Aqueduct closing day card includes three stakes races
By New York Hot List staff
Three stakes races highlight Saturday’s card which is the final day of the Aqueduct Spring meeting. Racing will resume on Friday, April 26, when the Belmont Park Spring/Summer meeting begins.
The $100,000 Woodhaven, which will be run as race 6, features 3-year-olds going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Forty Under makes his 2019 debut for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. The son of Uncle Mo was last seen running sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He broke his maiden at Saratoga after switching to the grass and then won the Pilgrim (G3) at Belmont Park.
“He’s been training real well in preparation for this race,” Englehart said. “I’m excited to see him run again. It’s great to see him back out there.”
Race 8 is the $200,000 New York Stallion Series, the Park Avenue division, for 3-year-old fillies going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track at the Big A. The race shapes up as a battle between Stonesintheroad, the winner of a New York-bred stakes race, and Newly Minted, an impressive maiden winner.
Englehart also trains Stonesintheroad who won her first three races including the Franklin Square. She finished third when she faced open company for the first time in the Cicada. All four of her starts have come at the Big A.
“She has worked well coming out of her last race, so I decided to go ahead and run,” Englehart said. “She likes the track and seems ready to compete.”
Linda Rice trains Newly Minted who romped to a six-length victory in her debut on a muddy track at Aqueduct just one week ago. She earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure which tops this field.
“Franky, we spent a lot of time getting her to the races. We gave her the summer off and didn’t put her in training until late in the fall,” Rice explained. “We’ve given her lot of time to get to this point. She was very professional the other day and ran a big figure. It’s back on short rest, but I wanted the opportunity to look at it and make the decision to run.”
The $200,000 New York Stallion Series, the Times Square division, which will be run as race 9, is for 3-year-olds also at 6 ½ furlongs. Rice has the two-time NY-bred stakes winner Blindwillie McTell coming back from a January layoff.
“Blindwillie had won the two stakes and had gotten an infection in a hind ankle; he got it cut when he left the gate stumbling at the break,” Rice said. “He’s coming back very well.”
Bankit returns to face state-breds after spending time on the Kentucky Derby trail. The Steve Asmussen runner, who races for Winchell Thoroughbreds, finished a neck behind Long Range Toddy in the Springboard Mile. The past winner of the Sleepy Hollow will now cut back in distance.
“We’ve always had quite a bit of confidence in the horse,” said Winchell’s Racing and Bloodstock Manager David Fiske. “As the competition he’s been up against has gotten stronger, it’s been harder for him to close all of that ground. In most of his races last year, he’s been up closer to the pace. He seems to like it up in New York a lot more than he does the Midwest or the south.”
The Times Square anchors this week’s Cross-Country Pick 5, which includes stakes races from five different tracks around the country. Full analysis of Leg 5 is available in the New York Hot List picks.
Leg 1: Woodbine – Grade 3 $125,000 Whimsical (Race 7, 4:51 p.m.)
Leg 2: Oaklawn Park – $100K Rainbow (Race 7, 5:20 p.m.)
Leg 3: Keeneland – Grade 2 $250K Elkhorn (Race 9, 5:30 p.m.)
Leg 4: Charles Town – Grade 2 $1M Charles Town Classic (Race 11, 5:37 p.m.)
Leg 5: Aqueduct – $200K NYSSS Times Square division (Race 9, 5:48 p.m.)