Twisted Tom wins the Albany Stakes

Twisted Tom wins the Albany Stakes

Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta

Twisted Tom Tries Older Horses in Empire Classic

Empire Classic field includes last year's winner Royal Posse.

With victories in five of his last six races, a stretch that has included four stakes wins, Twisted Tom will try older horses for the first time when he starts in the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap for New York-breds Oct. 21 at Belmont Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Empire Classic is the featured race on a card that will offer eight stakes races for New York-breds with total purses of $1.75 million.

Twisted Tom figures to be tested by older rivals in the Empire Classic, as the expected field of nine includes last year's winner, Royal Posse, and runner-up, Governor Malibu. Unlike those two older rivals, Cobra Farm, R R Partners, and Head of Plains Partners' Twisted Tom enters Saturday's race in top form.

Trained by Chad Brown, the only loss for Twisted Tom in his six starts this season was an off-the-board finish in the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1). The son of Creative Cause  most recently drew off to a 4 1/2-length score over New York-bred 3-year-olds in the Albany Stakes Aug. 25 at Saratoga Race Course. That win followed a score in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

Before the Belmont, the gelding registered open stakes victories at Laurel Park in the Private Terms and Federico Tesio stakes.

While Twisted Tom will try to continue his roll, Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Aisquith's Royal Posse will try to turn around his recent form. The 6-year-old Posse gelding has not hit the board in his past three starts and is looking for his first win of the season. 

Jump Sucker Stable and Oak Bluff Stables' Governor Malibu is also looking for his first win of the season, but the 4-year-old Malibu Moon  colt has placed in his past two stakes for New York-breds, including a runner-up finish in the Evan Shipman Stakes Aug. 21 at Saratoga. While he was well-beaten that day, Diversify took the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) in his next outing at Belmont.

In the seven other stakes for New York-breds Saturday:

• Grade 2 winner Pure Silver will try to pick up her fourth win and third stakes victory when she starts in the Maid of the Mist Stakes for juvenile fillies at one mile. The Twin Creeks Racing Stables homebred enters off a fourth-place finish in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) after she won the Adirondack Stakes (G2) two starts back.

• In the Iroquois Stakes for filly and mare sprinters, Kennesaw Mountain Racing's Picco Uno will try for a second straight stakes victory after she took the Union Avenue at Saratoga. The 4-year-old Macho Uno  filly has won five of her last six races.

• Peter Brant's Fifty Five, a grade 3 winner, will face older females for the first time when the 3-year-old Get Stormy  filly competes with an expected eight others in the 1 1/16-mile Ticonderoga Stakes.

• Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Battle Station, undefeated in his first two starts and entered off a 9 1/4-length romp in the seven-furlong Bertram F. Bongard Stakes, will stretch out to the one-turn mile for trainer Wesley Ward in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes for juveniles.

• Male sprinters will try the Hudson Handicap, where Zilla Racing Stables' Celtic Chaos enters off a fourth-place finish in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1). Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the 4-year-old Dublin colt has won his last two New York-bred stakes tries.

• In the 1 1/16-mile Mohawk Stakes for 3-year-olds and older on the inner turf, Dubb, Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners, Bethlehem Stables, and Aisquith's Offering Plan will try for a second stakes victory this season after he won the restricted Kingston Stakes in May.

• Closing out the stakes races will be the $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap, where 3-year-old filly Bonita Bianca, a daughter of Curlin , will face older horses for the first time. Campaigned by Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Michael Imperio and trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Bonita Bianca has won three previous stakes against New York-breds, including this year's New York Oaks.

Entries: Empire Classic H.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 5

  • STK
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 2:34 PM (local)
11Papa Shot (NY)Dylan Davis118Linda Rice5/1
22Becker's Galaxy (NY)Eric Cancel114Rudy R. Rodriguez15/1
33Twisted Tom (NY)Javier Castellano120Chad C. Brown2/1
44Control Group (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.112Rudy R. Rodriguez6/1
55Hit It Once More (NY)Kendrick Carmouche116Gary Sciacca20/1
66Can You Diggit (NY)Manuel Franco114James A. Jerkens8/1
77Testosterstone (NY)John R. Velazquez116Gary Sciacca15/1
88Governor Malibu (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario122Christophe Clement7/2
99Royal Posse (NY)Luis Saez120Rudy R. Rodriguez12/1

Entries: Maid of the Mist S.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 2

  • STK
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 12:55 PM (local)
11Miss Mystique (NY)Jose Lezcano120Leah Gyarmati20/1
22Newport Breeze (NY)Joel Rosario120Peter Eurton8/1
33I Still Miss You (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.122Jeremiah C. Englehart6/1
44Pure Silver (NY)John R. Velazquez122Todd A. Pletcher2/1
55Cause We Are Loyal (NY)Javier Castellano122Doug F. O'Neill6/1
66Held Accountable (NY)Luis Saez122Philip M. Serpe5/1
77Droselmeyr's Smile (NY)Manuel Franco120Charlton Baker12/1
88Berning Rose (NY)Kendrick Carmouche120Dominick L. Schettino7/2

Entries: Iroquois S.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 3

  • STK
  • 6 1/2f
  • Dirt
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 1:28 PM (local)
11Picco Uno (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.124Jason Servis2/1
22Royal Inheritance (NY)Manuel Franco119David A. Cannizzo15/1
33Quezon (NY)Joel Rosario117Robert Ribaudo8/5
44Absatootly (NY)Joe Bravo121Charlton Baker10/1
55Wonderment (NY)Javier Castellano124Kenneth G. McPeek8/1
66Cozzy Spring (NY)Dylan Davis119Charlton Baker4/1

Entries: Ticonderoga S.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 4

  • STK
  • 1 1/16m
  • Inner turf
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 2:01 PM (local)
11Flipcup (NY)Joel Rosario117William I. Mott6/1
22Barrel of Dreams (NY)John R. Velazquez119Charlton Baker4/1
33Broken Border (NY)Manuel Franco119Jason Servis12/1
44Frosty Margarita (NY)Luis Saez117Rudy R. Rodriguez20/1
55Fifty Five (NY)Javier Castellano120Chad C. Brown5/2
66Feeling Bossy (NY)Angel S. Arroyo119Jason Servis10/1
77Ancient Secret (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.119Chad C. Brown8/1
88Tizzelle (NY)Joe Bravo117H. James Bond3/1
99Table for Six (NY)Junior Alvarado117Ralph E. Nicks20/1

Entries: Sleepy Hollow S.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 6

  • STK
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 2 yo
  • 3:07 PM (local)
11Stoney Bennett (NY)John R. Velazquez120Ollie L. Figgins, III5/2
22Battle Station (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Gaffalione122Wesley A. Ward7/2
33Big Gemmy (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez120W. Bret Calhoun8/1
44Engineers Report (NY)Angel S. Arroyo120Rudy R. Rodriguez20/1
55Mr. Pete (NY)Jose Lezcano122James T. Ryerson12/1
66Bourbonfuhrme (NY)Shannon Uske120Archibald J. Kingsley, Jr.30/1
77Inalienable Rights (NY)Junior Alvarado120Mark A. Hennig6/1
88We Should Talk (NY)Joel Rosario120Horacio DePaz5/1
99Lover's Leap (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.120Sal Iorio, Jr.15/1
1010Analyze the Odds (NY)Javier Castellano122Todd A. Pletcher10/1
1111Evaluator (NY)Manuel Franco120Michael Dilger15/1

Entries: Hudson H.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 8

  • STK
  • 6 1/2f
  • Dirt
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:13 PM (local)
11Bust Another (NY)Kendrick Carmouche114Michael V. Pino10/1
22Pat On the Back (NY)Manuel Franco113Kenneth G. McPeek15/1
33Weekend Hideaway (NY)Luis Saez123Philip M. Serpe3/1
44Sudden Surprise (NY)Javier Castellano114Brad H. Cox8/1
55Celtic Chaos (NY)Eric Cancel122Kiaran P. McLaughlin6/1
66Ostrolenka (NY)Joe Bravo118David Jacobson4/1
77Gold for the King (NY)Joel Rosario116Charlton Baker12/1
88T Loves a Fight (NY)John R. Velazquez116Michelle Nevin7/2
99Eye Luv Lulu (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.116Jason Servis15/1
1010Candid Desire (NY)Jose Lezcano117Gary Sciacca20/1

Entries: Mohawk S.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 9

  • STK
  • 1 1/16m
  • Inner turf
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:46 PM (local)
11Cloontia (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.119James A. Jerkens6/1
22Nevisian Sky (NY)Joel Rosario117Chad C. Brown8/1
33All Is Number (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo117Thomas M. Bush12/1
44Rapt (NY)Manuel Franco117Robert Ribaudo15/1
55Offering Plan (NY)Javier Castellano123Chad C. Brown6/5
66Converge (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDylan Davis117Naipaul Chatterpaul20/1
77Black Tide (NY)Jose Lezcano119David A. Cannizzo2/1

Entries: Empire Distaff H.

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 10

  • STK
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:19 PM (local)
11Jcs American Dream (NY)Joe Bravo118Linda Rice4/1
22Pride of Saratoga (NY)Luis Saez114Jeremiah C. Englehart12/1
33Jc's Shooting Star (NY)Eric Cancel117David G. Donk8/1
44Verdant Pastures (NY)Manuel Franco114Charlton Baker7/2
55No Hayne No Gayne (NY)Joel Rosario112Steven M. Asmussen10/1
66Bonita Bianca (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.117Rudy R. Rodriguez10/1
77Might Be (NY)Kendrick Carmouche111Chris J. Englehart20/1
88Literata (NY)Javier Castellano121Rudy R. Rodriguez3/1
99Five Star Rampage (NY)John R. Velazquez120James A. Jerkens5/1