Forgotten Hero stayed undefeated with a prominent effort under Mike Luzzi to win the $150,000 New York Stallion Series Fifth Avenue division for juvenile fillies on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained and owned by John Toscano, Jr. in partnership with Charles Festa, Jr., Forgotten Hero arrived at the six-furlong sprint over a good main track from a 5 1/2-length romp on her November 4 debut in a six-furlong maiden tilt at the Big A.
The Mission Impazible gray broke alertly and challenged a pace-setting Sassy Agnes, the 1-2 mutuel favorite off a hat trick of stakes wins in the Lady Finger, Shesastonecoldfox and Key Cents, through an opening quarter of 22.50 seconds.
Luzzi made a bold move down the back straight to push Forgotten Hero to the lead, marking the half-mile in 46.94 seconds, and the filly never looked back as Sassy Agnes, with Junior Alvarado up, angled outside to attack the new leader but failed to gain any traction the length of the stretch run. Forgotten Hero earned the length victory in a final running time of 1:13.08.
Sassy Agnes, who battled gamely to the finish, completed the exacta an emphatic 7 1/4-lengths in front of Cartwheelin Lulu. Party Like Grandma, L.A. Page and She's So Shea D completed the order of finish.
Toscano, Jr., said he was pleased to see his filly build on the talent demonstrated in morning training.
“The first time we breezed her she looked like something special. From day one, she really showed a lot of ability. She came through for us today,” said Toscano, Jr. “The second quarter she really took off like a shotgun. It was unbelievable. I didn't think she was that good, but she really fooled me. I was glad to see it.
“She's a racehorse. We knew Linda Rice [No. 4, Sassy Agnes] was going to be tough in here of course,” he continued. “We decided to play it off the break and see what happens. She went by there in the second quarter and held on, that was great. She does it in the mornings and the afternoons. She has a lot of talent.”
The popular Luzzi was full of praise for the speedy Forgotten Hero.
“I had a perfect trip. She broke good. We knew Linda's horse was very fast, but my filly's really fast,” said Luzzi. “She breezes fast in the morning, so I broke, and I just stayed away from Junior [Alvarado, aboard Sassy Agnes], and we just bided our time and let the race spread out. I had a lot left heading for home. She's still a little bit green; she looks around a little bit still. She's got some improving to do. She's well-trained.”
Bred in New York by Sequel Stallions and her part-owner Festa, Jr., Forgotten Hero earned $82,500 in winning her stakes debut. She paid $13.60 to win.
Live racing continues on Sunday at the Big A with a 9-race card headlined by the $150,000 NYSS Great White Way. First post time is 12:20 p.m. ET.
Every day during the month of December, NYRA Bets members who place wagers on Aqueduct will receive a three percent rebate. For more information on the NYRA Bets December three percent bonus, visit NYRABets.com.
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