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Following their respective successful two-turn stakes debuts, Living Magic and Brocknardini will look to double up on their recent endeavors in Friday’s sixth running of the $120,000 Tepin for juvenile fillies going one mile over the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Tepin is slated as Race 6 on Friday’s nine-race card which also features the $150,000 Autumn Days in Race 8. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
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HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing’s Kentucky homebred Living Magic, a winner on all three surfaces, will return to the Big A following a victory in the Chelsey Flower going 1 1/16 miles on the turf on October 28, which she won at 16-1 odds for trainer Phil Schoenthal.
The chestnut daughter of leading second-crop sire Justify stalked a moderate pace from second before being passed by Ozara to her inside around the far turn. As Ozara took command in mid-stretch, Living Magic hit her best stride in the final furlong to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The win registered a career-high 78 Beyer Speed Figure.
Prior to her Chesley Flower conquest, Living Magic finished a close second in the 6 1/2-furlong Presque Isle Downs Debutante on September 25 over the synthetic two starts after capturing Woodbine Racetrack’s My Dear on July 15, contested at 5 1/2 furlongs over the Tapeta. She broke her maiden at first asking on May 1 over the Parx Racing main track before finishing third in the Astoria on June 11 at Belmont Park.
In her turf debut, Living Magic was a distant seventh in the Catch a Glimpse on August 20 at Woodbine which is her lone off-the-board effort. Despite this, Schoenthal said he was surprised to see his filly at long odds in the Chelsey Flower.
“I felt like this horse would have been one of the favorites in her last start. I felt that she was at least a battle proven stakes horse versus horses that had just come off maiden wins or still were maidens,” Schoenthal said. “She ran poorly in her only other start on turf at Woodbine, but her figure in that race still matched up with a lot of the horses in her last one. We were pretty confident in our chances going into that race and it felt awesome to be vindicated with a win.”
Surface versatility appears to run in the family as Living Magic’s dam was graded stakes winning millionaire Living the Life. The Footstepsinthesand Irish-bred was a winner on turf and synthetic, including back-to-back wins in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters on synthetic, and was multiple graded stakes-placed on dirt.
“It was kind of neat last time because her mother was a graded winner or graded placed on all three surfaces and this filly ran third in the Astoria on dirt. She was a stakes winner on the synthetic at Woodbine, so I was really hoping that she would at least hit the board,” Schoenthal said. “It’s a feather in your cap and it’s odd to have that kind of horse that shows so much versatility. She’s really a nice horse. We had her marked as one that would carry the banner for us. She showed a lot of talent early on.
“As a horse trainer, it’s especially rewarding to bring a horse along in these kind of races as a homebred,” added Schoenthal. “These breeders own the mare, pay all the bills, plan the mating and raise them. They have a little more invested in these horses than just buying them at auction. It’s great to see these types of horses do well for owner/breeders.”
Ruben Silvera has the mount from post 2.
Thomas and Daryn Brockley’s New York-bred Brocknardini was a last out winner of the Selima going 1 1/16 miles over good ground at Laurel Park for trainer George Weaver.
The triumph was a redeeming one after the Palace Malice bay endured a troubled trip in the Grade 1 Natalma on September 16 going a one-turn mile at Woodbine. She bobbled at the start under Declan Carroll, fanned eight wide in upper stretch and had to steady when Dancing Duchess caused a chain reaction when bumping the rival to the inside of Brocknardini. Although she crossed the wire last-of-13, Brocknardini was elevated to 12th following the disqualification of Dancing Duchess.
Brocknardini, bred in the Empire State by Thirty Year Farm, broke her maiden on debut going 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga Race Course, which she won by 4 3/4 lengths.
Brockley, who secured his first stakes win as an owner in the Selima, said Brocknardini’s Natalma effort is not an indicator of her true level of talent.
“If you look at the start, she got a little bit held by the starter, got out tough and got hit and banged around at the back of the pack,” Brockley recalled. “Declan moved her outside, which he should have done. Then when she came into the stretch, another horse came right across causing my filly to check. We thought enough of her to put her in a Grade 1 in her second start, so that’s some pretty high expectations. It was a little disappointing, but we knew she had more talent than what she was able to show that day and she showed that next time out.”
Brocknardini is out of the Bernardini mare Broad Stripes and hails from the prominent Phipps matriarchal bloodlines of undefeated Hall of Famer Personal Ensign as well as multiple Grade 1-winner My Flag.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will pick up the mount from post 5.
Trainer Graham Motion will saddle Gainesway Stable’s Kentucky homebred Memorialize [post 3, Manny Franco], who will attempt to make amends following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo on October 4 at Belmont at the Big A, which was won by next-out Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Hard To Justify. The Karakontie chestnut was previously a three-length maiden winner at second asking in her turf debut.
“I was disappointed with the Miss Grillo, I thought it could be a race that could get us to the Breeders’ Cup and it didn’t pan out,” Motion said. “I don’t know if it was the turf or what it was that day, she also didn’t have the best trip in that race. Having said that, she’s done well since so hopefully we can regroup.”
Memorialize is the first named foal produced from the stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Smart Emma, a half-sister to Japanese stakes-winner and earner of over $800,000 Symboli Empire.
Martin Schwartz’s stakes-placed Gold Lightning [post 8, Javier Castellano] enters from a third-place finish in the Chelsey Flower for trainer Brad Cox. The bay daughter of second crop sire Bolt d’Oro finished 2 3/4 lengths in arrears to Living Magic following a sixth-place finish in the Miss Grillo.
Completing the field are the David Donk-trained Artemis Girl [post 1, Jose Gomez], Awesome Czech [post 4, Kendrick Carmouche] for trainer Horacio De Paz, Being Betty [post 6, Jose Lezcano] for trainer Phil Serpe, Voter Registration [post 7, Jose Ortiz], a first-time starter for trainer Chad Brown and Scorpia [post 9, Julio Hernandez] for trainer Mark Salvaggio.
Most of All and Antenna have been entered for main-track only.
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