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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Trainer Michelle Nevin will saddle a strong pair of stakes-winning veterans My Boy Tate and Our Last Buck in Thursday’s $100,000 John Morrissey, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for New York-breds 3-years-old and up, at Saratoga Race Course.
My Boy Tate, bred, trained and co-owned by Nevin with Little Red Feather Racing, boasts a ledger of 24-9-5-2 with purse earnings of $584,988. The Boys At Tosconova gelding is a 5-time stakes winner at Aqueduct Racetrack, including scores in the Hollie Hughes and Haynesfield earlier this year.
The hard-knocking 7-year-old has also enjoyed success at Saratoga, posting a perfect in-the-money record of 4-1-2-1 including a third-place finish in last year’s Morrissey.
Last seen finishing fourth in an open allowance sprint at Parx in May, My Boy Tate has reeled off 6 weekly works dating to June 13, including a 5/8 effort in 1:01.54 on July 20 on the Saratoga main track.
“He’s doing good. He had a little bit of a freshening and he’s right on track,” Nevin said. “I would say Aqueduct is his favorite track, but Saratoga is a track he’s shown an affinity for, too.”
Nevin said that My Boy Tate, who has finished no worse than fourth in his last 9 starts dating back to running third in last year’s Morrissey, continues to thrive.
“He seems like he’s still the same old fella,” Nevin said. “He’s definitely a barn favorite. He always tries. We’ve had him since he was 2 and he’s 7 now and is just a great horse to have.”
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J and N Stables’ Our Last Buck, a 7-year-old Courageous Cat gelding bred by Gerardus S. Jameson, enjoyed a productive 2020 campaign with a record of 8-4-2-0. The success continued into January with a first stakes score in the 7-furlong Say Florida Sandy last out at the Big A.
Our Last Buck has breezed weekly at Belmont dating back to June 3, including a 5/8 effort in 1:02.23 on the dirt training track on July 20.
Nevin said the lengthy freshening was by design.
“He had plenty of races last year and we were looking to give him a little break,” Nevin said. “After his big win, we decided to give him some time and he’s been back on the track getting ready and we finally feel like we’re ready to go.
“He got very good last year and was running very consistently,” Nevin continued. “He was showing up every time. He’s definitely improved as he’s gotten older.”
Manny Franco will guide My Boy Tate from post 3, while Our Last Buck will emerge from post 4 under Luis Saez.
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Charles Hallas’ Morning Breez sports a ledger of 42-5-12-11 with purse earnings of $569,929 but has yet to secure an elusive first stakes win.
The 6-year-old Morning Line gelding, bred by Hart Farm and Rhapsody Farm, has flourished in his last 3 starts sprinting 6 furlongs in open allowance company, including a last-out 1/2-length score on May 13 at Belmont that garnered an 87 Beyer.
Transferred to the care of trainer Pat Reynolds, Morning Breez will be piloted by returning rider Jose Lezcano from post 6.
Team Hanley’s multiple stakes winner Captain Bombastic, bred by Chester and Mary Broman, won a pair of stakes last season, including the 7-furlong Mike Lee at Belmont and the 6 1/2-furlong NYSSS Times Square in August at Saratoga for former conditioner Jeremiah Englehart.
Transferred to Chad Brown to launch his 4-year-old campaign, the Forty Tales chestnut finished off the board in a pair of state-bred stakes at Belmont and will now race for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen from post 2 under Ricardo Santana Jr.
Rounding out a competitive field are Wow Brown (post 1, Michael Davila Jr.), Wudda U Think Now (post 5, Irad Ortiz Jr.), Foolish Ghost (post 7, Joel Rosario), Jemography (post 8, Dylan Davis), and Runningwscissors (post 9, Tyler Gaffalione).
The John Morrissey is slated as race 9 on Thursday’s 10-race card. First post is 1:05 PM Eastern.
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