‘100 Percent Country Boy’ Savors Graded Win at Belmont

By Chelsea Hackbarth Courtesy of Paulick Report (July 5, 2020) – Last Saturday, June 27, trainer Todd Beattie sent out his first graded stakes winner since 2014 when Victim of Love upset the Grade 3 Vagrancy at odds of 27-1. Whileher victory may have been a surprise to the bettors, Beattie has long believed that the 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown had the talent to play on the big stage.

“She’s really just a hard-trying filly, that’s the biggest thing you can take your hat off to her,” Beattie said. “She’s a late foal (May 27), so she’s been playing catch up a little bit, but her age isn’t making such a difference right now. She’s been steadily getting a little better, and I can see things where her maturity is really helping her.”

Usually, Beattie prefers to start his own runners as 2-year-olds, doing the groundwork himself and giving his wife, Amanda, a leg up for the babies’ first rides. One of his most famous runners was Taris, whom he saddled for a nine-length triumph in the 2014 G2 Raven Run at Keeneland before selling her privately to Coolmore. The mare would later win the Grade 1 Distaff at Churchill Downs in 2016.

Conversely, Victim of Love was purchased at Keeneland as a yearling by Tom Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds. The filly began her career in New Mexico, breaking broke her maiden in her third start by 11 3/4 lengths when conditioned by Henry Dominguez. She won the listed Island Fashion Stakes in her next start, in February of 2019, but after finishing off the board in her next two outings, Stull decided to make
a change.

“I do a lot of work with Tommy Town, I’m kind of their outlet out here on the East Coast,” explained Beattie. “They wanted to send her here because there would be some more opportunities, and the competition wouldn’t be quite as tough as in their California base.

We’ve been figuring her out and what distance suits her. Her very best might be that middle distance, 6 1/2 to seven furlongs, and obviously the wet track didn’t hurt her, but she can run on a dry track too.”

From his private barn at Penn National, Beattie slowly began teaching Victim of Love to get into her races a little earlier. She won an allowance race at Laurel in October, and two starts later captured the listed What A Summer Stakes at the Maryland oval.

In the Vagrancy coming off a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, Victim of Love broke a bit slowly. She was sent up into the race, then took over at the head of the lane and pulled away to win by 1 3/4 lengths under jockey Jose Lezcano.

“The trainer [Todd Beattie] told me to break and try to keep her busy,” Lezcano said. “She broke a little bit behind, but with a tap on the shoulder, she jumped right there on the bridle. When I asked her, she really took off. My filly kept going the whole way around and never stopped. She gave me everything she had.”

The filly’s success suggests she appreciates the quiet, laid-back atmosphere of Beattie’s private barn at Penn National.

“I’m 100 percent country boy,” Beattie said. “I’ve never lived in the city, but I always felt blessed because I get to see it in my rearview mirror when I’m leaving. I live on a mountain and I have a small farm, about 15 minutes away from the racetrack, so I can train on the track and come and go as I please. A guy that really likes the countryside appreciates that kind of lifestyle.”

Born and raised in Antigo, Wisc., the same hometown as Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Beattie learned to appreciate Quarter Horses as well. He doesn’t train them to race, however. Instead, he and his wife enjoy competing in cutting horse shows, and they use the Quarter Horses as ponies at the track to keep them fit during the week.

“The nice part about training horses at the track is that I always ride a pony and watch the horses train,” Beattie explained. “It works out good that I don’t have to go work my cutting horses when it’s real hot in the afternoons!”

The entire Beattie family is involved in the horse industry, as well. Of six children, five are full-time with horses, and the sixth enjoys riding cutting horses after her day job. Beattie’s sister, Holley, is married to 2-year-old trainer Bryan Rice, and the couple founded Woodside Ranch in Florida. They’ve developed racehorses like millionaires Hollywood Wildcat and War Chant, and more recently Breeders’ Cup Champion Storm the Court, among many others.

After living in Wisconsin during the winters for his entire childhood, Beattie was quick to follow his brothers and sisters to Pennsylvania for year-round racing. Like his family, he particularly enjoys the early stages of training, from the first ride through the first race on the track.

The trainer has saddled over 1,700 winners, but Victim of Love was just Beattie’s eighth graded stakes victory. His best horse was millionaire and Grade 1 winner Fabulous Strike.

“I really like to watch the young horses progress, and we start right from scratch,” Beattie explained. “We’ll have unbroke horses and I like to develop them and see them get to the next stage. In the past I’ve had 60-80 horses, and I ended up being a business manager rather than a horse trainer. I prefer to do the training myself, so I try to keep my numbers down within reason, so that way I can have a little bit of a life.”

Of course, coronavirus has made that life look quite a bit different over the past several months. Pennsylvania was one of the last states to get horse events started again, and Beattie is grateful to be able to resume more normal operations. He and his wife have been to three cutting horse shows in the past month, and they’ve started shipping horses around to run once again.

“Who would have imagined this would have happened in our lifetime?” Beattie said of the pandemic. “It’s been really tough trying to hold on, and you’re trying to manage your horses. Yeah, you’re training them, but you don’t have a target you’re aiming for, so you try to maintain a little conditioning, but you don’t want to tighten them down. Now we feel a little better about getting our horses ready.”

Old Topper’s Madisonian Wins MSW on Debut

Shakopee, MN (July 1, 2020) – Madisonian, the 3-year-old daughter of Old Topper, made her debut a winning one in the 7th race at Canterbury Park, a maiden special weight going six furlongs over the fast main track.

Madisonian broke from the outside in the field of ten, she showed good speed away from the gate. A duel developed to her inside and she responded kindly when jockey Chad Lindsey asked her let the leaders go on. Rating patiently, she challenged around the far turn, drew even by midstretch and opened up through the final sixteenth to win by more than four lengths.

Madisonian races for her breeders, John and Joshua Madison and she is trained by Bruce Riecken. She is out of the winning Northern Afleet mare, Via Di Roma.

Victim of Love wins G3 Vagrancy Handicap

Courtesy of NYRA Communications (June 27, 2020) – Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ Victim of Love, expertly handled by Jose Lezcano, used a prominent trip to upset Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Vagrancy H., a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont Park.

Trained by Todd Beattie, two-time stakes winner Victim of Love headed into Saturday’s test making just her second attempt in a graded event, having previously run second in the Grade 3 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie two starts back in February at Laurel Park.

Jakarta took command out of the gate as a heavy rain commenced at Belmont Park with Victim of Love, longest shot on the board at 27-1, urged into contention at her hip through an opening quarter mile in 22.47 seconds on the fast and harrowed main track.

Grade 1-winner Come Dancing, the 4-5 mutuel favorite, settled in fourth position in the early running as Jakarta continued to dictate the pace, posting a half-mile in 45.29 under constant pressure from Victim of Love.

Lezcano put Victim of Love to the lead late in the turn as Come Dancing launched a wide bid with Pacific Gale following suit. Come Dancing surged into contention but Victim of Love continued to find more as Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano angled the favorite for an inside run to no avail. Confidently handled and much the best, Victim of Love made the grade by 1 ¾-lengths in a final time of 1:16.27.

Lezcano said Victim of Love was engaged throughout.

“The trainer told me to break and try to keep her busy. She broke a little bit behind, but with a tap on the shoulder, she jumped right there on the bridle,” said Lezcano. “When I asked her, she really took off. My filly kept going the whole way around and never stopped. She gave me everything she had.”

Come Dancing held second by 4 ¼-lengths over Pacific Gale. Jakarta, Royal Charlotte and Chalon rounded out the order of finish. Mother Mother was scratched.

Castellano, who guided Come Dancing to victory in the 2019 Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, said he was pleased with his mare’s effort.

“It was her second start of the year. I’m not disappointed. The horse on the lead was much the best today. I think that the track is playing a little bit to speed. The rain didn’t bother her at all. I’m looking forward to a big race next time.”

Victim of Love, a $160,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, captured the Island Fashion at Sunland Park last year and the What A Summer in January at Laurel Park. Out of the Grade 2-winning mare Spacy Tracy, Victim of Love is a full-sister to Grade 2-winner Benner Island.

Bred in Kentucky by Daniel J. Burke, Victim of Love banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 15-5-2-2. She paid $56 for a $2 win ticket.

Second Start a Victorious One for Let’s Rejoyce

Albany, CA (June 7, 2020) – Let’s Rejoyce made his second start a winning one, taking the field wire-to-wire in the 8th race at Golden Gate Fields, a maiden special weight going six furlongs over the all weather.

The Tommy Town homebred son of Kafwain was second in his debut on May 24 over the same track and distance. Today, he was first out of the gate and never looked back. He held a clear lead throughout and came home three and one-half lengths best under a hand ride from Ricardo Gonzales.

The 3-year-old colt was produced by the winning Discreet Cat mare, Joyce and Me. He is trained by Jonathan Wong.

Dynasty of Her Own Gets The Crown in California Oaks

Courtesy of Golden Gate Fields Publicity Albany, CA (May 31, 2020) – On Memorial Day Monday, trainer Jonathan Wong and owner Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC collected a Grade I victory with Keeper Ofthe Stars in the prestigious Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita Park. 6 days removed from the aforementioned Grade I score, Wong and Tommy Town struck again with Dynasty of Her Own in the feature race on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields, the $75,000 California Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Dynasty of Her Own broke sharply from the gate before taking control of the race entering the clubhouse turn. After setting swift fractions of 22.93, 47.63 and 1:11.63, the daughter of Shanghai Bobby held off Southern California shipper Mind Out, hitting the wire a half-length in front of the aforementioned runner up finisher. Paige Anne, Reiwa, Molly O’ McEvoy and Eclair completed the order of finish. Dynasty of Her Own completed the mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta in 1:44.55 seconds and was ridden to victory by Ricky Gonzalez.

“[Dynasty of Her Own] is a fast filly,” said Gonzalez. “She was relaxed, even with the fast fractions we were setting. She has a high cruising speed. Turning for home I knew we were going to be tough to catch. I figured [Mind Out] would be closing, which she did, but I had plenty left in the tank with my filly. She galloped out great, too. I feel really lucky to be able to ride such a nice filly. Horses like her make my job easy.”

Dynasty of Her Own went off as the 9-5 post time favorite and paid $5.80 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show. With the California Oaks victory, Dynasty of Her Own improved her lifetime record to 4 wins and 1 third place finish from 5 starts. She has accumulated career earnings of $128,700. Dynasty of Her Own was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kaster.

Grade 1 Victory for Keeper Ofthe Stars

Courtesy of Bloodhorse.com Arcadia, CA (May 25, 2020) – Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ Keeper Ofthe Stars notched the first top-level win for herself and her trainer, Jonathan Wong, May 25 at Santa Anita Park, pulling ahead for a clear victory in the $302,500 Gamely Stakes (G1T).

The victory marked back-to-back graded stakes wins for the 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly. She won the Feb. 22 Buena Vista Stakes (G2T) in her last outing, beating Jolie Olimpica, who returned to win the 5 1/2-furlong Monrovia Stakes (G2T) earlier on Monday’s card.

“I’m over the moon right now! I’m really speechless,” said Wong. “This is my first grade 1, so I’m off the schneid. Now that she’s learned to relax, the sky’s the limit with her. Kristin Mulhall is overseeing everything down there and she deserves all the credit, along with the whole crew.”

Abel Cedillo was back aboard Keeper Ofthe Stars for the Gamely. Northern California-based Wong has had the jockey assigned to the mount since October, when the pair won the Autumn Miss Stakes (G3T). The gray/roan filly and Cedillo broke from the outside post of 10 and settled in third through the first half-mile. Giza Goddess showed the way with fractions of :23.22, :47.20, and 1:11.03, while Etoile, the 8-5 favorite, chased from last.

At the three eighths pole Keeper Ofthe Stars was back in fourth a head behind Simply Breathless. Cedillo took the filly three wide into the home stretch and once straightened out, his mount ran past the frontrunners. Keeper Ofthe Stars, a 7-1 shot, continued to a 1 1/4-length win and completed 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:46.43.

“She’s better if somebody is in front of her, she likes to follow. If she has a target she is better,” said Cedillo, who rode three winners Monday. “Last time I rode her in the grade 2 (Buena Vista) I noticed that, so I tried to do the same thing today. I think this was her best race.”

“This filly had been training so well and she got an amazing ride from Abel; he couldn’t have ridden her any better,” Wong said. “She’s a really good filly. I thought she could’ve won a couple of those graded stakes at Del Mar, but her best races are in front of her. I couldn’t be any prouder.”

Bodhicitta rallied from eighth to finish second a nose ahead of Mucho Unusual in third. Beautiful Lover was fourth and Etoile only managed eighth.

Keeper Ofthe Stars was bred in Kentucky by Olin Gentry, Omar Trevino, and Anthony Cappola out of the Run Away and Hide mare Sociable, a half sister to grade 1 winner and Lane’s End stallion The Factor. She first sold as a weanling for $60,000 to Zayat Stables, with Patrice Miller/EQB acting as agent, from the Van Meter-Gentry Sales consignment to the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Tommy Town Thoroughbreds then secured her for $180,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where she was consigned by Lane’s End.

From 15 career starts, Keeper Ofthe Stars has a 7-1-3 record and earnings of $501,931.

Take Me for a Spin Takes His Career Opener

Albany, CA (May 24, 2020) -Take Me for a Spin makes it five maiden special weight winning 3-year-olds since May 15th for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and trainer Jonathan Wong. The second generation homebred showed a great degree of maturity and grit in the 5th race at Golden Gate Fields going six furlongs.

Ask any horseman and they will tell you that breaking from the inside post for a debut runner is more than a difficult task. Fortunately, no one told Take Me for a Spin. He got away from the gate sharply and went straight to the lead, getting his opening quarter in 22.45. He passed the half in 45.44 as another runner drew near. They were on even terms at the top of the stretch and Take Me for a Spin had every right to give in, but he didn’t. Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez asked him for more and he battled back, found another gear and drew away to win by a length and one-quarter. Final time was 1:10.47.

Take Me for a Spin was produced by the multiple stakes winning Ministers Wild Cat mare, Going for a Spin, who earned $338,404 for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds.

Take a Time Out Our Latest Debut Maiden Special Weight Winner

Albany, CA (May 23, 2020) – Take a Time Out joined her Tommy Town 3-year-old stablemates Don’t Unzip Me, Praise and Honor, and I Am Allthatyouare as maiden special weight winners since racing resumed at Golden Gate Fields!

Making her debut going one mile in the 6th race on the card, the daughter of Violence was allowed to settle after the break by jockey Ricardo Gonzalez. She galloped along near the back of the pack until launching her bid from six lengths back around the final turn. She rolled past the winner passing the furlong pole and with several flicks back and forth of her ears, she opened up to win by three and one-half lengths.

The dark bay is trained by Jonathon Wong and was bred in Kentucky by Spartan Team Investments, William Hart, and H & H Farms. She is out of the Lookin at Lucky mare, Merry Chip Us.

I Am Allthatyouare Starts Out a Winner

Albany, CA (May 17, 2020) – I Am Allthatyouare is the second debut winner in as many days for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and trainer Jonathan Wong at Golden Gate Fields. The 3-year-old gelding earned his diploma going five furlongs in the 6th race over the all weather.

Carrying saddlecloth 3, but breaking from the two post, the son of Tale of the Cat handled the start like an old pro. He settled into second as the pacesetter opened a clear lead. Keeping in touch, he closed in around the turn and was on even terms as they passed the eighth pole. Asked for his best by Ricardo Gonzales, he found another gear and drew away strongly to win by a widening four lengths. He finished in 57.15, .74 of a second off the track record.

I Am Allthatyouare is a second generation homebred for the farm. His dam is the multiple stakes winning Valid Wager mare, U R All That I Am, a ten-time winner who earned $426,740.

Praise and Honor Victorious in Debut

Albany, CA (May 16, 2020) – Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC and Debra Stull’s Praise and Honor made her entrance onto the racing scene in grand style, coming from off the pace and getting up in the final stride to win the 6th race at Golden Gate Fields, a maiden special weight going five and one-half furlongs over the all weather.

The 3-year-old Honor Code filly was well regarded by the betting public and started as the second choice in the field of nine. She was away from the gate in good order and tucked in along the rail behind the leading pair. Showing the maturity of a far more experienced runner, she waited patiently until jockey Ricardo Gonzales found room for her to run. She moved off the inside and came between horses without a moment’s hesitation at the top of the stretch. Closing, she found her best stride with a sixteenth to run, getting their just in time for the win.

Trained by Jonathan Wong, Praise and Honor was produced by the Speightstown mare, Going to Kukaro. She was bred in Kentucky by Breffni Farm. Her female family traces to the G1-winner Jeanne Jones and her dam, the California-bred speedster, Beautiful Glass.