2019 Forever Together Stakes at Aqueduct

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NYRA Press Release | OTB Writer
Updated: November 27, 2019

Sweet Bye and Bye, trained by Steve Klesaris, looks to be the early favorite in the third running of the $150,000 Forever Together for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack, as part of the Thanksgiving Festival that begins Thursday with the Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight.

Friday's 10-race card also features the Grade 3, $200,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the main track and the $150,000 Gio Ponti for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf. On Saturday, Aqueduct will host a pair of Grade 3 events: the Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island and the Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery.

2019 Forever Together Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 5 at Aqueduct on Friday, November 29 - Post 1:48 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Shanghai Rain 20-1 Keivan Serrano
118 Lbs
Eric Reed
2 My Sistersledge 15-1 Julian Pimentel
123 Lbs
Michael Trombetta
3 Go Noni Go 8-1 John Velazquez
121 Lbs
Michael Maker
4 Theodora B. 9-2 Joe Bravo
121 Lbs
Michael Dickinson
5 Matty's Magnum 6-1 Manuel Franco
125 Lbs
David Donk
6 Too Charming 10-1 Eric Cancel
121 Lbs
Thomas Albertrani
7 Another Broad 7-5 Rider TBA
125 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
8 Lounge Act 20-1 Kendrick Carmouche
121 Lbs
Eric Reed
9 Andina Del Sur 5-2 Javier Castellano
125 Lbs
Thomas Albertrani
10 Team Win 10-1 Rider TBA
121 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
11 Sweet Bye and Bye 6-5 Manuel Franco
121 Lbs
Steve Klesaris

Owned and bred by Joseph Imbesi, Sweet Bye and Bye has proven quite versatile over her 12-race career, with three wins on dirt and three on turf at distances ranging from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. The bulk of her success came last year as a sophomore, when she was first transferred to the Klesaris barn. The daughter of Sky Mesa made her 3-year-old debut on the dirt at Parx Racing in May and easily beat maiden company before rattling off another four straight victories, including wins on the dirt and turf at Parx and on the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

After concluding her 2018 campaign with an off-the-board finish in the Mrs. Penny Stakes at Parx, Sweet Bye and Bye was given a nine-month vacation before returning to the races at Belmont Park on May 25 of this year. The gray filly showed no signs of rust finishing second to future graded stakes winner Oleksandra in a six-furlong turf sprint and has made steady strides throughout 2019, most recently winning an optional claimer on September 22 at Belmont and then finishing second behind Xenobia in the Grade 3 Athenia at 1 1/16 miles on turf in her graded stakes debut.

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"She's doing really well," said Klesaris. "She really came to hand during the Saratoga meet but unfortunately the race I was pointing her to didn't fill up there, so she came back at Belmont with a nice victory and a good second. This mare can do anything, it really doesn't matter the surface or distance, she does it all. She's a nice package."

Though his main base of operations has moved south to Parx, Klesaris has enjoyed renewed success on the NYRA circuit this year with Awad Stakes winner Buy Land and See and allowance winner Enthusiastic Gal. At the center of his prosperous year is one mare, Twiggles, who is the dam of Sweet Bye and Bye, Buy Land and See, and Enthusiastic Gal, all of whom are owned by Imbesi.

"She's been a pretty useful mare, everything runs," said Klesaris. "It's not often you see a mare drop so many runners, and she never even made it to the track. I have to thank Joe Imbesi, who's given me some good opportunities. His daughter saw the mare in the ring and thought she was a pretty gray, so they paid a few thousand dollars for her. She's now foaled two stakes winners and has two more nice ones on the ground."

Sweet Bye and Bye will be ridden by Manny Franco from the outside post.

Fresh off a graded stakes victory on Saturday with turf warrior Sadler's Joy in the Grade 3 Red Smith, trainer Tom Albertrani will send out a pair of runners - Andina Del Sur and Too Charming - in hopes of securing another stakes win over the Big A lawn.

Andina Del Sur has been a model of consistency for Albertrani and owner Don Alberto Stable. Since winning her career debut in October 2017 going six furlongs on grass at Belmont, the daughter of Giant's Causeway has given an honest account of herself nearly every time, posting a record of 3-2-5 from 16 turf starts. The chestnut filly became a graded stakes winner early in her sophomore year when she captured the Grade 3 Florida Oaks but was winless until September 28 of this year, when she took the Violet Stakes at Monmouth Park. In her most recent start, Andina Del Sur finished third in the Athenia, half a length behind Sweet Bye and Bye. She will enlist the services of Hall of Famer Javier Castellano from post 9.

Too Charming has proven to be more volatile than her stablemate, but the Godolphin homebred is still capable of turning in a stakes-caliber effort on her best day. The 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini won the Tropical Park Oaks at Gulfstream in the finale of her sophomore campaign but has failed to find the winner's circle in 2019 in four tries. The bay filly finished fourth behind Breeders' Cup Mile winner Uni two back in the Perfect Sting on June at Belmont, and last out faded badly in the Violet, finishing a distant sixth behind Andina Del Sur. She will look to bounce back with Eric Cancel in the irons from post 6.

Runner-up in the Violet, Theodora B., will go out for trainer Michael Dickinson and owner Augustin Stable. The Ghostzapper filly has flirted with a few stakes victories this year, including second-place finishes in the Big Dreyfus at Laurel Park and the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park to go along with a nose defeat in the Violet, and last out she finished third in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf at Woodbine over its synthetic main track. Theodora B. will look to break through in stakes company from post 4 with Joe Bravo in the irons.

Rounding out the field are My Sistersledge [post 2, Julian Pimentel], who finished second against fellow Maryland-breds in a stakes race at Laurel in her most recent outing; graded stakes winner Go Noni Go [post 3, Hall of Famer John Velazquez], who is winless in two starts this year; and Shanghai Rain [post 1, Keivan Serrano] and Lounge Act [post 8, Kendrick Carmouche], a pair of fillies from the barn of trainer Eric Reed.

Matty's Magnum, Another Broad, and Team Win are entered for the main track only.

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