Day At The Track

Barynya carries win streak in Yonkers Open

12:24 AM 09 Jun 2018 NZST
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Barynya A, harness racing
Barynya A racing in Australia
Stuart McCormick Photo

YONKERS, NY -  Since arriving in the barn of trainer Ettore Annunziata, 8-year-old mare Barynya has shown steady improvement. Although she found herself in Yonkers Raceway's bottom class for non-winners of $5,000 last five as recently as April 24, she's earned a chance to compete in the $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace Friday night (June 8).

Annunziata bought Barynya this spring as a means of replenishing his barn. After most of Annunziata's horses were claimed away, leaving him with a two-horse stable, Barynya caught Annunziata's attention. The Australian-bred by Blissful Hall out of the Perfect Art mare Lombo Anatasia began her stateside career in December 2016 and had a modest 2017 campaign, winning 3 of 26 starts and earning $39,725.

Despite her average stateside performance, Annunziata believed Barynya contained hidden potential. The 83-year-old horsemen knew she was a Group 1 winner and earner of $387,631 Down Under and he believed he could bring her back to that form.

"I like New Zealand and Australian horses, I seem to do very good with them. I knew I could probably get more out of her," Annunziata said. "According to what we've seen, she's a super mare. She made over $300,000 in Australia. You can't make $300,000 in Australia unless you're a champion, and she was a champion and I really believed I could get it out of her."

Annunziata's super mare came to his stable off a second-place finish in a $7,500 overnight at Yonkers February 22. Annunziata believed she was sore and applied a less-is-more approach to her routine to get her sound.

"There's no mystery, there's no big things. As a matter of fact, the less I do, the better she gets," Annunziata said. "At the farm, she's out 24 hours-a-day and that's what they like. It's like they're in the wild again.

"I don't know what it is, but I guess the method I use is no secret," he continued. "What they do is go back to nature. What I mean is, (treat them like) a horse, don't (treat them like) people. They give this, they give that, try this, try that. All I know they eat grain and grass, all they can eat. That's it. That's the rule everybody should play by, of course everybody thinks they know better, but in this case they're wrong."

Annunziata's method appears to have rekindled the champion within Barynya. She posted a 3-length win in a $7,500 overnight at Yonkers April 24 before repeating the following week in a $10,000 overnight. She finished third next out while up in class again before finding the winner's circle in her next start May 25 in a $22,000 race. Last time out, Barynya shipped to Saratoga to win the $14,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap in wire-to-wire fashion. She stopped the timer in 1:52.1 and posted a final quarter of :27.4.

"Last week, she really surprised me going 1:52.1. She was super," Annunziata said.

Friday night (June 8), Barynya will step up in class again as she looks to win her first local distaff open. Barynya drew post two and is an 8-1 morning line with Joe Bongiorno in the bike.

Barynya's seven rivals include 2-1 favorite Newborn Sassy, who will start from an assigned post eight. The Kim King Jr. trainee won the Matchmaker Consolation before posting three straight wins at the open level at Harrington and Yonkers. She was the beaten favorite in her last start May 25 from the outside post.

Mach It A Par is a 4-1 chance after finishing second to Newborn Sassy May 18 and drawing post six while Freakonomics is 5-1 and brings a three-race win streak into the distaff feature. Annabeth, Medusa, Motu Moonbeam, and Delightful Dragon complete the field.

"She's a nice mare, she got a nice post. My luck, I usually get bad posts. Hopefully we'll do good. Actually, I'm looking to beat them, how's that? I hope she wins the race. She will be good. Right now, she's very good," Annunziata said.

First post time Friday night at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m. 

By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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