- In the 9th at the Big A today, Arrrr makes his third start, for trainer Mike Miceli. In his debut, at six furlongs, Arrrr was wide throughout on the sweeping Belmont turn, and finished well, with interest, for 4th. That race came back pretty strongly, producing two winners, a second, and two thirds in subsequent starts. Miceli then added blinkers, and the colt showed early speed, vying for the lead on the rail in the mud before fading badly at a mile; that race produced the subsequent runaway winner Pennington. Now he cuts back to a sprint, and comes off a very sharp half mile work last week. The barn is looking for its first win on the NYRA circuit since Saratoga, but he looks worth a shot at his 8-1 morning line.
- Lovely Isle, who won here on Thursday by 16 lengths for Contessa, has been purchased privately by Bobby Frankel for owner Mike Bello, for whom he trained Megahertz.
"She ran fast," Frankel said from California. "Go to a yearling sale and try to buy one. Here's one that ran already."The purchase price was not disclosed, but I presume it was somewhat more than the 20K she was purchased for at auction this year, and the 50K she could have been bought for when she debuted in a maiden claimer in October; the filly was a 13-1 put-over that day. Nice. On Thursday, she was even money, and drew away under wraps, a handy winner, according to the chart, earning a preliminary Beyer of 101 in the process (final time of 1:09.65)' Not tons of pedigree here - she's by Double Honor, a Gone West stallion standing in Florida for $3500, out of a mare by Island Whirl. But she's fast, at least thus far.
Frankel has had success buying off Contessa in the past. In 2000, he purchased Peace Rules from Contessa and that horse went on to win multiple Grade 1 races and bank more than $3 million for Frankel and Ed Gann. [Daily Racing Form]
Contessa also sold National Pride, a debut winner at the Big A on November 17, to Godolphin. Mettee said National Pride would most likely begin a 30-day quarantine at Payson on Dec. 16 and ship to Dubai in mid-January. Which means we'll probably never see him again.