Barn Notes

New Jersey-Bred Juveniles Have the Chance to Shine

Posted Friday, Sep 14, 2012



They are the pride of New Jersey’s Thoroughbred breeding program and the promise of the future. On Saturday, the best of the state-bred juveniles will be showcased in the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at Monmouth.

            In the third of the 10 restricted races on the card, 12 colts and geldings will travel five furlongs in a $37,500 maiden special weight and then another full field of fillies is set to run at the same conditions in the sixth race.

            “The girls are in,” said trainer Michael Mullin, who will saddle Shesfromboston and Billyscrystalball in the filly affair as each makes her second start. “Both ran well last time but what was most impressive was not so much where they finished, but how they both overcame adversity and showed composure as well as maturity in all respects. We’re really excited about this race.”

            So is John Mazza, who has trained for owner/breeder Vincent Annarella’s Holly Crest Farm for 46 years. Mazza sends out the uncoupled duo of Holly Crest’s Forgotten Prayers and Ro-Ron Stable’s Holy Rainbow in the filly race and Silver Bullet City in the test for the boys.

            “They are all homebreds,” said Mazza, who was honored with the prestigious Virgil “Buddy” Raines Distinguished Achievement Award this year. “Every year I have babies to raise and you always look for the good ones.”          

            Mazza has trained a who’s who of stakes winners, including three-time New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year Star Edition and fellow year-end champions Capture the Gold and Duke Mitchell.

            “There are so many that I could sit here all day and go through them,” Mazza said. “I won the 1992 Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga with Great Navigator and the 1988 Sorority with Divine Answer. Carrots Only was another real good one. He won the Jersey Breeders’ Cup and the Charles Hesse Handicap. I’d have to go home and look at all the pictures, but I think I won at least 37 stakes. Forty-six years is something to be proud of.”

            So are 37 stakes winners. “You have to breed the best you can to the best you can,” he said. “But then you still have to get lucky.”


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