Nov 17, 2016
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Aqueduct Racetrack Notes 11.17.16

by NYRA Press Office

  • Anchor Down, Win With Pride take aim at Cigar Mile Day assignments
  • Rodriguez works pair ahead of G2 Demoiselle
  • Juvenile fillies set to make Aqueduct debut in Key Cents
  • 'Big A' Fall Handicapping Challenge returns November 19
  • Fields coming together for Cigar Mile week stakes

Trainer Todd Pletcher's Cigar Mile week contingent are scheduled to wrap up their preparations this weekend ahead of their upcoming stakes assignments, led by multiple graded stakes winner Anchor Down, on target for the Grade 1, $500,000 Cigar Mile on November 26.

A 5-year-old Tapit ridgling, Anchor Down earned a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure for his front-running, two-length victory in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap on October 8, completing the one-turn mile in a sharp 1:32 4/5.

"Anytime you can run a solid 1:33 mile, you're in rarefied territory," Pletcher said. "He's got good tactical speed and it seems like he's proven that a one-turn mile is his favorite trip. That's why we decided to wait for the Cigar Mile instead of taking him to the Breeders' Cup."

On the Cigar Mile undercard, Win With Pride, the well-bred Distorted Humor 2-year-old owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, is set to make his stakes debut in the Grade 2, $300,000 Remsen.

The first foal out of multiple graded stakes winner Love and Pride, who won the Grade 1 Zenyatta and Grade 1 Personal Ensign as a 4-year-old in 2012, Win With Pride was third in his unveiling over a muddy track at Belmont Park in September and returned to break his maiden by 2 ¾ lengths around two turns October 31 at Parx Racing.

"We feel that the added distance will be to his liking and I like the fact that he's got a two-turn race under his belt," said Pletcher. "He seemed to show improvement in his second start, so we're looking forward to it.

"He seems like a pretty athletic colt," he continued. "He acts like he wants more ground. We trained his mother, Love and Pride, and she seemed like she got better as she got a little older and she certainly appreciated more distance and that's why we think he'll handle the mile and an eighth. And hopefully, he'll continue to improve as he gets older."

Pletcher reported that Grade 1 Champagne runner-up Syndergaard is getting a brief freshening in Ocala, Fla. following his fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, while stablemate and fellow Juvenile runner Theory, who spiked a fever following the Breeders' Cup, remains in California under the care of trainer Michael McCarthy. He is expected to ship to Kentucky on November 21, Pletcher said.

"He'll go to WinStar, where he'll get a short break and then hopefully join us back at Palm Beach Downs," he added.

With four nominated to the Grade 3, $250,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies, Pletcher could be represented by as many as three runners in the 1 1/8-mile contest on Cigar Mile Day, led by two-time stakes winner Unbridled Mo.

Red Oak Stable's homebred daughter of Uncle Mo is unbeaten in her last four starts, including victories in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks in August and the Remington Park Oaks, where she picked up a 92 Beyer for a 1 ¼-length score on September 25.

"She's been training very well," Pletcher noted. "We've kind of had this race in mind since the Remington race. We're hoping she can keep adding to her win streak. She's been a nice filly for us this year and she seems like she's getting better and better."

Always on My Mind and Mo d'Amour are also under consideration for the Comely, while WinStar Farm's Spirituality, third in her first start for the Pletcher barn in the Grade 3 Matron on October 16, is possible for the Grade 2, $300,000 Demoiselle.

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Magic Cap Stables' Jamyson 'n Ginger breezed four furlongs in 49.73 seconds at Aqueduct Racetrack on Thursday morning, marking the 2-year-old filly's first work since a fifth-place finish in her stakes debut in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 5 at Santa Anita Park.

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez was pleased with the move as the Bernardini filly readies for the Grade 2, $300,000 Demoiselle on November 26. Jamyson n' Ginger broke her maiden on October 9 at Belmont before heading to California. After returning to New York, she now has set her sights on the Demoiselle that is to be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

"The owners want to take a chance, and I think after this race coming up, she'll get a rest for a couple of months," Rodriguez said. "She looks pretty good. She's eating well and behaving good. I'll school her a couple of times in the paddock here and we'll take it from there."

Her stablemate, Libby's Tail, is also expected to start in that race and breezed five furlongs in 1:01.07 at Aqueduct on Thursday. After breaking her maiden on July 2 at Belmont, Libby's Tail is slated to make her third straight graded stakes start, including a runner-up finish last out in the Grade 1 Frizette on October 8 at Belmont. 

"She's doing really, really good," Rodriguez said. "Her breeze was excellent. We're looking to see if she can go a mile-and-an-eighth, I hope she can do it. It's a question mark everyone has to answer. They're babies, so you never know."

All Star Red, for Carl Lizza Racing Stables, is slated to return to stakes company in the Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight on November 24. The 4-year-old chestnut colt worked Wednesday at the Big A, going five furlongs in 1:03.30.

All Star Red will be making his first graded stakes start since a fifth-place effort in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on July 30 at Saratoga.

"I know the race will be tough, but I think he deserves a chance," Rodriguez said. "He never embarrasses himself. He always tries, and it's a plus for the horse to run at his home track."

Rodriguez said Woundwithhereyes is a possibility for the $100,000 Furlough for 2-year-old fillies on November 24. Should she be entered, it would mark her stakes debut, following her maiden victory on September 23 at Belmont. Rodriguez said owner Michael Dubb will make the decision. Woundwithhereyes worked five furlongs in 1:02.85 at Aqueduct on Thursday.

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The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the return of live-money tournament play at Aqueduct Racetrack with the annual "Big A Fall Handicapping Challenge" the weekend of Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20. 

Held over two separate contest days, horseplayers will have the opportunity to win cash and qualify for up to four spots total to the National Handicapping Championships in Las Vegas from, January 27 - 29.

With a $400 entry fee per each contest day, with $200 allocated to the prize pool and the remaining $200 comprising each player's live bankroll, contestants will have the chance to place win, place, or show wagers on a minimum of ten different races with the top earners pocketing their winnings earned in addition to the prize pool.

For pre-registration and more information on the Big A Fall Handicapping Challenge, please visit All tournament entry fees will be due each day of the contest with walk-up registrations accepted outside the Manhattan Terrace on the third floor at Aqueduct.

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A group of 11 New York-bred juvenile fillies will vie for supremacy in Sunday's $100,000 Key Cents at six furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Alan Cook's Filibustin is one of just three entries to register a stakes victory, winning the Joseph A. Gimma on October 2 at Belmont Park at seven furlongs. Trained by Gregory Sacco, Filibustin is 2-for-2 in her career and will look to stay undefeated in leaving post 4 with jockey Jose Lezcano. 

Iron Mizz, the field's most experienced horse with a 2-1-1 record in six career starts, also has a stakes win on her ledger, having captured the Seeking the Ante on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course. 

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Iron Mizz will be making her fourth straight stakes start looking to add to her field-high career earnings of $197,750. She will depart post 8 in tandem with Hall of Fame Jockey John Velazquez.

Code Red finished just three-quarters of a length behind Iron Mizz in the Seeking the Ante on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course. After finishing seventh last out in the Joseph A. Gimma, the Mike Hushion-trainee will cut back in distance in leaving post 2. 

Owned by Chester and Mary Broman, Code Red, who broke her maiden on July 8 at Belmont, will have the services of jockey Dylan Davis.

Ribbonite, for trainer Robbie Davis, won the Lady Finger on September 10 at Finger Lakes and will start at six furlongs for the second straight race. Jackie Davis has the mount from post 3. 

Bob Petersons Stables and Frank Bellavia's Wilburnmoney also has stakes experience, finishing second in the Lynbrook on July 17 at Belmont. Trained by Gary Gullo, Wilburnmoney has stayed close to the pace in each of his last two stakes starts, which followed an impressive maiden victory on June 16 at Belmont in which she showed the ability to take dirt in going 5 ½ furlongs, taking the lead out of the turn and winning by two lengths.

Wilburnmoney drew the rail with Jose Ortiz. 

Bruce Lunsford's Strawberry Tequila is 1-1-0 in three career starts, including a maiden-breaking win on October 22 at Belmont. Trained by Bruce Brown, she will return to stakes company for the first time since an eighth-place finish in the Joseph A. Gimma.

Strawberry Tequila has won on a wet track, and posted a victory at the Key Cents distance with her off-the-pace win last out. Luis Saez will be in the irons out of post 9.

Twist 'n Shout will make her third consecutive stakes start and is still looking to place after finishing out of the money in the Joseph A. Gimma and Seeing the Ante. The daughter of 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer won her debut for trainer George Weaver on July 31 at Saratoga and will be cutting back in distance in the Key Cents. Manny Franco will be on the saddle from the outside. 

Rounding out the field are Tainted Angel, the Maid of the Mist runner-up on October 22 at Belmont, out of post 6 for trainer Rudy Rodriguez; Impazible Angela, who will make her stakes debut after breaking her maiden in fourth career start on October 28, out of post 5 for trainer Abigail Adsit; Bliss to You out of post 10 with jockey Kendrick Carmouche; and Kim Royale from post 7. Jockey Antonio Gallardo is set to ride.

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Fields are beginning to take shape for the upcoming holiday week stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, with nine competitive stakes races starting on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24 through Cigar Mile Day on Saturday, November 26.

The Grade 1, $500,000 Cigar Mile is expected to feature a talented field of older horses, led by Alto Racing's multiple graded stakes winner Anchor Down, looking to pick up where he last left off after winning the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap on October 8 at Belmont.

Chad Brown is likely to saddle Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby winner Connect as well as Klaravich Stables' Economic Model, who finished third October 29 in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont at seven furlongs, and second in the Grade 3 Dwyer when last racing at a mile in July. 

Also expected is Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin who ran third to Anchor Down in the Kelso as well as a tandem for trainer Barclay Tagg in 3-year-olds Tale of S'avall and Realm, who each took an allowance race in their most recent start. Rounding out the likely contenders is War Story for trainer Mario Serey, Jr.

Upholding the Cigar Mile on Saturday's live racing program are the Grade 2, $300,000 Remsen for 2-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, the Grade 2, $300,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, and the Grade 3, $300,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles.

The Remsen is likely to feature a showdown between talented juveniles Takafuland Mo Town, along with Newman, Hookup, No Dozing, Tale of Silence, Win With Pride and You're to Blame. 

The Demoiselle, the Remsen's counterpart for 2-year-old fillies, is likely to attract Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner Jamyson 'n Ginger, along with Ladies Day, Libby's Tail, Majestic Bonnie, and Miss Sky Warrior. Bonita Bianca, Eloquent Riddle and Spirituality are each under consideration. 

Alpha Delta Stables' Lewis Bay looks to headline the Comely coming off a 5 ¼ length victory in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm at Belmont. Todd Pletcher will point Red Oak Stable's Unbridled Mo, in addition to keeping King of Prussia Stable's Mo d'Amour and John D. Gunther's Always On My Mind under consideration for the race. Flora Dora, Big Mara, Going for Broke and Verve's Tale are also expected to enter.

On Thursday, older sprinters will highlight the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at the Big A, the Grade 3, $250,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at six furlongs. 

Leading the probable field for the Fall Highweight is Stallwalkin' Dude for owner and trainer David Jacobson. A 6-year-old gelding with two wins from three starts at Aqueduct most recently captured the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap on October 29 at Belmont. 

Stallwalkin' Dude is likely to be met by Chalk Racing's Ready for Rye, who is likely to switch surfaces back to dirt following a fifth-place running in the Belmont Turf Sprint on October 8. Others under consideration for the race are All Star Red,Angry Moon, Spartiatis and The Great War. Chief Lion, Dannie's Deceiver, Green Gratto, Life in Shambles, Trouble Kid and Weekend Hideaway are possible.

Thursday's card will also feature the first running of the $125,000 Gio Ponti for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf and $100,000 Furlough for 2-year-olds going six furlongs.

The Gio Ponti is likely to attract Catapult, Hunter O'Riley, Italian Charm, Pirellone, Strike Midnight and Toughest 'Ombre. Isotherm remains probable. Probable for the Furlough are Alice B Winkle, Come Dancing, Star Studded, Whistle Stop, Woundedwithhereyes and Yorkiepoo Princess.

Friday's card will feature the $125,000 Winter Memories run at 1 1/16 mile on the turf. Stronach Stables' Stella Rose is expected alongside Danilovna, Free N Clear, Gioia Stella, Grey Stark, Insta Erma, Koala Queen, Miss Nancy and Outsider Art.

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