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OZONE PARK, NY – NY Final Furlong Racing Stable, Maspeth Stables and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Espresso Shot won a stakes race at Aqueduct Racetrack for a fourth consecutive year with a determined two-length score in Sunday’s $100,000 Biogio’s Rose.
Trained by Jorge Abreu, the 5-year-old Mission Impazible bay entered the one-turn mile for New York-bred fillies and mares 4-years-old and up having won a stakes at the Big A at ages 2, 3 and 4.
Love and Love, with Dylan Davis up, won a contentious pace battle with 6/5 favorite Wasp and Espresso Shot to lead the compact five-horse field through an opening 1/4-mile in 24.28 seconds on the fast main track.
With Love and Love dictating terms, Espresso Shot, piloted by Eric Cancel, took up a comfortable stalking position in second down the backstretch as Wasp raced four-wide in third with Critical Value in behind rivals in fourth.
The 1/2-mile ticked by in 47.94 as Espresso Shot ratcheted up the pressure on Love and Love into the turn with Wasp giving way. The lead duo went head and head at the top of the lane with Love and Love fighting gamely inside of a determined Espresso Shot.
Inside the 1/16 pole, Espresso Shot finally put away her rival and surged through the wire a comfortable winner in a final time of 1:39.10.
It was 11 lengths back to Critical Value in third followed by Firenze Freedom and Wasp. Lucky Move, the 8/5 morning-line favorite, was scratched.
“The plan was to sit stalking right there. It worked out well,” said Cancel. “Dylan went to the lead and we just had to follow. Once we got to the quarter pole, I had to ask her for everything, and she started running little-by-little. We got the victory.”
Espresso Shot entered the Biogio’s Rose from an even third in the seven-furlong La Verdad, a seven-furlong sprint for older filly and mare state-breds contested on a muddy and sealed Aqueduct main track on January 3.
All four of Espresso Shot’s stakes scores have come at Aqueduct. She captured the 2018 East View and the 2019 Busher traveling a one-turn mile and completed her 2020 campaign with a two-length score in the seven-furlong New York Stallion Stakes Series Staten Island on November 22.
Dan Zanatta, managing partner of Final Furlong Racing Stable, said they had considered retiring Espresso Shot before the mare regained form with a closing fifth in the Iroquois in October at Belmont.
“We almost retired her last year, but she showed some renewed form in the Iroquois,” said Zanatta. “We think anything from 6 ½ furlongs to a mile is ideal for her. Once we figured her out and saw she was running back to form, we decided to campaign her as a 5-year-old. She was booked to Authentic but she earned herself a 5-year-old campaign.”
Zanatta said Espresso Shot is likely to make her next start in the $200,000 Critical Eye, a one-turn mile for state-bred fillies and mares 3-years-old and up on May 31 at Belmont Park.
Bred by Twin Creeks Farm, Espresso Shot was purchased for $69,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearling Sale. She banked $55,000 in victory to bring her career earnings to $469,105, while improving her record to 19-5-3-2.
Espresso Shot returned $5.20 for a $2 win ticket as the 8/5 second choice.
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