From NYRA: Rockpaperscissors steps up in G1 CCA Oaks; Harvard likely for $120K Curlin

Trainer Rodolphe Brisset said he was pleasantly surprised to see Rockpaperscissors shake off eight months of rust with ease in her last out allowance score against older fillies, and is hoping that the two-time winner can find a little extra in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course.

Last year, Paris Lights and Crystal Ball led a WinStar Stablemates Racing exacta in the CCA Oaks. Rockpaperscissors will try to make WinStar Stablemates Racing the first owner to notch back to back CCA Oaks victories since Godolphin with It’s Tricky [2011] and Questing [2012].

The lightly-raced daughter of Distorted Humor fired off the bench in her two-turn debut in an off-the-turf allowance tilt on June 21 at Indiana Grand Race Course.

Piloted by Julien Leparoux, Rockpaperscissors appeared rank heading into the first turn as she settled into fifth along the rail. After chasing leisurely fractions down the backstretch, she asserted herself to the front in upper stretch under no coaxing and drew away a 9 ¾ length winner.

“She surprised us a little bit. She was a difficult filly to gallop. It wasn’t our usual pattern of workouts, but we decided to run her. It was just one of those things where we felt that we needed to run more than we need to keep breezing,” Brisset said. “So, we got lucky that the race came off the turf. She actually won very easily and she came back out of that race very good.”

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Stablemates Member Profile: Rebecca Teal

Rebecca Teal leads Crystal Ball into the winner’s circle of the Lady Jacqueline Stakes

For Rebecca Teal, involvement in the Thoroughbred horse racing industry has been a lifelong desire. When the opportunity to be involved with high-class racehorses for a fraction of the cost arose with WinStar Stablemates Racing, Rebecca couldn’t help but pursue it. Ever the avid learner, she saw Stablemates as not only an opportunity to experience ownership of quality Thoroughbreds, but a chance to learn more about the industry she’s loved her entire life.

“Joining Stablemates meant I could be involved with a top class racing organization, have horseflesh I could never afford, race at the highest level of racing (which I could not afford, on my own), and to learn about the costs and procedures of racing so maybe I could try on my own,” Rebecca says. “Even a blind pig can find an acorn—it’s what keeps us dreaming.”

Rebecca has done exactly that, venturing into the breeding side of the industry with the purchase of her own broodmare last year. This spring, she welcomed her first foal into the world and looks to continue this endeavor.

Along with that new undertaking, Rebecca continues to relish her experience with Stablemates. A part of the syndicate since it began, she can’t help but reminisce on the special moments she has enjoyed as a member.

“Being there for our first win, stakes win and new track record all in one, winning at Keeneland, leading Blessings First into the winner’s circle for her maiden win—a bucket list item for me, running first and second in the grade one Coaching Club American Oaks, farm visits and events…” Rebecca reflects, and could keep going.

In fact, Rebecca added to her list of special experiences with Stablemates on the final Saturday of June, when she was in attendance for Crystal Ball’s win in the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes. Once that race was on the radar, she knew she had to attend, as her late mother’s name was Jacqueline. As if being there was not special enough, Rebecca watched as Crystal Ball dashed to victory. But then, WinStar CEO Elliott Walden and trainer Rodolphe Brisset asked her to lead the filly into the winner’s circle.

“It was just the icing on a cake that I could not have imagined tasting any better,” Rebecca says.

With a strong competitive nature, winning is certainly one of Rebecca’s favorite aspects of being involved in a racing partnership. However, what she didn’t expect was the camaraderie among syndicate members.

“When I joined, these fillies were mine, although there were other people involved,” Rebecca says. “I also did not realize I would learn from them as much as the team. Having someone who gets it and loves it as much as you do, is special indeed. Meeting and becoming friends with fellow Stablemates and Stablemates staff was totally unexpected and a wonderful part of the whole experience.”

From the Daily Racing Form: Crystal Ball, with new barn, triumphs in Lady Jacqueline Stakes

Crystal Ball | Photo by JJ Zamaiko

Crystal Ball made a sparkling return to stakes company and shone in her debut for a new barn in taking the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes for fillies and mares Saturday at Thistledown.

The filly also keyed a big day for the ownership team behind WinStar Farm and for jockey Luis Saez, who won three races including a pair of stakes on the day.

Crystal Ball ($6) kindly stalked the pace set by locally based Racinrosemary, a length back through a half-mile in 47.88 seconds and six furlongs in 1:13.44 on the fast main track. She took the lead in upper stretch, with Miss Bigly, who was stalked-placed at Churchill Downs in her most recent outing, coming to her on the outside. Crystal Ball dug in to repel her challenger through the final sixteenth, edging clear by 1 1/4 lengths at the wire. She finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.80.

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