Castle Village Farm horses Alston Gunter and Afternoon Treat are both entered in the 10th race at Belmont on Friday, May 3rd. It’s a 6-furlong turf sprint, for a claiming price of $25,000. Alston Gunter, with David Cohen aboard, is in the main body of the race, while Afternoon Treat is entered main-track-only if the race comes off the turf. If that happens, both will run, as Alston Gunter is adept on either surface. Post time at Belmont is 5:35 pm.
Castle Village Farm’s five-year-old NY-bred Megalithic is scheduled to return to Bruce Brown’s barn at Belmont the week of April 15th, following an extended winter vacation.
Megalithic has been at Mike Shrader’s In-Front Training Center in Ghent, NY since last fall, recovering from a tendon injury and skipping the inner-track dirt racing at Aqueduct. He’s a turf specialist, and Bruce aims to have him ready for turf racing at Belmont this spring.
Castle Village Farm’s six-year-old Alston Gunter skipped the Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlicon on Saturday, April 6th. Alston Gunter had recorded a bullet breeze, going a half mile in 47.4 on the Belmont training track on April 1st, but a couple of days later he was showing signs of gastric irritation and generally acting as if he wasn’t 100%. While tests should no obvious illness or injury, Bruce Brown and Steve Zorn elected to be cautious and passed on the Pimlico race.
Next steps for Alston Gunter will be decided when he’s feeling better.
Castle Village Farm’s six-year-old Afternoon Treat tried the turf for the first time on Wednesday, April 3rd at Aqueduct, and pretty much guaranteed that it would be the last time. Running in a starter allowance at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, Afternoon Treat never acted comfortable on the surface. After making a brief move on the backstretch, he faded and trailed the seven-horse field home.
Afternoon Treat has a full brother who’s 2-for-2 on the grass, and he has large flat hooves that look as though they were made for turf racing. But you don’t know for sure until you try it.
Now we know. Back to the dirt next time out.
Castle Village Farm’s Alston Gunter, who’s nominated for the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico April 6th, turned in a bullet 47.4 half-mile breeze at Belmont this morning (April 1), galloping out well and scoping clean afterward. The breeze was the best of 24 at the distance. Steve Zorn and trainer Bruce Brown will make a final decision on Wednesday whether to enter the Pimlico stakes, a race in which MD-bred Alston Gunter finished a close-up 4th last year.
As of the close of the Aqueduct inner-track meet, Castle Village Farm horses had earned a total of $3,964,384 in purses since we began with our first horse, Flippy Diane, back in 1999. With three horses likely to be racing in the near future — Afternoon Treat, Alston Gunter and Megalithic — we’re hoping to cross the $4 million threshold sometime in the next few weeks.
As of today, Afternoon Treat is entered at Aqueduct on April 3rd, and Alston Gunter has been nominated to a state-bred stakes race at Pimlico on April 6th. With a little luck, they could get us across the line.
Castle Village farm’s new claim, Afternoon Treat, is entered in the 7th race at Aqueduct on Wednesday, April 3rd. It’s a starter allowance at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf for horses that have run for a claiming tag of $16,000 or less. Afternoon Treat, with Mike Luzzi aboard, will break from post 5 in a 7-horse field.
Since the claims of Tom Cat Allie last fall and Victory at Last in February, we’ve been looking for their replacements, and we’ve found them.
On February 22nd, we claimed Alston Gunter, a six-year-old Maryland-bred gelding. His first outing for us is scheduled to be the Mr. Diz Stakes on opening weekend at Pimlico, a race where he ran 4th last year, beaten just a length and a half.
And then on March 16th, we claimed Afternoon Treat, a six-year-old New Jersey-bred gelding with an excellent record at Monmouth. We’ll give him a couple of vraces at Aqueduct and then take aim at the Jersey Shore.
Our third horse, Megalithic, is due back from his winter vacation early in April and will likely return to the races on the turf at Belmont.
Castle Village Farm will be sending all its partners their K-1 forms on Monday, February 11th. Since partnerships themselves have to wait for 1099 and W2 forms that aren’t due until January 31st, that’s just about as fast as humanly possible. We’re happy to make the effort so our partners aren’t delayed in filing their own tax returns — especially if partners are expecting refunds!
Castle Village Farm’s mare Victory at Last was claimed out of Aqueduct’s 8th race on Sunday, February 3rd. The race was a NY-bred N1X allowance/optional claimer in which Victory at Last, coming off a win on January 11th, was the third betting choice at 4-1. But apprentice Keibar Coa took away all chance for our mare when he buried her on the inside on the turn, then couldn’tb make up his mind where to go coming into the stretch. Victory ended up 7th out of 8. One more jockey on the “do not use — ever” list.