Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stables, Inc.

La Fuerza Ships to Finger Lakes, Takes Aspirant Stakes

Barry Schwartz's La Fuerza shipped in to Finger Lakes Sept. 8 and impressively won the $112,850 Aspirant Stakes to score his second stakes victory in the fourth start of his career.

The Flatter  colt trained by Todd Pletcher went off at 1-4 in the field of seven for the six-furlong sprint for New York-bred colts and geldings, but didn't look like such a sure shot in the turn.

After a break from the rail under jockey Christopher DeCarlo, La Fuerza was a half-length in front through a first quarter in :22.69, but second choice Kadens Courage made an early move to take command in the turn and opened up a 1 1/2-length lead through a half-mile in :46.68. Patiently handled by DeCarlo, La Fuerza remained on the rail in the turn, angled out in the stretch, and easily went by Kadens Courage. He finished off the six furlongs in 1:12.97 in a three-length victory.

Bred by Stonewall Farm, out of the Proud Citizen mare Jonata, La Fuerza won his debut June 22 at Belmont Park, then took his second start, the Rockville Centre Stakes, July 14 at Belmont. Prior to his first start at Finger Lakes, La Fuerza finished fifth in the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. He now has $172,910 in earnings.

A race later at Finger Lakes, Sassy Agnes edged Ma Meatloaf by three-quarters of a length to take the $112,388 Lady Finger Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies. She covered the six furlongs in 1:12.94. Sassy Agnes is the first black-type stakes winner for her sire, Central Banker , who stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in New York. 

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