Battle Station mans seven-horse field in Monday's rescheduled Damon Runyon
by NYRA Press Office
Boule looks to step up in field of 10 for Interborough
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Battle Station will look to notch his second stakes victory, headlining a field of seven in the 39th running of the $100,000 Damon Runyon for New York-breds on Monday's holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day card at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Originally scheduled for juveniles on December 30 before inclement weather forced the card's cancelation, the Damon Runyon, carded as Race 3 and contested at one mile, is now for 3-year-olds, stocking a card that also features the 97th running of the $100,000 Interborough for older fillies and mares in Race 8.
Battle Station will look to parlay the additional two weeks of rest into a strong showing in his debut at the Big A. The Warrior's Reward colt started his career 2-for-2, including a 9 ¼-length romp in the Bertram F. Bongard on September 22 at Belmont Park, before running eighth in the Sleepy Hollow on October 21 on Big Sandy.
Battle Station, trained by Wesley Ward, rebounded to finish second against optional claiming company on November 25 at Churchill Downs and drew post 4, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. picking up the mount.
West Point Thoroughbreds and RAP Racing's Empire Line will be making his first stakes start after capturing his debut with a two-length win on December 1 at Aqueduct for trainer George Weaver. Empire Line, who was the morning-line favorite when the Damon Runyon originally drew, will look to go 2-for-2 in his career as he breaks from post 5 with Eric Cancel aboard.
Jaye Jaye is also perfect in two races to start his career. After breaking his maiden on turf on October 12 at Belmont, the son of Colonel John won his next start in a race moved off the grass and will now be making his first stakes appearance for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Junior Alvarado will break from the outside post.
Morning Breez has placed twice in three stakes starts but will still be seeking his first stakes victory after running second in the Rockville Centre on July 15, fading to sixth after setting the pace in the Funny Cide on August 25 at Saratoga and running 1 ½ lengths behind Sea Foam in a third-place effort in the Notebook on November 26 at Aqueduct.
Trained by Carlos Martin, Morning Breez will depart from post 2 in tandem with Chris DeCarlo.
Evaluator is the field's only entrant with graded stakes experience, running seventh in both the Grade 3 With Anticipation and Grade 3 Pilgrim after winning his first start on August 9. The Michael Dilger trainee edged Big Gemmy by a nose to capture the Sleepy Hollow on October 21 at a mile on Belmont, breaking from post 3 with Manny Franco on the saddle.
Seven Lillies will make his first stakes start, drawing post 6 for trainer Anthony Quartarolo, while Smooth Move, for trainer Linda Rice, will exit from the rail.
Also on Monday, Juddmonte Farm's homebred Boule will make her stakes debut in a competitive field of 10 for the Interborough for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.
The newly-turned 4-year-old filly by Exchange Rate will look to duplicate her winning effort against allowance company on December 16 at the Big A, where she settled just off the pace early and closed well to win by five lengths. The Interborough will be the first stakes and eighth career start for Boule. Trained by Bill Mott, Boule drew post 3 and will be ridden by Dylan Davis.
The Chad Brown-trained Going for Broke will hope for some class relief following her fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Go For Wand on December 2. By Blame, the Grade 1-placed Going for Broke is looking to make her first trip to the winner's circle since an optional claiming win in July of 2016. The Waterford Stable homebred will be ridden by Alvarado from the rail.
Corms Racing Stable's Divine Miss Grey will also make her first stakes attempt as she tries to go two in a row following a 3 ¾-length score in a December 10 optional claimer for trainer Danny Gargan. Divine Miss Grey, who has posted 90+ Beyer Speed Figures in her last two starts, will leave from post 4 under jockey Kendrick Carmouche.
Rounding out the field are Alpine Sky shipping from Florida for trainer Mark Casse; Pumpkin Pie heroine Lucy N Ethel, exiting a fifth-place finish in the Go For Wand for trainer Todd Pletcher; Inconclusive, making her first start for the Gary Contessa barn and making her first start since posting an eighth-place effort in the Lady Jacqueline at Thistledown in August; Carlos Martin trainee Come Dancing, who returned from a 13-month layoff to post a frontrunning 6 ½-length allowance win on December 14; Heavenly Score, a seven-length winner last time out for trainer John Terranova; the Rick Violette, Jr.-trained Kalabaka, fourth last time out in the Garland of Roses; and Littlemissbusiness, looking to rebound from a fourth-place finish over a sloppy and sealed track in November.