Hit It Once More Wins Albany Stakes

26.08.2016, by Jim
Hit It Once More Wins Albany Stakes&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Hit It Once More–owned by former NFL football coach Bill Parcells–won Friday’s $250,000 Albany Stakes for New York Breds at Saratoga and his connections are already looking for bigger opportunities. With jockey Kendrick Carmouche aboard he was essentially unchallenged and paid $3.90 as the 4-5 favorite. Extinct Charm finished second by 7 3/4 lengths over Celtic Chaos. Jet Black finished fourth. Last month, Hit It Once More beat Extinct Charm by 6 1/2 lengths in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

Trained by Gary Sciacca, the victory ended a tough run of luck for him at the current Saratoga meet where he’d gone 0 for 41: “He was training just as well, he was doing really well coming into this race, that’s what we expected. I think we made the right move.” Sciacca was speaking of the decision to run Hit It Once More against a weaker class in the Albany Stakes as opposed to taking on the ‘cream of the crop’ in Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes: “Let them bang heads, we’ll go farther; he was doing real well, you have a New York-bred, you might as well take advantage. There’s a lot of money in there.”

Hit It Once More has now won four of his last five starts after losing his first five races. He was bought for $90,000 at the Fasig Tipton Timonium sale where owner Parcells said that Sciacca encouraged him to keep bidding, eventually going $20,000 over his original budget: “Gary picked him out and he went over budget and that’s how he got his name. He kept telling me ‘Bill, hit it once more, hit it once more,’ so once we got him I said that’s his name.”

With the win on Friday, Hit It Once More will definitely be stepping up in class. His connections have committed to entering him in the Grade 2 $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing on September 24. This will be his first graded stakes event. It’ll be a big day at Parx with the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion Stakes for three year old fillies which is expected to feature undefeated superstar Songbird. Also on the card is the $300,000 Grade 3 Gallant Bob.

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