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The (very tough) starter allowance for Bishop of Nola was washed off the turf by Wednesday’s rain, and so we scratched. Trainer Bruce Brown will be looking for another spot in the near future.

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Castle Village Farm’s four-year-old gelding Bishop of Nola (Devil His Due-Via Mizner by Forty Niner) returns to the races on Wednesday, May 4th, in Belmont’s featured 8th race, a starter allowance for New York-breds that have run for a claiming price, at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.

We claimed Bishop of Nola for $25,000 at Saratoga last summer, and he promptly repaid our confidence by winning again at the Spa. He subsequently finished 2nd and 3rd in turf allowances at Aqueduct before the grass racing season ended and he went on a winter break at the In-Front Training Center in Ghent, NY. Bishop of Nola has been back in Bruce Brown’s barn at Belmont for over a month and is in good shape for his season debut.

The starter allowance came up tough, though, with an eight-horse field that includes the winner of last year’s Mohawk Handicap. Scott Schwartz’s Pocket Cowboys. Bishop of Nola has his work cut out for him.

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Castle Village Farm’s four-year-old gelding Iguazu, who finished 5th at Aqueduct on March 11th, has been moved up to 4th following the belated disqualification of the 3rd-place finisher, Eve of Destruction, trained by Rudy Rodriguez. The change improves Iguazu’s earnings for the race to $1,050.

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Castle Village Farm’s four-year-old gelding Iguazu rallied from well back in the pack to finish a strong second in today’s 7th race at Belmont. Iguazu, normally a front-runner, was pinched back at the break, and at one point was 8th in the 11-horse field. But, under jockey David Cohen’s steady hand, Iguazu moved up on the turn, emerged into the stretch on the rail, passed all but the 2-1 favorite Stylish Fella, and then hung on gamely to the wire, missing the win by only a length and a half.

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Castle Village Farm’s four-year-old gelding Iguazu (Smoke Glacken-Green Jeans) is entered in the 7th race on opening day at Belmont, Friday, April 29th. It’s a $10,000 non-winners of two claimer, at 6 furlongs. Iguazu, who won his maiden on February 13th, drew post 3 in a full field and will have jockey David Cohen aboard for trainer Bruce Brown. Post time is 4:10 pm.

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Castle Village Farm’s four-year-old colt Rigby (by Speightstown) will try for two wins in a row when he takes on allowance foes in Aqueduct’s 3rd race on Thursday, April 21. C C Lopez will ride for trainer Bruce Brown.

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Castle Village Farm posted excellent numbers for the Aqueduct winter meet — from the first of the year through the end of inner-track racing on March 27th. From five starts, we had two wins — one each for Iguazu and Rigby — and two third place finishes, with total earnings of $45,830. That’s a 40% win percentage, an 80% in-the-percentage, and average earnings per start of $9,166. Thanks to trainer Bruce Brown and our go-to jockey David Cohen for the excellent results!

For comparison, the records for some other partnership groups that offer inexpensive buy-ins for the winter meet were as follows:

Drawing Away Stable:  19% wins, 63% ITM, $4,654 per start

Funky Munky: 12% wins, 47% ITM, $3,860 per start

Karakorum: 13% wins, 35% ITM, $3,270 per start

Partingt Glass: 0% wins, 20% ITM, $1,459 per start

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Castle Village Farm racing manager Steve Zorn has been named the Thoroughbred Racing New York (TRNY) member of the week. TRNY is a Facebook-based page for those involved in, or fans of, New York racing. You can see all the details at http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=8466519122&topic=23450. Thanks to TRNY administrator Ernie Munick for the honor!

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Castle Village Farm’s four-year-old gelding Iguazu makes his second start against winners in Aqueduct’s 2nd race on Friday, April 1. Iguazu won his maiden on February 13th, then finished just a length and a bit back of the winner in his first try at the N2L condition on March 11th. David Cohen will be aboard from post position 4 in a field of six.

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Castle Village Farm’s newest claim, Rigby, ran a game race to win a $42,000 starter allowance at Aqueduct on Friday, March 25th.

Rigby, a four-year-old colt by Speightstown, led for the first three-quarters of a mile under the patient hold of jockey David Cohen, then was headed at the top of the stretch but dug and and fought back, pulling out to win by half a length at the wire of the one mile-70 yard race.

Castle Village Farm claimed Rigby for $25,000 on February 6th at Aqueduct, from owner Satish Sanan and trainer Steve Asmussen. In two starts for us since the claim, he now has a win and a third-place finish.

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