Jan 15, 2021
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Laobanonaprayer gives breeder Deronda another chance for the limelight

by NYRA Press Office

  • Laobanonaprayer gives breeder Deronda another chance for the limelight
  • Arrogate’s half-sister Diamond Ore targets $100K Busanda
  • Aqueduct winter meet Week 6 stakes probables

For a small breeder, having just one stakes-producing mare on the farm is a source of pride for Christina Deronda. But how about two?

Deronda is the breeder of Laobanonaprayer, who will seek a third straight stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Franklin Square going 6 ½ furlongs for New York-bred sophomore fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Deronda, who operates Moonstar Farm in Dutchess County, New York, alongside her mother Angela Colyard and sister Patricia Calandro, owns Raffie’s Chance – a daughter of Raffie’s Majesty who is the dam of Laobanonaprayer. She also owns City Scamper, who produced two-time stakes winning New York-bred City Man, under the Moonstar Farm moniker.

Via the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, breeders of a New York-bred and sired horse, such as Laobanonaprayer, that win on any New York track earn a bonus of 30 percent of the purse money earned, while second and third-place breeders garner a 15 percent bonus. Horses foaled in New York, but by a sire from outside the Empire State, earn a 15 percent bonus for the winning breeder and a 7.5 percent bonus for finishing second or third.

“We’re backyard farmers and we love the horses,” Deronda said. “We don’t really do this for the money, we do it because we like to do it. Being a New York state breeder, when your babies do something here, it’s nice to get some return. We always work hard and help each other out. It’s nice to have a couple of good years in the horse business, because one year could be really good and the next could be really not so good.”

Laobanonaprayer, a daughter of second-crop sire Laoban, won both of her stakes efforts in dominant fashion when notching a 5 1/2-length triumph in the October 24 Maid of the Mist at Belmont Park before an eight-length stroll under the wire in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue on December 6 at the Big A.

Deronda said the filly displayed an audacious demeanor from the beginning.

“When she was first born, she had some intestinal problems, so we took her to the hospital, and they cleared her up,” Deronda said. “When we came and picked her up, they asked me ‘Did you name her? Because we call her ‘Sassy’’. She was sassy alright. She was always a very strong-minded filly. Very sweet, but she had an attitude. She was the leader of the pack. You had to be on your game when you were working with her.”

While a young Laobanonaprayer was manageable during her foal and yearling days, her attitude saw new heights when being taken into the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton’s New York Saratoga Fall Sale in October 2018, where she brought $17,000 and was purchased by Hidden Brook.

“She was good when people wanted to look at her and she was, for the most part, well behaved during shows. But in the sales ring, she started acting up a bit,” Deronda said. “Every three steps she would start bucking and rearing. She had a real get-me-out-of-here attitude. I put in a reserve for $16,999 and she sold for $17,000.”

Hidden Brook then put her through the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton’s Mid-Atlantic Sale last May, where she was acquired for $15,000 by owner and trainer Daniel Velazquez.

“When I watched her go through the 2-year-old sale, she floored me. I thought she would sell better than she sold for,” Deronda said. “But I’m glad that she’s with a good trainer. He has done such a great job with her. He really seems to be taking his time with her and spaces her races out nicely. Seems like he’s always found the right spot for her.”

Half siblings of Laobanonaprayer could see action in the future as Raffie’s Chance has produced a now 2-year-old daughter of Algorithms as well as a Central Banker yearling colt.

“She was a really nice filly, very beautiful filly. She had some attitude as well,” Deronda said of Raffie’s Chance’s Algorithms filly, who was an RNA for $39,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Mid Atlantic Yearling Sale in October of last year. “The mare throws some nice looking foals. I have a [yearling] colt by Central Banker and he has the same attitude that she does.”

Deronda said that Laoban and Raffie’s Chance appear to be a good match.

“They nicked an A and now, obviously, they nick an A++,” Deronda said.

Laobanonaprayer, listed as the 6-5 morning line favorite, will be piloted from post 4 on Saturday by Kendrick Carmouche. The Franklin Square is slated as Race 8 on the nine-race card with a post time of 3:50 p.m. Eastern. First post is 12:20 p.m.


Arrogate’s half-sister Diamond Ore targets $100K Busanda

Clearview Stable’s Diamond Ore, a half-sister to 2016 Grade 1 Travers-winner Arrogate, is set to make her stakes debut in the $100,000 Busanda on January 24, a nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies at the Big A offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-four finishers.

Trained by Barb Minshall, the Tapit bay, out of the multiple stakes winning Distorted Humor mare Bubbler, was purchased for $750,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms and Hill ‘N’ Dale Equine Holdings, Diamond Ore made her first three starts on Tapeta at Woodbine Racetrack, including a good second, defeated a half-length, on November 14 when stretched out to two turns for the first time that garnered a career-best 70 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I thought she was unlucky not to win her last race at Woodbine,” said Minshall. “She got shuffled back at the turn and then came back on and she just missed. That was the first two-turn maiden race at Woodbine on the synthetic.

“I ran her a couple times short just to give her some racing experience, even though I knew she wanted to go long,” added Minshall. “In her last race at Woodbine, she was really unlucky not to win.”

Last out, in a mile and 40 yards maiden special weight on December 24 at Tampa Bay Downs, Diamond Ore made her dirt debut a winning one while racing without Lasix for the first time. With Samy Camacho up, Diamond Ore tracked in fifth before grinding out a half-length score over Purtiz that registered a 57 Beyer.

“The number was a little on the slow side, but she handled the dirt well off of one dirt work,” said Minshall.

Diamond Ore, who is based at Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Florida, worked five-eighths Friday morning in 1:02 as she prepares to stretch out in her stakes debut.

“It was a good work. She’s strong,” said Minshall. “It’s a deep track here at Winding Oaks and I thought she worked well. She’s feeling good.

“I think she fits. The nine furlongs will be good for her,” added Minshall. “She’s not an overly big filly, but she’s gotten a lot more robust build since she came to me in July last year. She’s a really happy, good feeling filly but she’s not what I would call tall. She’s compact.”

Minshall said the Kentucky Oaks qualifier will be a good litmus test as she plans a sophomore campaign for the well-bred bay.

“She’s improved along the way. She’s needed to learn and she’s gotten stronger and smarter with every race,” said Minshall. “She has potential to move forward and obviously this is a big step from a maiden race to a stakes race, but it will be the same for most of the horses that are nominated. We’re all looking to see what we have.”

Diamond Ore is slated to ship up to New York on Wednesday and will be piloted in the Busanda by Eric Cancel.

Hoolie Racing Stable’s Dreaming of Drew, a sophomore daughter of Speightster, returned to the worktab on Thursday at Webb Carroll Training Center in St. Matthews, South Carolina, covering three-eighths in 38 seconds flat.

Bred in Ontario by WinStar Farm, Dreaming of Drew is out of the graded-stakes winning El Prado mare Dreaming of Liz. A winner at second asking on the Woodbine main track, Dreaming of Drew was a close fourth in the Grade 1 Natalma on Woodbine’s E. P. Taylor Turf Course ahead of a score in the Princess Elizabeth at 1 1/16-miles on Tapeta to close out her campaign.

Minshall said Dreaming of Drew, who arrived at Winding Oaks on Friday morning, is targeting a summer campaign in Canada, including the Woodbine Oaks, but will have a chance to make her dirt debut in Florida.

 “If she’s ready to run, we might run her in Florida at the end of February and then maybe go to Keeneland,” added Minshall. “If we run her in Florida, there’s no question she’ll run into some pretty salty horses. We’ll see where she fits on dirt, I’d take on anybody going long on the synthetic. I’m hoping for good things for her, too.”


Aqueduct winter meet Week 6 stakes probables

Saturday, January 23

$100,000 Jazil
Probable: Backsideofthemoon (Rudy Rodriguez), Mr. Buff (John Kimmel), Musical Heart (Rob Atras), Per Capita (Todd Pletcher)

Sunday, January 24

$100,000 Busanda - Offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points
Probable: Diamond Ore (Barb Minshall), The Grass is Blue (Chad Brown) 
Possible: Fraudulent Charge (Lacey Gaudet), Minute Waltz (Philip Bauer)

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