118
3b Polish Jewel, Jorge Chavez, 118
4a Tomorrow's War Cry, John Velazquez, 116
5 Cosmic Jet, Richard Migliore, 116
6 Grey Comet, Jose Santos, 118
7b Ruby's Pro, Shaun Bridgmohan, 116
8a Tomorrow's Banquet, Edgar Prado, 118
9 Valatie, Victor Carrero, 116
10 Red Down South, Ariel Smith, 116
11 Success Minister, Ray Ganpath, 116
Tomorrow's War Cry will race without blinkers. Tomorrow's Banquet and Red Down South will race with blinkers.$100,000 Cormorant Stakes, 1 mile on turf, 3& up
1 Trial Prep, John Velazquez, 120
2 No White Flags, Heberto Castillo Jr., 118
3 Chasin' Wimmin, Jean-Luc Samyn, 118
4 Brickens, Jorge Chavez, 118
5 Gratiaen, Edgar Prado, 118
6 Le Bourget, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 118
7 Quantum Merit, Dennis Carr, 116
8 Battier, Jerry Bailey, 116
9 Justoneofdaboyz, Javier Castellano, 116
10 Preferred Guest, Richard Migliore, 118
11 Haggs Castle, Mike Luzzi, 118
12 Blazing Saddle, Jose Santos, 118$125,000 Fifth Avenue Stakes, 6 furlongs, 2 year-old filles
1 Pro Love Ruhs, Heberto Castillo Jr., 118
2 Golden Damsel, Javier Castellano, 116
3 Hollywood Princess, Edgar Prado, 116
4 Polonia, John Velazquez, 116
5a Fly Our Flag, Victor Carrero, 118
6 Hanselina, Jorge Chavez, 116
7 The Name Was Gone, Mike Luzzi, 118
8 Carolyn Frances, Shaun Bridgmohan, 118
9a Beautiful America, Jose Santos, 122$100,000 Perfect Arc Division, 1 mile on turf, fillies & mares, 3 & up
1 Wootie, Jerry Bailey, 118
2 Lovely Amanda, John Velazquez, 122
3 Ma Femme, Julio Pezua, 118
4 Wake Up Kiss, Edgar Prado, 122
5 Bound on Bi, Jean-Luc Samyn, 118
6 Shamrock Blues, Jorge Chavez, 118
7 Bay Dragon, Dale Beckner, 124
8 Queen's Triomphe, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 116
9 Longingtobeme, Richard Migliore, 118
10 Lilly A, Mike Luzzi, 116
11 Dat You Miz Blue, Jose Santos, 124
main track only
12 Seeyouinmydreams, No Rider, 120
13 Princess Dixie,No Rider, 120