Paradise Farm and David Staudacher’s Barese came home the best of nine state-bred sophomores to win his first stakes in Sunday’s 6 1/2-furlong $100,000 Rego Park at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.
Trained by Mike Maker, the son of Laoban was making his first start since a debut maiden special weight win at Belmont Park on May 21, taking a five-furlong sprint for state-breds by a half-length under Irad Ortiz, Jr. from just off the pace.
Eight months later, Barese, piloted by Dylan Davis, was kept a bit farther off the pace than in his debut, breaking last in the field of nine and unhurried by Davis to track in sixth behind pacesetter Unique Unions through an opening quarter-mile in 22.64 seconds over the good and harrowed main track.
Barese continued to hold in fourth going four-wide down the backstretch as Unique Unions held his lead a length the better of Daufuskie Island and 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Agility with Kendrick Carmouche up.
Barese began to kick into gear entering the turn with slight urging from Davis, who was still content to bide his time with plenty of horse underneath him. Swinging wide to the center of the racetrack, Davis showed Barese a right-handed crop and gave him one tap as the field straightened for the drive to the wire, grinding away to the outside of Agility as Unique Unions began to toil along the rail.
Matching strides with Agility and Daufuskie Island just before the sixteenth pole, Barese pulled away under left-handed encouragement from Davis and secured the second win of his career by 2 3/4 lengths, stopping the clock in 1:19.13. Agility held on to finish second by a neck over Daufuskie Island.
Davis, who rode Barese for the first time in the Rego Park, said the bay colt was full of run.
“He’s a big boy and coming off the layoff, I was just trying to get a nice, comfortable break and that’s what he got,” Davis said. “They ran away from him which I thought would happen, but he was handling the kickback well.
“Nearing the five-eighths pole, he started getting a little aggressive with me and I thought it was better to not keep him behind those horses,” Davis added. “I gave him a nice, clear spot in the four-path and just let him do his thing into the turn. Turning for home, he had plenty left and his big stride was able to keep going and going. He might want to handle more distance, but he handled this great.”
Davis, who currently sits in second behind Carmouche [22 wins] in the jockey standings at the Big A winter meet with 19 wins, gave credit to agent Mike Migliore for his success this meet.
“I’m doing the best I can. I want to win this title,” said Davis. “I’ve been top-three or top-four for the past five years and I really want to get this title. It would be a real accomplishment for me. Mike has been working really hard behind the scenes.”
The Jorge Abreu-trained Agility stayed on well for place honors, holding off a stubborn Daufuskie Island, who finished third a head in front of Unique Unions in fourth.
“The horse ran a great race,” Carmouche said of Agility. “He lugged in a little, but I think he needs blinkers. Maybe that will straighten him up and get him going, but I thought he ran a game race. The whole way I was in good position, just second best today.”
Completing the order of finish were Cut the Cord, Doin’ittherightway, G Munning, Always Charming, and Bali’s Shade.
Bred in New York by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Lakland Farm, Barese earned $55,000 in victory and improved his record to a perfect 2-2-0-0. A $2 wager on Barese returned $11.
Live racing returns to the Big A on Thursday with a nine-race card. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the winter meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
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