A field of Seven Three Year Old New York Bred Colts will enter the Big Apple starting gate for the $100,000 ESR Yasgur’s Farm Stakes. The race will be run a Six and One Half Furlongs over the Dirt Course.
The first ESR Residency Race of the New Year will pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary Year of the Woodstock Festival. The Woodstock theme will be celebrated throughout the entire 2019 ESR Racing Season.
WAR NOTION – it’s safe to say, with 5 victories and earnings of just under $200k, that War Notion is the most accomplished Colt in this field, but the trotter1 trained 3 Year Old Bay Colt by War Dancer, out of the multi-stakes producing mare STORMY NOTION (Storm Cat), is still faced with a difficult challenge here on Saturday; second in his only ESR Rez Stakes appearance, the One Mile ESR Bumper to Bumper Stakes, to absentee PAZIBLE STRIKE, who ran a disappointing seventh in the Fio Rito Stakes here on Saturday, the talented New York-bred will turn back in distance looking to record his first ESR victory while notching his sixth career victory, pushing his career earnings to the quarter million dollar mark…one to beat
PROFESSOR MALONEY – the casino trained 3 Year Old Brown Colt by Golden Missile out of the G2 winning / graded stakes producing mare GOLD BANSHII (Seeking the Gold) was well out of his comfort zone when he finished sixth in the One Mile ESR Bumper to Bumper Stakes, some six lengths in back of WAR NOTION; the capable NY-bred should be more involved while racing in a sprint, where he is a perfect three for three in his career…dangerous
TEN AND A FIVER – the 3 Year Old Light Grey Gelding by Mission Impazible out of a stakes placed Milwaukee Brew mare may have recorded only one victory in his nine career starts, but the glennc trainee has demonstrated to be a more than formidable opponent with third place finishes in the both the ESR Coney Island Special and ESR Bumper to Bumper Stakes respectively; the versatile performer has become adept at any distance, over any surface, and is poised to give a good account of himself once again against his Rez rivals…overdue
MR. PETE – the absence of PAZIBLE STRIKE prompts the start of the kingab trained 3 Year Old scratch-bred Bay Colt by Freud out of a Tale of the Cat x Alydar mare; the promising local-bred will benefit from his last start, when he stepped up a level at a distance he may not have particularly cared for while finishing a respectable fourth place; the NY-bred has displayed an astonishing compete level in all his starts and looks poised to get 2018 leading ESR trainer off to a fast start in the new year…chance off best
JAYMZEO – the ace trained 3 Year Old Chestnut Colt by Trinniberg out of stakes winning, stakes producing mare SWEEPEO (Rahy) enters this field a maiden with only one career start, but his second place finish at the local level was good enough to convince his connections to take a shot in the ESR feature…might surprise
BOSS ALI – the first of two from the cadet racing stables, this 3 Year Old Bay Gelding by Laoban is out of the stakes producing mare DUCHESS ALI (Seeking the Gold); the first time starters family tree goes back to HOF horse DUKE ALI, winner on more than $3 million while specializing in One Mile Dirt races; the success of his line has been limited to just one Stakes winner suggesting, in this case, the apple can fall far from the tree…in tough
RECESSION CADET – is the second entry representing the cadet racing stables that is entered in this field; the 3 Year Old Light Grey Colt by Market Rally out of a winless mare, GATLINGS GAL(Seattle Slew), and another that is a product of a royal lineage, descending from the 1999 Horse of the Year GATLING PROSPECTOR; sadly this line too has failed to live up its reputation; one day that pedigree may kick in, but I expect this start is just an introduction to racing for the NY hopeful…racing 101
HANDICAPPING THE FIELD
There’s no doubt that the cvbear New York Bred Race Series hijacked several competitors from this ESR feature, but despite its limited field, the ESR 2019 opener should continue the competitive nature that is ESR Racing.
While the race does break down into two layers of competition, a 40% chance of rain could even the playing field, moving some horses up while washing out the chances of some of the more desirable selections.
JAYMZEO, RECESSION CADET, and BOSS ALI are all maidens with just one race of experience between the three. JAYMZEO gets a Mud Mark through her Dam SWEEPEO, who was second in four starts over the Off Track. BOSS ALI has to go further back in his pedigree to HOF winner DUKE ALI, who won the G1 Diplomat Way Handicap over a Sloppy Track.
Handicapping logic suggests WAR NOTION is the horse to beat in this field. The early favorite could make his first start over an Off Track, but his family tree suggests he can handle the off going. Funny thing about logic…even Spock was wrong now and then
PROFESSOR MALONEY and TEN AND A FIVER both have had their shot at WAR NOTION but came up short each time. PROFESSOR MALONEY’s return to a sprint will make him a more formidable opponent this time around and he should handle the off going. TEN AND A FIVER keeps coming at you but might prefer racing around two turns while racing over a dryer surface.
In retrospect kingab might have preferred PAZIBLE STRIKE to compete here on Saturday, however that doesn’t mean MR. PETE enters this field without his own list of credentials. He is turning back into a sprint, where he has a first and a second in his two sprint tries and has progressed with each start. Whether he can handle the off track remains to be seen, but if so, he will be one to watch.
WAR NOTION – when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth*
PROFESSOR MALONEY – live long and prosper*
MR. PETE – insufficient facts always invite danger*
* Spock Quotes