Romacaca, Yummy With Butter Capture Grade 3 Turf Stakes; Fast Freeze Just Misses Track Record in Teddy Drone Victory

Sunday, July 31, 2011

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OCEANPORT, N.J. – Frank Calabrese’s Romacaca looked powerful winning the $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (G3), and Bruno Schickedanz’s Yummy With Butter turned the tables on an old rival in the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes (G3), the major events on the Haskell undercard at Monmouth Park Sunday. 

            Romacaca, trained by Nick Canani and ridden by E.T. Baird, tracked a quick pace set by Marquet Madness and then asserted herself in midstretch to open a daylight lead on her pursuers. The 5-year-old mare scored by a length and a quarter and stopped the timer in a very fast 1:46.54 for a mile and an eighth on firm turf, just a few ticks off the course record of 1:46.39. 

            Ravi’s Song was up for second, a neck in front of the fast-closing Perfect Shirl. C.S. Silk, the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10 fillies and mares, held the lead briefly, but faded to be last. 

            Romacaca paid $13.20, $5.80 and $4.40 for the victory and topped the $67.20 exacta with Ravi’s Song, who returned $4.80 and $3.80. Perfect Shirl was $4.60 to show. 

            This was the fifth straight victory for Romacaca, who took Monmouth’s Miss Liberty Stakes last out. 

            “She’s a super nice filly to have,” Canani said. “She raced great.” 

            Baird said, “She broke really well. There were some others in there who had speed, so I just let her come out running. She relaxed well enough to have something left in the end.” 

            Yummy With Butter and Sayif renewed their rivalry in the Oceanport, setting all the pace from gate to wire. In the Battlefield Stakes last time they met, Sayif held the lead to the wire, but this time Yummy With Butter went by in deep stretch to score by a length and a quarter. Sayif was second by a half-length over Baryshnikov, the 9-5 favorite in the field of seven. 

            Trained by Yvon Belsoeur and ridden by Paco Lopez, Yummy With Butter paid $20.20, $8.40 and $3.80 across the board and topped a $136 exacta after stepping the mile and a sixteenth of firm turf in 1:40 1/5.  

            Sayif, off at 10-1, paid $10.40 and $5.40 and Baryshnikov paid $2.80 to show. 

            “I told Paco let’s not be late this time,” Belsoeur said. “Last time, we got caught by a horse on the lead that got away from us. We were just a little late.” 

            “We just couldn’t get to that horse (Sayif) last time,” Lopez said, “but that race was at a mile. Today there was extra distance. Turning for home, he was able to outkick the leader and get the job done.” 

            Yummy With Butter, a 7-year-old son of Silvador who races for Bruno Schickedanz, was scoring his first victory since 2009. The Ontario-bred has now won six of 31 lifetime starts. 

            “He was training like a Grade 1 horse,” Belsoeur said, and this was a Grade 3 race so I was pretty confident. We’ll look at the Cliff Hanger (Grade 3, Sept. 4).” 

            Force Freeze put on a show in the $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes as he took command in the stretch and scored by a length and a quarter in 1:07.77 for the six furlongs, just missing the track record. 

            Trained by Peter Walder, Force Freeze gave jockey Paco Lopez his fourth winner of the day in the Teddy Drone, which went as the 10th race. 

            Force Freeze, making his U.S. debut for Saeed Naser al Romaithi after racing in Dubai, was overlooked in the wagering and paid $35, $11.80 and $7 across the board. He topped a $250 exacta with Jersey Town, who was up for second over Ravalo. Irrefutable, the 8-5 favorite, faded out of the money. 

            Jersey Town paid $5.40 and $3.80, and Ravalo returned $8.60 to show. 

            Irrefutable and Force Freeze set a torrid pace, with a quarter in :21 3/5 and a half-mile in :43 3/5. Force Freeze hit another gear in deep stretch to near the track record of 1:07.47 set by Idiot Proof in 2007. 

            “I’ve had the horse since the end of May,” Walder said. “We took our time with him. This horse has been working lights out. He exudes class” 

            Force Freeze, a 6-year-old by Forest Camp, was winning his seventh race in 19 career starts. 

            In the $100,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares, Magical Feeling closed with a dramatic rush to split horses in deep stretch for a head victory over Bronx City Girl. 

            The winner, trained by Allen Iwinski and ridden by Roberto Alvarado Jr., stopped the timer in 1:08 3/5 for the six furlongs and paid $17, $9.20 and $5.60 across the board as one of the outsiders in the field of eight. 

            Bronx City Girl, who took the lead in deep stretch, held second and completed the $142.80 exacta, paying $10.20 and $5.80 to place and show. Love That Dance, who was in contention until fading near the wire, finished third and paid $6 to show. Hour Glass, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth. 

            This was the third straight victory and first stakes score for Magical Feeling, a 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker who races for Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds. It was her ninth victory in 16 career starts. 

            “Robby gave her a great ride,” Iwinski said. “He got through all the holes. I’m so emotional talking about this filly. There’s nothing you can say about a horse that gives her all every single time.” 

            In the $100,000 Jersey Derby for 3-year-olds on the turf, Breathless Storm looked the part of the favorite as he stalked the early pace and then took command in midstretch, drawing off to win by nearly two lengths. 

            The son of Storm Cat, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and confidently ridden by Paco Lopez, stopped the timer in 1:41 flat for the mile and a sixteenth over a firm course and paid $4.60, $3 and $2.40 across the board as the 13-10 favorite in the field of eight. 

            Beachcombing rallied to be second, nearly three lengths in front of Moonhanger, who had set much of the pace. Beachcombing paid $3.80 and $3 and completed the $17.20 exacta. Moonhanger was $4 to show. 

            It was the second straight win over the Monmouth turf for Breathless Storm, and the first stakes victory for the Kentucky-bred, who has now won three of seven lifetime starts for owner Mrs. Fitriani Hay. 

            “I was close to the early lead,” Lopez said. “The pace was not that quick. He took the lead on his own and I didn’t really ask him until the 1/16th pole. He was pretty impressive.” 

            Soaring Empire proved another prompt favorite in the $100,000 Majestic Light Stakes as he launched his bid from last rounding the far turn, and then wore down Kensei late to score by nearly a length. 

            Cam Gambolati trains Soaring Empire, an Empire Maker colt who finished second to Kensei in the Salvator Mile (G3) here last out. The winner paid $4, $2.40 and $2.10 as favorite in the field of six and topped the $10.80 exacta.  

            Kensei, the second choice, paid $3.20 and $2.80 and Cactus Charlie, longest price on the board at 30-1, grabbed third to pay $4. 

            “I just think he’s really a good horse,” Gambolati said. “He’s really matured this year.” 

            This was the third win at Monmouth for Soaring Empire, who races for the partnership of Ol Memorial Stable & C.E. Glasscock. 

            The parade of favorites continued in the $100,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes as Quiet Giant came roaring down the stretch to score by nearly seven lengths as the 6-5 choice. 

            The Todd Pletcher trainee gave Leparoux a second stakes score on the day as she stepped the mile and a sixteenth in 1:41 2/5 and paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.80 across the board.  

            Lacie Slew, a 9-1 chance, was up late for second by a neck over Debonair Darling and paid $7 and $5.40 to complete the $35.60 exacta. Debonair Darling paid $4 to show. 

            “She won really easy,” Leparoux said. “It was nice. I knew I was far in front because I was watching on the infield TV. That’s nice when you can do that.” 

            It was the third win of the year in five starts for Quiet Giant, a 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway who races for the Estate of Edward P. Evans.