Freehold, NJ --- To hear Scott DiDomenico talk about his business, one might not be sure if he is running a stable or a pastry shop.
DiDomenico trains 3-year-old filly pacer Handsoffmycookie, as well as newcomers Handsoffmybrownie, Handsoffmycanoli and Handsoffmycupcake. All of the horses are owned by JFE Enterprise, with DiDomenico’s Triple D Stables sharing ownership in Handsoffmybrownie.
“We’ve got a bakery,” DiDomenico said, laughing. “Any dessert you’re interested in, we’ve got it.
“We’re optimistic with a lot of them. We’ll see how it goes.”
Handsoffmycookie is the veteran of the group. She returned from her winter layoff on Friday (April 27) and finished third in a qualifier, beaten by 1-1/4 lengths by Rockaround Sue in 1:55.4, at Gaitway Farms.
“I thought she was so-so; just kind of even,” DiDomenico said. “She didn’t get home as good as we’d like, but it was very windy. We’ll probably qualify her back in two weeks at the Meadowlands. Everything to this point has been very good, so we’re optimistic.”
Last year, Handsoffmycookie won nine of 12 races, including the $175,000 New York Sire Stakes championship, and never finished worse than second on her way to $575,066 in purses. She was second to Economy Terror in the Breeders Crown (in a stakes-record 1:51) and Three Diamonds (in a world-record 1:50.3) and to Pirouette Hanover in the Sweetheart (in a stakes-record 1:51.3).
“That’s a tough group, with American Jewel, too,” DiDomenico said. “We don’t know if we can beat them, but we think we can go with them. We’re going to fight hard with them.
“Her best quality is her fight to win. She loves to win.”
One of Handsoffmycookie’s most impressive wins last year came in a division of the sire stakes at Batavia Downs, when she went three wide at the half-mile point and won by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:57.3.
“She just circled them,” DiDomenico said. “She was in a tough spot. A guy came out underneath her early and she went three wide and circled them. I thought she was very impressive in the Three Diamonds final, too, and she was very good in the Breeders Crown. Very strong.”
After a winter of growth, DiDomenico expects Handsoffmycookie to be strong again. Her first race of the season should come in the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs on May 19.
“We’ll start there and see how it goes,” DiDomenico said. “She grew a lot, filled out a lot. She’s stronger, bigger, better; ready for action.
“She’s a good horse. She makes me look good.”