Alexis Annechino

Someday Soon and Declan Cannon outlast Nikki My Darling

Ohio’s 2016 Champion Juvenile Filly Someday Soon made her seasonal debut in the state an impressive one in the $75,000 Tomboy Stakes at Belterra Park on May 14.  The Tommy Ligon homebred brought an impressive 2017 resume into the race.  She won her seasonal debut in wire to wire fashion going a fast mile at Oaklawn Park and then was unplaced in the Grade 3 Honeybee there.  The filly that ran 2nd in that race, Benner Island, went on to win the Grade 2 $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs.  In her last start, Someday Soon ran in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland and led until the final 60 yards.  The filly that edged her out of the second spot was Daddy’s Lil Darling who then ran second in the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle she would face in the Tomboy would be her first try over a turf course.  Loooch Racing Stables and Imaginary Stables Nikki My Darling loomed as her major equine foe.  After being rested from her juvenile campaign, the daughter of Creative Cause reeled off three consecutive 6-furlong wins at Mahoning Valley, including the $75,000 Southern Park Stakes.  “I don’t think she needs to be on the lead to win,” said Ron Paolucci pre-race.  “Only one filly in the field has even run on grass and my filly has grass in her pedigree.”

When the gates opened in the 1 1/16 mile Tomboy, Umami went to the front but was never more than ½ length ahead of Someday Soon who took control at the half-mile marker.  Jockey Declan Cannon drew away by 3 lengths in midstretch and held off Nikki My Darling by a length at the wire in 1:42.58.  It was 9 lengths back to My Ticket Home in the third spot.  Sheltowee Farm is the co-breeder of both Nikki My Darling, a $100,000 sales purchase at the 2016 Ocala Breeders Sale and My Ticket Home who brought $70,000 at the Keeneland November sale in 2014.

Jockey Declan Cannon, a native of Leitrim Ireland, gave Someday Soon a relaxed ride and never asked for run until the final furlongs.  “ With very good horses like her, you just don’t get in the way.  I’ve been on her a long time and work with her in the mornings at Keeneland.  We had the fastest work of the day at 5 furlongs there on the 30th of April, so I knew Will had her on her toes for this start and the way she galloped out distance was not a question.”

While Someday Soon will be on the short list of racing secretary’s looking for entrants in graded stakes races this summer, trainer “Will-B” Van Meter indicated he plans a more conservative schedule.  “We will probably concentrate on the Ohio program during her 3-year-old season and take advantage of the lucrative stakes program.”

Owner-Breeder Tommy Ligon, who made the trip up from his home outside of Atlanta, Georgia, was impressed with the fans in the Cincinnati area.  “Will B. and I went up to watch the replay in the River Downs Club and I had dozens of people coming up to congratulate me after the win and several said she reminded them of Bruce Ryan’s two-time Ohio Horse of the Year Needmore Flattery, who went on to win about $800,000.  This is going to be a fun year and now we have the turf question out of the way.”

The win in the Tomboy gives Someday Soon a 4-2-1 record from 10 career starts and $267,027 in earnings.


Patience has paid off for the Roberto Family with their 4-year-old homebred gelding Buckeye Bullet. He broke his maiden at two after making his debut in the 2015 Josh Radosevich Memorial where he finished third.

The 2016 season had to have the family pulling their hair out.  In his first start, the Howard B. Noonan at Mahoning Valley, Buckeye Bullet exchanged the lead twice and came up ¾ of a length short of winning.  He followed that with a second-place, one length loss in the Tall Stacks at Belterra Park.  He then tried the turf in the Green Carpet and after setting the pace he finished 6th, only 2 ½ lengths behind the winner.  When he did cross the finish line in front in a $30,000 allowance race at Thistledown he was disqualified and placed 4th for bumping a rival.  After a layoff, he did give the Roberto’s an early Christmas present with a $25,3000 allowance score at Mahoning Valley.

The accredited-bred son of Dark Krestrel (by Stormy Atlantic) is having a sensational 2017 and came into the $75,000 Michael Rowland Memorial Handicap off of three straight 6-furlong scores with his last coming against open company in a $31,800 allowance test at Mahoning Valley.  Trainer Sharon Roberto has employed the services of Luis Quinones for every lifetime start and they teamed up for a huge win in the Rowland while packing second-highweight of 122 lbs.

Quinones shot Buckeye Bullet out of the gate establishing a two-length lead, reeled him in and they crossed the wire under a hand ride in his career fastest six panels in 1:11.24.  Paul Groves 2016 Accredited Champion Male Eightthehardway packing 124 lbs. ran second eight lengths in front of My Pardner Cal.

Buckeye Bullet was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Louis V. Roberto Jr. and is owned by Roberto Racing Stables, Inc. The win in the Rowland pushed his career earnings to $176,339 from 13 starts.

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