Sophomore fillies square off in Busanda
By Jenny Kellner | 01/02/2014 02:10 PM ET
Eight newly minted sophomore fillies will go in pursuit of their first stakes victories of the New Year on Saturday in the 41st running of the $100,000 Busanda at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Busanda is one of two stakes on the card along with the Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome for 3-year-olds, also at one mile, 70 yards.
Carrying the colors of celebrity chef Bobby Flay in the Busanda will be Fierce Boots, who made a late rally to finish fourth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths in a seven-furlong optional claimer at the Big A last time out. The Tiznow filly, purchased for $200,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sales in 2012, broke her maiden going a mile at Parx Racing in her only other start on dirt. She was fifth and 11th in two starts on the turf.
"She's been training very well in the mornings since her last race, so we're hoping that will translate into a good effort in the afternoon," said Byron Hughes, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher.
Fierce Boots, 6-1 on the morning line, drew post position 2 and will have the services of jockey Jose Ortiz.
Pletcher also will send out Spanish Gold (12-1), most recently third in a one-mile maiden race over the main track at Aqueduct.
David Jacobson, who in 2013 topped the trainer standings in New York for the second straight year, has a solid hand with both Alpaca Fina, winner of three of her four starts, and Derek's Girl, third in the Grade 3 Tempted in her most recent start.
Owned by Drawing Away Stable, the leading owner on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit last year, Alpaca Fina will be making her first start around two turns in the Busanda. The Big Brown filly, claimed by Jacobson out of her six-furlong maiden victory in September at Belmont Park, was an even third in the Sharp Cat overnight stakes next time out and then went on to win a pair of optional claimers at six and seven furlongs at the Big A.
Cornelio Velasquez will be aboard Alpaca Fina, the 5-2 favorite on the morning line, when she leaves from post position 6.
Representing Farnsworth Stable will be fellow Jacobson trainee Derek's Girl, who was claimed out of an 8 ¾-length maiden score in August at Del Mar. In her first start for her new connections, the Brother Derek filly was 11 ¾ lengths behind Stopchargingmaria in the one-mile Tempted on November 3.
At 10-1 on the morning line, Derek's Girl will leave from post position 8 with David Cohen riding.
The lone stakes winner in the field is Flipcup, who closed out her juvenile campaign with a rousing 4 ½-length win over New York-breds in the East View stakes for new trainer George Weaver. It was the third win in four starts for the Milwaukee Brew filly, who began her career in Woodbine with trainer Brian Lynch.
Rajiv Maragh will be aboard Flipcup, 3-1 on the morning line, when she leaves from post position 1.
Rounding out the field are Camille Claudel, a 19-length maiden winner in the slop at Laurel Park last time out; Fleet of Gold, who broke her maiden on December 11 at Laurel; and Ketel Twist, fifth in an optional claimer on December 5.
The field for the $100,000 Busanda: