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NYSSS Staten Island Preview: Espresso Shot’s Form Needs A Jolt
Espresso Shot winning the 2019 Busher (Credit: NYRA)

NYSSS Staten Island Preview: Espresso Shot’s Form Needs A Jolt

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Trainer Jorge Abreu’s Espresso Shot needs to inject a jolt of her former stakes-winning self if she hopes to win Sunday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series (NYSSS) Staten Island division at Aqueduct.

The Staten Island is a 7-furlong dirt sprint restricted to fillies and mares ages 3 and up eligible for the NYSSS. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 3:45 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Staten Island:

1. Espresso Shot 4/1 – She won the East View Stakes in late 2018 and the Busher Stakes in early 2019 over this course, the latter against open company, but hasn’t sipped victory in 10 subsequent starts. The better of her 2 prior attempts at this distance saw her finish fourth in this race last year, but she has only hit the board once in 5 starts this season.

2. Bankers Daughter 12/1 – Despite giving a good accound of herself in most of them, took her 8 tries to break her maiden, which she accomplished this summer at Saratoga in a 6-furlong dirt dash against New York-breds. She finished second in each of her 2 starts after, but she’ll need to show that she can handle extra distance while facing stakes horses for the first time.

3. Officer Hutchy 2/1 – The first of two entries for trainer Rob Atras, she was a shrewd $25k claim out of a Saratoga 6-furlong event in the summer: Atras immediately placed her into the NYSSS Park Avenue, which she won. She defeated starter allowance rivals over this course and distance back in February but needs to rebound after running fourth in the Iroquois Stakes.

4. Steal My Heart 50/1 – She needed 7 starts to break her maiden, finding success in a 6-furlong maiden special weight. She then finished third against allowance rivals before winning at that level last time out, but those 3 starts all came at Finger Lakes; the competition is much stiffer here. She’s only hit the board once in 5 prior attempts on the NYRA circuit.

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5. Prairie Fire 8/5 – One of two entries with a field-best 5 career wins on her resume, she nearly made it 6 in the Iroquois last time out, missing by just a 1/2-length in her stakes debut. The Linda Rice trainee is blossoming late in her 4-year-old season; she’s finished first or second in each of her past 3 starts while earning Beyer Speed Figures in the mid-80s – best of this bunch.

6. Fight On Lucy 20/1 – She’s hit the board in 75% of her starts at the Big A, compiling a local record of 8-1-2-3 while exclusively facing state-bred competition. She only has 2 wins from 19 starts, but her overall consistency and apparent love for this course make her at the very least an intriguing option to fill out exotic wagers, if not a spicy upset candidate.

7. Sadie Lady 7/2 – Like Prairie Fire, the second Atras representative has 5 wins to her name, including 3 of her 5 tries over this course. She’s also put together a 6-3-0-1 mark since Atras took over training duties late last year, and Kendrick Carmouche – aboard for 2 of those victories – retains the mount; he and Atras have won 21% together since the start of 2019. 

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