Newstome looks for his third stakes win in the Jimmy Winkfield at Aqueduct
When horses train at the Fair Hills Training Center in Maryland they have to learn to be versatile while shipping out to race at different tracks and on different surfaces. Newstome, who is trained Michael Trombetta, has done just that with starts at four tracks in the East and wins on the dirt and the synthetic.
Now the Pennsylvania-bred son of Goldencents will make his debut at Aqueduct on Saturday in the seven-furlong $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield where he will seek his third stakes win against six other 3-year-olds.
The Jimmy Winkfield is named for the two-time Kentucky Derby winning rider in 1901-02 who was the last black jockey to win the Run for the Roses.
The $30,000 2-year-old purchase has already banked $174,400 in earnings with his big wins coming in a state-bred stake at Presque Isle on the artificial surface and then on the dirt in the JF Lewis III at Laurel.
“We’ve been delighted with him and he’s certainly exceeded our expectations,” Trombetta said. “His preference is probably going three-quarters, where he’s 2-for-2, but those races are hard to come by, so we’ll see how everything shapes out.”
In contrast, trainer Jonathan Thomas sends Quixotic, who was a $300,000 yearling purchase, into his first stakes race after breaking his maiden in his most recent start at the Big A by four-lengths.
“We were pleased with his first two starts and Johnny seemed to be pretty pleased with him,” Thomas said. “Subsequently, he came back well. It’s a little quicker than typically we’ve run one back, especially heading into a stakes, but the timing is what it is. He seems to be doing well, so we’ll see how it shapes up.
The Mark Casse barn is having a strong Aqueduct winter meeting with seven victories from 29 starters with an impressive 29% win rate. When Woodbine closed for the winter they sent turf stakes winner Old Chestnut to Belmont Park to train on the dirt.
“He’s trained well enough over the dirt and there aren’t a whole lot of options out there right now on the grass,” Casse said. “We wanted to go ahead and find out sooner rather than later about the dirt and see how he does. We need to find out where we are. If he’s just turf, it’s better to find out now.”
Saturday’s nine-race card will feature the Jimmy Winkfield in race 8 with a post time of 4:25 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:00 p.m.
The Jimmy Winkfield will kick off this weekend’s Cross-Country Pick 5, which packs five races into a little over an hour and is an all-stakes wager this time and combines races from Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs, and Oaklawn Park.
The New York Hot List team offers its usual Aqueduct picks and analysis along with the Special Saturday Pick 3 free of charge on this website.