Late Night Pow Wow keeps winning for new owners
by Ted Black
In the weeks following the West Virginia Cavada Breeders Classic at Charles Town, California resident Mike Mollica, the stable manager of the Breeze Easy LLC (Mike Hall and Sam Ross) had already been making inroads toward purchasing winner Late Night Pow Wow, who had previously captured the Grade III, $300,000 Charles Town Oaks for owner-trainer Javier Contreras.
Mollica noted the Breeze Easy partners were looking for a filly that could continue to post graded stakes successes at age four and then, eventually, join their broodmare band. Eventually, Mollica convinced Hall and Ross that the daughter of Fiber Sonde was undoubtedly going to be worth a six-figure purchase price, although he would not specify how much was needed to entice Contreras to sell her.
“Prior to the Willa On The Move Stakes, I watched videos of her winning some of those other stakes and I was very impressed,” Mollica said. “She ran like she did everything so easily. Everything about her action was so impressive. The Breeze Easy partners wanted a filly that they thought could continue to have success in graded stakes at four and then become a good broodmare when they retired her. This filly has everything. She does everything easily and Javier does a great job with her.”
Mollica noted that he was in constant contact with Contreras in the weeks between the Cavada and the Willa On The Move and basically needed two weeks to convince the conditioner that he should sell the multiple stakes winner. But even after Contreras agreed to sell Late Night Pow Wow for an undisclosed six-figure sum, the Breeze Easy partners opted to leave her in his care as trainer, with the simple caveat that there were a number of graded stakes they wanted to pursue this winter and spring, beginning with the Grade 3, $250,000 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on Feb. 16, with subsequent races such as the Madison at Keeneland and the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs also on their radar.
“They definitely wanted her to stay with Javier,” Mollica said. “He’s done a great job with her. After we had her vetted she showed no signs of any issues anywhere, and Javier stays away from getting much vet work done. It took two weeks to finally get the sale done, but the partners got her and they wanted to leave her with Javier. He’s done such a great job with her and he’s willing to ship anywhere and she doesn’t mind shipping [from Charles Town to Laurel] and she’ll do okay going to Kentucky.”
In her first start for her new owners, Late Night Pow romped home five lengths clear in the $100,000 Willa On The Move Stakes at Laurel November 24 before returning on Saturday for the $100,000 What A Summer Stakes. Sent out as the 1-5 favorite in the compact field of four, Late Night Pow Wow dueled with Behrnik’s Bank through honest early splits of 22.49 and 45.64 before drawing clear from that one under very confident handling from jockey Fredy Peltroche to a six-length score over stablemate Devine Mischief in 1:09.27 for the six panels.
“I wasn’t here when she won the Willa On The Move, but I wanted to make sure to be here today for this race,” Mollica said. “She was really impressive today. She did it so easily and she was still drawing off at the end. That five-furlong work [in 58 3/5 on January 3] here was just right. It didn’t take anything out of her. After the Willa On The Move, she got a little freshening and we talked about maybe going into the Fritchie off workouts. But Javier told me she was doing so good that he wanted to run her today and he was right.”
Late Night Pow Wow has now won eight straight races and 10 of 11 overall and pushed her career earnings to nearly $470,000, and her next outing is slated to be the Barbara Fritchie at Laurel on President’s Day weekend. After dominating West Virginia-breds throughout the early stages of her career, Late Night Pow now boasts three wins against open stakes company and two straight at Laurel, and her conditioner is eager for the next steps.
“She came into this race just great and she won so easily today,” Contreras said. “She’s just been a dream come true. She had a little time off after the Willa On The Move, but her work here the other day was so good I had to put her back in here. She’s got a little over a month between now and the Fritchie. I won’t have to do much with her but she’ll come here for another workout and then back here for the race. There’s no reason to change anything we do with her. She loves the big track here. I don’t need to do much with her. Just one workout next month should set her up for the Fritchie.”
Mollica noted that he and Contreras are in constant contact through phone calls or text messages and the Breeze Easy partners have been reluctant to make any changes since Late Night Pow Wow has already displayed the ability to win against open stakes company and to be able to transfer her talents from the three-quarter-mile oval at Charles Town to the much larger nine-furlong venue at Laurel.
“Me and Javier talk or text almost every day,” Mollica said. “I’m always on the go, either at Ocala where we have 20 two-year-olds now or in southern California. I am still on California time right now. Javier has done a great job with this filly. She keeps winning and she seems to keep getting better. Mike and Sam wanted a graded stakes winner that could continue to add more black type stakes to her resume and then become a good broodmare. She’s got the Fritchie next and then we’ll see where she goes from there.”