by Keith McCalmont
Trainer Christophe Clement has entered a formidable trio in Lady Edith, Honey Pants and Hit the Woah in Sunday’s $150,000 Autumn Days, a six-furlong outer turf sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Autumn Days, slated for Race 8, is part of an action-packed nine-race card that includes the $150,000 Discovery in Race 7 and the $120,000 Tepin in Race 6. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
Abbondanza Racing and Omar Aldabbagh’s graded-stakes placed Lady Edith [post 9, Joel Rosario] enters from a three-length score in the six-furlong Floral Park over good going here on October 16. With Joel Rosario up, the 4-year-old Street Boss chestnut stalked the early pace of stablemate Too Sexy before drawing away to a comfortable victory that garnered a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure.
“She was very impressive when she won last time. She ran great,” Clement said. “She’s been sound since. When you’re pushing it until the end of the year, some fillies do better than others. But she looks great.”
Lady Edith was initially conditioned by Thomas Drury, Jr., who campaigned the talented filly to wins last year in the five-furlong Mamzelle on the Churchill Downs turf and the 6 1/2-furlong Wishing Well in January over the Turfway Park synthetic.
Lady Edith was purchased in February for $370,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Mixed Sale and transferred to Clement. She earned graded black type at second asking for new connections, closing to finish third in the Grade 3 Caress traveling 5 1/2-furlongs over firm footing at Saratoga Race Course.
Clement said the six-furlong distance is perfect for the five-time winner.
“You can run five and a half [furlongs] with her, but not seven. Six seems to be just right and working well for her,” Clement said. “Sometimes you cannot pick and choose and other times you can pick and choose. The two stakes at Aqueduct are six [furlongs], so she gets to run six.”
Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s multiple stakes-placed Honey Pants [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] makes her first start since a closing fifth-place finish in the five-furlong Sensible Lady Turf Dash on September 24 over firm footing at Pimlico Race Course.
The 4-year-old Cairo Prince grey has posted a record of 6-1-3-1 this season, including an optional-claiming win in April at Gulfstream Park and consecutive late-running stakes placings in the The Very One [2nd] in May at Pimlico ahead of two efforts at Monmouth Park in the Goldwood [2nd] in June and the Incredible Revenge [3rd] in August.
The Autumn Days will mark the first start beyond 5 1/2-furlongs this year for Honey Pants which Clement said will be beneficial.
“Finally, she is going to get to run six furlongs. She’s much, much better on a faster ground and the forecast is good so we should be okay,” Clement said. “She’s been a bit unlucky this year, but she looks well. I’ve always wanted to run her six furlongs so I’m excited to run her here.”
Hoolie Racing Stable and Madaket Stables’ stakes-placed Hit the Woah [post 6, Javier Castellano] closed to finish second to returning rival Athwaaq last out in a six-furlong optional-claimer on November 4 here. The 4-year-old Vancouver dark bay boasts a perfect in-the-money record of 6-2-1-3 this year.
Horseshoe Racing’s multiple graded stakes-winner Change of Control [post 2, Colby Hernadez] returns to defend her Autumn Days title for trainer Michelle Lovell.
The now 6-year-old Fed Biz bay prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Too Sexy in last year’s running to close out a campaign that included wins in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Intercontinental on good going at Belmont and the Grade 3 Franklin County at 5 1/2-furlongs over soft ground at Keeneland.
Change of Control has posted a record of 8-1-3-1 this year led by a win in the Andy Guest in July at Colonial. She enters from a distant ninth in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters on September 19.
Annette Allen’s graded-stakes winner Stolen Holiday [post 1, Jose Lezcano] captured the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Eatontown on June 18 at Monmouth with a gate-to-wire effort under Jose Lezcano.
The 5-year-old War Front mare returned from a nearly five-month layoff last out to finish an even fourth in the one-mile Fall Harvest where she was three lengths back of the victorious Wakanaka to close out the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card at Keeneland.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said Stolen Holiday, an allowance winner going six furlongs last October at Belmont, can handle the turn back in distance.
“She’s the kind of horse that you got to let break and leave her alone. I like Lezcano riding her,” McGaughey said. “It’s a good spot to keep going. She’s doing well and we gave her a break from the Eatontown to the race at Keeneland. She didn’t have the best of trips in there, but I thought she ran respectably against some nice horses.”
Bred in Kentucky by Orpendale, Stolen Holiday, out of the Group 2-winning Sadler’s Wells mare Silk And Scarlet, is a half-sibling to Grade 1-winner Minorette.
Lawrence Goichman’s multiple graded-stakes placed Star Devine [post 10, Jose Ortiz] finished a close third last out in the 5 1/2-furlong Grade 3 Franklin on October 16 at Keeneland, a race the victorious Caravel exited to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Trained by Jorge Abreu, the 4-year-old Irish-bred Fastnet Rock bay is winless in five starts this year, but was a game second to Caravel in the Grade 3 Intercontinental in June.
Star Devine was victorious in her lone start over the Big A turf, graduating in style on debut in April 2021 in a six-furlong maiden special weight. She completed her sophomore season with a win in the 5 1/2-furlong Galway last August over firm Spa turf.
Rounding out a strong field are stakes-winner Can’t Buy Love [post 3, Paco Lopez] for conditioner Michael Trombetta; the stakes-placed Gogo Shoes [post 5, Dylan Davis] for trainer Mike Maker; as well as Athwaaq [post 11, Eric Cancel], Lemos Cunha [post 8, Kendrick Carmouche] and Mail Order [post 7, Junior Alvarado]. Betsy Blue, Self Isolation, Snicket and Itsakeyper are entered for the main-track only.
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