Jun 222018


A full field of Eighteen Two-Year Old New York Bred Fillies will enter the Big Apple starting gate in the ESR Incurable Optimist Stakes.  The race will be run at Six Furlongs over the Dirt Course.

Incurable Optimist was voted 1998 Horse of the Year, Champion Turf male, and Champion Juvenile in the annual New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. Awards.

He was the only juvenile that year to win graded events in New York and California, winning the Pilgrim and Generous stakes, respectively.

IN SWEET SONG – the kingab trained 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Big Brown out of the stakes winning/ stakes producing mare HAWK’S SWEET SONG (A.P. Indy), daughter of the G1 winning SONG OF THE HAWK, is making her second career start, the first, a narrow defeat in a Local New York MSW while posting a 71-speed figure in the effort; Dam did her best racing around two turns, but was never off the board sprinting, while her grand dam was a world class sprinter; the winner in her debut, WESTERN SONGBIRD, race did bounce a bit in her next start, but I expect this granddaughter of the winner of the 2007 G1 World Cup to move forward off her fine debut…one to beat

SUCULENTA – the 2 Year Old Roan Filly ivanyamil trainee by Bank Heist out of an Algorithms mare is making the third start of her young career; impressed favorably when second in an Open Bred Allowance Hot Race in Massachusetts, which should have set her up nicely in her next start in a MSW against the local competition, but the early pace got the best of her as she had to settle for the place money once again; should make her presence felt during the early stages of the race…must not falter

LAND INVASION – ok so you have heard this story before about a trotter1 trainee, goes something like this; gets beat only 2 1/4 lengths in a race where she was set at no effort at all, was entered in her next start where she went up against four stablemates and finished third beaten only ¾ of a length, thus earning her the spot in this ESR feature; sound familiar, well that was the same training method applied to FLAG THE GOLD, you know, the horse that finished 7th in the ESR Mr. Angel Special…ugh

MISSY KITTY – the valesa trained scratch-bred 2-Year Old Brown Filly by Golden Missile out of a Bluegrass Cat x Dynaformer mare is making her third career start after testing her ability over both the Dirt and Turf Course; Golden Missile ranks third amongst New York Sires, and this filly has the distinction of being the first of this Sire x DS breeding-nick; filly has progressed slowly in two starts but is eligible to improve in her third outing while adding another furlong…must show more

NY DUCHESS – the deeprock trained 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Micromanage out of stakes placed SALTIRE ORANJE (Duke of Marmalade) makes her third career start after showing some early foot in her previous two outings; Dam made her living in Turf sprints, so connections anticipated a sharper performance in her last start against the Local competition over the Turf Course after pressing the pace in an Open Bred/Open Company Allowance race in her debut over the Dirt; today’s expectation…your call

GOT WHAT I NEED – a recent addition to the irisharse stables, the 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Dublin out of an Aldebaran mare enters the field off a useful third-place finish in an Open-bred Hot Race in Massachusetts; the 10k stable claim faces tougher rivals this week, and I’m not sure the luck of the irish will help here…in tough

STILL CADET – from the cadet racing stables, making her second career start is the 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Tencendur out of the Graded stakes producing mare SLEW CHANTING (War Chant), Dam to G3 winning HOME CROWD, winner of the G3 Lean Machine Stakes as a 2yo; Tencendur hasn’t gotten off to the fastest start as a NY sire, ranked towards the bottom, and this filly is the first of this Sire x DS breeding nick, but her debut was better than her 8th place finish would indicate finishing only 1¼ lengths behind a winner that went on to finish second and first respectively in her next two starts…eligible to improve

CONNOTE – making her racing debut for the itch racing stables is the 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Bellamy Road out of the G1 winning THE DEMON ROAD (Blame), winner of the One Mile G1 Equinics – Best Claimer; Dam did her best racing over the Turf, and her offspring excel over the Turf Course as well; this is the first runner produced from the Bellamy Road x Blame nick, so given the information at hand, I anticipate this filly will exceed over the Turf Course…Turf Watchlist

CHILI AND TACO – the spinround trained 2-Year Old Chestnut Filly by Union Jackson out of a Giant’s Causeway mare hails from a family of solid sprinters and is well placed in her racing debut; Sire was a stake- winning sprinter and has produced four Allowance SIM winners in his breeding debut; cleverly named from the Dam of Union Jackson nicknamed “Chili”, paddock buddy to Rachel Alexandra’s first foal, nicknamed “Taco” … yo quiero chile and taco

HOLD ME JAYMZ – making the second start of her racing career is the 2-Year Old Brown Filly by Hold Me Back , the first foal out of the stakes winning mare QUEENS BRIDGE (Here Comes Ben); Dam did her best racing in Turf routes while sire exceeded at longer distances; lackluster debut over Turf Course leads to a Dirt start  from a filly that is likely to succeed at the Local ranks around two turns; another that is the first breeding of its kind…see you in September

NASTY CROSSOVER – the lbailey trained 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Don’t Cross Me out of Conquistador Cielo mare, a sprinter that has produced seven runners, two that are stakes placed, however none that have won in their racing debut; lightly used sire has produced 11 SIM winners, all at the claiming level, so a win here would exceed anything her siblings have accomplished…would surprise

LADY FABULOUS – the casino racing stables debut their 2-Year Old Brown Filly by Here Comes Ben out of AB FAB II (Medaglia D’Oro), daughter of the multiple G1 winning sprinting mare AB FAB; Dam has produced two stakes placed horses and this is the third offspring in the SIM from the Here Comes Ben x Medaglia D’Oro breeding nick, both siblings with victories to their credit, both sprinters…merits consideration

RESPECTABILITY – the red hot frankster stables enter their 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Laoban out of the G2 winning BIG KICK (Big Drama), winner of the 7-furlong G2 Billy and Jimmy Stakes, who is out of the G2 winning/multi-stakes producing mare EMPRESS; Laoban has gotten off to a quick SIM start with 73% winners in his 2017 season and one stakes winner…dangerous

MODERN GOLD – the sremel trained 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Al Khali out of a Seeking the Gold mare hopes to strike gold in her racing debut; this is the first time Al Khali has been bred a Seeking the Gold mare, so there is great anticipation, even if the mare, Casual Affair (Seeking the Gold x Nijinsky II), has produced just four winners from seven offspring…might surprise

RUNFROMMYSHADOW – making her debut for the nycowboy racing stables is the 2-Year Old Brown Filly by Golden Missile out of a winless Unbridled mare, Dam of five previous runners, all winners; Golden Missile has been bred to Unbridled game mares eight times producing one graded winner, one stakes winner and one graded placed runner, despite the Dams inability to produce top runners, a top three sire bred on a successful breeding pattern is worthy of consideration…recipe for success

ALPHA BETA KAPPA – the 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Alpha out of the stakes winning/multi-stakes producing mare THREE TO GET READY (Vindication), a multiple stakes winner on Turf, makes her racing debut for the nextbonus racing stables; Alpha has been bred to Vindication on two previous occasions, once as a scratch-bred, which produced a stakes winner, and once to a game mare that produced a winner, both preferred two turns; given the ability of the Dam and the success of her offspring (three stakes winners on dirt and turf), I think it is safe to safe this filly has a promising career of racing within the local ranks and is well placed to set that standard here on Saturday…it’s all Greek to me

PSYCHOTIC RAGE – the second of two frankster entries, this a 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Freud out of a dirt sprinting Malibu Moon mare, Dam to five previous runners, two of which are stakes placed; Freud has been bred to three Malibu Moon game mares, two of which have earnings in excess of $100k, all of which have visited the claiming ranks; connections can do no wrong, and a top six sire bred to a Malibu Moon mare always has potential, no matter what the stats reveal…don’t ignore

ALPHA PROVERBS – the aladar trained 2-Year Old Bay Filly by Alpha is the first foal from the graded stakes winning LUCKY PROVERB (Lookin at Lucky), winner of the 6-furlong G3 Fall Midweight Handicap; Dam was a precocious 2yo winning its first four starts, a good sign for the first offspring of the Alpha x Lookin at Lucky breeding nick…first asking

Handicapping the Field

Expect the unexpected, well we have certainly learned that from our previous Two-Year Old races in ESR and I would expect this to especially hold true of New York-bred 2yo fillies.  While to focus of my attention will be on the horses that have already raced, there are some first-time starters in this field capable of setting off the flashes at the wire ahead of the others.

IN SWEET SONG just missed in her debut, and while hailing from the family of a world class sprinter, should be full of run this week when stretching out to six panels.

LAND INVASION missed by ¾ of a length to the highly regarded NY-bred PERCEPTION OF WAR. Training tactics failed for stablemate, this gal should be in top form in her third start.

STILL CADET is eligible to improve off her last start and exits a key race.

First time starters CHILI AND TACO, LADY FABULOUS, RESPECTABILITY, and ALPHA BETA KAPPA and ALPHA PROVERBS are all main candidates to upset those with racing experience.  A slight edge goes to RESPECTABILITY and ALPHA PROVERBS, both of whom hail from a very successful family of sprinters, and ALPHA BETA KAPPA, whose only uncertainty will be a racing surface preference.

The Picks

IN SWEET SONG – has the solid race effort and the pedigree to back it up

RESPECTABILITY – red hot connections with a horse that should be quick from the gate

LAND INVASION – should be around for a piece

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  8 Responses to “Eighteen Two Year Old ESR Fillies Pay Tribute to 1998 New York Champion Incurable Optimist”

  1. Another great in-depth handicapping write up. Thats the 2nd time ive won after you picked me so i no longer mind it.. lol Thanks Pete

  2. “Expect the unexpected, well we have certainly learned that from our previous Two-Year Old races in ESR”

    The oddsmaker certainly didn’t think it was unexpected considering the last two winners went off at 8-1 in 15-20 horse fields where the fav was 6/7-1 and trainer had a career 24.3% strike rate. : )

  3. Breeding, in general, is not my forte. N Y breeding, in particular, is a complete crap shoot for me. Prior to joining ESR, Freud was the only N Y based sire I knew. Now I know two. Go Alpha!

    Great job, Pete. And I have to compliment Eliza on her cleverly named entrant. Good luck to all!

  4. Great job, Mr. Trotter. I like the research into the history of the nick.

  5. Hey Pete …I changed horses yesterday ..crying spirit took alpha proverbs place…

    • sorry, I do these write-ups on Wednesday due to time restraints, then on Thursday morning I pick up the stragglers…I look to see any additions to the race before it closes but only the number of entrants and didn’t pick up the switch…for what it’s worth I thought alpha proverbs had a real solid shot…I still haven’t looked at the other entry.

  6. Pete I am very impressed you ‘got’ the name of my entrant! And thank you for not picking her :)

  7. Can you believe I forgot to enter one this week?

    It’s ok, I’ll let someone else take a turn at running their eyeballs out in order to split the field.