Saturday’s Gotham Stakes at the Big A

Owner Maggie Seidman of Seidman Stables expressed a sense of pride in New York-bred Bold Journey, who will seek to build on his good pedigree when making his open company debut in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Gotham, a one-turn mile for sophomores, offers 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.

By Hard Spun and out of the Super Saver mare Polly Freeze, Bold Journey is a half-brother to Grade 1-winner Americanrevolution. Both horses were bred in the Empire State by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding, 

Seidman was the standalone owner of Bold Journey when he was second in his November 19 debut for trainer Carlos Martin. Following this effort, Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber and Team Penney Racing purchased majority interest of the colt, who was transferred to the stable of Hall of Famer Bill Mott. 

Bold Journey wowed in his second start, defeating his New York-bred counterparts by 6 3/4 lengths sprinting six furlongs on December 18 at Aqueduct. 

Bold Journey enters the Gotham off a second-place finish as the favorite in the one-mile Gander on February 12, where he held a four-length lead in deep stretch but gave way to a late charging Barese. 

“He’s still young and learning. That was his first time at a mile and only his third race,” Seidman said. “Carlos Martin had him in the beginning and loved him. The partners seem confident with his talent and that he’ll continue to move forward. He did really well in his second race. He’s got a good heart.”

Last summer during the Spa meet, Seidman said she would walk from her Saratoga home to the backstretch every morning to visit Bold Journey.

“That whole six weeks, every morning I spent time with him,” Seidman recalled. “He’s very confident and a good looking horse. He has a very good personality. He’s calm, he’s confident and he’s willing to learn, and I was excited to get him. He has the ability to go a little longer based off his breeding. The mare can get a good baby, as was shown with Americanrevolution.”

Bold Journey was acquired for $80,000 out of the McKathan Brothers Sales consignment at last year’s OBS April Sale. 

“I wanted a horse that could go on the dirt and eventually go longer,” Seidman said. “He just was special to me. I’ve had a lot of horses, but I think he’s special. The minute you see him on the track, he puts his head up high.”

Seidman is the breeder of Dream Maker Racing’s two-time New York-bred stakes winner Yo Cuz, who is also conditioned by Mott.

“Bill Mott has done a great job. I bred Yo Cuz also, and he does a great job at getting young horses to go forward,” Seidman said. 

Seidman said she is happy to continue along the Derby path with her fellow partners in Bold Journey.

“The three other owners are respected owners and they bought into him for a reason. The partners are all wonderful people so I’m happy to be with them,” Seidman said.

Fromanothamutha should appreciate cutback in G3 Gotham; Constitutionlawyer bound for Philly

Last out maiden winner Fromanothamutha appears to have found his sweet spot going one turn heading into Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham at Aqueduct. 

It took the son of Unified six starts to find the winner’s circle, but the Ray Handal-trained colt kept good company throughout the maiden ranks, finishing behind eventual stakes-winners My Prankster and Chattalot. 

In his fourth start, a 1 1/16-mile Belmont maiden in October, Fromanothamutha displayed frontrunning tactics for the first time but was unable to fend off a late rally by Mo Donegal. 

Fromanothamutha faced Mo Donegal once more in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct, finishing a distant seventh to his familiar foe, but returned to action with vigor when he broke his maiden on January 13 at the Big A sprinting seven furlongs. The one-turn mile triumph registered a Gotham field-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure. 

“We took a shot in the Remsen,” Handal said. “I’ve always thought he would be a better one-turn horse and I think he really liked the cutback last time.”

Fromanothamutha is owned by Handal in partnership with Peter Rinato, Craig Taylor and Blue Lion Thoroughbreds. The latter two partners also co-own fellow Gotham aspirant Morello. 

“They’re great dudes. Dave [Lyon of Blue Lion Thoroughbreds] and his buddies reached out to me last year,” Handal recalled. “We were doing great for some friends of theirs – Perrine Time Thoroughbreds. They saw us doing well, so we met up, had a great conversation and they kind of let me do my thing. They gave me a budget to spend at the sale and bought them a couple horses. It’s a great group to work for, they all come out and support their horses and let the trainer do his thing.”

Fromanothamutha, out of the Aptitude mare Prevention, was purchased for $120,000 at the 2021 OBS March Sale from G.A. Thoroughbred Sales consignment.

While Fromanothamutha stays local, Perrine Time Thoroughbreds and West Paces Racing’s Constitutionlawyer will take his show on the road following a disappointing effort when 11th in last month’s Grade 3 Withers. 

The Constitution colt will ship to Parx Racing for Tuesday’s $100,000 City of Brotherly Love going 1 1/16 miles, where he will face prior Withers foes Courvoisier and Smarten Up. Noneedtoworry, fifth in the Withers, cross-entered for this spot and the Gotham. 

Like his Gotham-bound stable mate, Constitutionlawyer also finished behind some solid horses at maiden level. Constitutionlawyer was a distant fourth on debut behind Mo Donegal where Fromanothamutha was second, before stretching out to two turns on December 2 at Aqueduct to finish third behind Courvoisier. Constitutionlawyer found the winner’s circle at third asking traveling nine furlongs over a muddy and sealed main track on January 2 at Aqueduct, garnering an 85 Beyer. 

Handal said a turnaround in form could result in rejuvenated Derby trail aspirations for Constitutionlawyer with the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino and the Grade 1, $1 million Blue Grass at Keeneland as long term possibilities. Both races are held on April 9 and are 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifiers. 

Aqueduct Picks: Pirate's Punch a long shot in the Stymie S. on February 26“If he were to win, I’m not sure if we would go to the Wood or not, but we’ll keep everything on the table,” Handal said. “Either the Blue Grass or the Wood, but he’d have to win and show us he can do it. He’s training awesome and he was training awesome into his last race. It was a real head scratcher.”

Old Tavern Farm homebred Salsa a Parte will be stakes-bound following a rallying maiden score on February 19 for Handal at the Big A, where she made up a dozen lengths throughout the six-furlong journey to win in the final strides. The New York-bred Into Mischief filly could target the $100,000 East View at seven furlongs on March 27, the final day of the Aqueduct winter meet. 

“She bounced out of her last race in good shape,” Handal said. “She’s on the smaller side so I’m not sure how far she’ll go, but I think she’ll appreciate a little more distance. She came rolling there at the end of her last race.”

Salsa a Parte is the third progeny out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Memento d’Oro, whose two other offspring are winners. Her second dam is dual Grade 1-winner Intangaroo. 

Handal also said Blue Lion Thoroughbreds, Ken Russell, Taste of Victory Stables and David Rink’s Monshun could target the $100,000 Cicada on March 19 going six furlongs. The Unified filly has not raced since a debut maiden win in August at Saratoga defeating eventual stakes-placed Morning Matcha. She has consistently been on the work tab since late December.

Runninsonofagun ready for graded stakes debut in G3 Gotham

Scott Zimmerman’s Runninsonofagun will attempt to extend his win streak to three when he makes his graded stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack, a prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby that awards 50-20-10-5 qualifying points to the top-four finishers. 

“He’s training very well. We had put him in a non-winners of one last week, but the race didn’t go,” said trainer John Toscano, Jr. “We had no place to run him other than with 3-year-olds, so we opted to the Gotham and we’ll see what he’s made of.”

The son of Gun Runner, who boasts a perfect in-the-money record from three starts, was claimed by William Morey for $30,000 out of a debut third in a maiden claimer in November at Churchill Downs for his initial trainer Chris Hartman.

Runninsonofagun then shipped to the Big A to break his maiden by 3 3/4 lengths on New Year’s Eve in a six-furlong maiden claimer contested over a muddy main track.

Toscano, Jr., who won a three-way shake to claim Runninsonofagun for $40,000 out of his winning effort, said he had his eye on the bay gelding since his debut in November. 

“He’s by Gun Runner, who has had an outstanding freshman year. We watched his race at Churchill and we liked what we saw,” Toscano, Jr. said. “We took a shot when Morey ran him for the 40 here. We were fortunate enough to win the shake.”

Runninsonofagun won his debut for Toscano Jr., grinding away to a 1 1/4-length optional claiming win at Aqueduct on January 27 with an off-the-pace trip engineered by Dylan Davis. 

“The day he won, every horse that day that won was wiring the field. This guy came from next-to-last to get up and beat the racetrack that day, which was exceptional,” Toscano, Jr. said.

Runninsonofagun breezed a half-mile in 49.21 seconds on Sunday over the dirt training track at Belmont Park in preparation for his first start beyond the sprint distance. 

“He trains very well and looks like he’ll run all day. He’s coming out of a sprint, but there’s so much speed in the race, I don’t think [going to the lead] is a wise decision,” Toscano, Jr. said of the stretch out. “We’ll try and sit him behind. If you put all the factors together and his pedigree with his will to win, I’d say he was well-named.”

Out of the multiple stakes-placed Malibu Moon mare Golden Artemis, Runninsonofagun is a half-sibling to Grade 1 winner My Conquestadory, who produced Grade 2-placed Bourbon War. 

Aqueduct Racetrack Week 13 stakes probables

Saturday, March 12

$100K Correction

Probable: Club Car (Ben Colebrook), Easy to Bless (James Ferraro), Kept Waiting (Robert Falcone, Jr.), Letmetakethiscall (Ferraro), Prodigy Doll (Phil Schoenthal)

Possible: Donletsweetfoolya (Lacey Gaudet)

Sunday, March 13 

$100K Damon Runyon (NYB)

Probable: Agility (Jorge Abreu), Best Idea (Todd Pletcher), Mister Larry (Orlando Noda), Rotknee (Mike Maker)

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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