Gary Contessa sent out a pair of boxcar 2-year-old debut winners this summer. Maiden Beauty returned $47.60 while scoring by 3 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park in July. Bustin to Be Loved paid $40.20 after winning by 2 3/4 lengths in early August at Saratoga. Both will be generous prices again in their respective stakes on Friday’s New York Showcase Day program.
Bustin to Be Loved will face six other statebred colts and geldings in the $200,000 Funny Cide, including his stablemate Red Zinger. Favoritism in the 6 1/2-furlong race will likely fall to either two-time winner La Fuerza, who is conditioned by Todd Pletcher, or the Steve Asmussen-trained Bankit.
Maiden Beauty, who won the Lynnbrook Stakes over a sloppy track in her first start, will take on seven filly rivals in the $200,000 Seeking the Ante, also at 6 1/2 furlongs. Collegeville Girl will take money off her big 73 Beyer Speed Figure for Parx Racing-based trainer Richie Vega, as will She’s Trouble, an easy last-out maiden winner for Linda Rice.
Contessa purchased Bustin to Be Loved and Maiden Beauty at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales in April for $80,000 and $40,000, respectively.
Bustin to Be Loved’s strategy is easy to figure out. He will break running and not look back. Red Zinger, who was third in Bustin to Be Loved’s maiden score, will be running late.
“Red Zinger ran his usual green kind of race, but he was coming every step,” Contessa said. “Bustin to Be Loved rockets to the front, he is incredibly fast.”
“He might get more pressure in this race, but I don’t think anything in there is as fast as this colt. We get an extra half a furlong on Friday, and that could be what Red Zinger needs to get up.”
Red Zinger, in his debut, finished third to La Fuerza in the Rockville Centre at Belmont Park. Red Zinger made a nice middle move to the lead on the far turn before flattening out in the stretch.
“The following day I had Maiden Beauty in, and she was his workmate,” Contessa said. “She wasn’t worse than him, they were equals, and he’d run a big race.
“She is much more focused than him. He’s still a big, dumb, green baby, and she has always been like a 4-year-old. She has a great mind.”
Contessa realizes the waters get deeper Friday.
“All three of them are coming into these races at their best, and we’re going to find out if that’s good enough,” he said.
La Fuerza has rallied from off the pace in both of his starts, a 7 1/2-length maiden win and the Rockville Centre, a six-furlong race in which he had some early traffic problems before drawing off by 4 1/2 lengths.
La Fuerza will break from the outside post.
“He drew a favorable post, so we don’t have to worry too much about how he breaks this time,” Pletcher said. “We’re not going to rush him away from there. We’ll just let him find his rhythm. I think 6 1/2 will be better for him but that he ultimately will want to run further.”
Bankit, a $260,000 March purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales, earned a 70 Beyer for his 6 3/4-length Saratoga maiden win.
Dugout, who is trained by Larry Rivelli, won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths on July 23. His 72 Beyer is tops in the field.
The Seeking the Ante goes through She’s Trouble, who put it all together in her third-start maiden win.
The career of She’s Trouble got off to an auspicious beginning when she dwelt at the start of her debut as the 7-5 favorite. She trailed by a good 20 lengths early before closing ground to finish third.
Rice explained that when the assistant starter raised his arm to send She’s Trouble on her way when the gates opened, the filly startled and backed up instead of going forward.
“We have been breaking her with no head man in her last two races and will do that again Friday,” Rice said.
In her second start, She’s Trouble was squeezed back after the start but finished well to be fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. In her five-length maiden score, she rallied from off the pace with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sitting still on her in the final sixteenth.
“It’s been a learning curve for her, and she finally kind of put things together,” Rice said. “I was very happy with the last race.”
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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