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Finger Lakes Hosts Aspirant, Lady Finger Stakes

The stars of the future will be on display when racing resumes on Monday, September 25 at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack with the annual running of the Aspirant and Lady Finger stakes.

Both stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds are contested at five and one-half furlongs. First race post time is 1:15 pm.

As preps for the $200,000 (estimated) New York Breeders’ Futurity on Oct. 16, the races lured three of the top 10 riders in North America: Irad Ortiz Jr., Jose Ortiz and Manny Franco.

The $99,388 Aspirant, for 2-year-old New York bred colts and geldings, is carded as race four on the eight-race program and is headlined by the Bob Baffert-trainee Tall Paul.

The son of Frosted has made two starts in his career, a third-place finish against open company at Del Mar and a maiden win against New York-breds at Saratoga.

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In that race he pulled away down the stretch to win by three lengths in 1:12 flat under Joel Rosario. Tall Paul, listed at 9/5 by morning line oddsmaker Carl Anderson, was a $475,000 purchase at the March 2023 OBS sale.

Baffert, who has sent out 14,353 horses to the post over his career, makes his first-ever appearance at Finger Lakes.

The California-based trainer has won the Kentucky Derby six times, the Preakness eight times and the Belmont stakes three times. He’ll call on the services of jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who heading into the weekend led all of North America in wins with 287 and purse earnings of $27,795,762.   

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out the Trust Fund. The Practical Joke colt was a $150,000 purchase at the August 2022 Saratoga sale.

Trust Fund broke his maiden at first asking against state-breds at Saratoga, winning by over two lengths in 1:12. He then returned in the Funny Cide stakes, for NY breds, where he stalked the early pace and faded to sixth. Jockey Jose Ortiz, currently fifth in North America in purse earnings ($16,538,536) and third in wins (192) picks up the mount. Trust Fund starts out at 7/2 on the line.

Three races later, 2-year-old New York-bred fillies get their turn in the $103,159 Lady Finger stakes. A field of 9 is scheduled to face starter Jeff LaRue.

The 5/2 morning line favorite is Soloshot. The daughter of Solomini was a $290,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2023.

Soloshot, trained by George Weaver, romped by over seven lengths versus NY-breds in her Saratoga career debut under jockey Manny Franco, getting the five and one-half furlongs in 1:05.3.

Franco, currently in ninth in purse earnings this year ($12,515,247), gets the return call.  

Unicorn Cake, a homebred daughter of Cloud Computing, was up in time to break her maiden at first asking for trainer Jeremiah Englehart and rider Kendrick Carmouche. She surged late for the head victory at the Spa running the 6 furlongs in 1:12.1 also defeating state-breds. She starts out at 4-1 on the line.

Of the local runners worth a second look is Lika Rolling Stone. The daughter of Bustin Stones didn’t have the best of beginnings in her well-backed career debut but once she settled into stride her ability showed as she drew off to win by almost 9 lengths under very little urging from jockey Jeremiah Flores. The home-bred filly is trained by Paul Barrow. She starts out at 8-1.

Of the non-stakes action, race six, an Allowance race for horses that have never won a state-bred race, features the return of Jak N Burny.

The 3-year-old son of Destin has been sensational in all three lifetime Finger Lakes starts, winning by a combined 27 and a half-lengths. The Debra Breed trainee will once again be ridden by Joel Cruz.

Jak N Burny,who is out of Betty’s Chance, is a half-brother to the recently retired Winston’s Chance, who earned $495,264 throughout his stakes winning career.     

Complimentary Finger Lakes programs for Monday and all Finger Lakes cards can be downloaded at

There will also be a promotion on Monday with Daily Racing Form where the Finger Lakes on-line DRF past performances can be accessed at no charge.

This press release has not been edited by BloodHorse. If there are any questions please contact the organization that produced the release.

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