Chowda Tops List of First Quarter Bonus Winners In VTA’s Certified Residency Program

Chowda, a 3-year-old Virginia-Certified colt, who was one of 108 horses to win a bonus award in the first quarter of 2020 as part of the VTA’s residency program initiative.

The New York bred earned a capped reward of $10,000 — highest of any — from a victory in the $100,000 Gander Stakes (black-type) at Aqueduct where he was sent off at 15-1 odds. The Gary Sciacca trainee is 2-for-2 this year and overall, has bankrolled $142,793 from six starts. He scored at Aqueduct previously in a January allowance race where he earned a $9,240 reward, and in a maiden special weight last November. Out of the Chief Seattle mare, Salty Lil Sis, Chowda is owned by Eddie F’s Racing. The Emcee colt spent six months at Woodberry Payne’s Ingleside Training Center before he started competing.

Chowda wins the $100,000 Gander Stakes at Aqueduct Feb. 16. Photo by Coglianese Photography.

Next biggest award went to New York bred Moonlight Now, a 4-year-old Tiznow gelding. His $8,250 bonus came from a $60,000 maiden special weight win at Aqueduct February 20. Moonlight Now is out of Moonlightandbeauty by Capote and is owned by Albert Fried, Jr. He spent his Virginia residency at Paula Parsons’ Centennial Farms in Middleburg.

Moonlight Now (inside) edges Clever Fellow in a maiden special weight at Aqueduct Feb. 20. Photo by Coglianese Photography.

Wild Banker collected an identical reward via a similar $60,000 maiden special weight race at Aqueduct January 24. The New York bred, a 3-year-old son of Central Banker, reached the winners circle for the first time in three starts. He is owned by Michael Dini and Al Moorehouse and is trained by Michael Tannuzzo. Wild Banker is an Eagle Point Farm (Karen Godsey, Ashland) graduate.

Wild Banker collected a $8,250 bonus for winning a maiden special weight Jan. 24 at Aqueduct. Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese.

Maryland-bred Follow The Dog won a $53,000 allowance race by a head over Hero’s Hope January 9 at Laurel and bankrolled a $6,250 reward. Owned by Waldorf Racing Stables and trained by Phil Schoenthal, the 4-year-old Bandbox colt earned his third program bonus and first of 2020. He won the Maryland Million Nursery Stakes in 2018 and has career purse winnings of $159,782. Follow The Dog resided at Ingleside for six months prior to his first start.

Follow The Dog captures a $53,000 allowance race at Laurel Jan. 9. Photo by Jim McCue.

Of the six other horses that earned an award over $5,000, four are New York-breds. Bassman Dave, a 4-year-old Big Brown gelding, won a $36,000 allowance race February 28 while Left Leaning Lucy, a 3-year-old The Lumber Guy filly, took a $41,000 maiden claimer February 21. Abraxan,a 4-year-old Forty Tales filly, was best in a $36,000 claimer February 2 and Fair Lassie, a 4-year-old Dublin filly, reached the winners circle in a $37,000 claimer March 27. All the triumphs came at Aqueduct. The first two were raised at Ingleside while the latter two were at Brooke Royster’s Chance Farm and Jean Rofe’s Racing at Rokeby.

Kentucky-bred Always Something is best in a $49,000 allowance at Laurel March 7. Photo by Jim McCue.

The final two are respective Kentucky and West Virginia-breds. Always Something, a 3-year-old Oxbow filly who captured a maiden special weight at Colonial Downs last August, won a $49,000 allowance March 9 at Laurel. Chiefs Kingdom, a 4-year-old Our Entourage filly, was best in the $35,000 Valentines Day Overnight Stakes at Charles Town on February 14. Owned and bred by David Bloom, she has won six career races including a trio of consecutive allowance wins last September, October and November. Their residencies were spent at Horseshoe Hill and Eagle Point Farms.

Chiefs Kingdom prevails in the Valentines Day Overnight Stakes at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

Of the 108 wins by Certified horses in the first quarter, 18 came at Laurel, 18 at Penn National, 12 at Aqueduct, 1 at Parx and the balance at Charles Town. For more information on the program and a list of participating farms/training centers, visit