Sea Foam tenacious in Alex M. Robb victory
by Mary Eddy
Ten Strike Racing, Four Corners Racing Stable, Broadview Stables, and Cory Moelis Racing’s Sea Foam went wire-to-wire over the muddy and harrowed main track at Aqueduct Racetrack to score a gutsy win in the $100,000 Alex M. Robb for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up as the final New York stakes of 2021.
Trained by Michelle Giangiulio, Sea Foam led at every pole in the nine-furlong test after winning a battle for the lead with Captain Bombastic and Jose Lezcano into the first turn. The 6-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro made his way to the front with coaxing from jockey Kendrick Carmouche, leading the field of seven through an opening quarter-mile in 23.43 seconds.
Sea Foam coasted through the half-mile in 47.92 seconds down the backstretch, racing a length clear of Captain Bombastic to his outside. Rounding the final turn, three horses were spread across the track as Sea Foam went stride-for-stride with Our Last Buck and Captain Bombastic, the latter tiring shortly after putting in his bid for the lead.
Sea Foam held his inside position exiting the turn while Our Last Buck, with Manny Franco up, loomed to his outside, making up ground with every stride and closing in on the lead. With right-handed urging from Carmouche, Sea Foam dug in valiantly, refusing to yield his lead to Our Last Buck and a late-closing Danny California with Jose Ortiz up in the center of the racetrack.
Having put away Our Last Buck at the sixteenth pole, Carmouche implored Sea Foam for more with a strong hand ride, fending off Danny California’s charge to hold on by a half-length in a final time of 1:52.17.
“He’s a one trick pony,” said Carmouche, who rode Sea Foam for the first time in his last start to a third in the Empire Classic at Belmont Park. “You just got to get him to the lead and let him keep rolling. [Giangiulio] had him ready off that last race at Belmont. I just had to get him to the lead and manage him from there. Every time they ran up to him I asked him, and he gave me more, gave me more. We got us another one.
“I wasn’t surprised I got some heat early,” Carmouche added. “I figured that was the only way they could’ve beat me. Lezcano did his job to try to beat me.”
Ortiz said Danny California gave his all in his runner-up effort despite breaking from the innermost post.
“He doesn't like to be inside,” said Ortiz. “The position hurt me early on. I had my shot to get outside at the three-eighths pole and when he finally got there, he picked it up nicely. The winner ran a very huge race. He went fast early and he kept on going.”
Captain Bombastic rounded out the superfecta with Tiergan, Wild Banker, and Brooklyn Strong completing the order of finish. Chowda and Kaz’s Beach were scratched.
Well-prepared for the possibility of an early challenge, Giangiulio faced some familiar foes in the Alex M. Robb.
“I thought [Captain Bombastic] might go because it was really his only shot if he did get in front of us and press us,” said Giangiulio. “I’m glad we were able to get out in front and he relaxed nicely.
“I know Danny California. I used to get on him when I worked for Tom Morley and I know he likes a wet track, so I was a little worried he was going to keep coming,” Giangiulio added. “He’s a plodder. I’m just happy we got to the wire at the right time. I was begging for the wire for a second.”
Giangiulio said Sea Foam will likely continue racing throughout the winter.
“We haven’t discussed what we’ll do with him next,” said Giangiulio. “Hopefully, things work out the way they’ve been going. He had a nice break in between this race, so hopefully he comes back well.”
The Alex M. Robb was the second stakes win this year for Sea Foam, who won the Even Shipman at Saratoga Race Course first off the claim for Giangiulio in the first win of her training career. Sea Foam was previously conditioned by Christophe Clement, picking up a win in the Notebook at Aqueduct as a juvenile and three stakes victories as a sophomore before being claimed for $45,000 out of a win at Saratoga this year by his current connections.
Along with breakout wins in stakes company with Sea Foam, Giangiulio has also enjoyed a near-perfect in-the-money record at the Big A, winning her last four in a row and finishing off the board just once in seven starts.
“It’s hard to comprehend how well I’ve been doing,” Giangiulio said. “I was always confident in myself as a trainer, but it’s hard to even think about what I’ve accomplished. I’ve put many years into this, so it’s not like it happened overnight. I’m just so happy and thrilled it’s worked out the way it has for some really good people, too. It’s been great.”
Bred in New York by Waterville Lake Stables, Sea Foam banked $55,000 for his Alex M. Robb victory, boosting his total purse earnings to $774,745 and improving his record to 10-3-3 from 26 starts. The even-money post-time favorite, Sea Foam returned $4.30 for a $2 wager.
Live racing at Aqueduct resumes on Saturday with a nine-race New Year’s Day program featuring the $150,000 Jerome in Race 8. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
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