What a difference a year can make. Last year at this time, Florida-bred Tune Me In had just won two consecutive races—one, a first level conditioned allowance race; then a conditioned $35,000 optional claimer, both a Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
Saturday, Tune Me In goes for his third straight Grade 3 stake when he takes on a seven challengers in the $150,000 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf course.
Trained by Bruce Alexander for Patricia Generazio of Tequesta, Fla., Tune Me In started his most recent winning streak on July 29 by taking the Oceanport Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. In his next start, the son of Concorde’s Tune won the Cliff Hanger Stakes (G3) at Monmouth on Sept. 1 going a mile on their turf course.
With his maiden score at Monmouth in 2010, Tune Me In will be also looking for his sixth victory from 22 career starts to go with his seven seconds and four thirds, so it is seldom that he finishes out of the top three. Bred by Joseph and Helen Barbazon of Morriston, Fla., Tune Me In has career earnings of $349,845.
Ragiv Maragh will be riding Tune Me in from post position five.
Also representing Florida breeders in the Knickerbocker is See Tobe, who is trained by his owner Gary Capuano. Bred in Florida by Wiest – Heathers ’07, See Tobe is another looking for consecutive wins in stakes company having taken the $102,000 Japan Racing Association Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Laurel Park near Baltimore on Sept. 8. Also a 5-year-old gelding, See Tobe is another who is seldom off the board having a record of 4-4-1 from just 12 career starts.
In his two races before the Knickerbocker, the son of Concerto won a $25,000 conditioned optional claiming race on July 8 at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa., at a mile and 70 yards on grass. He then came back to finish second behind odds-on favorite Smart Bid in the $100,000 East Hanover Stakes at Penn National in Erie, Pa., on July 28. In that race he defeated fellow Knickerbocker entrant Freud’s Honour, who finished fourth.
Capuano has given the riding chores aboard See Tobe to his regular rider Julian Pimentel and they break from the far outside post.
Another in the Knickerbocker who will garner plenty of support through the mutual windows will be Boisterous, who was most recently a disappointing ninth at 7-2 odds in the Grade 1 Arlington Million on Aug. 18 behind Florida-bred winner Little Mike at Arlington Park near Chicago. Trained by Claude “Shug” McGaughey for the Odgen Mills Phipps’ Phipps Stable of Palm Beach, Fla., Boisterous won his last race at Belmont Park in May when best in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes on May 5 at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Between the Fort Marcy and the Arlington Million, Boisterous was third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont and second in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park on July 14.
Photo by Equiphoto