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ELMONT, NY – Barry Schwartz’s Winners Laugh will step up to stakes company for the first time in Friday’s $100,000 Affirmed Success, a 6-furlong main track sprint for New York-breds 4-years-old and up at Belmont Park in the first stakes of the 48-day spring/summer meet.
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Trained by Horacio DePaz, the 4-year-old homebred son of Broken Vow made a winning debut last out in a 6-furlong state-bred maiden sprint on March 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Out of the stakes-winning Bernardini mare Bridgehampton, Winners Laugh is a half-brother to Amundson, a stakes winner also trained by DePaz.
Winners Laugh hit the gate at the start of his impressive maiden score, which registered an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, but DePaz said the dark bay colt did everything else right.
“He took control of the race and ran how we thought he would,” said DePaz. “We thought really highly of him. He showed talent in the morning and showed a lot of class. Other than the bad start, he was very professional.”
DePaz said Friday’s test will be a difficult one for the lightly-raced colt, who faces a salty field of five veteran rivals.
“We’ve only ran him once and the logical spot would have been an allowance race, but it didn’t fill,” said DePaz. “This felt like the next logical spot. It’s a deep field and an ambitious spot, but he’s classy enough to be able to handle something like that.”
Trevor McCarthy retains the mount from post 3.
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Shea D Boy’s Stable’s Bank On Shea boasts a perfect in-the-money record of 5-3-1-1 with purse earnings of $395,000. The 4-year-old Central Banker colt, bred by Dr. Scott W. Pierce, enjoyed a solid juvenile campaign winning on debut at Saratoga ahead of a third in the Notebook at Aqueduct.
Following a win in the Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series in December 2019 at Aqueduct, Bank On Shea made his lone sophomore start when third in the Gander in February 2020 at the Big A.
Transferred to the care of Tyler Servis for his 4-year-old season, Bank On Shea persevered for a nose win on March 19 at Aqueduct in an open 7-furlong allowance sprint that garnered a career-best 82 Beyer.
Kendrick Carmouche has the return call from the inside post.
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Team Hanley’s Captain Bombastic, bred by Chester and Mary Broman, tested deep waters last year when fourth in the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga for former conditioner Jeremiah Englehart.
The Forty Tales colt exited that effort to win the NYSSS Times Square by 5 1/4 lengths on August 28 at the Spa and completed his sophomore season with a sixth in the Chick Lang (G3) at Pimlico in October and a third in the Hudson in October at Belmont.
Transferred to the care of four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown for his 4-year-old campaign, Captain Bombastic will be piloted by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano from post 4.
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Rounding out the field are 3-time winner Wudda U Think Now [post 2,Irad Ortiz, Jr.], multiple stakes-placed Big Engine [post 5, Jose Ortiz], and multiple stakes-placed Runningwscissors [post 6, Manny Franco].
The Affirmed Success is slated as race 8 on Friday’s 9-race card. First post is 1 PM Eastern.
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