Nostalgic earns reason to look forward with rail victory in G3 Gazelle

OZONE PARK, NY – Godolphin Stable Livestock Nostalgic Contested leader and tied favorite Venti Valentine before climbing the rail in the last furlong, claiming a 1 1/4 length win in Saturday’s Grade 3 over nine furlongs, $250,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Racecourse.

Nostalgic, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and ridden by Jose Ortiz, finished the car rally to win her first career stakes and in doing so earned 100 qualifying points for the 1st-year Kentucky Oaks on 6 May at Churchill Downs on the eve. of the Kentucky Derby. The 127th race of the Gazelle offered 100-40-20-10 points to the first four.

New York-born Venti Valentine won in her first race since posting a seven-length run in the Busher Invitational on March 5 at the Big A. Under jockey Manny Franco, Venti Valentine paced the field of seven horses throughout the opening quarter. -mile in 24.48 seconds, half in 49.26 and three-quarters in 1:13.93 in the fast lane.

Venti Valentine, trained by Jorge Abreu, maintained the advantage in the sequence. But Ortiz kept Nostalgic through its paces along the inside and tenaciously chased the emerging seam along the inside, passing the leader before hitting the wire in a final time of 1:50.41.

It was the Medaglia d’Oro filly’s second straight victory after beating the allowance company by 6 3/4 lengths on March 3 at Gulfstream Park.

“Last time we planned to put it a bit ahead in the race, which we did again today,” said Mott, who had already won the Gazelle with Close Hatches in 2013. “We wanted the see engage a little earlier and she did. She held her position and crossed the rail. I didn’t tell her where to be other than we didn’t want to be 15 lengths back.

“She just hadn’t learned to do that kind of racing yet,” Mott added. “She hadn’t learned how to get this job. It all fits together, it’s just maturity, the weather and she had a good winter in Payson Park.

Off at 4-1, Nostalgic returned $10.60 on a $2 winning bet. She improved her career earnings to $235,400.

After running fourth in the Grade 2 Damsel to cap off his juvenile campaign in December at the Big A, Nostalgic ran ninth in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant in February at Gulfstream Park before earning a winner’s circle trip in his final two departures.

“I love this filly. She reminds me a lot of Elate,” Ortiz said. “I was very happy to ride her today. With Keeneland right now, you don’t know where you’re going to ride, so I was glad to be on her. I rode it with a lot of confidence. I knew she was fine. She ran amazing the last time. She woke up, which was the most important thing. At 2 years old, she won the first time but she was very green. She’s big and she’s supposed to keep going longer and longer. I am very excited about her. In the future, we will agree with her.

Venti Valentine, bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable, won 40 qualifying pints at the Oaks after being ridden by Manny Franco.

“She ran her race and I think like Manny said he didn’t think that horse [Nostalgic] was going to come back to the eighth pole and at that moment he looked, the horse was already there,” Abreu said. “But I think he did a great trick on him. She is used to having a target and today she was alone in the lead. It was a completely different scenario because there was no speed in the race. If she’s stalking someone, that puts her on edge.

Abreu said the Kentucky Oaks are on the radar.

“Oh yeah; we’ll see how she does and we’ll think about it,” he said.

Shotgun Hottie, trained by William Morey, had 20 points after finishing half a length ahead of Classy Edition, which had 10 points for Hall of Fame conditioner Todd Pletcher.

“She’s brave and always gives 100%,” said Trevor McCarthy, the rider of Shotgun Hottie. “We always thought the mile and an eighth would suit him. I would have liked to go out a little earlier. She’s a bit of a grinder and I had to wait until I could get out, but when she came out she really gave me 100% and a good effort.

Divine Huntress, Morning Matcha and Caragate finished order of arrival. greatness has been scratched.

Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card headlining the $100,000 Top Flight Invitational. The first post is at 1:20 p.m. EST.

By Brian Bohl

Photo: NYRA Photo

Clyde P. Johnson