February 2, 2023

Temple City Terror outclasses Long Island rivals; Sixtythreecaliber upsets Kathleen O. in Comely

Temple City Terror wins the Long Island S. (G3) at Aqueduct (Photo by Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos)

Making her first start for Town and Country Racing after being purchased for $600,000 earlier this month, Temple City Terror earned her third stakes win of the season in Friday’s $300,000 Long Island S. (G3) at Aqueduct.

The odds-on favorite against five rivals, Temple City Terror saved ground for much of the 1 3/8-mile journey over the firm inner turf. Avoiding trouble on the far turn that compromised second choice Capital Structure, Temple City Terror shifted off the rail under Jose Ortiz, took aim at Rocky Sky in the stretch, and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

“We got a great trip and then it was a bit of a mess with the horses in front of me at the three-eighths pole, but that honestly helped me and cleared the way for me,” Ortiz said. “She has a beautiful turn of foot and when I wanted to go, she was there for me. I was just the pilot and she was much the best. I just hand rode her and I knew she had it.”

Trained by Brendan Walsh, Temple City Terror covered the course in 2:15.56 and paid $3.30 for every $2 win bet. Rocky Sky was a clear second over fellow Chad Brown stablemates Kalifornia Queen and Capital Structure. Longshots Tic Tic Boom and Big Time Lady completed the order of finish.

The Long Island was the second Grade 3 win in succession for the six-year-old Temple City Terror, who went through the auction ring at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale following a three-length score in the Oct. 23 Dowager (G3) at Keeneland. Earlier this season, Temple City Terror captured the Keertana S. at Churchill Downs for the second year in a row and ran two solid races at Saratoga, finishing second to War Like Goddess in the Glens Falls (G2) and fourth to Virginia Joy in the Flower Bowl (G2).

“I think she’s only just gotten good now,” said Walsh, who was kept as the mare’s trainer after the sale. “We’ll talk to the guys and see where we go from here, but my vote would be to keep going with her.”

“We’ll probably keep going with her through Gulfstream Park,” said Town and Country Racing’s Shannon Potter.

Bred in Kentucky by Upson Downs Farm, Temple City Terror is by Temple City out of It Takes Two, a daughter of More Than Ready.

Comely S. (G3)

Sixtythreecaliber spoiled the return of odds-on favorite Kathleen O. by taking the $175,000 Comely S. (G3) for three-year-old fillies by a half-length under Kendrick Carmouche.

Sent off at 11-1 in the field of seven, Sixtythreecaliber stalked a slow pace set by Tizzy in the Sky, grabbed the lead in upper stretch, and lasted over Kathleen O., the multiple Grade 2 winner who was making her first start since running fifth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

“Going down the backside at the half-mile, I reached and grabbed her and she jumped on the bit,” Carmouche said. “I looked underneath my arms and knew I had to wait a little bit longer and then I pulled the trigger because nine times out of ten on this track, as deep as it is, it takes a lot of strides for a horse to catch up with you. At the sixteenth pole, she kind of waited and then as soon as she saw (Kathleen O.) she pinned her ears and went right back at it again.”

Owned by My Racehorse Stable and Spendthrift Farm, Sixtythreecaliber returned $24.40 to win after completing 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track in 1:53.89. Kathleen O., who was sent off at even-money, finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Morning Matcha. The order of finish was rounded out by Falconet, Tizzy in the Sky, Skratch Kat, and Nostalgic.

Sixtythreecaliber has now won five of seven starts. Although a distant fourth in her stakes debut in the Indiana Oaks (G3) over the summer, the bay has now reeled off three straight victories. She preceded her Comely success with a photo-finish score over Falconet in the Seneca Overnight S. at Churchill Downs in late September.

Bred in Kentucky by Lee Pokoik, Sixtythreecaliber is a Gun Runner half-sister to Grade 3 winner Gunmetal Gray. She was reared by the Grade 1-placed Classofsixtythree, a daughter of Include.

Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship

Nothing Better dug in through the stretch to repel 2-1 favorite Dancing Buck and produce a wire-to-wire victory in the $150,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship.

Racing for Colts Neck Stables, trainer Jorge Duarte Jr., and jockey Horacio Karamanos, Nothing Better blitzed six furlongs over the outer turf course in 1:07.61. Anaconda finished a half-length behind the winner in second, with Thin White Duke third. Following under the wire were Chewing Gum, Voodoo Zip, Dancing Buck, Scuttlebuzz, Run Curtis Run, Gear Jockey, and Yes and Yes.

A five-year-old gelding by Munnings, Nothing Better has won or placed in his past nine starts dating back to July 2021. In two stakes appearances earlier this season, Nothing Better won the about 5 1/2-furlong Rainbow Heir S. and finished second in the one-mile Red Bank S., both over the Monmouth Park turf. He also notched allowance wins at that track and at Laurel.

Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation, Nothing Better was produced by One True Love, a Duke of Marmalade half-sister to Grade 1 winner Folk Opera. The latter is the second dam of Romantic Warrior, who captured the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) in Hong Kong.