A Recap of Empire Showcase Day

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Monday, October 26, 2020

This weekend at Belmont, it was a celebration of the New York-breds and several shined through.

MR. BUFF showed up again this year to win another $175,000 Empire Classic for trainer John Kimmel and owners Chester and Mary Broman. The six year old started the year with stakes wins at Aqueduct Racetrack. He took the Haynesfield Stakes by a 20-length margin and earned himself a 106 Beyer Speed Figure. With Junior Alvarado aboard, MR. BUFF broke quickly and went to the lead. He posted good fractions of :23.50 and :47.56 and powered past the wire by a 3 ¼ length margin for the win. The win improved his record to 15 wins from 40 starts. 

LUCKY MOVE took the win in the $175,000 Empire Distaff. The mare last won the $100,000 Obeah Stakes in June at Delaware Park where she rallied pat the field for a 42-1 longshot victory. In the Empire Distaff, she raced towards the back of the field before making her move in the stretch. She ground out her victory over MRS. ORB to score her second stakes win. 

LAOBANONAPRAYER took the $150,000 Maid of the Mist Stakes. The victory was the first stakes win for Danny Velazquez in a career of 170 winners and $4.3 million in earnings. Little did he know that in about 35 minutes, he would get another stakes win with BROOKLYN STRONG.

BROOKLYN STRONG won the $150,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes. Coming off a third in the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes, he set in fourth off the pace, which was set by EAGLE ORB. Jockey Jose Ortiz made his move on the turn and powered past EAGLE ORB in the stretch. BROOKLYN STRONG was a $30,000 weanling and was later purchased for $5,000 as a 2 year old at the OBS April Sale by Mark Schwartz. 

MYHARTBLONGSTODADY won the $150,000 Ticonderoga Stakes keeping her 2020 record intact with a gate-to-wire win for owner-breeder Lawrence Goichman. The five year old mare drifted to the center of the track in the stretch, but made clear to the wire. 

TRIBECCA took the $150,000 Hudson Handicap. The gelding broke first and fast and went away with the lead. ARTHUR'S HOPE pressured, but TRIBECCA found the speed he needed in the stretch and put his rivals away by 3 lengths with a time of 116.01 in the 6 ½ furlong Hudson. 

SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN won the $150,000 Mohawk Stakes. The champion two and three year old took home another win after battling RINALDI for the lead. He took the win over THERAPIST by one and a half lengths while RINALDI faded to last. 

COLLEGEVILLE GIRL won the $125,000 Iroquois Stakes. The daughter of CENTRAL BANKER came from last and ran down the field to a 23-1 victory. Her performance was quite impressive for the filly that trainer Richard Vega purchased for just $18,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale. Coming off an even third in an optional claimer at Parx, the filly got the ride she needed from jockey Joel Rosario who pushed to the win despite losing his stick. 

Photos: Coglianese Photos/NYRA (Featured Photo: Somelikeithotbrown, Left Photo: Lucky Move)

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