Yonkers, NY — Since the husband and wife training duo of Lauren and Shane Tritton arrived in the United States this spring, their stable has been on a tear, winning 10 of its first 35 starts, including a 4-for-17 start at Yonkers Raceway. Of the 12 horses the Trittons brought over from Australia, none have adapted quicker or been more consistent than My Ruebe Star N, who brings a four-race win streak to the $33,000 filly and mare open handicap Thursday night (July 30).
“The horses have done pretty well,” Shane Tritton said. “We’re still learning and we’re still trying to work out the changes between training in Australia and here, but we’re trying to mold it as we go. The horses have been getting better; we knew they’d get better as we went because we are still trying to work out exactly where to race them and where they needed to be.
“(My Ruebe Star N) has been the horse that’s acclimatized the quickest. She looks a million dollars and she adapted to the way we’re training here better than the rest. We’re pretty happy with her and hopefully she can keep the ball rolling. There’s a couple of little things there that you need to adjust and some horses pick up on it quicker than others. She’s been one that you can just tell by looking at her, she’s dappled up and she’s full of beans. I knew she’d keep getting better, we just don’t know where that will end up.”
My Ruebe Star N is a 6-year-old New Zealand-bred daughter of Falcon Seelster out of the New York Motoring mare Zenola Star. After showing promise in New Zealand for breeder and co-owner Mike Siemelink, My Ruebe Star N was exported to Australia in May 2019 and joined Tritton’s ranks.
My Ruebe Star N won on debut for her new connections with Lauren Tritton in the sulky in a $14,280 overnight at Menangle June 22, 2019. My Ruebe Star N racked up another five wins through the end of February 2020 as she climbed the class ladder. She also finished fourth in the Group 3 Garrards New Years Gift final at Menangle Jan. 11, in which winner Bright Energy was clocked in 1:50.1.
“The guy that owned her in New Zealand sent her over to us just to see how she’d shape up at Menangle and she came to us almost a maiden and she raced right through her grades at Menangle,” Tritton said. “She was probably a season shy of going to the top. She ran fourth in a 1:50.1 mile back home a month before we came over. She was just starting to break into some of the better mares’ races and then we shut her down to bring her over here.”
Among My Ruebe Star N’s best attributes is her gait. Tritton knew she would fit the American style of racing and the half-mile track at Yonkers Raceway, he just needed to persuade the owners, who had their eyes on stakes races in Australia and breeding her later on.
“She’s certainly a horse we were desperate to bring,” Tritton said. “It took a bit of convincing of the owners to bring her over. Once we explained that she should do well here, they were happy enough to give us a crack with her and now they’re obviously pretty happy with the decision. We know she can’t keep winning forever, but she’s certainly got the qualities to take out a big race if she can get the right run.
“We just knew that with her gait, she would suit the tracks here and she’s probably fitting them better than we could have imagined. We think she’s only going to get better with a season of racing under her belt here. She really hasn’t taken any harm out of the runs she’s had so far, so hopefully she’s still got a bit in the tank and she can keep stepping up.”
My Ruebe Star N qualified a runner-up at Goshen Historic Track June 4 before making her first stateside start in a $10,000 Meadowlands overnight June 12, becoming the first pari-mutuel starter and winner for Team Tritton in America. My Ruebe Star N took a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 in repeating a week later.
“She was a little bit fresh and needed to get that race start under way,” Tritton said. “First two starts, she came through really well at the Meadowlands and we wanted to get her to Yonkers as soon as we could because we knew she was so good-gaited that she’d have a bit of an advantage there over most horses. Once we got her there, she’s come through those runs brilliantly and it hasn’t really taken much of a toll on her.”
Tritton moved My Ruebe Star N to Yonkers July 9, where she overcame post eight in a $17,250 overnight, riding a pocket trip behind favorite Feelin Red Hot and utilized a :27 final quarter to glide past the pacesetter in the stretch for her third consecutive win. In her latest start at the Hilltop July 16, My Ruebe Star N went gate-to-wire in 1:52.3 in a $20,250 overnight to make in four in a row.
My Ruebe Star N drew post seven in an open draw in this week’s distaff feature and is 8-1 on the morning line with regular driver Jordan Stratton. Snobbytown, twice a winner and once the runner-up in this class in her last three starts for George Brennan and Ron Burke, is the 3-2 morning line favorite after drawing the inside.
The field also includes Imprincessgemma A, whose lone win this season came in the filly and mare open handicap Feb. 14. She has since finished second in this class three times, including twice behind Snobbytown in her last three starts for the Bongiornos. She drew post eight and is 6-1 on the morning line.
Monica Gallagher, Lispatty, Kaitlyn N, Robyn Camden, and Diamondtoothgertie complete the field.
“It’s a tough draw this week and we know these are the best mares going around Yonkers at the moment, so it’s going to be tough,” Tritton said. “We just know that she’s good enough to mix it with them. When she gets the right run, she’ll certainly be good enough to stick her nose out, that’s for sure.”
Although My Ruebe Star N has raced on or near the lead in all of her stateside starts so far, Tritton says she can also come from off the pace. While the tactics are up to Stratton, Tritton would not be surprised to see My Ruebe Star N leaving the gate again this week.
“It’s tough, I look at a race and tell (Jordan) we should lead and he says, ‘no, you won’t lead this week, there’s too much speed.’ I don’t know the races good enough, so I kind of leave it up to him. I think he’ll still go forward, but at end of the day, whatever he decides is going to be fine. You have to drive a race within its means and give yourself the best chance to be at the finish.
“At home, you can come from the back of the field and get into the finish. It’s a bit harder to do that here unless they go really hard up front. But she’s got really good gate speed. She’s probably better from behind, but it’s harder to win from behind, so she’ll probably have to use her gate speed more often than not. Jordan said the best she ever went was (July 9) when he could just sit on her and you obviously need a bit of luck when you do that, but he said that’s probably the best she felt hitting the line.
“This is the toughest race we’ve been in since we’ve been here and we’re just happy to have a horse who’s good enough to be in there and hopefully we can get a bit of luck.”
Yonkers Raceway’s revised schedule features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. First post time is 7:12 p.m.