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Belmont At The Big A Picks | NYSS Spectacular Bid Stakes
Jason Moran/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM

Belmont At The Big A Picks | NYSS Spectacular Bid Stakes

Thomas Albrecht, Vincent Fusaro and James Klein’s dual stakes-placed The Big Torpedo seeks a breakthrough victory in Sunday’s $150,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, a six-furlong outer turf sprint for eligible state-sired sophomores, at the Belmont at the Big A meet.

The Spectacular Bid is slated as Race 3 on Sunday’s nine-race program. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.

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Trained by Tom Morley, the Big Brown chestnut was last seen finishing a gutsy second in the one-mile Woodhaven Stakes on April 27 here against open company, where he stalked the early pace in fifth-of-7 and got the jump on his rivals to take a narrow lead at the stretch call under Eric Cancel. He battled on valiantly down the lane, but was caught late by Good Lord Lorrie and defeated a half-length in his second start on turf.

“He proved that he will relax early, but you can ask him to go whenever you want,” Morley said. “Eric rode to instruction and I told him to try and get first run on the closers, which he did. He was very unlucky to be nailed late by a horse who saved all the ground. I’m hoping he can get a good trip around the turn, quicken up nicely down the lane and we’ll see if we’ve got enough at the end.”

Bred in New York by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, The Big Torpedo began his career over course and distance in November, finishing second ahead of a strong showing in the NYSSS Great White Way on dirt where he crossed the wire fourth but was elevated to third. He graduated impressively at third asking, taking a one-mile state-bred maiden tilt on dirt by 10 lengths in January.

Morley said he had always planned for a return to turf for The Big Torpedo, who also finished second on the dirt in a March state-bred optional claimer here.

“Always, and I was amazed at how resilient – and progressive – he was on the dirt in the winter,” said Morley. “He just kept going in the right direction. Then you get to the state where you’re second-guessing yourself, but I always thought he was a grass horse and it’s great to see him run as well as he did against open company in the Woodhaven.”

Morley said the fit colt, who boasts a consistent 6-1-3-1 record, is well-prepared for a run, but faces a challenge on the cutback after using his last two efforts to learn to rate.

“My only concern is getting back to a one-turn race after teaching him to settle off the pace – hopefully, he has the class to overcome that,” said Morley. “These Stallion Series races are important for him. He’s very fit and I don’t need to do much with him.”

Morley added he is cautiously optimistic that The Big Torpedo’s mental maturity will help him to adjust his tactics again.

“He was a bit goofy when he came in [last year], and he has a cloudy left eye that he doesn’t see that well out of, but he goes everywhere in a straight line. Mentally, he’s like an older horse and he is very settled. If he can just do what he’s told, then he’ll have a good chance,” Morley said, with a laugh.

Cancel has the return call from post 1.

R.T Racing Stable and Hablan Los Caballos’ Fidelightcayut [post 6, Javier Castellano] also brings an experienced resume to the field and exits a narrow defeat against open company in the one-mile Jersey Derby on June 1 at Monmouth Park.

Trained by Juan Carlos Avila, the Leofric gray went head-and-head on the front end with Evening News through the first three-quarter miles before taking a one-length lead at the stretch call. He responded well to urging from Carlos Rojas in the lane, but was caught late to finish third as he and Move to Gold finished noses apart with the victorious Twirling Point.

Bred in New York by JD Business Ventures, Fidelightcayut has hit the board in 5-of-6 starts, including a win at second asking on dirt in September at Monmouth when sent to the lead after a distant fifth on debut with stalking tactics. He followed with a successful first outing against winners and on grass in December at Tampa Bay Downs, and boasts an additional optional claiming win this year in April there.

The undefeated Bustin Away [post 5, Keiber Coa] owns two wins this year at Finger Lakes Racetrack for conditioner Anthony Ferraro, led by a last-out score in pacesetting fashion over next-out winner D’ont Lose Cruz in a 5 1/2-furlong third-level allowance on May 20. The effort was awarded a field-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

Owned by Michael Di Tomasso and bred in the Empire State by Hibiscus Stables, the Bustin Stones gelding earned his latest victory off two weeks’ rest after a two-length win at Finger Lakes with stalk-and-pounce tactics. He kicked off his career in July on the Saratoga main track with a wire-to-wire victory against state-breds, defeating subsequent stakes-winner Mischief Joke by a head.

WWCD’s Grand Opening [post 9, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] wheels back on one weeks’ rest to make his turf debut after a runner-up effort to the runaway Doc Sullivan in last Sunday’s seven-furlong state-bred Mike Lee at Saratoga Race Course for trainer W. Robert Bailes. The Union Jackson gelding made a late bid after being bumped at the start, but could not reel in Doc Sullivan and settled for place four lengths back.

Bred in New York by Sequel Stallions NY and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Grand Opening contests his second NYSSS event after making his career bow with a third in the Times Square division on April 14 here. He went on to graduate on May 9 at Pimlico Race Course with a seven-length romp in a six-furlong sprint.

Completing the field are the pair of stakes-placed Heavyweight Champs [post 2, Flavien Prat] – who races with blinkers off – and dirt maiden-winner Mama’s Dream [post 7, Joel Rosario] for conditioner Rudy Rodriguez; dirt maiden winners Freedsdale [post 4, Jose Lezcano] for trainer Linda Rice and Retail Man [post 3, Dylan Davis] for trainer Jim Ryerson; and maiden Courtly Banker [post 8, Katie Davis] for trainer Barclay Tagg.