By Najja Thompson / Brian Bohl —-
Bavaro looks to close Big A campaign strong in Times Square
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The curtain closes on the Aqueduct spring meet on Sunday with a pair of stakes, including the $100,000 Memories of Silver, carded as Race 4, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Entering off a win in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, Empire Equines’ Fifty Five will look to best a field of seven.
Set to make her first start for trainer Chad Brown after being transferred from Tom Bush, Fifty Five broke her maiden in her second career start on November 11 at the Big A at 1 1/16 miles. In her next start, she won an optional-claiming race on January 1 at Gulfstream Park before running third in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant Stakes before her Florida Oaks victory.
With Jose Ortiz aboard, the pair will leave from post 4.
Shipping in from Fair Hill for trainer Graham Motion and owner Hope Jones is Party Boat. A progeny of Into Mischief, she most recently ran third in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on March 4. With three victories from seven starts, including one win and a third from two starts at the distance, Party Boat will depart from post 2 with Joel Rosario aboard.
Art Institute is entered for Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor. A daughter of Arch, she has made all three of her career starts at Tampa Bay Downs and enters off back-to-back victories after finishing fourth in her debut.
With Kendrick Carmouche aboard, Art Institute will leave from post 3.
Rounding out the field for the Winter Memories is Dynatail for Ballybrit Stable and trainer Michael Dini, who ships in off a fourth-place finish in the Florida Oaks and Super Marina, for trainer George Weaver and R.A. Hill Stable.
Thirstforthecup, for Repole Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher, is a main-track only entrant.
August Dawn Farm’s Bavaro will make his fourth consecutive stakes start as part of a field of eight in Sunday’s 24th running of the $100,000 Times Square, part of the New York Stallion Series for state breds, at 6 ½ furlongs in Race 8 on Aqueduct’s Closing Day.
Bavaro started his career 2-for-2, including his first stakes win in the NYSS Black Type on December 17, before a fourth-place showing in the Gander and a fifth-place effort last out in the Jimmy Winkfield on February 20.
Trainer Gary Sciacca said Bavaro, co-owned by Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells and named after New York Giants All-Pro tight end Mark Bavaro, will look to be near the pacesetters out of the gate.
“He’s doing great, so we hope he’ll break and it’ll open up and he’ll win,” Sciacca said. “We gave him a break and he looks super. I’m not worried about it [the distance] He’ll do all right.”
Bavaro, who recorded a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in his Black Type victory, will have the services of Manny Franco from post 5.
Gold for the King has finished in the money in all six career starts, going 3-1-2. The son of Posse won the Notebook and New York Breeders’ Futurity and will be running at 6 ½ furlongs for the first time since a third-place effort in the Funny Cide on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course. Joel Rosario has the mount in departing post 7.
T Loves a Fight, who went 3-2-0 in his first eight starts, is slated to make his stakes debut for trainer Michael Hushion. The Hoffman Thoroughbreds homebred enters with three straight victories, including a 2 ¾-length score against allowance company last out on April 8 at the Big A.
Kendrick Carmouche piloted T Loves a Fight to three wins and a runner-up finish in his five starts aboard the bay gelding and has the return call out of post 4.
Jamie’s Angel is the only starter with a graded stakes start on his ledger. The Richard Metivier-trainee, who broke his maiden in a special weight on December 30, finished 10th in the Grade 3 Withers before dropping in class and finishing seventh in an optional claimer on February 24. He will look to rebound in drawing the outside post with Junior Alvarado set to ride.
Mission Leader will make his stakes debut, drawing post 3. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin saw Mission Leader break his maiden on February 10 in his sixth career start before finishing fourth in an optional claimer on March 18. Rajiv Maragh will be in the irons.
Rounding out the field is Reason to Soar, making his third career start for trainer George Weaver, from the rail; Duquesne Whistle, set to make his first stakes start for trainer Linda Rice, out of post 6; and Italian Syndicate, for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, from post 2.