HEAVILY FAVORED VASILIKA DELIVERS HER 15TH CAREER WIN WITH 1 ½ LENGTH SCORE IN GRADE II, $200,000 BUENA VISTA STAKES UNDER PRAT; TRAINED BY HOLLENDORFER, SHE GETS MILE ON TURF 1:33.35 ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2019)–A literal gem of consistency, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Vasilika rallied from well off the pace to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita by 1 ½ lengths, her 10th win in 12 starts since being claimed here for $40,000 on Feb. 11, 2018 and her 15th overall in what has become a remarkable career. Ridden for the 11th consecutive time by Flavien Prat, Vasilika, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Skipshot, got a flat mile on turf in 1:33.35.“By the three eighths pole, I could see we were making ground and probably would be able to catch the leader, Fahan Mura,” said Prat, who was about nine lengths off the lead heading into the far turn. “I did have to ask her in the stretch, but as soon as I switched my stick to my left hand, she made a very nice move.”Most recently a 1 ½ length winner of the Grade III Megahertz Stakes at one mile on turf Jan. 21, Vasilika was off at 4-5 in a field of nine older fillies and mares and paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.20.Owned by All Schlaich Stables, LLC, Hollendorfer, LLC, Gatto Racing, LLC and George Todaro, Vasilika, who is out of the Marquetry mare La Belle Marquet, improved her overall mark to 30-15-4-3 and with the winner’s share of $120,000, she now has earnings of $938,595.“I don’t know if there’s anything this horse can’t do, if there is, we haven’t found out yet,” said Hollendorfer. “I thought going down the backside, Flavien had a good idea of how fast they were going, so he started moving a little earlier than he usually does, then she kicked in her last eighth like she always does and ran very well…If I could answer why she is so consistent and so special, I wouldn’t have to work.”A 4-year-old California-bred filly by Old Fashioned, Streak of Luck stepped up out of a classified allowance win going a mile on turf here on Jan. 25 to run a huge second at 50-1 under Tyler Baze. Owned and bred by the Roncelli Family Trust and trained by Matt Chew, Streak of Luck tracked the favorite around the far turn and finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Ms Bad Behavior while paying $18.80 and $6.80.“We wanted to find out if she belonged with these kinds of mares,” said Chew. “We needed to get that answered today and she answered it. We’ll take a look at what’s next, we’ll consider the Santa Ana (Grade III, 1 ¼ miles on turf March 31).”Ridden by Mike Smith, Ms Bad Behavior was the fourth choice in the wagering at 7-1 and paid $3.80 to show.Fractions on the race were 22.53, 45.48, 1:09.37 and 1:21.75.College Football Hall of Famer and All Pro NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer presented the Buena Vista trophy.
Access to quality, affordable health insurance has always been a headline issue for independent workers. In our report, Freelancing in America 2016, we found that despite the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for health insurance, 20% of full-time freelancers are still uninsured.Our study revealed that not only does health insurance remain a top concern, but 67% of freelance workers likely to vote would support a candidate who believes all workers should have benefits regardless of employment status and full-time freelancers rate having health care as the most important benefit to support their work and lifestyle.The next president will have to address the flaws in the Affordable Care Act – including the rising cost for healthcare among individual purchasers. This November, candidates now have the opportunity to court the freelance vote by laying out their plans for a better system.Unfortunately, thus far, candidates and policy makers have not directly addressed the freelance workforce, but, the topic of healthcare has come up. In fact, it was one of the first questions from the audience in the second debate:The Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone up, copays has gone up, prescriptions have gone up and the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?The candidates’ responses represented the party line divide on what to do about the ailing system – and though the direction suggested by each party is different, both perspectives agree that the Affordable Care Act can’t remain in its current iteration.Secretary Clinton noted that, despite its flaws, the Affordable Care Act has made key/ game-changing/ important gains in national healthcare. An additional 20 million Americans are now insured under the ACA – bringing national health insurance coverage to 90% of the population, an all-time high. The ACA has made it illegal to refuse an individual health insurance based on a pre-existing condition, to impose lifetime limits on individuals with serious health problems, and to charge women more for health insurance. Finally, under the ACA, young adults may stay on their parents plan until the age of 26.But, Secretary Clinton agreed that health care for individuals and small businesses above the subsidy level – like many freelancers – is still far too expensive for the kind of coverage it buys. At the debate, she proposed that we “keep what works” from the ACA, and work on improving the rest.One of the ways this could happen is the public option. About one-third of the senate currently supports a government-sponsored health plan, meaning every citizen would have access to a basic level of care – and then be able to purchase customized plans atop that. This would essentially detach the insurance market from employment status and even the playing field for independent workers.On the other side of the aisle, Donald Trump and many conservatives advocate repealing the Affordable Care Act altogether. In scaling back government regulation, the idea is that insurance companies will have more incentive to compete. Donald Trump would strike the requirement that most Americans must health care, open up the sale of insurance across state lines, and encourage the use of health savings accounts among consumers. This strategy would put the health insurance system back in the hands of for-profit companies and undo the above gains of the ACA.One thing is clear, for the majority of freelancers, the current system isn’t working. Health insurance is still too expensive for what it covers and the system forces us to buy one-size-fits all packages that don’t fully meet our needs.At Freelancers Union, we advocate for a portable benefits option that could allow freelancers to have the security they need while moving from job to job and gig to gig. This means delivering affordability, choice, and value to all freelancers when selecting health insurance plans, and continuing to provide subsidies to those who need it.From experience, we know that freelancers benefit from pooling resources and shaping marketplaces to meet their needs. At Freelancers Union, we work to bring members together to help them find the right plans and to build power in markets – and collectively advocate for better health insurance options together. With 55 million Americans freelancing today, we have the power to influence the political conversation and build better systems for the future.If you are seeking new health care during Open Enrollment this fall, please consider purchasing through us. Our site features plans handpicked for freelancers in the New York area from providers like Emblem, Oscar, and CareConnect. When you buy through us, a portion of your purchase goes back to the freelance workforce – at no additional cost to you. That means, the health insurance you have to buy anyway helps to fund a better solution for independent workers like you.A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about community, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.